Sunday, January 23, 2011

Not A Lot Goin' On, Tatting Wise, Anyway.

Yeah, I know. I disappeared from the face of the Earth again. I came down with a cold last weekend, and just haven't felt like tatting lately. I did manage another row, and a bit on my tie since my last post. I do hope to find time to work on my tie over the next two days. But we'll see. As you can probably see, my poll has finished. The "No's" have majority, though barely. So, I'm going to focus on my other tatting patterns for now. Perhaps I will release the pattern at another time, maybe once the tie is complete. I'll continue to take notes as I go, and keep track of what I am doing until that time. I haven't started on Jane's newest TIAS, and I don't know if I'll get to it now. It won't be fun if I rush to catch up. So I'll move on here to the non-tatting that I managed to do this past week and a bit.

I'm not sure why, but I got inspired to work on chainmaille this week. Sales have come to a standstill, so I've been working on some new weaves, trying to come up with some new products. A few items are promising, another few need some work (and by work, I mean I have no idea what I'm going to do with them).

The first item is a fairly simple bracelet:

This bracelet is made using a weave called Double Spiral. Like I said it is pretty easy to make, and I'm not sure why I haven't tried it yet. I need to get some proper photos of it (something I was supposed to do today) and get it listed. It is made out of stainless steel, though it should work in most metals.

The next item I made is just a quick sample of a new weave:

This one is called Captive Zen. It is one of those weaves that relies heavily on very specific rings sizes to work. There are four different sizes of rings used here. Since this photo was taken, I have made a bracelet using this weave. I haven't photographed it yet (again, one of today's tasks that didn't get done). Both the above sample and the unphotographed bracelet were made using bright aluminum rings. This is a pretty stiff weave (it has to be), and doesn't work well for really small wrists, though it apparently relaxes and loosens up over time. I really like the way this weave looks. I'm hoping to make a pair of earrings using this weave too.

Finally, we come to the weave in which I'm not sure how it will be used.

This is a scalemaille flower. The flower is pretty quick to make. The one above has been modified to use as a pendant; the additional rings needed aren't shown in the above photo. I had thought they could be used as earrings, but at 1.75 inches across, they may be a bit large. Since I don't wear earrings, I really don't know. This could be easily wired to a brooch pin too. And one could add a length of wire to back and display it in a vase. I could go on; there are many possibilities. I might just sell them unfinished, so to speak, and let people use them as they please. Both the scales and rings are bright aluminum.

That's it for now. Hopefully I'll get some tatting time in this week. I'm probably going to work some more chainmaille too. Since my birthday is next Friday, I don't know what my posting schedule will be like. I'll aim for mid week, but it will depend on what I get done that's worth posting. Till next time.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Tatted Tie, Part 3 - Slowly Making Progress

I had hoped to post earlier, but I lost my groove late last week and haven't done much tatting. I also wasn't feeling well towards the end of the week which didn't help. But I have been working on the tie. Before I show the tie, I want to make sure everyone knows I have set up a poll. You can find in on the top of my left sidebar. Please vote (if you wish). I really want your opinion. My feelings won't be hurt or anything if there is little to no interest in a tatted tie pattern. That just means I can move on to diagram and write out some of my other patterns.

Anyway, here is the tie as of this evening:

Currently, the tie measures about 8.75 inches (22.2 cm) long. This is just about the half way point. Here is another photo of the tie, this time against a patterned (t)shirt:

Its kinda a crappy photo, but it gives you the idea. There were several good comments on my last post regarding the tie. One that I really liked was to attach the top of the tie to a narrow strip of fabric to make the tying of the tie easier. I like the idea (thanks Maureen!), except for one small problem. My sewing skills are rather lacking. Actually lacking is being generous. My sewing skills are almost non-existent. I mean, I've sewn the bottoms of my pant legs shut (on several occasions!!) while trying to hem them (don't ask). I have been thinking about this since the suggestion was made and may have a possible solution. I was thinking I could get a "real" tie that is similar in colour (this shouldn't be difficult: the real tie I am using as a guide is very close in colour) and use the narrow part of it for my tatted tie. Now, you may think that's wasteful, but I've got that covered too. I could use the leftover scraps of fabric to make the centre of a temari ball.This is more authentic than using styrofoam(and better for the environment).  Another suggestion was to have a fabric backing. It's a good suggestion (thanks Gina!) but I'm not sure about it yet. As I mentioned, sewing is an issue for me. This one will have to wait until the tie is basically finished. I'll perhaps photograph it against a number of shirts to see how it looks. I don't own any shirts that are heavily patterned so it may not be as big of an issue. But again, we shall see. If anyone else has anymore good ideas, feel free to share them.

