Friday, June 28, 2013

Messing Around With Mary

... Konior, that is, while waiting for my thread for the border.

Also, another pattern by  Sumi Fujishigi:

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Border Blues

Seems I have done something mysterious with the Valdani thread.  I was having trouble with the thread I was going to use for the hankie border and  MAY have ... inadvertently... ahem... in a fit of rage bad temper, thrown it away.

This has been an occurrence of some repetition in the past - at work, at home and even at play. I have been known to throw my paycheque in the garbage.

I do not need to be angry to throw things away. It just happens. Might be genetic. My Gram was the same. She even flushed her wedding rings down the loo on occasion! And she had a wonderful marriage, so you can’t get all analytic about any symbolism!

At work, when I would panic because I could not find my cheque, voices from the studio would echo - check the garbage can, Fox!

I liked the colour. I just was not used to the weight. I have decided to persevere and meet the challenge of the thin thread, so yes, I have ordered another spool of it, for which I am patiently waiting.

In the meantime I am working on this pattern by Sumi Fujishigi:

I posted a pic of my first attempt at this:

In true Fox spirit I tatted it my way, which is totally wrong! One day I will learn to read a pattern before I charge ahead with shuttles. 

However, in this instance, I really like the whimsical feel of my version much better than what is called for. 

I will complete the next row and call it quits as there are another two rows that repeat the previous two. Seems I have lost patience. Maybe the Valdani will have arrived by the time I am finished...

I do love the vintage feel of mignonette tatting. It reminds me of the black and white movie era where enchanting women with finger-curled bobs and tight-fitting gloves wore black lace that dipped down from their hats to seductively drape their faces in mystery.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

“Jamie” by Liyarra

Look at this lusciouness by Liyarra, over at InTatters!
This is the pattern for her avatar picture.
What a fantastic design. Liyarra!

I had the honour of test-tatting Jamie, which will appear in the Danish Tatters Association 50th edition publication in the near future.

7” across

This was rather confronting at first, what with my directional dilemmas, but once I got started, I got so excited about the design I was able to overcome the foul  language situation. : ))

The thread is Daiso, #40. Thanks, Wendy - it was perfect for a test-tat for the colour is very easy on the eye in a challenging situation.

Next, I needed a smaller something to play with,
so I started this...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Titillating Tat

Oh yes, indeed. That is exactly what I am up to. An intriguing test-tat for a wonderful tatter that I am almost, but not quite finished. And it is a beauty.

 Cannot wait to show you! But not yet...

Then: Anchora Away!

This is the thread I ended up with from the Finca store that has nothing for me anymore as there is only Finca #8, which is much to bulky.

Apparently no one buys the #12, so the owner is phasing out all the thin stuff, and there is no more selection.  : (

She did have this one lone, yellow ball of #20 Ancrora from Portugal and another in beige. I bought them both, as this is finer than a Lizbeth #20 and I could not resist. The yellow is currently in use for the heraldic hanky. I will post my progress on that in a few days.

I believe I have settled on a pattern, and this is the thread which seems to work, strange as it may seem: yellow!

I did try another pattern in the Daiso #40 thread, but it is way too heavy for the silk. Pretty pattern however from the Handkerchief Pattern book:

Actually, I believe I have tatted this once before. It seemed very familiar and I recall the JKs.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tat Rebellion

: (

I had a such a lousy time on such a fine, sunny June day.  Just one of those uncomfortable and  unco-ordinated kind of moods, where nothing felt right. Including tatting. Since nothing worked, I put everything on hold.

Tomorrow, I am thinking of dropping in to the “Finca" store to see about the edging... You know I do not like the thread, but there may be colours that work with the hankie...

I attempted a pattern by Kirstine and Inge Lise Nikolajsen that appears in Tatted Handkerchiefs.

It called out to me for the new thread (which turned out to be about #100!) and is a pleasing pattern that I recalled seeing somewhere. Then I remembered.

Snowy tatted the entire border in her skinny, teeny thread here! She often uses fine - impossibly fine - silk. Her tatting is truly amazing.

