Friday, May 27, 2011

Hurry quick

Need. to. work. quick. before. flea brain. gets. distracted. again. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blue this time

When my sister and brother in law were visiting on the weekend they thought I ought to make lots of bracelets like the one shown in the previous post. Sounds like a good idea in theory. Then I pointed out that it takes a lot of time to make and it wouldn't fetch the necessary price. When pressed to say how long it took I figured 4 or 5 hours. That particular bracelet had been done with beads from a tube of mixed beads that I had separated out to get the shades I wanted.

Just out of curiosity to see how long it would take, I thought I'd do another one although I wasn't about to spend another evening separating beads. So I went through my meager stash of beads and matched up 2 colours of beads with a solid and variegated thread, and set out to remake the bracelet.  Right after I tatted the first ring I twisted my hand in an awkward position that made the muscles in my thumb and wrist cramp up.  I thought about tatting left handed, but even holding the thread caused my thumb to hurt.

Between the pain in my hand and the excitement of the hockey game, I only got about half of one side done before I put it aside and went to bed. I picked it up the next evening and finished it. So I guess the real answer to how long it took is probably a leisurely 8 hours.

Of course there were some little interruptions along the way like having to ice my hand, pulling the hook out of my shuttle while doing a bead join and nearly shredding the thread a couple of times doing a really tight join. When there aren't a lot of bead joins to do, I position the bead and hold it in place with a safety pin until I need to make the join. When there are a lot of bead joins like in this pattern I just guess at the needed picot size and sometimes it's really tight. Then, when I use a very fine hook, it's easy to split the thread and only grab half of it. At that point it's as likely as not that the hook will tear the thread. I didn't want to deal with broken thread, so I just worked very carefully when that happened. Then there was the search for the second half of the barrel clasp that somehow became detached and got lodged down the side of the couch.

Now that it's done, I don't think I like this one as well as the purple bracelet, although it's the same pattern and I'm not sure why.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A bracelet finds a new home, and the world goes on

The purple bracelet I did in April has found a new home with my sister.

She came for a visit today and admired it enough to want to wear it when we went out for dinner. I didn't think they were colours she would like or I would have mailed it out in her birthday card instead of the bookmark I sent. Her birthday's not until next week and she hasn't received it yet so I couldn't really say anything except take the bracelet with my blessings, I can always do another one. She and my BIL thought that bracelets like that would sell really well. Maybe so, but not likely for how much time they take to make. I ought to sit down and time the next one to see how long it does take.

On another note, was anyone surprised that the world didn't end? Anyone who knows their Bible could have told you that foretelling the exact time of the end is an exercise in futility. When Jesus was on earth his disciples asked
"what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" Jesus gave them a lot of information, pointers to when that day would come most of which were, - things will be bad, they will get worse both in natural disasters like floods, earthquakes and famines and in increased wars and conflicts and all of these things will increase in frequency and magnitude like birth pains before the end comes. You can read it all in Matthew chapter 24. BUT, one of the things he also said in the same chapter in verse 36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

Because of that, I always think that when someone makes a exact prediction of the time of Jesus' return and the end of the world, I can count on it that they are wrong. Of course that same chapter of the Bible says that an increase in false prophets is another forerunner of His return. The Biblical standard for a false prophet is anyone who predicts an event that doesn't happen. Camping has already blown it by his 1994 prediction which didn't come to pass and of course having it happen twice just tells you he has really missed the mark. I feel sorry for the people who follow his teachings, but God doesn't ask you to park your brains at the door when you believe in Him. He does ask you to look into things for yourself. You are supposed to use that organ between your ears, not just blindly follow any and every teaching that is out there.

I get really annoyed, when people who have rarely, if ever, cracked open the Bible, talk about what they think the Bible says. What some people know about Christian beliefs they have learned from Hollywood movies. Guess what? Movies lie. You want to know the truth? Read the Book for yourself.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The attention span of a flea

I think that must be the problem. Waaaayyyy back here I was working on a bunch of 3D flowers for a new book. It got stalled when this mess here just wouldn't co-operate. I can make it work, but one of the things I was aiming for was something realistic, life size, hold it's own shape without a lot of tatting. It's that making it fit into the predetermined mold that has me momentarily stumped.

So I wandered off into making a tatted cross, and meandered through a beaded bracelet. Then I got waylaid by sequins. I drew a design that I haven't tatted yet but I did want to see what the flower would look like as a pendant. So here it is.

But before I could get to the one I drew, I got sidetracked again......
Like I said, the attention span of a flea.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Still playing with sequins

I just had to try it again, this time without having the sequins lining up in a row. I'm not sure if I like using sequins or not. I might be falling out of love with the idea.

The hole in the sequin offered enough resistance that it pulled the hook right out of one of my shuttle. It was an older shuttle that has been broken and repaired several times, but it's an English Aero, so I just keep using it. I love my Aeros.

Here's what's happened so far. I might have one more idea to try.....

