Friday, August 30, 2013

Relaxing With Rogers

Lindsay Rogers motif tatted in #40 Lizbeth from Rachael at InTatters kept me busy for a couple of hours. This time I included all the rings!
Perhaps now I am ready to finish up that pesky Trellis!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Truckin’ With Trellis

Moving right along...  : ))

See how small this is and I only have a few more rows to go.
This is a good size to get the benefit of the pattern, without the large size.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Perseverance Pays

I am really enjoying this. What a surprise and an unexpected treat. It is good that I decided to scale back the pattern as this is just large enough for me. 

It provides a lot of practice with the new tatting method, while at the saw time holding my interest with  Victorian Sets and the all-chain construction. What could be better! 

The Cèbèlia #30 is a perfect, wonderful colour for this. : )

Monday, August 26, 2013

Marta’s Magic. : )

Marta is back from holidays and sent me this. It is my Pine Plains Picot pattern (now in my Etsy shop) that I asked her to test tat and she has done a superb job.

I also appreciate the photo of the backside of the motif. Thank you Marta!

Now, a progress report on the tatting technique; it is wonderful!

It seems I have made the transition to the new tatting motion, which it is almost second nature now. That was quicker than I ever imagined it could be. Good old  - and I do mean old! - muscle memory. Maybe all that jogging I do counts for something other than good cardio!

Anyway, I was going to toss this motif or hand it over to The Boss for creative cut-and-paste, but I have grown to really like this piece a lot. I will keep it and compare it down the road, as a marker of tatting progress.

It is, I realize, the largest #80 I have managed so far in my career, discounting edgings. Luckily, I am having fun as I have a lot of Perfect Quilter in my stash to play with.

The only downside is that I really am not that fond of variegated thread and it as all that.

There are many mistakes.  I transitioned from the old way to the new with Perfect Quilter thread, which is thinner than the middle that is tatted with #80 DMC, but far nicer to tat with.

I had to cut out whole sections and un-tat again and again,  for I kept making the wrong sort of knot.... Grrrr. There were lots of problems and yet I still like it! It has a lovely feel to it; the mistakes are well hidden and my stitches are looking pretty good and mostly very consistent - for once!

It feels wonderful - a sense of tatting freedom - to tat in the “stabbing” fashion. It is smooth and quick and there really is a rhythm that kicks in. Very pleasing. I couldn’t be happier!

It is even now working on this Trellis pattern...
Though I was hesitant to tat any of this because I thought I would mess up the Victorian Sets, I have to say it is really easy and FAST to tat them with the new method.

What a learning experience this has been. After over 4 years of tatting under my belt, I cannot believe I was not using this method. I had read about it but it just didn’t work for me when I tried to do it. Even the videos did not help. You really - or I really -  needed a real live tatter to demonstrate the technique.

Seems it is a very good thing to change it up - maybe not just in tatting either! Stirs the imagination... 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Old Dog, New Tatting Tricks

There are major errors in this because I was so focussed on the change of position of the shuttle and how I use it, that I absolutely lost count of stitches and managed to eliminate a whole ring! 

BUT, I am delighted with the way the tatting looks. The pattern? Forgettaboutit! What do you think? Anyone who follows my Climbing-Up-Tatting-Everest progress might be able to see what has happened here.

Interestingly, I find that muscle memory kicks in every so often, and then I realize I have reverted to the old way. 

I only come to this because suddenly the tatting motion feels all wrong. After only a few days, I am now quite comfortable with the new method, but will suddenly lose it and freeze, completely forgeting how to tat a ds. Confusion exists at this point as to whether I am on the first or second half of the stitch and I must really concentrate to see what has happened. It is a strange feeling.

It is as if I can actually sense the changes in the method being tweaked in my brain. Hopefully, the transition will be finished soon and the new way will be just the way I now tat automatically. The old way now feels very inefficient and awkward when I find myself using it. 

Because I am at another row of Victorian Sets in the Trellis Doily, I want to wait till I am completely comfortable with the shuttles, because the last round, stuck between two methods was really a slog. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Frivole and Fox? Face to Face?

Fortuitous - Frivole was in Ontario, not far from my city.

Fabulous Fun - We met up at the Train Station for coffee.

Friends Forever  -  How I feel about that lovely visit!