I really don’t know how she did it, as I cannot go on with this thread. It is way too difficult to close rings and impossible to un-tat, so I could never, ever make a mistake! Too fine for me, but the colour was really ideal. Oh well.

So on to a #40 Lizbeth.

I have some ivory so I gave it a go. Everything else I have was the wrong shade. This is what happened:

I am not at all sold on the Frauberger Crown pattern, for I think it might be a bit much for this busy hankie. Currently, I am looking at all my books, trying to see what might do.

Any suggestions from you experts out there in Tat-Land?

Oh yes, I did finish this:

Yarnplayer HDT     
Pattern by Susanne Schwencke

This is one of the motifs making the journey to Peru in a few days. I figure it is kind of masculine and my son might like it. : ))

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Gearing Up...

Not sure what I am gearing up to tat, but nothing is calling out to me, so I tatted a few things that just seem to appeal for no reason.

This first one is from Aunt Ellen’s Treasury of Tatting (Workbasket Patterns, with no designers stated) and I have tatted it before with some difficulty if I remember correctly. This time? No probemo!

I used Olympus leftovers. #40.

The next one is the beginnings of an oval vintage pattern that I really  messed up using ”Knitty Gritty", #40, from Yarnplayer.  There was no diagram and I could not see the joins in the photo, as it was so small, so I wasted a bunch of this delicious hand-dyed thread.

In the end, I did give up on this one, for I found I did not like the pattern after all, and it was fairly large.

There is enough left for a small project I am tatting now, however.

While reading through the blogs, this caught my eye, here. Monica was talking about the trip her shuttles made to Machu Picchu and my son is about to leave for his trip to Peru.

I mailed him the link to Monica’s post and asked if he might take a tatted something along with him. His suggestion was - get this - that I send a few and maybe a shuttle, so he could give it to the community! His words. : )) Did I raise a good child, or what!!!

So, I looked for some small motifs to send and there isn’t much left, but I am finding bits and pieces that I shall wrap up as the day gets closer. What a lovely idea.


Speaking of tatting tins, this is mine. This is where all the finished stuff goes till I find a home for it or donate some to The Boss to add to her”artwork.”

The other day, when I was looking for something to send with my son, I noticed the little red fox on the tin - I had never seen it before.

My mom gave me this tin before she passed away and it is odd I did not notice the fox then. Now it has taken on new meaning; I really am glad I have it now.

I looked up the Latin (thinking of Michelle!) and it means “A skin for a skin” and is the official motto (adopted in 1670) for The Hudson's Bay Company! Well!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

For Liyarra

Tat On, with Confidence and Hope, 
Through All Crises*

Once upon a time, far, far away in a little corner of Tat-Land, amid the Maple trees, a saddened tatter sat woefully gazing at a small, pretty motif.

"I suppose it will be nice sewn onto a young girl’s shirt," she thought, "even if I feel such a failure for giving up and not battling through the pattern."

She told all her tatting friends that she was wiser now and knew exactly when to stop, knowing her temper and repertoire of language filth was legend in the Land. 

Frustration for Fox meant things suddenly shattered as they collided with a wall to the accompaniment of nasty, blue trucker-talk.

Her friends applauded her newly-found common sense, and all agreed it was for the best. 

Liyarra told her it was not all right to give up; give in, yes, but not give up.

Fox listened. She persevered.

Grateful thanks were sent to Liyarra, who had sent such an important dictum over great distances.

Fox was happy with her tatting conquest and her shuttles smiled upon the pleasing result.

The End

*Borrowed from Elizabeth Zimmerman, the Grandmother of Western Knitting

Pattern by Lissy Madsen, published in the Danish Tatting Association Magazine, "Orkis Bladet”
Thread: Lizbeth #40

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Lure of Liyarra

Using my arsenal of pencils, markers and scissors, I have used all my pattern aids and tricks and am tatting away at this challenging pattern. So far, so good on the first two repeats.

