Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Think I Need a Break ......

I don't know what it is, but I haven't felt like doing anything for the past week or so. I haven't tatted in over a week, and while I did some chainmaille this weekend, I had no desire to get photos of the completed pieces. So they aren't going in the shop this week. I did place a small order for new rings last week, but I don't know if I'll get anything made out of them right now. There's also been work issues on my mind again, or rather about some changes being implemented. Though these affect everyone and not just me. It's related to a new scheduling system that our head office feels will benefit us. I've heard the opposite as well as plenty of other rumors, though I'm trying to ignore the rumors right now.

Anyway, I think I'm going to lay low for a week or two. I've been wanting to do some crocheting if I can decide on a project.  We'll see what happens. I'll still be around, and I'll try and keep up with everyone. Oh, and I hope those of you who got Monday off enjoyed yourselves. And my apologies if you didn't get the day off (I did!). Till next time.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Atomic Tatting and more Chainmaille

Look! I'm posting again, and it hasn't been a week since my last post. I actually planned on posting on Sunday, but it was late when I finished tatting, and didn't deal with the ends in time to get a decent photo. I've also been working on my tie, and am just about ready to start the next page of diagrams. I also realized I am getting close to running out of thread. I am close to running out of thread on one of the shuttles, so I divided up the remaining thread on the ball between two Ez-bobs (for any Canadians wanting Ez-bobs, BeadFX carries them though they call them "No Tangle Bobbins") and counted 28 yards left. I may need to order another ball, though I'll have to try and remember who I bought the thread from. There is a Lot # on the back of the circular card from the ball and I should see if I can get it matched. I knew I should have bought two balls. C'est la vie. On to the tatting!

Hopefully from the title you can tell what I've been tatting. If you can't, then a picture should help:

This is the Tatted Atom from Yarnplayer's book Up and Tat 'Em. This pattern is the reason I wanted the book. There are plenty of other pretty patterns in the book, but this was the one I knew about. It also has some guy friendly potential, if the beads used were plain, which is plus for me. This one was made with my mom in mind so I used Lizbeth size 20 thread in colour #633 Dark Purple with a clear faceted Swarovski crystal bead in the centre (the nucleus) and simple silver toned beads for the electrons. The actual tatting was pretty easy. What made it a bit difficult was that at the midpoint of the pattern, six shuttles were in use, and they all tangle. You also have to weave the chains (the "orbits") over and under each other in a certain way, which I hope I did right. All in all, it was a pretty quick motif to tat, and it kept my attention (another plus). I do plan on tatting it again.

Now I have a few chainmaille pieces I want to show you. I showed you the sample of dragonscale in my last post, and Gina mentioned how the sample would look as a pendant. I've been thinking about that all weekend, and yesterday I sat down and made another sample. A sample with a purpose; I give you my Dragonscale pendant:

As you can see, I've added some smaller rings to the sides to help the weave hold together. I found during my testing-I wore the pendant for a while instead of my regular chain-that the large rings at the top and bottom tended to separate enough for the smaller rings come out of alignment. But the rings I added to the sides seem to help, at least my further testing shows they stay in place. In case you are wondering, the pendant is made out of bright aluminum and bronze. Hopefully I'll get it in my shop soon, but no promises.

I think that's going to be it for tonight. I do have another chainmaille piece to show, but it's getting late, and I'm tired. Even if I don't get any tatting done for the rest of the week, I can still write another post. Till next time.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Tatted Earrings and Dragonscale

I'll try and make this a short post. I did a little tatting this past week. I made a little bit of progress on my tie. On the Etsy front, I've had several sales since my last post. Which is good as I've been holding off ordering more rings until some sales have come. And, I've been included in two Etsy Treasuries, which is pretty cool too. I've never been in a Treasury before. The first one (which actually happened more than a week ago) can be seen here, and the other (which is from today) can be seen here. I don't know how long the Treasuries last, so if you'd like to take a look, sooner is probably better than later. Anyway here is the tatting.

