Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Book Quest Update, Quick Doily Update, and Introducing Vertebrae

As I mentioned earlier, I am on a quest to buy all four of Mary Konior's tatting books. Well, the two I don't already own, actually. I am happy to report that I now have three of her books. Thanks to AbeBooks, I was able to find a reasonably priced copy of "Tatting in Lace".

There are lots of really cool patterns in this book. Hopefully I'll get around to tatting a few of them to show you; there's even another pattern called Windmills. In case you're wondering, the book is from a seller in the UK. If you haven't heard of Abebooks, I highly recommend it. There are A LOT of tatting books available through this site (which doesn't sell the books directly, they allow sellers to post them to the site, and Abebooks handles the transactions). Of course, much like eBay, and Amazon, there are some books that are extremely overpriced, but some are reasonable.

I promised an update to my Windmills doily and I'll oblige, but there won't be a photo right now. Currently, I have five motifs left to finish on the second round. It is definitely bigger, and the pattern looks even more intriguing. I can't wait to finish the round and show you the results. I am thinking of making a third round after I'm done, but it probably won't be right away. I'm thinking of giving the doily to my Mom for Christmas or her birthday, so it can be put away for awhile.

I also took the time to try the Slope and Roll join that Miranda had mentioned in response to my dilemma of odd dots of colour when using variegated thread and shuttle/lock joins. I have to say, I'm very pleased with the results. You can see for yourself:

Look Ma! No dots of colour. I'd also like to show off a pleasantly unexpected, um, "side effect" of the slope and roll join:

Each join make a neat little bump that nicely recreates the windmill pattern on the backside of the motif. This could be a nice way to add interest to the doily. It would make a nice dual sided doily; one side smooth, the other textured. Thread stats: I used Lizbeth size 20 thread in colour #107 Tropical Fruit.

Finally, I have been playing around with chainmaille lately. I figured I'd work on a few new products for my Etsy shop. The first one is a bracelet using a weave called "Vertebrae":

This is a really cool weave. And it's very nice to wear; I'm, um, testing (yes, testing) the bracelet right now. I think the bracelet would look great if I use a different metal for the medium sized ring that is inside the large ring.I believe these medium inner rings have very little contact with the skin, so copper and its alloys won't discolour the skin. I think brass would look awesome. In case you're wondering, the bracelet above is made using stainless steel rings.

I also made another bracelet using square wire rings. You can see an example here:

The top bracelet is using the square wire rings and bottom bracelet is using the regular round wire rings. Both bracelets are made out of stainless steel. As you can see, I had to use larger rings for the top bracelet due the shape of the rings. The result is a thicker bracelet that would be ideal for the men. Though, there is no reason a lady couldn't wear it. I actually made the square wire bracelet awhile ago, but I've been waiting ages for a suitable clasp for it. My supplier has been out of stock for a while now, and just recently got some large solid stainless steel clasps again. Hopefully, I'll get these into my shop within a week or so.

That's about it for now. I will hopefully have my Windmills doily complete, or close to it by next week. I'll show a picture once I'm done. And perhaps I'll have some more chainmaille to show off. Till next time.


  1. Oh, I love Abe books, too! Good luck on your quest to get all of Mary Konior's tatting books! You will get them all eventually!
    Your chain mail looks cool, too!

  2. Good for you, Jeff. I have two of Mary Konior's books and will continue to search for the other two.
    Looking forward to see the full Windmills doily. I have seen the full one in white and it is mesmerising. Now waiting to see how it will look in colour.

  3. Congratulations on finding Mary's book!

    I always love reading about different techniques. I hadn't heard of this roll method before... I'll have to try it out!

    Your chainmaille is fabulous! I get compliments every time I wear my pieces.

  4. Congrats on the book. I managed to find that one as well from the same book dealer. They are good.

    Your piece looks great and thanks for the pic of the reverse side.

    I use this technique on coloured threads, but never really saw that effect till you posted your photo!
    Fox : )

  5. Your slope and roll join looks really good. I've been trying it with nowhere near as much success.

  6. Oh wow, you managed to get that MK book. How wonderful!!

    Slope and roll would be on the list of my tatting techniques to learn. Can't wait to see the windmill.

    Your square wire ring bracelet looks great. I like the matt brushed finish.

  7. Thanks for the link to the Slope and Roll join. I've never heard of that!

    I've only recently become aware of the problem of the dots of color showing through on the joins, since I've just started using variegated threads. You certainly seem to have mastered the technique. I really like that Tropical Thread color!

    Also, your chainmaille jewelry is amazing!

  8. Hi Jeff,
    Love your tatting and congrats on getting the book by Mary Konior...I have used Abe books and find them very good.

    Your bracelet etc are wonderful...is it a hard craft to learn
    Joy in OZ (Australia)

  9. Thanks for the comments everyone. I always enjoy reading them.

    I seem to the last one on the AbeBooks bandwagon.

    You know Kathy, I hadn't heard of the slope and roll join either until it was recommended to me.

    As long as you have good instructions/tutorials available, it isn't too difficult to learn. There are many weaves that are pretty easy to learn, and once they are mastered, some of the more difficult ones are easy to understand. Many of the more advanced weaves build upon the easy ones. If you can use pliers, you can chainmail.