Liyarra has been very supportive, and has in fact written a bold tale in her determination to help me get through the pattern. She can definitely write as well as tat! Go have a look and a read here.  : ))

Also, take note; she has used two colours, something I had to abandon with one of the earlier attempts as it was too confusing.

 It is really a wonderful piece with the contrast.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Cunningly Clandestine Co-ordination

Mr. G was quite fasciated with what came out of the envelope!

And so was I!

I saw that I had received a package from Frivole; I recognized the envelope, but was mystified, as I had been restrained lately and ordered nothing. I could not imagine what she was sending and was floored when I saw what was in the package:

The envelope was mailed in Britain by Frivole, but the shuttle was actually a gift from my pal Liyarra, (at InTatters)! The Awesome Aussie amazed me with this fabulous shuttle. Isn’t it just the best?

Thank You so much, Liyarra!

Obviously, the scheme had some fancy footwork involved and I thank both Frivole and Liyarra for their time and energy in creating such a wonderful surprose. You both rock!

That clever Frivole certainly has an eye for finding lovely photos of Monsieur Gian. She sent me this some time ago, a complete surprise answer to something I had mentioned to her in an email! I thought of the photo as soon as I saw the shuttles... : )

Next, here is a motif I have not seen on the blogs - I don’t think I have, at any rate. I love it. It is one of Susanne Schwencke’s patterns and is a really interesting tat.

Lastly, there was the celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth last week, and I remembered I had a coin, saved since early childhood of this event.

I pulled it out of old keepsakes ( I DO save a few things!) and polished it up with baking soda till the copper shone. So pretty! It needed a celebratory pouch, so I cut two little squares of royal purple felt and found a tiny tatted motif.

My sewing skills are so minimal, but the thing is only about two inches across, and I was able to baste around the felt and attach the motif, et voila!

Oh, yes, I forgot; one last thing...
a little pattern (one inch!) by Jennifer WIlliams.

Monday, June 10, 2013


I really tried to get into this pattern for most of the weekend. 

But, I am going to stick to my new tatting path, which is to veer around frustration.  Perhaps another time, I shall attempt this pattern which would have been about 6 inches or more accross. Got to be in the mood!

I really enjoyed the centre, which I tried two ways. It was the outer round that I found trying. It is from a Danish Magazine.

These might be nice on a T-shirt for 
The Boss and Mini-Boss...


This is pretty small and is very tight between the elements,, but if you look closely, you can see the twisted picots between the loops... I liked them : )

Saturday, June 8, 2013

In Awe of Iris

While tatting this for the fourth time and having some success with it,  I really got to appreciate what a fine designer Tat-Land has in Iris Niebach.

About five inches across

The elegance of this pattern astounded me once I came to understand the ebb and flow of it. It is indeed a fine artist who can conjure up a design like this.

Though I have tatted her borders and quite a few of her doilies and motifs in the past, with this pattern I came to appreciate her talent in broader terms.

The thread is Daiso, #40 from Wendy and it held up valiantly under very trying circumstances! A great, tightly-twisted, though 2-ply thread for tatting, in my opinion.

p.s. I have to thank Frivlole for bringing this pattern to my attention. As always, she inspires me, and by following that inspiration, I grow as a tatter.

Her  wonderful rendition is here.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Tatting Hubris

I was so happy and so proud that I had managed the Iris pattern so I thought I would dive right in and tat it again even better! HA!

This is what ensued. I made a huge error and rather than cut or untat, as I had already done a lot of that, I thought it prudent to begin once again...

I am now on the Fourth go-around. We shall see...

The thread is from Umintsuru and is wonderful. She warned me that because it is 2 ply, I should try to make no mistakes (HA#2!!) as it can split when one un-tats.

Actually, I really like the thread a lot; it is so firm, tightly wound and rather rough, but shiny and closes rings beautifully.  I have had no problem whatsoever un-tatting and believe me, I have had an abundance of opportunity to experiment with this particular challenging element of our craft...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Excited To Show You!

I started this motif by Iris Niebach a few weeks ago 
and gave up without a whimper. 

