Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Little Tatting, New Shuttles, and a New Temari Ball

I've been trying to do more tatting. I really have. However, I have been preoccupied with something since last Saturday. Something tragic. You see, the set-top box for my IPTV service died. I'll give you a moment to mourn. OK, I realize it may seem weird for me to feel this way. But, I do love TV, even though it's not really good to watch too much. I do a lot of my relaxation activities-tatting, chainmaille, etc, while watching TV. I can't focus on whatever it is I'm doing without having the TV on. I can watch what I'm doing while glancing at the TV regularly. In case you're wondering I got sick of watching movies by Sunday night. I started going to bed early too. Over the air TV wasn't an option, since Canada recently switched to digital TV, and I didn't have a compatible antenna. I do now. Finally on Wednesday, a Sasktel technician/installer was able to come out and replace my box. While we were waiting for the box to upgrade its firmware and reboot, the Sasktel guy got fascinated by my carnivorous plants and I spent the time showing the plants to him. So after all that, I have my TV again, and all is well. And that is why I have little to show.

I did manage a little tatting. However, I don't have the item finished. I had a heck of a time with the pattern. It's not the patterns fault; it was one of Jon's new snowflake patterns. It was me. I kept joining to the wrong picots, and made many other errors. I also had to deal with the thread I used snapping several times. I think it was three times in the small amount of tatting I accomplished. I'm sure some of you are wondering, so I will mention that I was using Lizbeth thread, size 40. I don't blame the thread. All three times, the thread snapped while I was closing a ring. I'm sure the last stitch became unflipped or something. To make myself feel better about it, I'm going with the idea that I'm becoming much stronger.

It occurred to me that I haven't shown you guys my newest Pop-a-Bobbin shuttles. So, in an attempt to show both them, and the pitiful amount of tatting I've done, here's a photo:

The front shuttle is made of Purple Heart, and the back shuttle is Mahonia wood. Jane assures me that the colour is natural. The colour of both shuttles is amazing. Now, if only there was a tree that produces naturally blue coloured wood. I might sit down and continue with the snowflake. I started another project, using Lizbeth size 20, so if all goes well, I should have a more substantial amount of tatting to show the next time.

Finally, I finished another Temari ball. This one I started a while ago, but set it aside when I had issues with it not being perfectly round. I did manage to divide it up the best I could. Here it is:

This one is called Buckles and Bands. It's similar to one I did earlier, see here, though I like this one better. If you'd like to try making a Temari ball yourself, the designer, Barbara B. Suess, has several patterns available for purchase (including the one above) here. She is also the author of the book Japanese Temari: A Colorful Spin on an Ancient Craft, I love this book and it's great for beginners. I used a styrofoam ball for the core again, and that may be why I didn't get the ball perfectly round. I'm going to try to make my own cores, called mari, using dryer lint, and cloth scraps (separately). I'll be sure to share when I get around to doing this.

That's it for now. With any luck, I'll have a significant amount of tatting to show you. Till next time.


  1. I love your new Pop-A-Bobbin shuttles! I'll race you for the blue ones, if they ever appear!

    I have books and supplies for temari, but I've never actually tried it. Some day...

  2. Hi, Jeff,
    A few things...

    The temari ball is amazing! I daren't go near this technique as I could get ..involved...

    Jon's patterns are fabbo, AND they can make me crazy! They are challenging. I am sure you will work it out - I know I always do after maybe the sixth go-around!

    Lizbeth threa? Hmmm. I even have a few problems with my #40 new stuff. I always think it is just me and my dreadful ongoing relationship with Lizbeth - and then I read comments like yours.

    Those shuttles are beautiful! Lucky you!

    I fired Rogers over a year ago. Lost my temper with them once too often. No more TV for me. Ah, Canada! Now, I listen to a lot of CBC. Audiobooks pick up the slack.
    Fox : )

  3. Your shuttles look brilliant, love the colours.
    Your tatting looks good looking forward to seeing it when its finished.
    Your ball looks great, not sure how you did it but it looks good,
    We have gone Digital last year and the rest of the country is slowly catching us up. We have to keep re-tuning, no idea why but this is the UK.
    I have not tried one of Jon's patterns yet but I have one here to try so I am wondering how I will get on.
    Hope you have a nice weekend.

  4. Ah so you purchased one of the Mahonia ones, oh yes the colour is natural, but we only have a small amount of that wood. Will look out for the tree that produces blue wood for you!!!!

  5. You should try temari Diane. They're actually pretty easy.

    Thanks Fox. It very well could be the thread. You and Gina are among the most vocal about your problems with Lizbeth. I wonder sometimes if I'm too forgiving. I do like the thread. Of course I've had size 10 thread snap on me too. As for the TV, this is the first issue I've had. From what I understand it was probably a hard drive failure-I have a PVR/DVR service as well. I don't know how you manage.

    Thanks Margaret. I found 1 digital channel(we have 2, 2 are still analog), and so far it's pretty stable. Looks good too.

    I understand Mahonia shuttles are pretty rare Sally. I think Jane said there are only two. Maybe you said it. I do like the colour.

  6. Wow. This post has been a riveting read for me. I had no idea the Mahonia shuttles were rare. You lucky guy!

    The only time I have had trouble with Lizbeth 40 snapping was recently, and ( after a bit of testing ) I had been closing rings that I had tatted after dampening a section of the thread with my freshly washed and optioned hands. I had no idea that I was picking up my shuttles too soon after cleaning my hands. But once I figured it out, the thread "magically" stopped snapping.

    Just my two cents...your results may vary.

  7. Thanks Isdihara, I think. They are! Well, unless Nick (as a guy, I can't get into the "im in the garage" thing) has made more, there are only two in existence. I believe the wood split or something.

    As to the Lizbeth issue, that is definitely something to think about. Of course, I now have to test this theory. Thanks.

  8. very nice tatting and beautiful shuttle!