Saturday, July 31, 2010

A Regular Renoir...

 with my palette of pretties! 

And yet another go around...

#14 Motif Challenge

Yes, I seem to have a handle on the pattern, but I am getting antsy and bored just thinking about doing three more motifs.

Maybe later.  I am just  not in the mood for more - though tatknot  has explained to me how to approach the joining of the motifs.  It sure doesn't seem as onerous if the squares are joined so that the end does not come in the middle - if you catch my drift!

#15 Motif Challenge

Next week, I shall be having lunch with a good friend who loves my tatting and has given me such great support from the beginning.

Her enthusiasm is always so appreciated especially in the beginning, when everyone else was mystified, wondering what on earth I was up to this time! She has always been so intrigued ( yes, I gave her a shuttle and instructions, but knitting is her game) by the art, so I love sometimes surprising her with small motifs when we visit.  Great excuse for another dangle!

Pssst.... look at the metallic middle of the motif.  It is easier to tat with it as I get more practice.  I think the improvement is evident here...  : )

Remember I have talked about Dreamy Brother - eldest gran; five years old - and how he likes tatting?  He told me orange was his favourite colour when he saw me tatting an orange motif.  When I got home, I ruined the motif, so I tatted this one, blue being his REAL fave, and sent it to him. His mom told me he loves it and it is being sewn onto his school knapsack!  I am SO honoured!


Friday, July 30, 2010


... the weather and my tatting...

#13 Motif Challenge
 Mimi Dillman's Cluny Motif

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Mayhem Murder Motif

They all start with  'M'.  So does marvellous.  You will note that I have not included that descriptor in this posting.  Anywhere.

I could have said malingering or malady or madness - all appropriate.

I tried. I really tried. This is what I got:

2nd photo added later...Can you see the pattern better?

#12  Motif Challenge

Also, I broke my promise to be slow and deliberate and not rush through - remember, quality trumps quantity? Not in this piece!  I just wanted to get the sucker finished and off my plate!

I also broke my word and used the bloody beads!  I couldn't help myself.

Therefore, another promise:  I am going to attend my first BA meeting this evening. Under cover of darkness.   I understand I will  have a Beader's Anonymous Buddy to help me through the rough spots.  It might be too late though...

Taught The Doc (not mine - a customer!) to tat yesterday!  Yes, she came into the shop - all 6 foot. willowy blond, c-cup beautiful, long eye-lashed -  bright, baby blues and all !  She insisted I describe her to a 'T'.  There, I did.

We were chatting away about knitting, this Family Practitioner who wears Army boots (really) and I, and of course I had to mention the picot thing.  She lit up and told me about her Grandmother who had tatted and that she had actually looked at a tatting booklet some time ago, but never really tried it.  

Opportunity knocked loudly  and I loaded up a shuttle, sat her down and didn't she say right off - "Oh, like a surgeon's knot!"

The Doc is a quick study.  Mastered the flip in under three minutes.  She now holds the record for the fastest learner  I have yet encountered. 

I sent her away with a little orange shuttle like the one the lovely lady gave to me two years ago when this whole party began. I have high hopes for it. 

Mission accomplished!


Monday, July 26, 2010

The Agony of Defeat

...and I don't mean the ones in the running shoes!

#11 Motif Challenge,

Maybe it's more about the stepping stones to success - in a future endeavour!

I was so excited when I started this and again, everything went south from there:  uneven stitching, picots of differing sizes, cut picots, split threads, wrong counts, misplaced joins - you name it, it's wrong!

This piece; I cannot work on it any longer. I am calling it a day. Finito.

Crazy Mom was saying that the heat can have a powerful effect on us all - well maybe I should blame all the bad tatting events of the past few days on the awful weather of the past month.  And those effects are certainly cumulative.

This piece has depressed me beyond words. I think the beads were just a bit to much to deal with as I am not comfortable with all the joins.  I found myself becoming extremely anxious and intimidated as I sat down to tat - not the reaction I would look forward to on a regular basis, that's for sure!

Back to basics, I think.  The beads are going to have to sit in the drawer for a bit, till I get back to a regular rhythm.  I tend to forget that I am still relatively new to this thing called tatting that has taken over my time and my apartment.  I really need to slow down and perfect all the skills I have learned, and sure, go overboard with the embellishments once in a while, but not all the time.  That seems to be very counter-productive for me.

I think I will opt for simplicity in the short haul.

To sum up,  I am doing the pattern over again, with a 3 ply HDT by Karey Solomon in a slightly larger size
- #30 -  that I have left from a few months ago. Maybe a change of colour , a larger thread  and a lack of beads will  promote a more positive outcome.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mad for Metallic

#10 Motif Challenge

This is Nami's's pattern, that I saw on Gina's site - so pretty I had to tat it.  I used Altin Basak Metallic, (thanks Suneeti!) together with #80 pink Majestic around the border - a bit tough to tat with, but much more effective in the work than the photo displays.

