Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Craving Clunies

#19  Motif Challenge, 

Ah , yes.  I needed a break from the border. To the rescue: Elisa!

That pretty purple solid thread is a sample I received from RandaGray.  

She generously sent me four colours of Flora, #20, which I was eager to try.  It is a lovely thread, with a silky feel, but I find it a bit soft.  I prefer a harder twist.  However, the saturated colours are very pretty.  Thank you, Randa Gray!

It is coming along, but really, I do not know how other tatters manage to get these hankies tatted so fast!  They seem to take me a long time. 

I get bored.  To alleviate that condition last night, I also tatted a little Minitats motif by Patti Duff:

Now, I WILL finish the hankie before I tackle the next project!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hanging With Hanky

 Ode to A Handkerchief

Ho hum.  
Almost done. 
Tatting a  hankie
Is making me cranky.

Friday, May 27, 2011

In Case You Think I'm Slacking....

I'm moving along with this... slowly.  There was very little tatting done in The Big Apple! But now that I am back home, I should be able to get it done much faster than the other hankies I have tatted, as this one is a simple repeat.

Was that ME who just wrote that?  I actually sound like a genuine, experienced tatter!  Hard to believe I have been at this non-stop for over two and a half years.  It sure flies.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today's Business... Google and Angeline's Book

Google Translate:

There were some questions yesterday about translation. This is the site for the Google translator I use...http://translate.google.com/#auto|fr|

Using the Mac, it is not as easy to get that instant translation that I got instantly on my PC -  but I am still trying to figure it out. Maybe I am missing something here.

On this site, I type in the web address and it translates, but in two stages - not bad, just a bit more slowly than the PC.

Angeline's Book
 Here's the deal:

The list has become unwieldy and a bit worrisome.  I am willing to let the book continue on its rather marvelous adventure, and am very happy to do so, as I am so pleased with it's journey to date.

However, I am not willing to keep adding more names to the first list or indeed to start another at this time.

In the future, my plan is to begin a new list as we get close to the end of this one.  At that time, I will post a request for names as I did the first time, and we can have another go-around.  Make sense?

(This really is just a wicked way to make sure you are reading tat-ology!)

There you have it.  The new list should start in about a year!

Planned Project

My ninety-five- year-old Aunt looked around for some old hankies for me and she found some - of course!  Just what I need ...more projects!

Most of them were large, very old and folded away for decades.  The silk had disintegrated in the folds and they are too fragile for me to use, so I sent them to my sister who quilts and does things with fabric, kind of the way Suztats does.  Like Suztats, my sister is a whiz with a needle, a pair of scissors and a sewing machine.

This is the one I salvaged, cutting away most of the silk. I think it is so pretty.

It measures about 4"x6" -  rather like photo size, with an "S" in the corner.  I just love this little remnant.  I shall have to pick a special treatment for a border for it.

Boy Oh Boye!

Yes, that is indeed a Boye shuttle!  Never thought I'd be using one of these, but you know what? It is very pleasant to tat with!  It came from that quaint shop in New York. I bought two of them because I had run out of shuttles.  I like it! I am almost tempted to purchase some of those pretty colourful ones...

The pattern is another story:
(Thanks for sending it to me, Wendy! This is one of Angeline's.
I concentrated on Umi's health as I tatted it.)

Finally success! These are tatted in the DMC Perle, which I like a lot.  Funny, eh?  Boye shuttles and Perle thread.  Who would have thought?

#18 Motif Challenge 

It is embarrassing to admit how many of these I had to tat before I got it right, but I finally realized I was making it a lot harder than it had to be!  Sort of like what is going on as learn how to use my new computer!

What a learning curve. I have spent hours and hours playing around and getting to know this outstanding piece of technology.  I love computers ALMOST as much as I love tatting!

Speaking of tatting,, I am absolutely THRILLED with this:

This is my brand new tatting case. Notice the butterfly (the wings stand up when I sewed it  to the case.  It is Kelly's work, tatted with finesse and adorned with little black beads)  It is just one of the goodies that she sent to me in  large envelope that I discovered in the mail when I arrived home. I could not imagine what this wonderful lady was up to...  Then I opened the package and just LOOK:

I was really bowled over by all of these tatting treasures.  There was a very sweet letter. There are buttons, hearts, fancy beads and findings and two bags of seed beads, one teal and one gold - enough to tat a border for a king-size bed.  Not that I will ever be tempted to do that!

