Wednesday 30 May 2012

Simple, simple.

Inspired by Fox's project, I decided it was time I also tackled a new hanky.  Seems like ages since I made one.  Mother-in-law will be pleased, she needs a new one for her collection.  But for a change from (one of!) my other current project which is the slightly more complicated butterfly doily, I fancied something really simple, with one shuttle only.

Here is what I started:

Ok, started counting again and this is motif 7 of second 25-motif challenge

I'm making holes with a large needle right on the edge of the hanky as I go along and attaching the little rings into the holes.  I don't often attach as I tat, but in this case, I thought it would work well.  I improvised the corner when I got to it and am only eyeballing the distance between the holes.  So, as you can see, this is a really "chilled out" project.  Easy.

Best wishes,

Monday 21 May 2012

Tat-ilicious Indeed!

I received my first purchase from Jess at Tat-ilicious and I was not disappointed - I love the colour!  I shall be keeping an eye on what else she comes up with...

Earrings tatted in "Chilled", size 20.

Best wishes,

Saturday 19 May 2012

Marie's Marvellous Gift

Yes, the same Marie of Marie Smith's Split Chain Method - now known to me as "The Wonderful Marie"... has sent me something in the post.  And what a beautiful surprise it was!  She had told me of her beaded shuttle bags and shown me some pictures and even explained to me how they are made.  But it's nothing compared to how lovely this little bag is in real life!  It looks and even feels amazing.  This one is tatted in silk and has a gorgeous sheen and soft quality and it looks just incredible with the iridescent beads.  She had previously asked me what colours I like and the little bag is a perfect shade of pale greeny-blue (perhaps it looks more blue in the photos than IRL), just the kind of colour that appeals to me.

I'm totally enamoured with it!

Slightly darker photo with shuttle peaking out of it.

And there are hundreds of beads in this little bag,
there must be hours and hours of work involved.

for such a beautiful gift.

Best wishes,

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Yarnplayer Perfection

As mentioned yesterday, the Keyed Up earrings in Marilee Rockley's new book "Tatted Jewelry" were shouting to be made straight away.  I really like the shape of them, perfectly balanced.

Tatted in Lizbeth 20, Country Turquoise (Med.)
In the book, one sample pair has little keys dangling from them, hence the name, but I didn't have any and anyway, I love pearls so I added freshwater pearls on mine and silver-lined seed beads on the centre ring.

And I tatted these FSBS!  I figured that they would always be seen from the front so this would be one circumstance where FSBS is worth it.

Lovely pattern, thank you Marilee.  Quick to make and very pleasing result.  Now just need to find something in my wardrobe to go with these earrings so I can wear them today...

Best wishes,

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Twilight Zone Earrings

A tatting friend kindly sent me a sample of Yarnplayer's "Twilight Zone".  I had seen a doily she had tatted with it and when I mentioned how pretty the colours were and that this shade had sold out - she sent me some to try! - aren't tatting people great?!  I knew I wanted to make something "for me" with that thread.

So here is what I made.

A pretty pair of earrings which I am wearing right now.
I added a black freshwater pearl to the centre.

The pattern is just a classic repeated 6 rings and chains and has another layer added in the centre to make them more three-dimensional.

I'm having a "Yarnplayer day" as just this morning I received her latest book, Tatted Jewelry, in the post (was delighted to find it in  There is a pair of earrings in there that is shouting really loudly and I think I'll have to go make them... NOW!

Best wishes,

Saturday 12 May 2012

Doily Progress

Yes, this is still going on in the background.  I must keep the interest up to get to the end...  This is now the second butterfly round.  It is very similar to the first but slightly different.

Those long chains are still annoying me a bit with their unevenness but hopefully they'll blend in more once the whole thing is done and I've pinned and pressed them.

My head is bursting with ideas and I've got so much I want to do... it's just finding the time for it all!!

Hope you're all having a great weekend.  The sun was shining at last today after weeks of rain so it really cheered me up.

I'm adding this paragraph one last time:  don't forget to check out the Marie Smith's Split Chain Post (two posts down) if you've not seen it - I know some people use this technique already but if you've not tried it and don't like split chains, have a go with this method, I'm sure you'll find it easier.  Interestingly, someone has just posted about this method at In Tatters which they found through Jane Eborall's blog - I didn't know she had Marie's method in pictures so you can check that out too if you like.

Best wishes,

Thursday 10 May 2012

Corsage Bracelet

This is TotusMel's Corsage bracelet which she has recently made available on Instructables.  It appealed to me straight away so I had to set to and make it.  I have very few size 10 colours (Lizbeth 10 is not available here in the UK) so out of the six colours I had, I chose one of my favourite blues (Country Turquoise Light) and paired it with Fudge (it probably looks black in the photos but it is a very dark brown).

First of all, what I found out is that TotusMel's needle tatting works out quite a lot bigger than my shuttle tatting:  the bracelet was much too short (though I don't have a particularly large wrist) and there was some tension between the elements (luckily nothing that couldn't be fixed with a light pressing).