The Cébélia thread I have had for two years and never put those two colours together. Umintsuru mentioned them in T.T.E. and it occurred to me that they would be great together in a motif!  Thanks Umi!

The pretty, pewter/gray beads?  Hmmm.... well. I spotted them the other day in Kensington Market.  They were in a funny, little store that sells odds and ends.  There are lots of beads in there - just to look at...  Okay, so I cannot turn away from a 99¢ bead-bargain!   Actually, they were the inspiration for the entire motif!

Why I had nine  - yes, NINE, starts to this is a great example of my spatial problem.  I could not see how to attach the chain on the second round.  Simple, right?  NO!

Intellectually I know how it works, but the brain will not translate that to the fingers and after many hours of wasted effort, I was almost weeping with  frustration.

One would think after decades and decades of this I would handle it better - but I never tatted, so it was never an issue.  Knitting or crocheting did not present the problem. Very occasionally, as a graphic designer, I ran into it headlong, but nothing like this!  Thank goodness!

Here I was, at Tom Horton's the other day, escaping my hot apartment.  I got the bulk of the motif tatted there. Thank goodness for air-conditioned coffee shops!

Finally, this morning there is cool air in The Big Smoke. Relief at last!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Promise Produces Pulchritudinous Progress


#9 Motif Challenge

Two more motifs to add.  This pattern had me confounded for quite a while with the dyslexia thing.... The pattern itself is rather simple. So frustrated that one night I almost wept and had to work on something different.  Such a bummer.  However, I worked through it and should be able to do the last two squares in fairly good time.

My New Winding Method For CTM
Works like a charm!

I have these tiny pretty-smelling soaps in the bathroom.  They have been there a long time and yet, all of a sudden I viewed them with a different eye... a squinting, discerning, designing tatting eye!  Do you see it?  It's everywhere I look now.  All fodder for the tatting table....

Ice Princess, from Germany, sent these fabulous threads from The Thread Exchange!  Aren't they great?  This is a thread I have never heard of - Perlovka. Gotta love T.T.E.  Even The Cat got excited...


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Me? Sedate? Not Anymore!

#7 Motif Challenge

I did not rush... honestly, but my concentration was wonky. There is a wicked boo-boo here; I forgot a section of stitches and a  picot!  But it is kinda pretty, considering the button I used that I thought was pink/blue turned out to reflect yellow/green!

This is a first; I have not done this kind of thing with the ruffles before, ( from 24 Tatted Snowflakes by Bjorn) and it is, after all,  the era of experimentation.  So, I have decided to be proud of this one.

It is a pattern I have been keen to try since Tatskool sent  me a beautiful red-centred that I love and use as a guide - her tatting is impeccable!  (Check Jan her blog -   January 11, 2010 for hers!)

With the leftover thread I make little flowers to paste on letters and cards as it is good  practice for measuring picots.

My shuttles were all  occupied , so I hunted up this one by Georgia Seitz that I had forgotten about.

I will use it for clunies, as it is a perfect size for my hand, and also thin and pointless, which is easier for weaving the tallies.

Two tips:
1) I like these cheap shuttles a lot.  However, they get loose.  I read somewhere on InTatters that you can dip them in boiling water, then quickly squeeze them, let them cool and they will be tighter.  It works. Perfectly!

2) Jane told me about the self-threading needles last year.  I tried them and they did not work for me.

BUT, I saw another make, bought them and they are stellar!

Got them in a dollar store - forget the brand and lost the label.  I will get more and post the name another time.

The lesson : with this type of needle, try many brands, as they are quite different. When you find the right one for you, it's a terrific aid to the sewing-in-ends part of tatting.

Emptying shuttles.


I Just Picked Up My Mail!

Wow!  Look at how nicely umintsuru. packaged the threads from T.T.E.! New thread for me, and The Dreamy Brother will be so happy to get this colourful stamp from Singapore!

Not only the promised thread in the package, but a lovely note and a bonnie tatted butterfly.

Thank you so much, umintsuru.  This is beautiful. I will keep it with Tatskool's, Jon's and Suneeti's motif as a great example of what fine tatting is supposed to look like.  Such immaculate stitching!


Monday, July 19, 2010



#5 Motif Challenge

This was to have been a relaxing break from the more demanding piece I am working on
v - e - r - y slowly, keeping my promise to pay attention, and to go for quality not quantity.  

My new approach is working - in the blue piece - but absolute hell broke out while I was trying to tat that snowflake.  