The best are the hankies.  One is new and very pretty and delicate.  I like it a lot.  

However, la pièce de résistance is the other hankie... It belonged to a war bride who came to Canada from Ireland over 60 years ago. It is a fine Irish linen embellished with gorgeous cutwork in the center and embroidered edges.  So lovely.

Just wanted you to get another view of the 'before and after' effect of the case.  The fabric comes from an interior decorator's  discontinued fabric sample.  Kelly's friend has been stitching the little bags from the samples.  Great idea.

Thank you Kelly.  I do not know why I deserved such a gift!  But, I'm keeping it!  : ))

Lastly, my meager Big Apple tatting offering:

*** Please note the change of email address on my profile - especially any of you who are asking  to be added to the Angeline List.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thread In The City

Like I really needed to buy a bag of DMC Perle!  Soft and fuzzy... why did I have to buy it?  Because I am in NYC and it was my birthday and my daughter and I went on a search in the Garment District for DMC Cebelia in #30 - which I did not find!

But I met a wonderful, big, ginger cat, who greeted me at the back of a quaint, old and rambling store that  I found on the Internet while looking for thread in the city.

This thread was very inexpensive and I think, old.  There were many choices and I had to fight with myself to keep my selection small.  After all, I am trying to whittle down the stash, not enhance it.

You can see that I also bought two Boye shuttles,  as for once I did not bring enough tatting supplies and ran out of thread AND thread-free shuttles!

I only brought a few small patterns as well.  There is the Lupins there by Mary Konior and also a couple of patterns from the Angeline book that umintsuru kindly sent to me before I left.

This pattern is Angeline's tatted in some of Tatskool's HDT that was left over from another pattern.

I have a bit more to report, but it will have to wait.  Engaging with three active, amazing kids in my space is definitely making me a very tired tatter at the end of a LONG day! I am still in NYC and am missing my shuttle time!

P.S.  I for got to mention that I am using a new computer and there is a bit of a learning curve as it is a Mac which I have not used since the 1980's!  There is a lot to learn, but I am catching on fast.  The modum and mail and router have to wait till I am home, and I am dreading that hook-up...  So, I may disappear for another few days as I try to work that all out.

Also - the Angeline book.  There are still people wanting to receive it, and so I may start a secondary list.  After this one is complete - and it might  take another year or more to get through all the names -  I will post the new list, rather than making this one even longer. I am still thinking about that but wanted to update anyone who is interested in receiving the book.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Beautiful Banashek

 #17 Motif Challenge

I love the curves.  This leans toward the onion dome shape that I adore. This pattern is from one of Judi Banashek's books and she designed it in 1997.

I have spent some time - too much in fact - trying to figure out this border, having  realized that I was reversing the first chain when the pattern does not call for this.  That accounts for the directional problem.

But there is also the matter of "catching" the bare thread at the back of the work, at the end of a chain, as you complete the final join of the four rings. That final join is the tricky twisty one...  I have not perfected that move as you can see. I can do the join fine on it's own, but adding in that extra move - nothing doing!.

Much as I do like the look of this, it seems like a lot of work for a border and it would be waaay to slow going for someone of my experience.  I think I have given it a good try and will now bid it adiew, at least for the time being.

I may have soured on the pattern for another teeny little reason...

I will not be posting next week as I will be visiting my kids.  
Maebh said she needed a break.

Knots and Fragments

I am working on a new motif in a Flora #20 thread sample that Randa sent me.  It is only half done, but I did tat a few small things before I began the larger piece.  I'll keep that out of tat-ology off the till it is finished...

This is a Mary Konior  fragment, from Tatting Patterns:

#15 Motif Challenge

 I was afraid I had forgotten to tat a Celtic knot so I pulled out Ruth Perry's book and had a go:

 #16 Motif Challenge

This is such lovely thread .  It is another that is being discontinued.  The choices of thread are being slowly but surely diminished, leaving very few to choose from.   

Lastly, yet another of the endless updates.  I really love this border.

Pattern: Tatted Hankies by Kirstine and Inge Nikolajsen
  Also, my 95 year-old aunt is on a mission ...  hunting for old ....hankies!  : ))

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Still Hankering

 #15 Motif Challenge

I like this border #9  from a book I almost forgot I had!  It is a simple pattern, but one I cannot use my Aero-type shuttles with. Because of the many Josephine Knots

I kept getting that hook caught when I shifted my hold to perform that element. So, Clovers it is for this tat.