Friday, May 06, 2011

More Sequins

After I did the sequin bookmark, Fox and I had a couple of emails about using sequins in tatting and I thought one possibility might be a an amulet bag. Fox dared me. So I did.

The start of it was the sequined flower, which I suppose might just be used as a simple pendant, but I was aiming for a bag, so I wanted rectangular. I started with the flower shown in the previous post.

I drew the pattern SmartDraw. I use Serif's program because it's free for the design class, but I've been using SmartDraw for years and I just stick with my old version 4 program. I prefer it's preformatted curved line that I can drop and drag, to the straight line you have to add nodes to, in a lot of other programs like Serif. Once I had the basic shape I tried several methods of adding chains in order to give me the rectangular shape I needed. Then before going to sleep I printed it off and tatted the first row.

As I was nodding off to sleep I started thinking about tatting a back for the bag and how I might attach it to the front. I thought that the back could be quite plain and rows of ring and chain would do the job. Then I thought a row of split rings in the shape of a rectangle around the flower, would frame the flower and give me a base for attaching the back to it.

So when I woke up, I cut off the chains I had added around the front and just tatted a long string of split rings. I laid them around the flower, tying them where the frame and flower touched and when I knew what I needed, I cut off my trial bit of ring and chain and did it again, joining in the appropriate places.

When it came to doing the back I thought about adding more sequins and what I was hoping for was loose floppy sequins that shimmered together in rows. I went looking for sequins with a single hole along the edge, instead of the ones I have with a hole in the middle, but I couldn't find any. So I had to use what I have. Pinned in the middle, these sequins don't shimmer and shake. Since my foundation frame row was in split rings, it just seemed practical to continue that way and I very carefully tatted my first row, starting at the top.

About 2 rings in it occurred to me that if the sequins needed to be hung from the top, then I'd be doing joins and adding sequins at the same point which might be awkward and difficult. So I retro tatted everything and started again at the bottom. Of course the bottom of the bag has to be attached as well, so that just made the first row that much harder to do. I was being very careful not to repeat the same mistake I made on the bookmark so I was quite particular as to which side I was spearing the sequin on so that they all laid in the same direction.

When I hit the end of the row, I needed to join to the bottom, join to the flower frame on the side, add a sequin and, of course. climb out right where the sequin was, to the next row. I was adding the sequins in the same way you'd do a bead join and it needed a stitch after it to hold everything in place. There ISN'T a stitch after when you are climbing out. So I removed a stitch before the sequin join, made the join and added the last stitch. Which means that the sequins where I climbed out aren't exactly in the middle of the side of the ring.

As I was doing the next row, I realized that I could either do a lock join on the split side of the split ring, or I could do it the normal way. The lock join on top of the sequin looked ugly, so I went for my normal join. Several times the split rings snagged and didn't want to close. It might have been the sequins or it might have been the thread. The Mocha Brown Lizbeth is the first Lizbeth thread that I have had that has slubs. Most of them have been tiny loose excess bits of fluff along the thread, but a couple of them were bigger and made for less than smooth ring closing.

After I'd done a few rows, I noticed something. Not all of my sequins were facing the same way. I think it was when I had to climb out through a split ring while adding a sequin that threw me off, or maybe it was tatting in the dark while watching TV, or the fact that my little container of sequins got spilled all over the couch. After the first backward sequin, 2 rows back, I stopped caring. I just wanted this thing finished. When I got to the end I decided I wanted a little something along the top of the bag to cover over the picots that were folded down to make the sequins lay over the rings. So I added a row of chains along the top and a long row of split rings for a hanging chain.

I could have re-worked the front so that there were brown rings connecting the flower to the frame, but I'm done with this so I cut a length of ribbon and tucked it in the bag. If I were going to use it to hold something I'd sew the sides of the ribbon closed, but as it is, I'm done. Nothing left but to sew in ends and scan it.
Here it is, front and back.

That's when I noticed THIS.

Give me a break. What is a pink sequin doing in a container of yellow ones? And why didn't I notice it until I was scanning it?

Monday, May 02, 2011

Credentials? 210 plus

In the last couple of weeks I've had emails from people that seem to suggest that they are trying to find out what kind of tatting credentials I have. The simple answer of course is NONE. I don't pretend to have any kind of qualifications except that I like tatting and I tat a whole bunch, all the time. At the table, watching TV, walking down the street, in line at the bank and the grocery store, in waiting rooms, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, lying down, standing up, sitting still, in my sleep. A lot of tatting.

Have I taught tatting? Yep. One on one, in groups, on line, on the phone, over the internet. If someone will sit still long enough I'll try to teach them to tat.

What makes me qualified to teach people to design tatting? Nothing much. Just over 210 published patterns  in 4 books and 24 newsletters and a whole bunch more like this one that may or may or become what it's intended to be.

This is just for Fox, a beginning possibility for that sequin project we were talking about. It might work. I'll just have to tweak it a bit to see.