Split thread, cut picots, breaking thread, wrong counts, crossed threads and re-tatting to beat the band...  I finally listened to the furies and threw the bewitched motif into the garbage.

I am certain that object was jinxed, foredoomed to failure; thus, tatted nevermore!

On a gentler note:

Lizbeth #40, Motif Challenge #6

This pattern, by Yusai Shokoin, in A New Approach to Tatting, is a delight to tat. I will be making four squares to form the completed larger motif.

I will not rush; I will be patient. I will not rush; I will be patient.
I will not rush; I will be patient. I will not rush; I will be patient.
I will not rush; I will be patient. I will not rush; I will be patient.
I will not rush; I will be patient. I will not rush; I will be patient.
I will not rush; I will be patient. I will not rush; I will be patient.
I will not rush; I will be patient. I will not rush; I will be patient.
I will not rush; I will be patient. I will not rush; I will be patient.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Stick-to-it-iveness: colloq. (orig. U.S.), dogged perseverance.

 The Pay Off

#3 Motif Challenge

I started this many times.  Is it the weather?  Everything I do is wrong - sloppy - uneven - cut picots -  knots where they should not be. You get the picture.  I should have stopped after one wasted attempt with this wonderful ( Thank you, Suneeti!) Garden Afternoon by Yarnplayer  HDT.  But, no.  Snip, cut, tear, growl, pull and stomp. Cry. Pound fists.

I did not give in to temptation. No short-cuts.  I took the high road and tatted the best that I could.  I have a long way to go, but this is the best yet.  The tension still sucks, however. I know, Gina!  It takes time, but I am really noticing it now and it is frustrating!  The muscle memory is just not developed enough.

As a reward, I allowed myself an hour in a cool coffe shop to bring down my body temperature, high already because of the weather, and higher still due to the Battle of the Threads. 

Sitting there, in the cool, sipping hot coffee, I realized that, 
beyond a doubt, colour is happening...

#4 and #5  Motif Challenge

I am so encouraged by your comments about my use of colour, that I have been experimenting beyond my comfort zone.  Example:  the yellow here, I bought because I was doing the  T.A.T.  course and I needed #20 flower colour.  The DMC Cébélia is available in Toronto, so no postage fees; I bought  a number of balls. Not wild about the colours and thought the thread would languish in a box forever.

Enter The Thread Exchange!  I have sent off yards of the stuff! I am playing with the colours I have, and being - for me -   very adventurous in the combinations.  Sometimes they do not work, but so what! For the first time in my very disciplined and unadventurous colour life (aside from the stained glass work, years ago) I feel creative. The new sense of freedom  is a very good feeling. 

So, folks, thank you for all the wonderful comments and encouragement.  You may have unleased a monster - in technicolor!

 Remember, I tatted this a few days ago?  It was to be the last one for a while...  Well. I was having my lunch break at a Czech Deli near my work place  - always wonderful soup -  when the waitress came over to check out  what I was doing.  She loves tatting and has told me she has seen lots of it in Poland where she grew up. She always comes to look!

Impulsively I handed her this dangle, which was in with my tatting gear and said,
" This is for you."  Well... she looked astounded and said. "For ME? Thank you .  Thank you so much. Thank you."  She must have thanked me twenty times.  And, it was genuine!  I got the gift.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010


This is the second attempt:
#1 New Motif Challenge

This is the first attempt:
 #2 Motif Challenge

The pattern is from A New Approach to Tatting by Yusai Shokoin.  The first time - second photo - I messed up badly.

So, I turned the tatting into this star-shaped motif and kept going.  I just didn't have the heart to throw out one more piece of botched thread.  It came out better than I expected!

The second one - I need to tat it again and make the clunies much bigger.  The pattern is in Japanese, and thought there is a very clear diagram, I was not certain how big to make the tallies.  They are way too small, as they are supposed to arc in the corners.  Next time....

Through tatting, I am learning more about myself.  I am more impatient than I thought.  I have a very short attention span and get easily bored, so I tend to rush through patterns and so am disappointed in the result.



No more tearing through patterns.  I will slow down and concentrate on the quality - not the quantity. I want to see how a conscious effort will affect my tatting.

I am pretty stubborn ad very determined.
After this post,  pieces I tat should reflect if I am keeping my promise to me.  : ) 

 #3 Motif Challenge

Playing around with left -over thread;  I am now able to do split chains easily!  Finally!  AND I saw clearly that I needed TWO shuttles to keep the same colour in the chains!  Duh! Never realized that before.

Ah, sweet learning curve... it'll get you every time.

The beads were too small!  I bought the wrong size and when I returned to the store, there were NO MORE!
However, I did find these..........
Not a bad replacement!                                           
#4 Motif Challenge
One more - just for fun!