Now I am spoiled forever more.  How can I go back to the dollar store beads now that I have experienced the superb quality of these Delicas?  I love them!  What a difference.

I never realized how difficult the cheap kind make tatting with beads.  Makes a huge difference to use the better product.  Plus they look wonderful.And there are so many fabulous colours in the store...  : ))

Crazy Mom did send me some wonderful beads last year - Miyuki  Rocailles, #15 seed beads, which are beautiful but very small, so I can only use them with #80 thread, which I use only occasionally.

Here are the new Delicas against the pattern:


The edging for Mini-Boss's sun-dress collar is finished.  I am not going to tat the hem, for the tatting will just get lost with all that pattern going on.  This piece is almost not visible as it is!  But it is cute - more so than the photo.

I attached it top and bottom for I was worried about that Swarovski crystal, but now it is all secure and ready to go

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Custom Order For The Boss

Quelle surprise!  Perhaps she will ask for a shuttle of her own?

No sooner had I sewn the final stitch in the T-shirt - which was very difficult to find, for most of the kids' things have stuff all over the front - than Maebh admonished that I had better get some tatting done for her name sake in New York.

"You cannot go empty-handed," she said. "The Boys will not expect tatted goodies, but don't you think that Maeve will be disappointed if you bring nothing for her?"  She raised a  haughty Lep eyebrow at this point, and I must admit I saw the wisdom of her words.  So....

#13 and #14 Motif Challenge

I am very proud of that pink crystal which I added after-the-fact to the border that I am in the process of tatting to go around a summer dress for Mini-Boss.  

It was a real puzzle till I saw that I could tat a small split chain and add  a little white bead at the top, and it would all hang like a heart shape! Yah, ME! : ))

There is a bit left to tat and  I might tat a border in #20 (this is #50 Cebelia) of the same pattern around the bottom of the dress.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my problem tat in the last post, especially Ladytats, who emailed me almost immediately in an attempt to sort out the problem.  I have to try this pattern again very soon.  It was supposed to be the edging for the socks that ended up being another pattern from the same book.

Luckily, I chose another pattern, for as much as I loved the colour combo of the pink and green on the first one, I would have run out of the Olympus thread (pink and green).  I had just a  little left and had been saving the ball as I had no other thread of this type and I love it! I wasted a goodly amount in the three attempts at the first impossible pattern as well.


I have decided to go with the white.  Thank you all for your ideas, but I am happiest with white. 

I have #50 Cebelia, enough for a simple border and... the green Delica beads I bought yesterday...teehee!  

I have never used these beads and I do not have any in my enormous dollar-store cache!  I broke down and bought THREE vials of the little devils.  My will power vanished and I was WEAK, I tell you WEAK!

As for a border pattern, I was considering Forget-Me-Not by Mary Konior, as suggested by Diane, but I am tired of this type of pattern after the socks, which is a similar stitch, so I am still browsing through MK books...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Purple, Pink, Perplexed and The Post

Goody! Mail!

This hankie will be a challenge!  I am not sure at all about what colour to tat the border.  Michelle has generously included (with all the other goodies above) a ball of #80 Star variegated lilac thread that is a good match for the centre.

I played around with #80 threads that I have and the white is  Cebelia #20.  I also have Cebelia white in #30.

Pictured also is pink Star, from Isdihara.  The light green and light pink are Olympus #80. The yellow and the red are both DMC #80.

Colour is one thing.  The pattern is quite another matter.  With #80, I am not sure what type of pattern to choose.  I have not tatted with such small thread in quite a while, other than small projects.  This could prove to be confronting!

I want to do justice to Rose-E's hankie, so if you have an opinion as to how to approach this complex hankie, help me out, please!


Funny about the colours... I received the most beautiful peonies on the weekend that are lilac, pink, white and an intense saturated fuschia:

One more thing:


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Despair of the Doomed Doublestitch

#12 Motif Challenge

There was much grief.  There was a multitude of cuts. There was terrible shredding. There was a dreadful abundance of frayed thread.

As I  raved my way through this vintage pattern there were tears and the gnashing of teeth.

But, in the end, perseverance and bloody-mindedness won out. 

The thread is the last of Margaret's samples and a bright Lizbeth yellow. **The pattern is from the book pictured here.

