Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Back At It

Karey Solomon's HDT
Now that I have created a new blog - foxtangles - I no longer have to post about this crazy obsession with TangleWorld, here on tat-ology!

So, I tatted last evening... Guesses?

Isn't it pretty? And I don't mean the Blue Pimpernel shuttle, though it is one of my favourite shuttle-covering designs.

Ah, yes, in the mail yesterday, a gift from a giveaway:

Jess at Tat-ilicious is offering HDT's in her shop on Etsy and I have to say this is lovely thread!  Thank you Jess.  I have tatted with this before in a sample she sent me here, and really enjoyed the colours.

I have plans for this new batch, which happily is #40!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Terminating Twenty

The last of the #20 thread has been used up and I have the mutilated digits to show for it!  I only had a little left - an HDT from one of the designers, but I apologize, I do not know whose it is!  I lost the tag.

Though the colours are great, I found that after using only #40 or smaller lately, this thread felt like I was tatting with hemp.  My fingers are a mess!

I  remember reading a blog post - I believe it was Miranda's -  on this very issue, and I have to agree with her; it is awkward to use thicker thread if you are not used to it.

At any rate, all the #20 is finished, my hands are saved and I have a lovely little motif to show for it.

#59 and #60-100 Motif Challenge

Also, I will not use two differing weights together again, as it never usually works well.This motif pulled way too much, as the pink is a #50, so the chains are too short. Live and learn.

This is from the Easter Eg book, but I had to leave out two repeats, because I was about to run out of thread, so I have a circle instead of the intended oval.

Then I tatted another egg, this one in Karey Solomon's HDT #30 Cebelia. I have complained a lot ( oh, how I do LOVE to kvetch!) in the past about Cebelia, but I have come to enjoy tatting with it in the #30 very much.  Too bad there are so few nice colours.

This is the last of the 'foxtangles'!  If I feel the need to keep posting them, I shall post on the other blog! What? Addicted? Me?

If you are interested in Zentangles, check out this site, but be warned.  This is where I was first lured into the world of tangles!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Tatting and Zentangles

Except for this little motif, from the Tatted Easter Eggs book,  I have done very little tatting in the past few days.

#58-100 Motif Challenge

One of the beads met with disaster when I placed the crystal  (-cut-glass! Thank's Diane!) pitcher that I use to press tatting with on top of this motif.  I was not paying attention and crashed the glass on top of the beads and one of them shattered.

The reason for this lack of attention and the pause in my tatting mania can be blamed on this - my first attempts at a fun new venture:

Two days ago, after reading all about this stuff on the many sites I found online, I hustled to a Staples store and bought a pen and little book and tried my hand at this art form.

Forty-eight hours later... I'm afraid I might be hooked. Anybody out there know what I am talking about?  Zentangles.

Now I am seeing patterns everywhere. And I am fascinated with figuring out how to draw them.  Can't be anything but good for my tatting, if only I could get the pen out of my hand!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Romp with Regency

Regency Doily, that is, designed by Karey Solomon.

57-100 Motif Challenge
Thread is Lizbeth #40 and 
Tatskool's gorgeous Ginger and Clove  HDT #40 
from her Spice collection. 
Thanks Suneeti!

The pattern for this motif, which measures just under five inches in diameter when tatted in #40 thread, appears in the February 2011 issue of Tatting Times. It has taken about a week to tat, most of it having been completed while in NYC.

My eldest Grand (nearly 7) loved this and requested one like it, but with another layer attached on the top!  Imagine that!

Once again, I used restraint in adding beads, and am pleased with the results, though I do notice where I could have utilized a wee bit of glamour in the centre, with a controlled application of ochre or terra cotta Delicas.

With the remaining thread I pulled out this book:

This is the pattern I chose: 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Manhattan Tats

You see, I may have had an unusual reaction to the travelling...
I mean, the kids are active and I didi not get much sleep, but, really....

Had a great time.
It always goes by too quickly.

When I arrived home, I found this in my mailbox.  

Thank you, umintsuru!  
Again, you have been the catalyst to my enlarging 
a burgeoning bookshelf!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Hearts, Minds and a Certain Ring

Definitely hearts in my mind!

I remembered I designed a heart in honour of Misha last year, and now that I have been tatting the TIAS  pattern - thanks to Margaret - I have had an epiphany!

I think I can actually re-create this pattern:

Here is my Misha pattern:

Here is my TIAS tatting to date:

I would like to fiddle with the pattern and incorporate that middle circle into the Misha pattern and remove the finding... I think it will work!

Then I have to figure a way to get the blasted diagram done!  I do NOT find EasyDraw very easy!


