Sunday, December 28, 2014

New Goal for 2015

I have a terrible confession to make:  I am a bad blogger!  I know, total shocker, but total truth!!  I almost always forget to take photos of my tatting to post in my blog!  I am going to try better in 2015!  I promise!

Also, for 2015, I have decided to really focus on "small" projects.  Don't get me wrong - I love tatting lace by the yard and doilies, but I think I'll be working mainly on Christmas Ornaments and bookmarks.  I will be working toward a few Holiday Shows for the 2015 Christmas Season.  That means lots of tatting - 1000's of items - and it means being selective on what I tat - not tatting 100's of patterns, but selecting 20 - 50 and working those up.

Will I not tat anything else during the year?  I will probably tat some lace by the yard from time to time, but my main focus will be Christmas.  Being from South GA it's going to be nice to have snow year round! :-)

Wish me luck!  Oh, and keep hoping I will remember to photograph my progress!  Maybe a few helpful reminders won't hurt! ;-)

Happy Tatting to All, and to All Good Threads!

Friday, September 5, 2014

It's a Blizzard!

I have been tatting through some of my snowflake patterns.  I have discovered I have well over 100 patterns for snowflakes and stars that I have never tatted!  Imagine, having that many patterns and most of them are new-to-me!

I thought it was about time to fix that - and so I began.  I've only tatted 10 so far - but I will be tatting up more in the coming weeks.

Here's what I have so far!

I began with Vida Sunderman's  "Tatted Snowflakes" pattern book.

This snowflake is "Elegant Snowflake" found on page 10/11.

This snowflake is "Trefoil Snowflake" page 10/11

The "Ruffle-Edged Snowflake" page 11

The "Minaret Snowflake" page 12

The "Ribbon-Floss Snowflake" page 12

The "Tiny Snowflake" page 12

The "Ruffled-Star Snowflake" page 13

The "Flower Snowflake" page 13

This is not in the book.  I found this on Joelle Paulson's blog.  It is "Twinkle Twinkle"

This was inspired from Joelle Paulson's - "December Motif" -

More snowflakes to come!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Obsession

Ok, yes, I admit it, I am addicted to tatting shuttles!  But to go even further, I am Boye Crazy!

I simply adore the "old" plastic post Boye shuttles.  (The ones made in CHICAGO - not CHINA.)  I learned to tat using a red plastic CHICAGO Boye and I have some (many) that I have been grabbing every chance I get.  I have some of the CHINA made ones, but they are cheap, cheap, cheap!  Thicker shuttles but made of much thinner plastic.  They are so badly made I hate that they are using the name "Boye"!  It's rather disgraceful to have such shoddy workmanship using the name of such a beautiful piece of tatting equipment.  As I type this - I have 11 new CHICAGO shuttles winging their way to me!  I am super excited!

While moaning and groaning about the "other" Boyes - I have found the Moonlit shuttles from Handy Hands!  Now, I have to confess these are really nice!  I am using them more and more - and plan on buying a few extra.  After all, one can never have enough shuttles, right?!  My husband doesn't understand that - he thinks one or two is all a gal needs! (Really!)  Recently I found a new friend on Facebook that has told me she has over 600!  I am in true awe of her - and truly want to know just how she managed to collect that many - and how did she convince her husband!!?!

I am almost as addicted to thread as I am shuttles.  One of the problems is I live in an area where Size 10 crochet is just about all you can find - unless you want sewing thread or yarn.  So, I have mainly worked with Size 10.  I hesitate to purchase much smaller thread because I am a tight tatter and have been known to snap Size 30 - so I really shy away from using sewing thread or embroidery thread.  I've been craving some Lizbeth thread from Handy Hands - but every time I go to their site to buy some, I get distracted by shuttles!