Yes, indeed. We met up yesterday as Frivole was able to spare an hour out of her very busy travelling schedule to come and have a coffee with me. It was so exciting - you can imagine.

We spoke on the phone only the night before when a plan was conceived that was carried out the next day early in the morning.  It was so much fun and much, much too short a time.

However, we did manage to have a hug and a tat while the talk was fast and furious -  so much to cover in so little time.

I came away with a real-life tatting buddy PLUS a new way to hold my shuttle; I have always had trouble with the second half of the stitch when tatting in the stab-method. Frivole pointed out where I might change it up and it is working! A day and a lot of tatting later and by jove, I think I’ve got it!

Having practiced, I applied the new technique to the Trellis Doily and there is definite improvement for me. My stitches are tighter and the motion I am using is easier on the right hand.

When tatting is learned by the book/video only, it is so important from time to time to to have another tatter looking over your shoulder to offer an opinion and some insight... You just never know what you will learn. I am so grateful!

Trellis Doily - vintage pattern -  from Priscilla #2

You can see the scale here of this piece and how I have cut down the pattern so the centre is quite small.  I believe it will block well enough to display the row of those little bits in the centre circle.

I continued on with the new method of holding the shuttle and applied it here:

Clover Doily by Ellen Staffordtatted with #80 DMC and 
when that ran out,  carried on with Perfect Quilter.

This was challenging as this row tended to ruffle and I had changed from the DMC to the Perfect Quilter, which is quite a bit thicker than the DMC. 

Luckily my order of Perfect Quilter has arrived and I am going to play with some of the new thread as there are 7 more rows to go in this pattern. 

Mixing variegated thread is always a gamble, but there is no option if I want to continue and this was really just an experiment to try out the perfect quilter, so I will tat on. 

There is a lot of discussion about this pattern over at InTatters and I was curious about it, which is another reason for the choice to try with Liyarra’s sample of Perfect Quilter. It is a great pattern, but frills a bit on the row I just finished. Apparently that will work in as the next row is added. I think it is rather pretty!

So, thus far I am pleased and I think the two spools of PQ that I am showing you here will both be suitable for the rest, if they are used strategically.  We shall see.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Interminable Trellis Tatting

And so it grows, bit by twisty little bit. The first row is a little over half complete.

It is far from perfect, but I do not love the pattern enough to begin all over so I just keep on tatting on...

Monday, August 19, 2013

Living Up To My Lineage

Taurus - The Bull.  Stubborn and inflexible as well as very opinionated, this sign of the zodiac is, on a more positive note, a loyal friend and one who just does not give up!

I am making some progress on the Trellis Doily. Though the tension suffers at the beginning of this 1056th try, I am continuing as I cannot bear the thought of starting yet again! I will make this work. Not sure how many rows I shall do; it was just really important to me to get this first round completed.

For anyone attempting this, I am finding it far easier to dispense with the paperclip, preferring to use only a small picot. where indicated. The paper clip kept falling out and then suddenly disappeared after a  very long-arm throw of some velocity...

Before I realized I would continue, thinking I was dome with it, I picked up some Berry Burst(Tatskool HDT from Suneeti) and started to try out a Karey Solomon pattern.

It was very difficult to get the first rings done in this #80 thread - a lot of ds in these rings. Then I saw that the pattern in the third round was NOT going to work. Sorry Karey, but this pattern makes not a lot of sense to me! So I put it aside and began to doodle, avoiding the Trellis-In-A-Drawer.

I also figured that it was good to be practicing tatting on the tiny thread as I am eagerly awaiting my order of Perfect Quilter. Gotta say, I do like the fine threads better than Lizbeth... at the moment, anyway.

I notice how nonchalantly I tell you that there are a split rings, thrown rings AND a split chain in this little number! Wow! Never thought I’d be saying that, let alone doing it.

After this I tatted a small  motif from Frivole’s Viola pattern, and then a vintage-looking bit, which sent me racing back to the Vintage piece where I am having more success, at last!

See, Sally, how beautiful this thread is in this pattern? Love it. Cebelia #30.

Speaking of patterns, 
I have posted my new pattern 
in my Etsy shop.

Pine Plains Picot


Thank you to the Test-Tatters,
Kelly, Amanda, Phyllis and Mary 
who did a fantastic job of getting
the pattern fit to be published. 

