Thursday, April 30, 2009

Exit With Goodies

Something odd has happened. I seem to be noticing things that NEVER in a million years would I have given a glance to: bead and fabric stores.

I used to break out in hives at the entrance to each of these establishments. My haunts are bookstores, hardware stores and libraries.

So, when I hunch over; when my eyes narrow into a thin, suspicious squint; when I ball up my fists in my packet and enter these places, I feel like a criminal or a social pariah. Alien in strange land!

I have no good explanation for the emotional response. And, let me tell you , the new persona does NOT inhibit my parting with hard-earned cash as I exit with goodies!

The Goodies:
1) Something called"findings". I knew them only from literature. Now I have my very own personal stash. For what, I know not.

2)Beads. Colourful, cheap beads. Bead to decorate my little tatting tools. Acquiring these, I can forgive, as they are useful hanging there, lending stability to the tool in my hand.

But, just look at that bag of them! Perhaps I am morphing with each tatted picot into a RAVEN!

~Fox ~

~Aspiring Adept of TATROMANCY (magical meanderings with rings, chains and picots) ~

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Self Closing Mock Rings - Why Not?

I really did not plan to do this tonight . I have enough to do. The bookmark is half done (I will spare you another picture of the thing till it is finished. Maybe.)

Sitting here working with black thread in the dying light of the day, working away on the Black Magic project and getting bored and hungry, what would be more natural than instead of dinner to have a craving to learn the SCMR?

Sure. Why not. Like NIKE - Just do it. After all, I want to take some thread to NYC and tat Jane's bookmark in the airport. I'm sure I'll be there for hours. YES! A great tatting opportunity.

Lovely isn't it? Thank you, Shuttle Brothers. Merci Internet Magic. Bless my little Sony laptop . Ahh, it's a beautiful world, after all.

~Fox ~
~Aspiring Adept of TATROMANCY (magical meanderings with rings, chains and picots) ~

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Illuminating Little Secrets

A lamp is a "source of illumination." That is what Oxford tells me. My lamp is a source of illumination and a whole lot more. It is my secret 'show and tell'.

No one but you has ever seen this little display that changes whenever I have the whim to exchange one motif for another - something I do with regularity.

At a glance, I see what threads I have used. The visual triggers thoughts about what I might want to repeat. It shows mistakes and sometimes surprises me with a detail I had not noticed before.

It looks different in the daytime. At night the colours really pop. I get so much satisfaction from this personal viewing device that I can dismantle in the blink of an eye, if there is a knock at the door! All of this pleases me immensely. It is a a simple pleasure.......

This will definitely be put "on the lamp," when it is finished!
Such a deceptively complicated tat this is!
I'm finally getting the feel of the pattern
and it is progressing so much
better than yesterday.
I LOVE this pattern.

However, it is taking an inordinately long time to tat - which is too bad for me, because I really want to get it done before I hit the Big Apple later in the week.

New York City is my home away from home. And yet, I have never really thought about checking it out for all things tatting..... Can you believe it? But I have not had the time before... This time I have some time, I think, where I could look around. Anyone know anything I should know? Tell me a secret???Add Image
Part of the reason for this oversight can be summarized easily by the following image. It is indeed scary to behold.

This is what I have amassed since September last year. YIKES! Another secret is out... Perhaps I should go to the museum instead............

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tat-illating Tales

Meet me at midnight~ and bring the lovely Cebelia with you. Have her wear only Black. Something very soft and fuzzy and kinda giving that might just snap with a tiny bit of coaxing...... Yah... Bring Cebelia in black....

Argh........ There I was last night. Up at twelve a.m. and tatting up a new storm. Thought I'd give Black Magic - the bookmark in Mary Konior's book, Tatting with Visual Patterns, a go.

Using the above-mentioned thread, being very tired and finding the pattern really tricky, I worked myself into a right state! The yarn was not co-operating either. It was fuzzing and twisting and it was impossible to see the stitches.

I see what Suzanne ( said a while back about Cebelia. Perhaps I will have to rethink my opinion. Too bad if I do - I have a lot of colours!

The clunies were easy compared to this! Why I found it so difficult, I can only attribute to my dyslexia, which kicks in big time every so often - like last night. Like with this pattern. Something about when not to turn the work and the SLT. There is only a diagram, so I found it frustrating.

Anyone done this who can enlighten me as to when you are supposed to turn the work??

Then, this morning I was taking kitty to the vet for his check-up and picked up my mail on the way to the car. There was a package from Martha Ess and an envelope from Yarnplayer.

Obviously, I was happy about what the mailman had delivered and looked forward to getting home to open my mail. On the way to the car, with a heavy cat carrier, a handbag and another bag, I mailed my letters into the street. Literally. Yes, just dropped them on the pavement and drove away.

Luckily, when I returned, I noticed a suspiciously familiar looking envelope in the street and realized I had better retrieve what was now lying flattened all over the road. There were bills and other stuff there, too.

there had been no wind, so I was able to find all my mail, but the Hearts book, sadly is no longer pristine and I like my books to be pristine when I first get them. I like it a lot. When they are not fresh and new looking and smelling I get ornery....

