Friday, January 30, 2009

What'll I do?

I have just had a rummage through my tatting stuff and realized that I have a bunch of tatting I don't quite know what to do with. I'm a designer and almost everything that comes off my shuttles is an original one of a kind something or other. Sometimes I design things because I'm making a gift for someone. Sometimes I'm just trying ideas out to see how they'd look. After looking at the crocheted tablecloth whose pattern reminded me of rings I tried to duplicate part of the design in tatting and produced a doily which was given to my sister in law. I had to re-tat this one in order to create the pattern for the newsletter.
This Gothic choker just kind of made itself. Unfortunately I don't know anyone with Gothic tastes to gift it to.

Then there was this 38 inch edging of hearts that I thought I'd add on to a pillowcase, but it needed a foundation row to make it straight along the top edge. I got bored with it and never made the second edging.

I had this bag of bright sparkly red beads that turned into this romantic necklace, but I don't know anyone who would wear it.

Then there was the time I was playing with celtic tatting and did this interwoven design for any eye glass case. I wear glasses, but being nearsighted, I never take them off and have no use for an eye glasses case.

This necklace is an excuse to play with bugle beads.

I don't like the way the op of the heart pattern worked out so I re-designed it.

Then there is my recent experiment with sequins.

So I have these and other pieces languishing in my supply box and I'm wondering what to do with them. It seems a shame that no one gets to enjoy them. Maybe I ought to start an Etsy shop just to clear out my supply cabinet. What do you think? Are these pieces people would be interested in or would handling an Etsy shop just mean more work and time taken away from tatting?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Books, Design Challenge and Mail Call

Look what the mailman brought! It's a lovely card from Maria who is one of the participants in the 25 Motif Challenge and in the recently completed Snowflake Round Robin. The card shows sightseeing trolley in her home of Portugal. Included with the card is a beautiful snowflake she tatted and put in in a bright red bag. The pattern is based on a design in the Burda magazine. Isn't it wonderful?
I have been tatting but I haven't posted much recently because I've been tied up with some other projects. There are some new round robins about to start. I just need people to tell me what they would like to be making. If you haven't had a chance to look at the round robin blog, go look now, but make sure you take tissue with you so you can wipe the drool off your keyboard.

Another project that I'm trying to get under way is the Tatting Books blog for all of our wonderful tatting authors. It's a blog where they can post pictures of their books and information on where to get them. So many of our talented folks have started producing books and a lot of them are self published and not available in stores. Sometimes we just don't know what books there are or where to get them, so I am hoping that if each person enters their own book data that it will help them to be more visible and it will help tatters to find all these terrific publications. The blog is in it's infancy and the only way people can add their information is if I send out an invitation from the blog. So if anyone has a book and hasn't been sent an invitation, please email me so that I can get you added. If I missed anyone, I promise, it isn't intentional, I'm trying to reach as many book authors as I can find. I have been linking to the Tatting Books blog on all of the blogs I manage, but for some reason my personal blog here doesn't seem to have the same format.

On to the next project. I have uploaded an new entry for the Design Challenge. This challenge is to take a basic rose and make something with it. You have probably seen the rose centred snowflake collection by Denise Munoz and that's one thing you can do with a rose. You could make it the centre of a round motif or a square motif, or make it into a bookmark or a heart or whatever else you can dream up. So there's the challenge. So let's see what you can come up with that has a rose as it's base.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More Fun with Sequins

OK so if I'm working on designing a square motif that can be used to make a shawl, why am I still playing with sequins? I don't know, but if someone figures it out can you clue me in? I tatted the medallion again just because it looked like it would fit in a bangle. It does, sort of. I could add another row or change the last row to make it fit better, but I've already fallen out of love with this design. I might do it again adding matching beads to the outer round to make it more sparkly.
Maybe my lack of enthusiasm is because I've already done it a few times. I re-did it in red and black, which I thought might look really dramatic and it might have with different sequins. These particular red sequins are transparent and they don't have enough colour value to stand out against the deep dark black thread. I may try some other thread and sequin colour combinations some time because I think it might have possibilities. I suppose what puts me off a little is just the idea of lace mixed with plastic. I made the necklace in the last post and I don't know anyone who would wear it. It's too... chintzy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sequin Necklace

I was doodling with sequins and look what happened. Now that I've made this, I'm not sure what to do with it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mystery revealed