Tatted by Amanda

Tatted by Mary

Tatted by Phyllis
Thank you very much!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Delights and Doldrums

Pattern from Lindsay Rogers’s Mastering Tatting
Silk thread from Suneeti - I lost the label; it might be Yarnplayer’s.
(21/2 " square)

Treasures from Sally and I’m in the Garage!

These amazing gifts from Sally were quite a surprise! I love the little boxes she does and the tatted bookmark already has a great tatting-book home.

I told her the DMC thread will be perfect for the Trellis Doily, but I am having such horrendous problems with that pattern, even with the wonderful aid posted on Frivole’s blog. I just cannot get it to look right.. : (

That shuttle is Silver Maple... I rescued a large branch two years ago and dried it out in my basement but found I could never afford to mail what I had taken! So I’m in the Garage got only a small sampling of the wood and Sally has so kindly sent me one of the shuttles made from the Canadian tree. I just love it! Thank you, Sally and your talented partner in the Garage!

(The little shuttle in the back - perfect soon for The Boss! I have big plans for her! She is very clever with crafts, artistic and adventurous with colour... I can’t wait. The shuttle is perfect! It joins a plastic one Michelle sent me a long time ago. Shuttles-In-Waiting. : ))

Kudos for Cindy who is also trying out the Trellis Pattern here. Jane M. also did a lovely job.

What is the matter with my shuttles? My fingers? My thread ? My PATTERN?  FRUSTRATION brings out the #$&*$&*#.... you know what I mean...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Lovely Linda's

Star Attraction by Linda Davies
#40 Lizbeth and #50 Altin Basak
8” diameter

Towards the end of this creation, I felt that I was in some kind of digital marathon... I was tatting as fast as I could and holding my breath. Why? I could not wait to finish it.

I just get so bored with larger pieces and I lose interest in the quality of my stitches. This is problematic for a perfectionist as I am always at odds with myself. Stress!

Also, I tatted the last bit in Clovers and I have to say I am hopelessly attached to my LaCossettes. I did not do too well with the post shuttles.

This presents another glitch: I have ditched several of my Aerlits and yet I am not fond of the feel of Aeros.  Now my shuttle collection is very small. Hmmm. What shall I do? 

Replenish with Aerlits, knowing they will lose their tension? Beef up the collection with Aeros, knowing that I find them much bulkier, but also knowing that they retain the tension? Ah, the overwhelming dilemmas of the addicted tatter.  : ))

Perhaps there is no such thing as the perfect shuttle.

Check out the same pattern on Tatting Fool’s blog. Miranda has chosen a lovely pastel palette, here.

Blomqvist abnd Persson Pattern

Tiny little motif is only about two inches, if that. I found this pattern very challenging. It is easy to make mistakes with it, in my opinion!

It is Snowy’s go-to pattern and I love looking at it on her blog. She uses very fine threads and her tatting is a joy to study. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Perfect Quilter Panache

Isn’t this fun? And so tiny! About an inch...

Almost finished the re-tat of Linda Davies “Star Attraction.” But I have become so 
enamoured with this thread that I have taken tatting breaks to play with it.
There will be some small thread tatting in my future, I think...
Get out the magnifiers... : ))

Monday, August 12, 2013

Shuttle Shenanigans

Shhh..... just between us....

I tried miserably to fix the tension on this poor shuttle. This is not the first time it has happened either.

All I wanted was good tension; a shuttle that did not give up its thread so easily; a little co-operation. But, nooooooo!

All I got in response to my simple requests was slippage, fumble and dismay. Finally it all got too much for me; I mean how much must a tatter  take? I could not stand it anymore...

YES... I ADMIT IT. I pinched the shuttle.....

It was an accident!

I confess: the Aerlits were made to order for me by LaCossette, who obliged when I asked her to cover my own Aerlits. So, this is not her fault. I cannot blame anyone but myself. I am sorry. Truly. Humbly.

Anyone else out there in Tat-Land not pleased with the tension in the Aerlit? Bah!

This does not happen with the Aero shuttle....

Moving on:

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this thread! Perfect Quilter. Thank you, Liyarra, who sent it to me as I had never used it before.
It is wonderful to work with - such vibrant colour and shine! Really terrific. I might just have to replenish my dwindling stash.