Anyway, here's what I ended up with (exactly as per the pattern):
(oh no, not exactly, I used a button instead of a hook & eye closure)

So then I needed to fix the length and didn't want to take it all apart or start again (my size 10 is precious, I don't wan't to waste any!).  So I just tatted another "end piece" with an extra button.  I also felt I wanted the flower to be a bit more three-dimensional so I tatted an additional centre piece and with the right stitch count, made it so that it stands up a bit.

Here's the final version:

Here is what it looks like on:

And finally
I couldn't help taking a picture that showed my nails...
because strangely, the chocolate and blue of the bracelet
ended up matching the funky manicure I'm currently sporting!
(my husband does tell me I like to "play" too much!)

I'm pleased with it, it's a lovely pattern (thank you TotusMel!) and will wear it but with my shuttle tatting, I would have to amend the pattern a bit if I was to make it again.  Has anyone else tried it?

And just in case you haven't seen it, please do take a look at the previous post (I should have waited longer before posting again so more people got to see it, but as usual I was impatient to share what I'd been up to) - Marie Smith's Split Chain Method - Really Worth a Look, don't miss it! Just scroll down, it's the post below.

Best wishes,

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Clever, Clever Split Chain Method

Well, that's what I think anyway!

Along my cybertravels (I do a lot of travelling), I found a video entitled "Cadena Dividida - Método de Marie Smith".  Upon watching said video, I realised that this method was MUCH better than what I had tried to do in the past.  I didn't like split chains.  No, I didn't like split chains.  But after learning this new method, I do!

Unconnected, I ended up exchanging many messages with the wonderful Marie Smith until I eventually realised she was the same Marie Smith of the Split Chain method I'd seen and she was happy for me to make a video of her clever method.  What's particularly great about this method is that it works whether you do traditional or front-side/back-side tatting.  The movements are just reversed.

Although the available video is very good, I still felt that by making another, it would help to widen exposure to Marie's method.  Also the title of the other video is in Spanish which means that people searching for "Split Chain" won't be able to find it.  And one more thing:  the video doesn't show both ways of making the chain.  Great video nonetheless, thank you to the maker for enabling me to discover this method and to Marie for coming up with it!  I love it.

Here is the first video for those who tat using the traditional method:
(ie. always starting elements with the first half of the double stitch)
If you click on the YouTube logo above, you will 
be able to watch the video in larger format.

And here is the second video for those who prefer to tat FSBS:
If you click on the YouTube logo above, you will 
be able to watch the video in larger format.

Perhaps tatters already know this method but it's certainly new to me.  Let me know if you were using it already or what you think of it if it's new to you as well!

Best wishes,

Monday 7 May 2012

In Search of Perfection, continued...

This continues on from the previous post.  I just finished the second motif, done in traditional tatting and I just wanted to post about it straight away.  The discussion is just getting going in the previous post and it's interesting as always.

So here is the same motif, done the traditional way (always starting with the first half of the double stitch, whichever side you're on and only doing up joins - have I got that right??).

By the way, this is "Mixed Bouquet" from the book "A Pattern Book of Tatting"
by Mary Konior

Traditional tatting, front-side

Traditional tatting, back-side

And finally here are both motifs.
FS\BS on top
Traditional tatting on bottom

Does this little experiment make it conclusive to any of you?

Best wishes,

In Search of Perfection...

Since that recent post about front-side/back-side tatting...  I can't stop thinking about it.  I feel perhaps I've not explored the option enough and tested it enough.  I do like to produce the best tatting I can and if that means I need to re-assess the fs/bs method, then I will.

In my last little attempt (see this post), I realise I didn't do the joins properly (up joins on the front and down joins on the back, is that right?).  So today, I tatted this motif by Mary Konior (who didn't do fs/bs tatting from what I can see on her pictures) which has lots of rings and chains and even rings on the backside to better test the look of fs/bs tatting.

Here we go:

This is the motif viewed front-side

And this is the motif viewed back-side

Part of the reason I was resisting using fs/bs tatting before is that I didn't like the idea of having an obvious front and back to my tatting.  I thought by using traditional tatting, both sides would look similar (though not the same).  But in practice, I still found that I preferred one side over the other (the side where the rings face upwards, if that makes sense).  The other reasons were that I didn't enjoy making "up-joins" and that I find it harder to count the stitches on the back-side.  I feel this slows me down and requires more concentration on my part.  But maybe it's just a matter of what you're used to?  Maybe if I used fs/bs tatting all the time, it would become a habit just like regular tatting feels comfortable to me now?

Being picky and examining everything in detail, I find the curves on the long chains are slightly less smooth (particularly at the Josephine Knot) but again that may just be because I'm less used to making them that way (i.e., 1st half, picot, 2nd half).  My motif also suffers a bit from "gaposis" on the trefoils (left and right) - improvement needed there.  Other small niggle, it seems to me the rings have more propensity for the last ds to roll out of place or is that my imagination?

And if I'm making JKs on the backside, should I make them with the 1st half of the double stitch?  They are easier to handle and look nicer when made with the 2nd half I find.

I'm now working on the same motif with the traditional method and will post pictures soon with the two motifs side by side for you to examine and comment (yes please, do comment!).

Best wishes,