Friday, May 07, 2010

Bookmarks revisited

We recently had some discussion about bookmarks on the HBT list which was sparked by someone talking about doing a bookmark for her mother's Bible. Bookmarks are fun little bits of tatting that let you do all kinds of interesting designs without a huge commitment of time. If you can tat uninterrupted, you can often complete a bookmark in a single evening. They're also flat and light weight so they can be mailed in a card for a quick gift. (You understand "quick" here is a relative term.)

I think bookmarks intended for Bibles ought to be made in fine threads. People who read their Bible regularly will probably have a good quality leather bound Bible with very thin pages. They're so thin they're called onion skin. Bibles have lots of pages and in order to keep the books small the pages are very fine. They are so fine, that any but the thinnest bookmarks will leave an impression on the page. Bibles are meant to be read often and last for a long time so they are usually very well made. They are also usually quite expensive for a good one, often costing over $100.00, so when you invest that kind of money, you want to take care of it.

This one is an odd ball, free form design. Most things I don't mind giving away, but this isn't a design that I'm likely to repeat so I kept it and I used it in my Bible for a short time but it was made in size 12 perle cotton and it's a little thick. That's why I made the new one in size 80.

Beginners like to start with size 10 thread because it makes it easy to see the stitches, but size 10 thread isn't a good on the binding of a good book. When I mentioned tatting bookmarks in size 80 thread, there were several people commenting that they hadn't seen a lot of bookmarks intended to be made with fine thread. A nice size bookmark in size 20 thread will frequently look Lilliputian when it's done in size 80. This butterfly I designed to be made in size 10 but as it's mostly one long chain, it's not too bad if it's made long enough so that the butterfly and tassel are outside the book. There are several of this type of bookmark in my Transitions in Tatting from Flat to Floral book like the heart and red cross at the right. The pattern for the blue one is on my web site and it's been done in size 8 perle cotton.


The discussion about bookmarks prompted me to go through my archives looking for my bookmark designs. Most of mine have been done in size 80 thread. All of the cross bookmarks from my book Tatted Crosses where done in either size 80 thread or sewing thread which was even finer.


Then there were the bookmarks that I did over the 6 years that I produced the Tatted Lace Pattern Collection Newsletter. This one used dimple rings and long picots with a tiny row of split rings woven in between.
In 2005 I was hit by a car while riding my bike and the accident resulted in 5 breaks to my left leg and a chip off my right hip from the impact with the road. I had been creating new designs every few days, but the accident really took the wind out of my sails. I went months without inspiration. This rose bookmark was the first thing I created after I got out of the hospital and I did several as a thank you for various health care workers.

This one I designed for my sister in law when my brother passed away from cancer.
This one was just because I wanted a cross with a rose centre with simple arms. The one that's in the crosses book is prettier, but more complex to tat.
More recently I created a lot of square motifs for the Marvelous Motifs book and several of them worked well as bookmarks. I suppose most square motifs would. This one has another rose centre. I like roses. They make a nice base for a lot of different things. They work up fairly quickly but the problem that I have with doing a lot of them in size 80 is that I find I have to really wiggle the hook to make the lock join and I end up with a sore spot of my finger from stabbing it over and over again. This one was done in sewing thread.
This one done in variegated thread kind of looks like there's a flower in the middle of the motif. I only used 3 blocks to make a stubby bookmark. I suppose I could have made it longer, but I was in a hurry.
This one is a bit of a cheat because it was done in size 12 perle cotton and not size 80 which made it a bit thicker, but not by much. I would have done it in size 80, but at the time I didn't have enough of any compatible colours is size 80 to complete it and I didn't trust sewing thread to be strong enough to do the multiple split rings or cluny leaves required and not break. I think this is one of my favourite designs. It's really pretty, but definitely not a one evening bookmark.
Lots of bookmarks and none of them looking skinny mini even in size 80 thread. Just so you don't think I'm a bookmark snob, working only in fine threads, I found one I designed in size 20. It looked really skinny done in size 80. Dimpled rings are hard enough to close in fine thread. This pattern uses dimpled split rings. I tried it in sewing thread, which was all I had in green and it wouldn't take the strain. The thread broke on every ring so I gave up because it was going to be too skinny anyway.

4 comments:

Jane Eborall said...

What a wonderful display of bookmarks. SO pretty.

Fox said...

What a great post!
Fox : )

Paula C. said...

Your bookmarks are very beautiful. Than you for sharing them, along with a little story of yourself. I am working on some bookmarks myself in size 20 thread because that is what I can see good right now.

Lebasi Aneres said...

Bello y original!!!!