In spite of a goodly number of trial runs, I still had terrible problems with this pattern.  Something to do with the directional thing - again.

The last ring and three chains took me three and a half hours this morning.  I was fit to be tied!  Can you imagine?  One ring!  Three little chains!. 

I am glad I ordered this book.  No regrets. Lots of goodies inside.

In spite of the misery this pattern wreaked, I shall enjoy tatting others  from this compendium of vintage delights.

Happy Mother's Day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fodder For A Therapist

Can you believe I was practicing this join on sewing thread? And the clunies?  And the tiny, eentsy, weentsy,  rolled ring that you cannot see with the naked eye? I need more help than the problem evident in the photo.

My sister asked for some remnants for a project she is working on.  I am delighted to send her a bunch of tatting, as I am drowning in motifs that I have made.

Now I always carry a bunch of motifs  to give away to interested strangers, (I gave one out last week to the owner of a shop who was delighted) but I have WAY to many for the limited opportunities I have to chat about tatting to the interested public!

I wonder what she has in mind for these pretties. 

Lastly, I had a brainwave: Mom does not want  a birthday gift . Nothing, she says.  Just a card.  Not even flowers  -  her cat, Archie, eats them.

So, I thought that if I gave her her own hankie that is over 65 years old, but tatted a border around it, it wouldn't really be a present as it is already hers!  

She is not that interested in tatting - truth is she couldn't care less, but she could tuck this in her purse, especially in the summer for those moments when the humidity is overpowering.  What do you think?

I am playing with colour and debating whether to just go with white with a fancy, Iris Niebach  style edging or a more subdued pattern, tatted with a variegated HDT.  

The above thread is Karey Solomon's.  I have been saving it for over a year and it is one of my favourites.  The lovely colours do not show very well on the screen. Ah, the possibilities!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Motif is Yellow...Air is Blue!

Can You Guess What This Is?


Tatting this motif, I have been stuck on blipless joins and Catherine Wheel joins.  

I have been successful.  There are no blips.  No coloured bits where they should not be.  I am now very tired.  I may be now bald.  Frustrated beyond belief, I have spent  HOURS  un-tatting, since I seem to have forgotten EVERYTHING I KNOW!

What is crazy about all this is that I have been practising these methods where there is only one colour.  I was determined to learn the tricks and there was only one little part of the pattern where it counted for real.   Yes,  pig-headed Fox had to learn it RIGHT NOW,  using yellow thread everywhere....

Driven to searching YouTube for answers and  looking at videos on 'How-To', in my travels I stumbled onto a site by Karen. Just look at  those tatting nails!

This is a very informative place to look up a tons of tatting techniques.  She is very, very  good - at least for me.  Everyone has different learning methodology requirements.  Especially those of us who are dyslexic.  This site I like a lot!

However - no blipless joins on Karen's blog.  So, I plodded once again  - the thousandth time, through Jane's instructions and finally, FINALLY I got it!  Again.  I hope it is firmly implanted in my brain this time.

You know, they say,  if you throw enough of it at the wall, some of it will stick....

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Might Be A Blockhead...

 #11 Motif Challenge
Pattern from Kaye B. Judt's Oh My Stars!  
Oh yes. Margaret - this is your thread!  Altin Basak #50
Check This Out!
Mini-Boss is now a ONE Year Old!

(Look at the SOCKS!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Capital Clunies!

#9 Motif Challenge

Elisa's cluny pattern again, and yet again:

#9 Motif Challenge
Inspired by Diane, who is tatting lots of pretties from Kaye B. Judt's Oh My Stars!, I decided to practice a few things from the book and began the process of review with this one:

 #10 Motif Challenge

This is the first attempt, so I am pretty pleased with myself.  It came out better than I expected it would, though there are a lot of stops and starts here and places where I had to cut out bits entirely!  Ah, the good with the bad, right?

There is a point in the pattern where it says:
L.J to the p of previous Ch, 3ds

Well, I kept seeing that what I was doing was wrong, wrong WRONG and I couldn't figure out why.  This at about midnight, when I badly wanted to go to sleep, but NOT before I figured out exactly where Kaye had made a dreadful mistake in the pattern!

Finally I saw what I was doing (after about four tries!).  I was tatting this:

L.J to the p of previous Ch, Ch 3ds
(I do apologize, Kaye!)
One of these days, I will learn to read the pattern as it is written!