Thursday, October 29, 2009

All that glitters isn't beads

I really challenged the ladies by throwing split rings at them last week and split rings with beads at the same time was way too much too soon. So taking a step back I rethought the process and came up with this:

It's the same basic idea with rings off the top of the chains added. In place of the beads we have size 10 thread with a metallic filament. Sparkle without hassle. Each of the ladies managed about one third of a snowflake during class. If they work on it at home, they should have one finished or nearly finished, by next week and we'll do another the same. Not spectacular, but at least it is something that they will be able to do and display on their Christmas tree.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Square Daisy

A round daisy in a square motif.

This is one of the designs in my new book Marvellous Motifs. I was playing around with square motifs, but I wanted a daisy in the middle of one and this was the results. When I had tatted it the first time I did it again in size 80 thread and it looked like it would work well as either earrings or as a pendant. The heart shaped bead was a perfect match and all I did was take the end of the ball thread on the last chain, feed it through the heart around a small pearl and back through the heart before I finished the chain. I quite like the way it looks and although I don't wear much tatted jewelry, this is one I will be wearing.

Still no web page for the book but the pricing in Canadian funds is:
Canada $20
USA $21
International $23

If you are interested email me and I can send you a PayPal invoice for it. My email address:
tatdlace at gagechek dot com.

Friday, October 23, 2009


For the last 8 weeks I've been teaching a beginner's class in tatting at the local (well it's not so local, it's on the other side of town) seniors centre. It's a 2 hour class and for the first class some of the ladies thought it was just a social gathering. Sorry folks, I'm getting paid to teach and that's what I'm going to do. After some initial grumbling about, I'm too old for this, and nobody told me I'd have to think, we got down to tatting.

Day one we did chains in 2 colours of thread. Day 2 we started the beginner pattern flower bookmark in the sidebar. It's still mostly chains. Most of them came back the next week with a creditable bookmark and I started them on a small beaded zipper pull. It was just 4 rings with beads and they had it half done in class, but most of them failed to finish it. So I went back to a plain ring and chain edging. They got the flip down so that they're tatting OK, it's the joins that seem to be causing them grief.

I want to get them to the point of knowing rings, chains, split rings, split chains and beads so that by Christmas they can do this:

Sorry for the crappy picture, it wouldn't stop spinning. We did the beaded snowflake in class. It's just ring and chain with 3 beads in the centre of the chain to make a point. Most of them got it. One of the ladies really got into it, finished one snowflake and made another on her own.

Last week I showed them this ball without the middle band of split rings. I showed them that it was just 2 snowflakes laced together. They were quite impressed and it gave them something to work toward. When I pushed the middle band on the ball it really wowed them and gave them the desire to get split rings. I think the idea that they already had the skills to make it really helped give them the incentive to keep going.

Next week I'm going to get them to finish the second snowflake, although for some of them it may be just the one. We only have 4 more classes and I want them to know that they CAN tat on their own. Some are really trying to learn, but others, I think, just want the company.

They've asked if I'm going to do another class for the winter session. I've agreed to it although they may not run the class unless there are more people signed up for it. Most of the ladies want to come back for more so I guess we'll see.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Failed Designs

For the Design Tat class here are a couple of doilies created from pictures. The first is called Elephant Flake because this attempt at a snowflake came out in huge proportions. It's 10 inches from point to point and big enough to be called a doily, but it's really too open.
The second one looked good on the drawing board but failed in execution. The flower shapes are apparent t the points only because the open chains take nothing away from them. Of course the open chains lack the structure to allow it to hold it's shape and the method of tatting withe chains in the middle of the flowers worked but it was a sloppy way of achieving the design. Which is why it's not been blocked or drawn because I consider it a failed design.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Look what Wendy did with the design from Marvellous Motifs

When I created the Irish Rose Motif in the Marvellous Motifs book I knew that it and the companion design would fit together. The original pair shown on the front cover made a pretty little pin cushion so I knew the motifs would fit together but I didn't know how they would look done as a checkerboard style mat and I was really curious, but didn't think I had the time to tat up a sample for the book so I asked some of the folks on the tatting lists if they would like to try it out. Wendy was one of those brave enough to give it a whirl. She chose 3 different yellow/gold colours for the roses and a pale variegated green for the background colour.