Before I had decided to re-do the Linda Davies doily by cutting what I had already done, I considered tatting it in completely different colours:

However, I might not actually go any further with the new one, as I am almost finished with the re-do, and am getting a bit fed up (as usual) with this pattern - lovely as it is! I will post the new version very soon.


The newly ordered Cèbèlia arrived in the post. I just had to try that pattern the Frivole and Janemactats have done as it was on my mind and worrying me that I would not be able to do it. I think I have figured it out... it is not quite as difficult as I had imagined. This one has intrigued me since I saw it on Frivole’s blog. It is the next project planned. : )


Progress on my Pine Plains pattern! I have one of the test-tat photos and it is beautiful! As soon as the other test tats are in I will post the pattern on Etsy.

p.s.  HUGE sale on Perfect Quilter thread here. : ))
I’m afraid I succumbed to temptation....
Thanks, Liyarra.... : ))

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Post #1000!

I can barely believe it. I began this blog on April 19th, 2009 as a brand new tatter. Today is my thousandth post and in celebration, fortune has granted me two Etsy pattern sales.
 : )) 
Happy me!

From Ring of Tatters Newsletter 2010
Canal Bookmark updated by Elaine Scott
Lizbeth #40 and Zwicky silk, brown - from Krystle in 2010!

Took a break from the doily that needed major surgery and followed Miranda’s excellent advice -  (see comment on last post...) - well prodding really, as I already knew what I had to do. Procrastination prevented any activity till I got that comment.  Thanks Miranda!

Post-Op  : (

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

“F” Words (Post 999!!!)

I admit that I uttered the trucker-talk “F""word a couple of times 
when I saw what I had done way back at the very beginning. 

There was no fixing this. 

The title of this post could well be another example: 

I tatted this to see what would happen if I tatted Linda Davies’s Star Attraction Doily in very different colours than what Miranda has done beautifully begun here.

This is where the error happened:

I started it originally in #80:

But this was very taxing so I switched to #40 Lizbeth and Altin Basak pink (#50)

I was so disappointed when I saw what I had done as there is still a good bit left to tat and I quite like this pattern. I am very tempted to tat it again, but I will use other colours. I am so trying to get rid of the old stuff... 

Slowly, I am working through my threads and have diminished my stash immensely to this:

It really is a very modest stash now, don’t you agree? I should perhaps begin to add some new colours...heheh

Forgot to show you what my daughter has been giving away as little gifts to her friends: lavender (she grows it) sachets! Just look it this! Mummy’s handiwork getting all the outer glory!

One last thing...
I found these tiny elastics at the drugstore and they are absolutely perfect for wrapping about a ball of thread so that it stays wound! Love them!

If you look at the stash-pic, you can see every ball has an elastic around it.  Makes a tatter proud. : )

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Stawasz Satisfaction!

I am delighted with this tatting. 

Firstly, it was actually FUN to tat and secondly, I did not have to un-tat more than a few times! This is a monumental leap forward for me - especially with Jan Stawasz’s patterns.

The thread is Lizbeth, #40 and I have realized something about it. Compared to tatting with Altin Basak, which I am currently using, the Lizbeth is certainly not plush or consistent in texture. Though it is lovely and stiff, it is not tactile in the way that the Altin Basak is. 

My pal Suneeti sent me some pink in the AB and I am tempted to send away for some other colours as it is nice to have a completely different feel to the Lizbeth once in a while, and it is not as soft and fuzzy as Cebelia.

However, I have just ordered some Cebelia ( the least inxpensive thread to order in Canada) for I want to tat that Victorian Trellis that Jane and Frivole have completed. Looks like a nice challenge and I wanted to be sure to have a full ball of ivory before I begin. 

Gian is hankering for some dedicated attention as I try to write up the pattern for my design...

Is anyone out there in Tat-Land interested in test-tatting the Pine Plains design when I compete it?

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pattern Re-Worked

My new design (Pine Plains Picot) is tatted with #80 DMC, sent to me by Ladytats. Thanks Ladytats, it is pretty, and a great thread to work with.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tip From Tatting Fool

Miranda was right - try it she said. You can always cut it off.  
I won’t, as I really like the white chain.

Following Frivole’s lead, I just had to try this as well, 
for I had also noticed it in the blogs the other day:

Pattern by Corina Meyfeldt