I'll leave you with a photo of my Christmas cactus which began to flower late last week:

I noticed what I thought were the beginnings of numerous tiny buds late in December, so its not that far off in its timing. And I haven't killed it yet which is good. I got it last Christmas so I must be doing something right. I've been wanting a few more in different colours, so I really need to see if I can still get them.

That's about it for now. Hopefully I make some more progress on the tie. Jane is also starting another TIAS (tommorow, I believe) which I'd like to participate in. So I need to prepare for that. Till next time.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Tatted Tie, Part 2 - It's Really Happening

I'm not sure why, but I began tatting my tatted tie. I know, right? I started winding one shuttle a while ago (I can't even remember, I'd have to check to see when I bought the Lizbeth), and it sat in the LCU for a while. Saturday night, after my last post, I wound the second shuttle and began tatting. The tatting went by pretty quickly. Here is the tie as of last night:

I have done more since this was taken, I just don't want to take a new photo right now. As you can see, I'm using two Tatsy shuttles to tat my tie. These things are HUGE! I don't think I have actually used them before now. They were a bit cumbersome to use at first, but they're not bad now. One advantage to using these shuttles is that the size 10 thread I'm using seems really, really small. For those of you not familiar with Tatsy shuttles, they are 4.5 inches (11.4 cm) long. The tie is about 5.5 inches long in the photo. It's also about 1.75 inches wide at narrow end. In case you're wondering (and so I have an online record of it) the tie should be about 18.5 inches long, and 4 inches wide at the widest part when finished. This is based on my calculations that each "four-ring square" (I think that is the common name for motif I am using) is about 0.5 inches square. In reality they are a little bigger, so the tie should be bigger. This is a good thing, since based on the "real" tie I am using a pattern/guideline the tie should be 20 inches long.

Speaking of a "real" tie, I have been thinking of making my tatted tie into a "real" tie. You know, one that you have to, um, tie. I diagrammed the full tie Sunday, and realized that I could easily extend the tie from the top to make a full sized, have to tie, tie. In case you were wondering, I was planning on making a fake knot and putting on the tie with a chain, just like my chainmaille tie. I think it should work, but I'm not sure how well the tatting will hold up. I mean, I don't want it to stretch substantially. I think I could outline that section with chains to add strength and reduce stretching. I'm not going to dwell on this issue right now. I will have to tat a test section to see.

I'll leave you with a final thought. Is anyone out there interested in a tatted tie pattern? I have the pattern all diagrammed out-all five (count 'em, five) pages of it. Four pages are 80-90% diagram. If there is interest, I would be willing neaten up the diagrams and perhaps a bit of guiding text (I am NOT going to write out the whole pattern; it'll be a book!). It's not a hard pattern, just lots (and lots) of rings, and lots (and lots!) of split rings. Some chains may be needed (see above paragraph) and lots (and lots-you get the idea) of joins, both regular and shuttle/lock joins. A fair amount of work went in to diagramming the pattern. I have mapped out the entire split ring pathway to tat the tie continuously. Realistically, I'm sure you'd have to add thread at least once maybe twice during the actual tatting. I will say it upfront, this won't be a free pattern, and I don't know what I would charge for it (advice is welcome on this too). Maybe I'll put up a poll.

That's all for now. Hopefully my progress on the tie continues at my current pace (I haven't touched the second Birdcage motif-my first UFO/WIP for 2011!). Till next time.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Years and Some Thoughts For 2011

Happy New Year's!!!!!!!
 I hope 2011 started well for everyone. I had to work today (and yesterday) but that's alright. It wasn't busy, and we closed early. It was still very cold this morning, though we are currently warming up, and snowing (apparently, its too dark to see). I have nothing tatting related to report. I should mention, that the Birdcage motif I posted about a few days ago is from Mary Konior's book Tatting In Lace. I will/have change(d) the post to include this omission.

I'm going to end this post with a list of things I'd like to accomplish for 2011, tatting/craft related anyway. I don't make resolutions and the common ones, weight loss, healthy living/eating are things I've been working on for a while now, so I don't need to promise myself that I'm going to do it. Anyway, here is what I've come up with so far (this list is not conclusive):

1. I am going to finish some of my UFOs and WIPs. 
2. I am going to write out and diagram some of my other patterns (I know I said that last year). As much as I'd like to offer them for free, a few may be for sale (my male Betta, for one), though this isn't set in stone.
3. Use up some of my HDTs, even though they are too pretty to use. I know. I know. They're thread and they're supposed to be used. But still.
4. Get more tatting time in. I don't seem to have the time to tat lately.
5. Blog more often. I don't like to write posts just for the sake of posting something. This one will be affected by #4 above. More tatting = more posting. 
6. I'd love to learn something new. Though since I don't seem to have the time for the arts/crafts I do now, this goal is going to be optional.
7. Well, actually the above six is all I can think of right now. I'll amend this list if/when I think of other goals.

That's all for now. Here's hoping for an awesome year for everyone! Till next time.