Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Handy Hands Purchases, Tatted Chainmaille, and a Pretty Picture

It must be the warming weather, but I haven't felt like posting lately. In case you are wondering, my thumb has healed up nicely, and I'm able to tat again! I haven't done much tatting though, but I did manage a little.

First, I mentioned that I decided to order some Lizbeth thread from Handy Hands Tatting. I received it about a week ago. I'm almost embarrassed to say that I haven't tried it yet, but I will soon.

Here is a group shot of my purchases. As you can see I bought numerous balls of Lizbeth thread, as well as a ball of Omega thread (I love that colour!). There's also a "no point" Sew Mate shuttle, some replacement bobbins for Aero type shuttles (can't have enough of them!), a new (to me anyway) tatting book, and a round cotton doily. I bought the doily because I would like to attempt the full Spinning Wheel doily from Tatting with Visual Patterns; it requires a circle of fabric in the centre, and I am not skilled enough in the sewing department to make one myself.

The book that I bought can't be seen very well in the above picture. Here is a photo of the cover:

As you can see, the title of the book is "To Boldly Go Where No Shuttle Has Gone Before or Tatting Definitely Not For Beginners" by Anne Dyer. Despite the fact that the book was published in 1993, I hadn't heard of this book before. A quick Google searched provided only one relevant tatting link, located here. The rest are mainly Star Trek related. The book is full of very interesting tatting techniques including Square Rings (I have to try these!), and a variety of unusual chains. I'll show some samples of tatting that I make from this book once I find the time.

As you may remember, my last post was about my new interest, chainmaille. Well, Connie of I Tat Too mentioned that one of the classes held at the Palmetto Tat Days 2008 was about tatted chainmaille. I have the CD from Tat Days 2008 and I completely forgot about this. I had to give it a try:

This is a tatted Byzantine chain (actually, it's a Byzantine unit). Its a pretty cool technique, however I found it rather slow to make. Actually, the tatting was fast, but the threads have to be knotted and glued after each ring is tatted. I managed to tat six rings, then knot and glue all six to save some time. I'm not sure I would want to make a full size bracelet using this technique, but I think in smaller thread, a pair of earrings would be quite nice. The pattern calls for size 8 pearl cotton. I used Flora size 20 thread for my sample. You'll probably see this form of chainmaille again, as well some standard chainmaille designs.

Finally, I promised a pretty picture.

I think it is pretty anyway. This is a immature pitcher on my Tropical Pitcher Plant (Nepenthes x ventrata). I bought the plant about a year ago, and it finally decided to produce pitchers for me (well, for itself actually). The pitcher in the above photo is about a centimeter in length (perhaps a bit bigger, since this photo is a few weeks old). Perhaps once the pitchers are full size, I be able to create a tatted version. We'll see; I don't know how many tatters out there would want a tatted pitcher plant. I'll provide an update if anything comes to fruition with this idea. Till next time.

Now playing: Karl Wolf - Africa (Radio Edit)
via FoxyTunes


  1. Have fun with your tatting goodies! The tatted chainmail sounds right up your alley! That pitcher looks cool. What a neat plant.

    Enjoy your book. I think I have that one, I just haven't indulged in any patterns it, though. :)

  2. It looks like you chose all the same threads I did from Handy Hands! I love the SewMate shuttle without the point... much better than the one with the point. I like the balance, and I don't poke myself! I don't mind picking up a crochet hook for joins.

    I was just thinking of starting the Spinning Wheel attached to a circle last night! I just haven't decided which size circle to use, and I'm thinking of joining the tatting directly to the fabric rather than sewing it on later. Decisions, decisions!

    I look forward to seeing what you do with all your new goodies!

  3. Thanks for stopping by Tattingchic and Diane. I will have fun with the new threads and book.

    To be honest Diane, I chose threads that many of you have used so I could see how well they work. I bought a couple just because they were blue. That was the main reason I wanted to try the no point SewMates. I have poked and cut myself with the pointed ones.

    I guess its true what they say, great minds think alike! In case you are wondering, the fabric doily I bought is 6 inches in diameter. I calculated that the pattern would require a 6.5 inch circle, but 6 is close enough. It might work, perhaps in a slightly finer thread. I would love to see your version of the full Spinning Wheel.

  4. Your "mail" unit looks good but complicated. I don't think I'd have that much patience!

    I also have that book, which I enjoy looking through occasionally. I'm like TattingChic, though, and haven't made much out of it. You may inspire me to do it soon.

    That is an interesting plant you have. I don't think I've ever heard of it before.

  5. Enjoy your goodies and let us know how you like the Lizbeth thread, please.
    Very nice plant by the way.

  6. I was in Anitra's Byzantine Chain class at Palmetto and it was a lot of fun. I remember we talked then that a single unit would make a good earring. I don't often use glue, so for some of my rings, I used 2 magic threads instead. But knots and glue aren't such a bad thing with this pattern, since you can turn the loops so the knots are hidden in the links.

  7. Thanks for stopping by Tattrldy, Susanne and Martha. As I said with the real Byzantine weave, it only looks complicated.

    I am glad you like the plant Susanne. I will post a quick review on Lizbeth soon.

    Thanks for the info Martha. I had wondered if I could use MTs for hiding the ends. I realize that some of the rings could be rotated to hide the glued knot, but it is so time consuming: tat, knot, glue, wait, tat, knot, glue, wait, etc. I would love to see your tatting from this class, if you haven't posted it already.