TIAS - tat it and see -  is a wonderful opportunity to learn new tatting techniques in a fun way following Jane's ingenious programme.  I highly recommend looking into it if you have not done so.  Took me three years, but I finally am participating.  Thank you, Jane!

I will be in New York Monday, and not posting,
so an early and hearty
to all those celebrating Chinese New Year!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Follow Your Heart

...or yet another heart pattern.  Here it is again.  Irene Woo's heart in one colour. A few beads are in there too. I could not resist.  Really, just a few.

The ones on the bottom are the beads my mom saved from some vintage piece last year for me.

#56-100 Motif Challenge

I had leftover thread so:
#57-100 Motif Challenge
Celtic Pattern by Rosemary Peel
HDT by Karey Solomon

More loose ends. Searching for the next tatting challenge...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Depending on Your Perspective...

#54 and #55-100 Motif Challenge
Pattern by Irene Woo
HDT by Karey Solomon - #30

Frivole has diagrammed Iren's pattern beautifully - here. I had never seen this lovely pattern before, but since I relentlessly follow Frivole's blog and am enamoured with her design work and her amazing tatting, I didn't miss this post!

Isn't it interesting how colour can so completely change the feeling of a design?

I take this for granted most of the time and do not even think about it, but when I re-experience this truism, it is like learning something for the very first time.

It was fun tatting these.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fiddling With Findings

#53-100 Motif Challenge
#60 or #80 HDT by Jess

Findings fascinate, frustrate and are financially foolish for me to buy.  They sit there, taunting me for I seem unable to design anything for them.

Yesterday, I had had enough of feeling badly about this, so I plucked one I bought because I love the shape, grabbed some leftover thread and...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tweaking The Tension

#52-100 Motif Challenge

Love this pattern by Julie Patterson! Isn't it pretty?
Love the HDT (about #80) from Jess.
This was a good break before finishing the third dragon - correctly!

Now the three are ready to hit The Big Apple later this week. 

Got a bit carried away with the glue; these dragons are stiff as a board.

I think I am done with the stiffening, which I shall only apply if it is absolutely necessary, as I don't like the way the tatting feels with glue added.  

The solution to the need for stiffer pieces, for me, lies in attention to tension. I notice I am ever so slowly tightening the work with more consistent stitching. Bit by little bit.

My first tatted pieces, which I have kept to see tension progress, are really floppy.  After three years, there is definitely a discernible difference.  Quick, I am not!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wing On

I have to laugh at my own joke here.  In Toronto's Kensington Market, I have so often driven by the Wing On Funeral Home. I always chuckle - so irreverent. But, I am loveable and have a good sense of humour!

Dragons design by AnneB
Coral Reef #40 by Tatskool
#40 Lizbeth

So far, so good!
Much easier than the last one.
One down, One to go.

The glue is working beautifully.  Great stiffening method.

Mary Konior snippet

Friday, January 13, 2012

Waiting For Wings

Here they are...so cute!  
I sure hope the wings are easier than last time.
I used Lizbeth#40 for the bodies.

#50 and #51 Motif Challenge
It got colder in Toronto...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Gearing Up

#48-100 Motif Challenge

Just a bit of practicing before I tackle the dragons, without beads, focussing on my technique -  a New Year's Resolution! I caved at the end and added the crystal just in time - actually one ring too late on the little motif, designed by Jennifer Williams.

#49-100 Motif Challenge

Just noticed that the bottom rings look way too big.  
So much for my focus...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Times Two

Done.  I really get bored doing the second one.

Both threads are Lizbeth #30

I suppose that is why my sock knitting days ground to a sudden halt after several scores, if not hundreds of seconds. I have actually given away all my knitting supplies.  Now that the kids have limited their families, I have heaved a sigh of relief!

I felt guilty for a while that I was not picking up the needles... figure that!

Now that the socks are done, I believe I have time for two blue dragons, which I shall treat at the end to a lovely glue bath in order to make them strong for little fingers!

Question.  Do you find that using the self-threading needles is difficult when you are using #30 thread or smaller?  

I do, so I looked through my supplies and found these, but I do not know what they are called, and I have only a few. I will need to purchase more.

They seem to bend very quickly, just beneath the eye, and then break .  But, they are lovely and sharp, and the hole is large enough for the thread.

Since I always have my tatting with me and I have the needle in my kit, when I pass a fabric store I will be able to identify the type of needle.  But I was wondering if anyone has the name right there...

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Her Left Foot

...is completed!

#47-100 Motif Challenge
Both threads are Lizbeth #30
In my dotage, I have made a lovely discovery.  