With square motifs I always want to do 4 so that I can see what the connecting corners look like, so is it any surprise that if I work on a six sided motif that I want to see what their connecting corners look like? The mystery bit that I was working on has evolved into this. Did you guess what it was? I'm not sure if I like it or not. I mean I like how it looks, but it needed some serious blocking to lay flat. I pulled it off the shuttles, cut off about 30 already hidden ends from adding in new thread, sewed in 14 finishing ends and dry pinned it to my blocking board at about 5 last night. Er... make that about 5 AM this morning. Once I got the last bit done I was determined to see how it looked finished and I just kept going until my curiosity was satisfied.
Now that it's done to this point I'm wondering if I should just leave it as is or add a finishing row. I'm not crazy about designs with rings on the outer edge. They may look good but the rings often twist and turn every time the lace is moved so my usual preference is to add a row to nail them in place, although the extra row may actually detract from the overall design on this one.

For the stats, it's worked in size 8 perle cotton and it took less that 2 balls of thread and it's produced a doily about 10 inches across. There are 7-three row motifs in it and a motif can be completed in a single evening. So one week's worth of tatting can produce a respectable size doily with lots of interest. I joined only the larger central ring at the points, but now that it's completed I am wondering if it would look as good, or better if the smaller side rings were joined too, or would that make it pucker. I suppose I'll never know because now that the mystery of how it looks is solved I'm done with this design. I've done the same thing nearly 9 times once as the first trial, once to see if a slight adjustment to the central ring was sufficient to straighten it out and 7 more to see what it looks like. Now it's time to move on to something else.

....unless I add a row...

So now I am at that place I hate to be. In between design ideas. Once I start an idea I can happily march on tatting furiously day after day as I search for the finished design. Often new designs are at work in my head as my hands are working so that I can't wait for this project to be finished so that I can start the next. But sometimes I finish a project and there is a complete blank. Oh there are things I could do, just nothing that really intrigues me, nothing that grabs my attention and says "Create me!"

Maybe I need to doodle with adding a row and see if in the middle inspiration hits. Then again maybe I need to play with some of the images in my drawing file and see about turning them into something interesting. Maybe I should go back to square motifs and see what I can come up with that works well for a shawl. Maybe take a break from bigger stuff and work on earrings and necklaces for a bit. Maybe I should play around with some button designs. Maybe I should work on a tatted bag design. Maybe a pillow would be nice. Maybe a baby outfit. Maybe.........

Friday, January 09, 2009

I wonder what it is

Well we finally found a deadlock that would fit the door. The lock has been replaced and the door and frame touched up where the repairs damaged it. Yesterday was spent travelling around with hubby while we tried to get parts for some other repair job. It never ceases to amaze me that little jobs the other half is doing always seem to require my time. Not that I'm useful for doing any of the actual repair work, but I always seem to be needed to just hold stuff. You know the kind of thing I mean, "Honey can you hold the light." or "Could you get my screwdriver?" or "Hold these pieces for me." or "Hold this part steady while I work on it." Not that I'm complaining. Some of the escapades of other people that I have read recently leave me everlastingly grateful that I have a talented hubby that can fix almost anything. My only objection is that while I am standing around holding things, I'm not tatting.

This little snippet is a piece that I'm working on which should take another 3 or 4 days to finish. I have been planing a lot of "quick" designs but they keep taking longer than anticipated because I keep making them bigger. It's like the square motifs. One is nice but questions like, "how does it look as a grouping?" keeps me busy on designs that are basically finished.

Any guesses as to what this one is?

Monday, January 05, 2009

Locked IN

We had just finished supper tonight when hubby went to check outside. The problem was, he couldn't get the door to unlock. The knob turned but the latch didn't move. There are worse things that can happen, we could have been locked OUT by a broken lock, but it's definitely one of those things that's in the "need to fix immediately" category.

Now some guys are at a loss as to what to do in this kind of a situation, but I'm fortunate to be married to my own Mr Fix It. He's not the Tim Allen kind of guy who immediately looks for an excuse to get out the power tools and sends saner people running for cover. He's the genuine article. If it's broke and he can't fix it, it can't be fixed, or it just isn't worth the man hours involved.