Look at what happened to the book. A dumb car drove over it! The front is nearly okay, but the pebbles went through a few pages of text in the back. Grrrr.

The thread survived and is fine and GORGEOUS.
Roses and Scarlet, by Yarnplayer.

Maybe the message is to get some shut-eye. Tonight I will limit the tatting to an hout or so. Right.

~Fox ~
~Aspiring Adept of TATROMANCY (magical meanderings with rings, chains and picots) ~

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tatting with Scissors


I am so ashamed! I posted that picture yesterday of my first cluny piece and did not tell you that I REALLY messed up the last tally. So much, that I had to cut both threads.

When I blocked it following Jon's advice for blocking - LOTS of weight after wetting it, my wicked deed was well hidden.

But now, I have to 'fess up. I do not know how to pull that final thread when it begins get stuck. I realize that you really cannot undo a leaf, once it has been tatted.

I realize that this mistake of messing up at completion is something I do all over my life! Perhaps, I just get bored at the end. It's all about process at this point, rather than the final product. Problem is, when it IS done, the final product has suffered and there I am, process driven with an unsatisfactory reward. Bit of a conundrum, don't you think?

Now - question. Look at this little tatted piece that I was going to throw away - another badly ended process - and how it matches the card pattern. I gave this to my daughter-in-law on a gift, and then demanded the card back! For the babyblog! (shameless)

I pasted it down and was so pleased with the result. The question is: whose thread is this?
I got it from Tatskool. LadyShuttleMaker or Yarnplayer. I cannot recall. It is a #80, though, and great, as usual, to work with.
~Fox ~

~Aspiring Adept of TATROMANCY (magical meanderings with rings, chains and picots) ~

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Picot Paradigm

The Clunies are Complete!

Okay, so they may not be perfect; they may be flawed and lopsided; they may in fact be twisted and uneven; but, I DID IT!

I have finished my first, completed cluny pattern and I am indeed proud.

This is Sue Hanson's, her first piece with Cluny leaves. If
you Google, "small motif using cluny leaves," you will see the pattern. It was FUN for a first-time project.

I'm going to hit the streets with my camera now and tear myself away from BABYBLOG. I need a new perspective.

The eyes are absolutely bleary from looking at the tiny screen. The brain is foggy and I feel a carpel tunnel approaching fast, as I rest my wrists on the keyboard.

In AUNTIE's words, this blogging is "really sumthin'".

See you anon.....

~Fox ~
~Aspiring Adept of TATROMANCY (magical meanderings with rings, chains and picots) ~

Friday, April 24, 2009

WHY TAT? What's it Get You?

A few family and friends have asked me "WHY?" They all have a strange kind of querulous, expression when they say "tat". These folks will never appreciate how stumbling onto this odd hobby/obsession has changed my life.

As those on the old eTatters, now re-born as InTatters, may already know, I wa
s given a shuttle by a stranger, visiting from the American South, who was chatting with me in a yarn store. I said I tried the shuttle a few years back and couldn't fathom how to make anything pretty. In fact, I couldn't make anything! She smiled sweetly, whipped a little plastic thing out of her pocket and said, "It's time to try again."

I think she gave my hand a small squeeze...
I say this because I think she reminded me of the book and movie - Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil... If you haven't seen/read this, they are charged with an element of mystical spells, magical inference etc., that this woman seemed to wear like a lingering cologne.

Anyway, I took the shuttle, thanked her and promised to try my hardest. I never even got her name.

A few days later, I signed up on eTatters and was littering my living room with hens and chicks and other arcane twisted scraps of thread.

Then, while visiting Auntie, who is 92 (SHE appreciates my tatting! ) I met her friend. This complete stranger gave me a wonderful, tiny pair of scissors she had acquired years ago in Japan, which she no longer used.

There is an inscription on the blade
- perhaps a commercial name or logo. Someone from that part of the world on eTatters tried to find the meaning, but couldn't. Anybody?

They are THE BEST.

of eTatters is also the best.

Of all the tru
ly amazing and unbelievably helpful women I have met online - all my tatting teachers out there in computerville - (I know NO ONE who tats personally) she is the one who deserves the prize. From the start she encouraged, instructed, corrected and helped me so that I became more confident about not only tatting, but using my computer to ask for help. That was a great leap for me.

I AM SHY! Communicating on-line has become a lot of fun. So, a blog was a natural development. I was not prepared for responses right away and I could not be happier. You see, although I am shy, I also ADORE AN AUDIENCE! How pathetic is that!!!!!

It would be pathetic, indeed, not to give credit where it is due. People should always be acknowledged for their contributions.
For the tips and encouragement on downloading , I have to mention The Dark Ranger. For those of you who are aficionados of
Hockey, this blog is amazing and already quoted in The New York Times.

To me, a puck looks a lot like a picot.
But a good friend is a good friend, no matter the sport.

So, from an unexpected gift to an old lady in a retirement home; from an old pair of scissors to teachers and friends on the Net; a new blogger is born. Sheer magic.