I just could not figure it out.

A few days ago I felt in the mood to try it again and GUESS WHAT? I understood all the directional changes and the whole thing made sense to me - which did NOT mean that I did not have to un-tat many times, but I have the idea now and can do another without any grief in understanding the pattern.

There are only 5 repeats in the completed motif, as I thought I was running out of thread; I was so excited by my success that I wanted to have a completed motif, so I finished, eliminating the sixth repeat. It turns out that I probably would have had enough for the six, but this is fine for the first - or rather, second - attempt at this complex pattern. 

It will look so much better when tatted with the balancing of six repeats.

Then for fun with a few beads, now that I can see what I have, as I have gifted a bunch of beads as part of my on-going paring down progress... These beads were both given to me and I forget by whom! But thanks, tatters! (I think they are from My Friend in North Carolina and Umintsuru :o  )

The thread is from Connie and is Karey Solomon’s #20.

The design is Jane E’s Twirly; I really like this pattern. Very relaxing to tat.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Connie and Liyarra - Thank You!

Yes, it is due to inspiration I received from Liyarra over at Intatters and here on her blog, that I was able to challenge this pattern, luckily not running out of thread - it was close!

Slowly, I am using up stash thread very successfully, but this self-imposed task sure makes me tat fast!

Pattern by Lis Christiansen,
from the Danish Tatting Association Magazine,
“Orkis Bladet.” 
It is almost 6 inches across.
Thread: #50 Olympus. 

There was more blue in the air than in the motif, as I had to un-tat a gazillion times.

This is my kind of directional nightmare tat. In abundance was pondering and gnashing of .... well you’ve heard it all before!

 (I consulted the Tatting Dictionary by Judith Connors  trying to  figure out  downward facing picots needed for this pattern. I forget I have this book and it is a very good reference.)

In the end, I became familiar with the pattern - about three repeats from the end. ; ))  

Thanks Liayarra; it was fun and I am proud of this one. I might tat it again (though not tomorrow) in one colour,  one that is more pleasing to me. These colours, which I purchased not long ago, shout too much for my recent preferences that seem to be evolving  and changing as time goes by.

Taking frustration breaks I tatted yet 
another Susanne Schwenke pattern:

That makes three:

More Mail
A while ago I as moaning and groaning about the fact that  I could not find anything but dollar store hankies to put borders on and I got an email from Connie who said she was going to send me some. Apparently, she had come across “the motherlode of hankies!” WhooHoo!

Here are the lovelies in all their colourful variety:
Just look at this heraldic gem:
Fun, eh!

Mr. G was not overlooked, which is a good thing, as he
 was literally licking his lips as he scrutinized the contents
of the package.  (check out the tongue action!)
Connie included those terrific tea towels because the
cat reminded her of Gian. How very sweet is that?

Last but not least, look at the card that was enclosed. It is a gorgeous tatting photograph, on matte ivory paper card.  I just love it. I am going to put it in a little frame and hang it - something I do not do lightly in my spartan abode.
Thank you Connie, for all this. 
I am, without a doubt, one lucky tatter.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


I am becoming very attached to this pattern 
from Susanne Schwenke’s “Spitzen-Kreationen.”
This is the second one I have done.
There will be more I think!

The thread is #40 Lizbeth, from Rachael at InTatters. Though I am not usually drawn to variegated thread, I am surprisingly attracted to this colourway. Liking both the pattern and the thread is a complete surprise to me. With tatting you just never know what will pique your interest.

That little motif sewn to the case is tatted in #100 thread by Rachael and suits the pink perfectly. Sweet!

I told Cindy I would show her what I did to the needle-case she sent to me; I removed the velcro. Here you are Cindy:

I cut off the entire flap-over and the velcro, as it was both were a bit bulky for the envelope when I have all my things enclosed. This is perfect and very flat. Love it!

Cindy is generous ( and talented!); after she sent me the needle-case and the envelope, she mailed a package of goodies to pay-forward! Here is a partial view - some things went into the post before I took the photo!

Thanks, Cindy!