Monday, December 17, 2007

Yippee! the Newsletter is done

I'm so excited to finally have this newsletter published. This edition has a lot of items I've been wanting to try for a while now. I decided that as a wee, "thinking of you" gift, that I wanted to make something for my sister in law. She wears a lot of yellow so I thought a yellow rose motif would be nice. I used the Coats machine embroidery thread in yellow with a matching variegated yellow/orange/brown for the outer border. I really like how this turned out, but it was hard doing all of the shuttle joins with this thread as it's not as strong as tatting thread and it's so fine I had to use a #14 hook to do the joins.

Then I did up a quick drawing to experiment with making a tatted angel. I didn't want wings that went straight out so I tried for a more uplifted version.

It looks OK but the bottom is too straight and although it can all be done in one piece from beginning to end I thought I'd try another variation. The first inner bit with the large rings was too small so I added another row and zigzagged back with a second row. At that point I ran out of thread on the shuttle and got side tracked from what I had originally intended. Usually if I'm tatting something for the newsletter and it isn't quite right I already have an idea of what I want to do to fix it. I just re-load the shuttles and start again, maybe from a different point or with a different technique. I set this one aside thinking it was done except for the bit I had to finish where I ran out of thread.

Whatever I was thinking of, when I went back to finish it off for the newsletter, I realized that there was no way this design could be worked in one pass. Sometimes a project just has to be done in pieces and I can deal with that, but I don't like designs that could be worked in one go if they were designed better. I tatted a bootie pattern once that had 5 or six little pieces and it drove me nuts so I really try to avoid piecemeal designs if I can. So for this angel I had to start over.

Here's the new version that's tatted all in one piece. The wings look more like wings ad less like arms. The skirt isn't a straight line across the bottom and the use of smaller rings gives it more all over shape.

One of the other things I wanted to try was making a beaded ball. I wanted some droopy bits along the bottom and some different sizes of beads for some texture. When I went through my stash of materials the only kind of bead I had with a hole at one end that would let it hang was an iridescent blue/purple/black bead that had matching seed beads. Not exactly my first choice, but then a friend of mine told me that black was the "in" Christmas colour this year and she's done her whole tree in black and gold. So I thought why not and started tatting my beaded ball. The first couple of rows went quickly but then I had to stop and think of a beading arrangement that would accent what I had already done and use the beads I had on hand. Several attempts were discarded because they called for more beads that I had and since I couldn't remember where I had picked up the iridescent beads I had some additional limitations to deal with.

I put the beaded ball aside to handle some more pressing issues and when I can back to it I decided to go with something simple. Some heavily beaded double picots finished this one off nicely. The colour of the beads just doesn't show up in the pictures and after several tries with different background colours, I just gave up trying to get a good image.

The piece that I'm really excited about is this one. I tried to tat it a couple of different ways, before I hit on this design, but I'm tickled pink with the results. Tatted Ice Skates. Aren't they adorable? My physiotherapist asked if I made them for sale. Her daughter has taken up skating and I think she'd love to have the skates for her. My initial reaction was "no way" but since I had to sit down and tat another skate to make sure I had the instructions right, I just might do her a pair. It's one of those things where you have to do it in pieces because you need 2 of them.

By the way, for anyone who doesn't already subscribe to the newsletter, it's published quarterly and has 4-5 designs in each issue. Usually there is one larger item and several smaller items although sometimes there are just a bunch of medium size projects like this one. The newsletter is published in PDF format and is sent out by email. The cost is $21 Canadian and can be purchased through PayPal. That means that you can order it and have it in time for Christmas even if you order it on Christmas day. Here's the link to the order form if you want it. And here is the link to the main page

Now that all this is done I can get back to other things like updating the 25 Motif Challenge. I know there is a lot of tatting going on that I haven't blogged about, but I have been busy.


Linda S Davies said...

Let me be the first to congratulate you, Sharon, on completing 6 years of the newsletter. I love all of your work, but the ice skates are sooo cute, I've got to give them a go!

LadyShuttleMaker aka MadMadPotter said...

What a great new batch of designs.
I like all the angels and I really like how you explain the progression of your patterns and the intent behind them.

Sharon said...

Thank you for your compliments. I started explaining what I do with designs when several people told me that they just could NOT design their own lace. Anyone can design, it's just a matter of desire and practice. Sometimes explaining what you are trying to accomplish and how you go about it helps other people to comprehend the thought process behind it and demystify the whole thing.