Sunday, 15 September 2019

Pattern Winners

It's late o'clock on Sunday so I visited the random number generator website and asked for three numbers from 1 to 31... and the numbers that came up are?

11, 27, and 28

Comment no. 11 was from TattingLinda
Comment no. 27 was from rosmarie48
Comment no. 28 was from Robin Perfetti

I have contact details for TattingLinda and Robin but rosmarie48, please contact me using the link in the right side bar to let me know your email address so I can send you the pattern!

Thank you for taking part and for leaving lovely comments everyone!  I'm hoping to have another pattern coming up very soon.

Calixa is also now available in my Etsy shop!

Best wishes,

Thursday, 12 September 2019

New Snowflake Calixa - Pattern Giveaway

As I mentioned before, I ended up creating several different design from the same snowflake inspiration.  I'm still working on the pattern for the one that most looks like the real snowflake (see this post)... but in the meantime, I finally got one version ready.  The initial design idea came together quite quickly but then I spent an enormous amount of time on making different samples to get the stitch count right.

I'm still not completely sure... but I decided enough is enough
and I'm stopping here.  I could keep fiddling with it forever!

Real snowflakes are more angular than tatting and are made of straight lines rather than curves.  For this reason, I like using lock chains as I have in this design:  it's the one tatting technique that produces straight lines.  You can see I have used lock chains in several places in my Calixa snowflake.  It is tatted in two rounds but in one pass, using split rings to move from round one to round two.

I'm giving away three copies of the pattern so if you'd like one, please leave a comment.  This is going to be a quick draw - I'll activate the random number selector on Sunday!  I'll also probably list it in my shop before Sunday... if you can't wait! :-)

I hope to finish the other pattern in the next few weeks so it's available well before Christmas.  I'm about to start my studies again, and am currently catching up on work I should have been doing this summer so I'm pleased to have been able to complete at least one pattern before the start of university.

Best wishes,

P.S.  I thank you in advance for the comments - but I hope you'll forgive me if I don't reply individually for this blogpost as it makes it more difficult to count for the draw!  :-)

Sunday, 8 September 2019

New Earrings

That's it:  summer's over!  It just went by too quickly.  Everybody is soon returning to their studies (some have already).  I made a batch of blackberry jam from the hedgerows today and also apple and blackberry crumbles and pies.

I wanted to make a new pair of earrings for my daughter.  She does like my tatted earrings and wears some frequently so I thought it would be nice to come up with a new design for her.  I decided to use a plastic ring for the centre to give the earrings more stability and weight, and to help them keep their shape when worn.  I drew an incredibly quick sketch (you can see how dreadful it looks!) and then just started tatting.  The pink version is the first one I made to test the idea and then I made the burgundy pair (one of her favourite colours).

(sorry, evening photos, lighting not very good)

Yes, I think I'm happy with those.
It's late evening now so I'll look forward to seeing them on her ears tomorrow!

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

The Joys of Summer Holidays

I love the summer holidays.  We're lucky to have a special place to go to and it's been wonderful to get all the children together to enjoy it with them once again.  They are now older and studying in various places so we don't get to see them as much as we'd like to.

This summer turned out to be the holiday of "art".  We've been drawing and painting and I've really enjoyed it.  Drawing has never been my forte and I wanted to practice to get better.  It's surprising what you can achieve when you put your mind to it!

One of my daughters has been really good at advising me and giving me tips on how to draw certain things, how to look at angles and really trying to draw what you see and not what you think you see!! That's the most difficult thing!

I needed to draw trees in the background of the drawing above and felt that I did know how so I did a little tree practice....  They are too detailed for what I needed but it was a good exercise in observation.

The last one is a type of tree I'd seen on the beaches in Australia and really liked the shape and look of.  At the time I had been disappointed in not being able to draw them... so I had another go after my tree practice:

I think it's a type of cypress?

A little local scene...

And one last photo of little treasures from the forest.  We love going on walks in the surrounding forest and there's always lots of pretty things to see and collect.

Lastly, I've been trying my best to get a pattern written up for my snowflake... but I keep being distracted by other things!  The stitch count is still not perfect so I find myself making yet another sample... and another... and meanwhile the pattern doesn't get written!

I hope you are all enjoying a lovely summer.

Best wishes,

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Snowflake Multiples

I thought it would be interesting to see how the snowflake from the previous post would look like repeated. It might make a nice larger piece if I could then come up with an outline design.

A nice little shuttle shape appears between the motifs...
And if you squint, you can see a new,
negative space snowflake. 

Can you see it?

Best wishes,

Friday, 12 July 2019

New Snowflake for 2019

As I said in a previous post, I was rather sad that I didn't manage to create a new snowflake design for 2018.  So I thought I'd work on one now, in the summer, while I'm on break from university as I know I'll get busy again in September and might not find time then.

I love looking for inspiration in real snowflakes and trying to recreate their shapes with my shuttles.  One of the favourite books I own is a book of real snowflake photos by Wilson Bentley (thank you to my friend H. for so kindly sending it to me).

This is the one that caught my eye this time as I was leafing through its pages....

And this is the resulting tatted snowflake:

Real snowflakes are angular, with some curves, yes,  but also with straight lines and sharp points... whereas tatting is mostly round and curvy.  It's therefore not always obvious how to recreate the shape of a real snowflake with rings and chains.  In this case, I made use of lock chains which are straight and also produce a nice sharp angle where they meet under the two small rings.

I'm showing them again smaller so it's easier to see the overall shape.  There are still some changes I'd like to make... but if I don't get any closer, I'll still be happy with this version.

This wasn't my first iteration...  there were many!  Another that I liked and which came before the one above is the one below.  It's nowhere as near to the real snowflake but I was happy with this design too.  It still needs a bit of work but I will probably write a pattern for that one as well.  I particularly like the shape of the points.

In fact I made many different snowflakes that I like or from which I liked various elements.  Here's a bad (low light) photo of them on my table last night.  They're all slightly different... and I still have more ideas I want to try!  So maybe I'll make up for last year by having two this year.

As you can see, my testing has enabled me to make many versions and samples - there are even more than the ones shown on the photo - so that I'll have most of my snowflakes ready to send to friends and family in their Christmas cards when the time comes (I can't believe I dared to say the "C" word in July!!).

Best wishes

Sunday, 7 July 2019

And the Winners Are...

There were 23 entries (the comments heading showed 25 but one was a reply to a comment and another was from Michelle who stated she didn't want to be entered in the draw, so that made 23).

The random number generator said:

When I counted to 13 and 15, I skipped Michelle's comment and that gave Stephanie's comment and Margaret's.  You are the winners!  I will be sending you the pattern and a kit bag to make the Star Bag.  Congratulations!  Please send me a private message with your postal address and I will be shipping you the kit this week.  I hope you'll enjoy making the bag.

On another note, I'm excited to say that I have been working on a new snowflake design for 2019... and yes!  I have one!  I looked through my real snowflake book again for inspiration and I have been tatting some samples.  I now need to write the pattern up... and hope you'll find it appealing!

Best wishes,