I have not been happy with the way sewing thread attaches the edging to the sock, particularly this type of sock, that has an ankle length that must be turned under, so the edging must be attached to the crease at the top.  Follow?

The thin attaching thread must be doubled and is not very strong and there is a lot of fiddly sewing involved and you know how 'fiddly' and I do NOT get along!

So, I decided to sew the edging on with #30 DMC Cordonnet!  Perfect solution!  I can't figure out why this did not occur to me sooner.   ...dotage...

One sock left.  Why is it always more difficult to settle down to tat it the second time?

Friday, January 6, 2012

All About Her Ankles

#46-100 Motif Challenge
#30 Lizbeth

...lace.  What else?  Mini-Boss is lucking out this visit.  I shall be travelling to see my NYC family later this month, and wee Maeve shall have two pairs of socks with tatted edgings.

I would love to tat two dragons for her brothers, as I am so pleased with the stiffening agent I used on the last one, but I do not think I will have enough time to get through two of them.

But, you know me...  once I get an idea... I do have some lovely thread from Suneeti in a perfect blue and turquoise that could have either blue or green as the body...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"V" is for Vixen, and also for Vexed

#45-100 Motif Challenge
DMC Festive Tatting
HDT Yarnplayer's Lola

Yes, that would be me. Disgruntled. Not gruntled?  : O

I feel a bit rudderless - beginning of the year let-down or winter blues...  I just want to tat very simple, uncomplicated bits until I figure out what I want to tackle next.

This is the attempt at a border for the second pair of little, white socks for Mini-Boss.  I am not pleased.

Seems I cannot keep my mind on fiddly patterns these days, and with apologies to Martha, Mrs. Mee's picots are not pleasing to me!  Ruffles just are not my thing, I suppose.

I tried the pattern with regular picots, but still found it too intricate for a pair of kiddy socks, so I will do something else. There are a lot of wonderful patterns in Martha's Playing With Picots book however; I am just not in the mood for fiddly.

In fact, I am not in the mood for any of the patterns in my copious supply.  *sigh*  I don't know where all this is leading...

Oh, yes... I am attempting to learn EasyDraw - the free version, and am finding it very frustrating.  Any thoughts on software for Mac?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Doggedness of the Dragon

...or the tenacity of its tatter! 
#44-100 Motif Challenge
Pattern by Anne Buvold

This is a gift; luckily it is the best one yet.  

I got the wings right this time, EXCEPT the last one is supposed to be started on the back side and a mirror image of the first, but it ended up being on the front side when I attached it to the body. 

I am not sure at all how that happened, as I concentrated throughout in order to avoid this very thing! Grrrr.

However, considering I was never going to tat another dragon, I am pleased with the result.  This one is tatted in Altin Basak #50 and Lizbeth #40.


Dragons - mine at least - tend to have a very floppy nature, no matter how tightly I tat. So, I embarked on a very risky experiment.

Risky, because I have read a lot online about the dangers of stiffening tatted pieces.  I think I have been intimidated by all the chatter, and so never attempted to stiffen motifs.

This time, I took the plunge.  I used the only glue that I have - a non-toxic white liquid that I got from who knows where - watered down to a consistency I thought felt okay. How's that for scientific? : ))

I wet the tatting, got it into shape, and pressed the excess water away with a paper towel. Then I dabbed it all over with the water/glue mixture, put a piece of saran wrap over it and placed it under my heavy-pressing vase for a while.

Lastly, I removed the vase and the saran after about an hour or so and let the thing air-dry.

It is stiff, but not overly so. The dragon feels a bit rough because of the glue, but it seems to have done the trick!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Frivole For the First

... of January, that is. This is Frivole's new Criss-Cross pattern:

#43-100 motif Challenge
Thread is vintage Coates #30, from Kelly at Tatfully Yours.

You would never know that I used a picot gauge to tat this, but honestly, I did - in spite of the fact that I think I do worse in the measuring department when I hold the thing; I am a very clumsy tatter. Those picots are all different lengths!  I don't know what else I can do about that, except perhaps to try it without the gauge...


Here is another snowflake from the DMC Festival Tatting book, finishing off the Coates #30 and using some of Yarnplayer's gorgous Lola - #40, sent to me from Suneeti.

It is interesting to note how variegated thread works so well in this small motif, but was so totally wrong for this one, even though the pattern by Frivole is brilliant. In this case, only plain thread would have been appropriate - dit moi!

I did give the aforementioned motif to a friend over the holidays, after adding a little silver chain for hanging purposes.  She loved it and so did her husband.  They don't know a thing about variegated versus non- variegated threads, but they do know about Swarovski crystals!