Oh, the choices we must make to ply our craft!  Thread/Shuttle Shuttle/Thread.... I reason with myself that I can always use Size 10 thread - but finding tatting shuttles on the shelves of nearby stores is almost unheard of!  Sure, we have a few stores within a 50 mile radius that carry Clover shuttles, but while I like them, they are mainly only used to work up a quick bracelet or small motif - and very rarely at that!  Now I did break down and purchase a set of the Large Clovers - and I like them a bit better than the small ones; mainly because they hold much more thread and feel more comfortable in my hands than the smaller ones.  Of course, I've neutered one of the picks after I stabbed myself under the fingernail!

I'd much rather be tatting than sitting at work - or anywhere else!  When I'm at work, I plan what to tat. Every thing I see I lay out a tatting design in my head!  Oh!  There's a lamp across the room that has this little design and I can just about see it tatted up!  And the chair back would make an awesome pendant for a necklace - or even a Christmas ornament!

Well,  off to write up the design (maybe) before it leaves my head!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How We Tat

Apparently I use the "slip & slide" tatting technique/method.  New term for me!  I guess I just assumed that every tatter tatted the same way....Hold shuttle thread up with fingers - using index finger and thumb of shuttle hand to pass the shuttle back and forth - the shuttle passes under shuttle thread but over core thread, then under core thread.  Pull tight - loosen tension on core hand to flip stitch - pull tighter.  THEN, shuttle hand holds shuttle thread down, shuttle passes under core thread and back through shuttle thread... Well, I was wrong to assume that!  I have since learned that not only are there various ways to tat, there are various ways to hold the thread.

I was taught to hold my thread between my index finger and my thumb, run it around the back of my hand past all fingers, bring it up on front of my hand and pinch it between thumb and index finger.   I have watched videos showing the thread held the same way except they skipped the pinky - leaving it free.  I've seen where some have run from thumb down around finger up behind the hand and they tat into the palm of their hand instead of between their fingers!

Of course, all of this appears awkward to me and somewhat painful to watch.  But I guess it's because I learned this way and it feels natural and normal to me.

I'm not sure if there is a way to catalog all of the types/ways/techniques of holding the thread, the shuttle, and how to make the stitch, but I'd be interested in seeing just how many combinations there are!  Do they have names or terms?

What I have witnessed first hand is... it doesn't matter what technique you use, it's still tatting, and it's still beautiful!

Doesn't matter how you tat - as long as you tat!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Patterns and Styles

I have discovered that I LOVE looking at tatted items.  I love their beauty, their texture, their complex look.  I have also discovered that while I enjoy looking at the more complicated items, I enjoy tatting the more simple patterns.  It's not that I'm not up to the challenge or that I lack the skill.  I think it's because my grandmother was a 'simple' tatter and when I am tatting simple things I see it as a tribute to her.

I've learned that I have a "go-to" ring.  My grandmother's was 3-3-3-3.  Many of her doilies and edges are worked with that simple ring.  I make lace edging for a sweet lady who adds it to her handmade baby blankets.  The other day I was tatting away when it dawned on me - I use 4-4-4-4 for my ring on all her lace.  I use 12 Perle Cotton in white and ecru for her edging and keep it simple because I never know if it will be a boy blanket or a girl blanket.  Ring and Chain only - nothing complicated. When I try to vary the count it feels foreign.  So now I  find myself wondering if other tatters have a "go-to" ring or chain.

The other day I saw a post on Facebook where someone said they had been holding their tatting the "wrong way".  It got me to thinking - what is the right way?  Is there a "right" or "wrong" way?  I pinch between my pointer finger and thumb - Moving my shuttle between pointer and middle finger.  (That's the way I learned.)  I don't hold my crochet thread the same way some others do - but it works for me.  So I think that's the way it is with tatting - if it works for you, it's right!  

I've seen the debate "Needle or Shuttle" - which is "real" tatting.  Aren't they both?  I love to see someone needle tat - it is fascinating!  Maybe because I don't do it...but still it is beautiful to watch.  I have tried using a needle - but it just doesn't "feel" right to me.  Again, I think it's because I first learned using a shuttle, and that's what my grandmother used.  I have also tried my hand a cro-tat but didn't feel a connection there, either.

So for me - I'll stick to my simple tatting with my simple shuttle and continue to tat happily along!