So how do you get to a lock that's broken inside the door? You hacksaw through the deadbolt using the blade of a hacksaw without the frame. The blade would pass between the door and the frame, but nothing else would. Now remember, the door is closed and on the other side of the deadbolt is the framing for the door that stops drafts and deadbolts are meant to keep people out so they are made of hardened steel. So after removing the blade from the saw, he proceeded in tiny motions to cut through the deadbolt. Forward half an inch, hit the frame and back half an inch. Little by little the steel bolt was cut through and the door opened.

The joy of freedom at last, was soon replaced by the knowledge that now we needed to replace the hacksawed deadbolt. The lock when it was removed revealed a sheered off section which pulled on the bolt to retract it into the door. The part had broken and fallen down inside the mechanism in such a way that the only way to get it out was to turn it upside down. Easy to do with it removed from the door, but impossible while still installed.

We made an emergency run to Home Depot and got a replacement lock. Unfortunately, the new round deadbolt doesn't fit in the old rectangular hole. He can make the hole round, but we're thinking that maybe there is a model available that won't require alterations to the door to fit. So tomorrow we'll be on the hunt for a new lock.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Time for a new tatting community challenge

We started the 25 Motif Challenge in August 2006 when Gina and Wally were talking about tatting a whole bunch of motifs in a set period of time. Then the discussion crossed over to several other lists and a lot of people expressed interest. Some people have a lot of tatting time and others only have an hour or so a day so after kicking the idea around for a while we decided on 25 motifs in a year. Almost 3 years later people are still joining the challenge.

Of course some people joined, finished and that was the end of it. Those people need a new challenge, something different, that like the 25 Motif Challenge people can work on their own projects at their own pace. So I've been pondering what new challenge everyone would like to be involved in. Something fun, something a little challenging, something that most tatters can do. There's no point in having a project that only designers can participate in because that excludes a big chunk of the tatting community.

Since a lot of people had tatted 25 somethings I thought of maybe a multi motif project like a tatted mat, or a teddy bear jacket or something that would incorporate a couple dozen motifs. Of course I realize that the motifs that some people had done were things like earrings so they couldn't be incorporated into anything else.

Then I thought maybe a group project like tatted bits to go on a quilt that could be auctioned off and the proceeds sent to some universal charitable organization like the Red Cross.

Or tatted hearts or something to be sent to a local women's shelter along the lines of the comfort dolls.

Or a challenge to create something extraordinary in tatting like a model space ship, Eiffel tower, bikini, or whatever your imagination can come up with.

Or a quarterly competition to make the most interesting, bracelet or necklace, or bookmark or, pincushion decorated with tatting or hair comb or other types of things.

How about some other ideas? Is there something you can think of that a lot of other people would like to try too? Suggestions anyone?

Friday, January 02, 2009


What happened? It isn't square.

Amended to add: Motif stats, 4 inches from point to point using size 20 thread. Seven repeats of the drawing look like it will make a pretty doily. By the way, notice anything familiar about it?

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Square Trial 4

Here's the next one. I don't like it at all. I knew I wouldn't even before I tatted it because I could tell from the drawing that it would leave too much space between motifs. The only way to join this one is at the corners, which will leave a large empty diamond shape between motifs. For that reason I'm discarding this one as a potential candidate. Besides, it's only 3.5 inches across which isn't big enough for what I want.

I did put a picture together of 4 of them as you can see here. Notice the large gap between the motifs? I think it would need a small fill in motif to make it use able for my purpose. The idea of having to tat more pieces and have more ends to hide isn't something I want in a project that is already likely to be large enoughI knew there was something wrong with it because even though it's unblocked it should have looked more square than this. Then I noticed that I joined one of the cloverleafs to the top instead of the side of the ring adjacent. That's what has it looking rather skewed where the left and right sides meet. The gap should look like the one between the top and bottom pair.

This design does have one thing in it's favour. You can make a diagonal motif and still be able to tat it. I started the design along one side, but I could have started it at the point. If the pattern were cut in half you could either leave the small inner rings off or use them as connection points for an outer edging or for some other part of a garment. If I were making a triangular shawl, I'd probably create and edging that would join to those unattached rings. A lot of the time when a triangular piece is needed, it's because it has to fit at armholes or necklines of a vest or jacket so those extra rings would come in handy for fitting to the required shape.

I have another drawing I need to tat up to see how it will look, then it's back to the drawing board to work on some other designs.

By the way, all of these square designs, they weren't originally square. I have some interesting ideas I'm playing around with. Stay tuned for more fun stuff.