I wanted to tat something fairly quick so I took a look at Yarnplayer's newest book Up and Tat 'Em to see what I can find. Here is what I chose:

These are the earrings from the "Beguile Set". These were made using Lizbeth size 20 thread in colour #611 Gold. Yeah. It's the same thread from the previous motif. It wasn't just because I hadn't put it away. It matched the antiqued brass rings I used for the centre. There are also size 11 gold coloured beads. It's a nice pattern, and quick to tat. I did find I had to add an extra ring and chain to go completely around. I didn't know why, since the rings I used were only 1 mm bigger than what was called for, until I noticed that Yarnplayer made her chains a little bit longer in the photo than what was written in the pattern. It's not a big deal and I'll have to remember this when I make them again.

Finally I will finish this post by showing a recently learned chainmaille weave. It's called Dragonscale:

I wonder why. The photo above shows the weave stretched out. Here it is when scrunched up:

You can see where the weave gets its name. It bears a striking resemblance to rows of scales. I assume the dragon part comes from chainmaille's medieval history. It's a cool weave and looks awesome in two colours. You can't tell that here since I should have used two colours that contrasted better. I used bright aluminum and white anodized aluminum. The white rings are new from my supplier. I don't know if I'll actually make anything using this weave. It is pretty dense and has a high rings per inch count. The sample above is about two inches (5 cm) long when fully stretched.

That's about it for now. I'm not sure what I will work on this week. Hopefully I will make some significant progress on my tie. I also got my Palmetto's 2010 Tat Day CD this week, so I've got lots more patterns to drool over. Till next time.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tatted Motif, New Shuttle, and Some Thoughts About Lizbeth

I did it again, didn't I. I can't seem to focus on anything lately. On top of that, I think my sleeping cycle has become misaligned, again. I fall asleep later, and later and wake up later and later. Which sucks when you have to get up in the morning to go to work. So more than once last week I had a nap attack after supper, which means I lose an hour or two of tatting time. However I did manage to finish one motif I've been working on. I also got to proof read Linda Davies newest book. If it's not on her website yet, it will be soon. And I must say the finished designs look awesome. The tie is still on  hold, but I WILL get back to it. I have to before I lose interest in it completely.

I'm sure one tatter (and new designer) will recognize the following motif:

This is Maeve by Fox. There should be a link to the pattern on Fox's blog. It's a very pretty motif, and pretty quick to tat. I only made one small change to the pattern. Since I used one colour of thread, I made one of the large rings on the third round a split ring so I could continue without cutting and tying. I'll have to try tatting the motif using three colours next time. I used Lizbeth size 20 thread in colour #611 Gold (nonmetallic). Thanks Fox, for sharing the pattern with the rest of us. I wonder what else you'll come up with.

I think it's about time I show off my newest Pop-a-Bobbin shuttle. I don't even remember when I bought it. Here it is:

And here it is with it's new mate (it goes really well with my ebony shuttle):

The shuttle is almost pure white. Not quite but close, a light cream colour perhaps. As I said above, it goes well with ebony. Which isn't surprising since both woods are traditionally used in making chess pieces. As you can see, it doesn't have a hook, but it's not a big problem. Now, I need another shuttle. A dark coloured one. What?! I like them in pairs.

I'll end with some thoughts about Lizbeth. I don't think any other thread has divided the tatting community as much as Lizbeth. Some love it, and some hate it. I fall in the former group. I love the thread. I haven't had any major problems with thread. A knot in the thread in a pain, but easy to fix if caught early enough. I know that doesn't happen all the time-I've tried closing a ring only to find a knot it it. Besides knots, I know some people were having problems with the thread splitting, though I haven't seen that in any of the balls I have. I think the problem with the thread being twisty was solved. Again, I haven't seen this; since I bought mine after the problem was fixed I didn't expect to see this. By now, I've used a fair amount of thread, and from quite a few balls. I figure I should have come across a bad ball by now, but I haven't. Maybe I'm just too accepting. Lucky perhaps? I don't know. Anyway, I'll keep buying it.

That's it for now. I'll try and post again soon. I think I'll try and alternate between tatting and chainmaille posts just so I can post something. I bought a new chainmaille book and discovered a new chainmaille supply company here in the city, so you'll probably be seeing new things on the chainmaille front. Till next time.