~Fox ~
~Aspiring Adept of TATROMANCY (magical meanderings with rings, chains and picots) ~

Thursday, April 23, 2009

TATRICIDE: Hanging By A Thread

Seems to me, that is my current state. Late hours, learning how to be a blogger and trying to get some tatting done, get my reading done, catch up on phone calls, and finish a blanket for my grandson.

The latter is crocheted, and I am LONG past wanting to do anything with the big hook, now that I have entered into TATRIMONY with the shuttle. GROAN - I know, bad.......

The good news is that I am really getting the hang of the Cluny leaf. Here is my latest attempt, not finished, but I am sooooo excited about how it is looking, after so many disastrous beginnings.
Whose thread is this? I forget , but I LOVE it. (the pink and peach) The green is Cebelia #20. Speaking of thread, I cannot believe that I have amassed so much HDT. This is the result of lurking at night on the Net with my Visa too close to the keys.......

I am going to start to use it, rather than hoard it. I realize I forget about it as it sits out of sight in a cupboard, and I use my ordinary thread most of the time. Enough of that!
From now on, I will commit TATROMANCY (magical meanderings with rings, chains and picots,) with this gorgeous stuff!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is it Sometimes Easier to Read Than to Tat?

I mean, really. This is just over the top. That white binder, the fat one, is full of patterns I have downloaded. When do I think I am going to attempt even half of those?

Perhaps, I am trying to avoid the learning curve, as I pour over pages of pictures and instructions of other people's strategies, instead of actually picking up my shuttle.

Maybe this is an integral part of the process for those of us that love to savour
a new book. Maybe an essential component of learning a new craft is to crack open a cover, inhale the fresh print, and consume the secrets and delights that dwell inside. I have gleaned much from the wise teachings and esoteric diagrams that fill my tatterly library, lovingly built up over the past half year!

What has sprung from those pages into my shuttle? Well, PattyD's Mardi Gras design on InTatters:

Just look at all those split rings that go in all directions!

Then came the little tallies that I ADORE, whose construction completely eluded me. For months, I read about how to do that weird, cat-in -the-cradle, loom thing, till I read SuzanneM's blog, where she has a great, instructional video on Clunies - check it out -

Here are mine, newly tatted today. Not perfect, by any means, but I'm getting it! Finally!

The books, in conjunction with the Internet, and wonderful, helpful, patient and supportive online tatters, have been my instructors and my companions in this tatting adventure.

In a city of over four million people, I do not know anyone who tats.
Reading is sometimes easier than tatting, but I couldn't have learned to tat without the books.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tatting Tips............

Is Tatting a Dangerous Sport?

I am getting ready for work and wondering if this could be a legitimate excuse to stay home and work on this blog - which I must say is a pretty addictive pastime. Hmmm. I believe the injury is minimal. A helmet or steel-toed boots are not going to be in order.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Peek at Eight Months of Tatting!

If you haven't guessed it, I am a wee bit of a PUNSTER! I know it is a lowly form of humour, But I love it. Others don't. In the past, I have been excused from meetings and other essential gatherings, because I just could not stop! Others REALLY do not like it.

This tat-ology isn't as much a pun as I'd like it to be, but close enough:

1579, from L.L. tautologia "representation of the same thing" (c.350), from Gk. tautologia, from tautologos "repeating what has been said," from tauto "the same" + -logos "saying," related to legein "to say" (see lecture).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

Usage: Tautology, Repetition. There may be frequent repetitions (as in legal instruments) which are warranted either by necessity or convenience; but tautology is always a fault, being a sameness of expression which adds nothing to the sense or the sound.
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.

For those into word games and other etymological excursions, I've covered my tracks. Sort of. I won't get into "Foxy." I trust that anyone who may be reading is up to that one!

Now - for today, I have photographed the bookmark. The one I am planning to give to my mother, who will be moving to a senior's retirement community in the near future. She is not much on tatting, but she does like to read. Not blogs. Not anything on a computer.

However, I thought the gesture would be daughterly and appropriate as a sentiment of support and interest. Anyway, I wanted to do this pattern! I found it online - don't remember where, exactly. It was called an "insertion", and I added a ribbon, because it was the same colour as the thread - #20 Cebelia.

That's it for now. Next up ...... Tatting can be injurious to your health ..........

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Well, I have been fooling around with the design of this blog all afternoon - avoidance, I think! I have to start to post if I am indeed going to carry through with this blogging thing. I am going go have to get some help on how to get hold of the controls on just the technical stuff. Hopefully, won't take to long and I can concentrate on what I am here for - the tatting talk!

This occupied my day yesterday, as far as the shuttles were concerned. Still have to tie in those pesky ends.... The pattern is from "Tatting" by Myra Piper and is fast and fun in Cebelia #20. I notice that what would have taken me DAYS, a few weeks ago took only a few short hours.

There has been a jump in my comprehension and speed, all of a sudden, after eight months of a pretty steep learning curve. Finally, my shoulders are beginning to inch down from around my ears.

The Cluny pattern is there, however, on my table, waiting for me to eat my words!

Okay. Enough for post number one. Scary stuff, but here goes!!!!!