Friday, April 25, 2008

Transitions in Tatting from Flat to Floral

The Transitions in Tatting from Flat to Floral book is printed and the order form is up on the web site now. Click here for more information and the link to the order form.
The cost of the book including shipping is:
if using Pay Pal:
Canada $32.65 Canadian
US $36.40 Canadian
International $42.80 Canadian
If paying by cheque/check
Canada $32.65 Canadian
US $37.55 US or $36.40 International Money order in Canadian funds
International $42.80 International Money Order in Canadian funds.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Catching up

I haven't had much time to blog recently. I have my personal blog where I post, strangely enough, my personal stuff mostly about tatting. Then there is the huge time sucking black hole that is the 25 Motif Challenge blog, and more recently the Round Robin blog. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing all the wonderful tatting everyone else is doing and I don't mind pulling it all together so that the whole tatting community has a sort of central place to check in and see what's happening. It's just that I feel a need to keep it relatively current and sometimes real life has a way of taking up blogging time.

I began in December working on some new designs for the February TLPC newsletter. One of these required working a lot of split chains some of which needed split chains joined to split chains and even after it was completed it didn't look like what it was supposed to be. For the curious, it's a flat rosebud. Now that you know what it is, can you see even a remote resemblance? No? That's why it didn't make it into the newsletter.

Then there were the little square motives I did with woven picots. They looked really cute and I though they'd make a nice bookmark. I forgot that when I was finished with a square I had no way of going from the chain at the base of the dimpled ring into the next square. After some mental gymnastics where I considered SCMRs, split chains incorporating woven chains and other complicated variations, I scrapped the idea of square and went with this model.

Then there was this project. Any guesses? I know what I was aiming for. This isn't it. There's possibilities, maybe, if you stand with your head sideways... Maybe not. Scratch another design.

Then I started in on a design idea that I've wanted to try for a long time. I used to do a lot of petit point. Most of it was done with one strand of embroidery floss on 40 mesh to the inch silk. The one on the left is about a half inch from top to bottom and mounted in a pendant. Tiny. I have always wondered if you could take a petit point chart and tat one of these little guys.

I took one of the simplest charts I had with the fewest number of colours (after all, for every colour I'd need a ball of thread) and I went looking for all of the colours in perle cotton. Some people may not realize that Anchor and DMC use the same colours and dye lots for both their embroidery thread and their perle cotton Since size 8 perle cotton compares with size 20 crochet cotton (Anchor is a smidgen finer) I figured I could use perle cotton. I couldn't find them. At least I couldn't find all of the colours I needed in the stores I could physically go into and I didn't want to take a chance of ordering online waiting for it to come and then finding out one shade was on back order or something. I knew I could get the colours in embroidery floss and I knew that 3 strands of embroidery floss would come out to roughly size 20 so I got my skeins of floss and started on the design.

I needed something that would give me a small square of colour so I settled on a tiny 4 ring motif. That would let me work from side to side or up and down as the chart required. When working in petit point you usually start with the darker colours first because the threads can become soiled with handling and petit point doesn't get washed. With tatting it was necessary to start where the design could be built on colour by colour so it started with the lightest colour.

It was challenging to not only tat the piece but to work from the front and the back and plan the direction of work so as not to miss tatting one little square. I had to retro tat several times because I ended up needing my shuttles to be in a different position to continue.

I like it, I think. It looks kind of pixelated but from a distance, it's clearly a rose. It's 5.25 inches square and it would make a nice patch for something maybe a pieced throw pillow or a placemat. Without the background colour it could be sewn onto the back of a jacket or on a large pocket, or a wide waistband, or maybe appliqued on a bag. Now that it's done I'm not exactly sure what to do with it. It's kind of like an oil painting. Up close all you can see is colour and brush strokes, but from a distance it's a picture with depth and texture. Drawing the design seems like it would be very easy since it's just a repeated 4 ring motif. However I found it hard to clearly explain where to put each bit of colour and how to tat it so that it could all be worked continuously. There are 196 tiny motives and each one needed to be placed precisely so I couldn't just say work like previous one, I need to mark every single ring in the whole design. It took 7 tries to get it right.

One thing is for sure, it's another of those "I wonder if" things that I can check off my to do list.