While everyone was busy tatting away, it occurred to me that I tat pretty fast and maybe I could tat it. The other thing I realized after I had sent out the appeal for help, was that if it needed adjustment I wouldn't know where or by how much unless I did it myself. So I started whipping through the design, just doing the base rose so that I could see the shape/size results.

Once I had the 9 motifs completed, it kind of looked unfinished so after a couple of tries I worked out a finishing row and sent it out to the various test tatters so they could have nice finished pieces too. Wendy sent me a picture of her partially completed piece and we discussed using the background colour or the rose colour for the edging. I used the background colour for the model I did. Wendy used the rose colour and I like hers better, but you can judge for yourself. Mine was filmed sitting on the rock outside which isn't flat and explains it's less than square appearance. Here's a picture of mine so you can compare.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Busier than a one armed paper hanger

That's how I've been feeling. I'm trying to tat all of the designs from the Design-Tat course and I don't have a lot of time for it right now. I've just returned from the tatting class I teach at the senior's centre. The ladies are all enthusiastic, although some of them are telling me that I'm giving them headaches. We're only working with simple ring and chain designs so it's hard to imagine that they'd find it difficult. They seem flummoxed when I tell them they CAN do it. I think they're used to people who dumb things down for seniors and I just refuse to let them quit.

We started with the Flower Bookmark, it's the Beginner pattern in the sidebar 3 of the ladies completed a bookmark and the next week we went on to working with beads. That seemed to be challenging, so the next week I went back to simple ring and chain edging, but that seemed to confuse them again. This week I did a simple ring and chain snowflake with beads and we got about a third of the way through it in class, so I'm hopeful that by next week they will have made progress.

I took my Marvellous Motifs in for them to look at, but honestly most of the designs are probably beyond them at this point. Still they all seem to want to buy it. There are 6 more weeks of class and they should have a good grasp of it by then, at least everything except clunies, but I'm hoping we get to them as well.

Speaking of Marvellous Motifs I was able to get to the post office and get the shipping costs so here's the price in Canadian funds including shipping.

Canada $20
USA $21
International $23

Hubby is working on a project for a client and so it's not up on the web site yet, but if you email me I can send you a PayPal invoice for it. My email address:

tatdlace at gagechek dot com.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I'm stuffed! We have had our Thanksgiving dinner, an enormous turkey with mashed potatoes and gravy, broccoli, cauliflower, corn and baked sweet potatoes. Both of us are replete with dinner and the apple pie and ice cream planned for dessert, will have to wait. I'm thankful for the abundance of food, for the luxury of being able to cook a festive dinner and enjoy it in peace. I am thankful that I live in a country where folks mostly get along. There isn't a war going on around me like there is in some parts of the world. I am thankful that I have the freedom to do things I enjoy doing like tatting. I'm thankful for a wonderful husband who supports my efforts in whatever I attempt.

As good as all that is, I am most thankful that Jesus laid aside His Divine nature and became a man showing us how to live. Then He died as a sacrifice for all mankind that whoever would choose to believe in Him could come under that banner of His love and forever be united to God. I am thankful that I made that choice and was accepted into the family of God. I am thankful that every day He is my source and my supply. He meets all my needs and his well of love never runs dry, He is never too tired to listen, never too weak to save. On the contrary, the same power that allowed him to take His life back up again after He laid it down as a sacrifice for all, works now in Him to bring all mankind to Himself.

Thank You God! You're the Greatest!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Marvellous Motifs

After what has seemed like an interminable amount of time I can finally show you my latest project. I started about a year ago working on square motifs that could be used for a larger project like a shawl. I wanted something that was not too open so that it could be made in a thicker thread which would work up faster and still be lacy. Then I got side tracked and started working on hearts and one thing led to another.

I've been trying to keep up with work and the 25 Motif Challenge and the Round Robins and the Design-Tat course and more recently I've been teaching the seniors to tat at the local rec centre, in between which we've had some fun going on with car repairs and the launch of new software and... Well, you get the idea.

Today I finally managed to get the first few copies of my newest book done. Marvellous Motifs containing 19 versatile patterns. Here's a sneak peek of the front cover. Ordering information will be posted as soon as I know what the shipping costs will be.
I was able to get to the post office and get the shipping costs so here's the price in Canadian funds including shipping.

Canada $20
USA $21
International $23

Hubby is working on a project for a client and so it's not up on the web site yet, but if you email me I can send you a PayPal invoice for it. My email address:
tatdlace at gagechek dot com.