Sunday 28 September 2014

Ice Dance

Were you wondering where I'd gone?  Nearly two weeks since I last posted, that's too long, isn't it?  I've just been busy mostly tatting lots of earrings really so didn't want to keep boring you with more of the same.

But today I have something new to show you.  It is Robin Perfetti's latest offering and it is called Ice Dance.  Robin has taken the plunge and opened an Etsy shop where you can find this pattern.  I have enjoyed all of her designs so far and wish her all the best in her new venture.

This pattern does require some concentration
as there are a lot of directional changes!

We're enjoying some lovely, sunny, warm weather here in the UK though the leaves have started to change colour.  I'm making the most of it before it turns cold!

Best wishes,

Monday 15 September 2014

Mellow Fruitfulness

My son and I took our dog a long walk tonight.  I love that time of day when the sun is setting across the fields; the light is so beautiful.  We remembered to bring a bag with us and collected some lovely, juicy blackberries.  As my son said, the stings from nettles (there always seems to be some around blackberry bushes) and blackberry thorns are a price worth paying for being able to collect this beautiful fruit.

Most of this batch of blackberries is now cooking in a cake in the oven.  I shall gather a lot more to make some jam soon.

You've probably seen them enough by now but I thought this latest pair of Mimosa earrings went with the blackberry-blue-pink theme of this post.  I like them in this colour way, very soft and romantic.

Best wishes,

Thursday 11 September 2014

Happy with it!

Ok, that's it.  I'm happy with this design now.  This is the pair which I will send to a friend.  I like the brass earring findings I received in the post this morning, they compliment the earring colours so much better than silver.

In the pair above, the trefoil is made using SCMRs and I like the shape this creates but I decided it's probably unnecessarily complicated and in the next pair I'm making (below), I've tatted regular rings for the trefoil but attached the trefoil to the chain for extra stability.

I've used both tiny size 15 beads and size 11 for extra interest as well as the pearls in the centre.

I made a pair for my daughter last night and she's wearing them today.  She only wanted one colour of seed beads but I like using two colours and different sizes.  Notice she had the perfectly matching tank top!

Thank you for your answers on "stiffening" in the previous post.  It was interesting to read what other people do.  I'm going to go with unstiffened.  After all, this is lace and it should be soft to the touch rather than hard, shouldn't it?  I have been wearing a version or other of these earrings for many days now and I have found that the ring of pearls works very well and they keep their shape very nicely as they are.

As for the way they hang, in the end, I decided to go with a small jump ring to attach the lace to the finding.  That way it's metal rubbing on metal instead of a small tatted ring and I think the jump ring allows for better movement of the earring when worn (as seen in the bottom cream pair).

I've not had any luck selling actual lace in my Etsy shop (well, just a very few pieces over the last four years) but I decided to put a couple of pairs in there anyway to see if there's any interest.  I concluded long ago that people much prefer tatting the items themselves (hence patterns are very popular) rather than buying ready-made lace.  Maybe I'll have to write the pattern for this one too?

I find this design very versatile and for the last week or more I have been wearing a pair every day (today is a short turquoise one, as seen in the previous post).  I like the short version and I like the long, you can have more or fewer beads, it can be tatted with just one round for a smaller earring or two for a bolder look.

Best wishes,

Saturday 6 September 2014

Still working at it

I've continued playing with the earring design (one of them anyway).  As you can see, I've made lots of samples with tiny variations on each.  One problem is how to attach the findings for best movement, positioning, finishing of the item, etc.  Should I make a tatted loop or attach a ring into the tatting?  I'm trying different options.

I'm happy with the solution I've found to tat with the pearls in a circle in the middle - that's a winner and something I will no doubt use again in future designs.  I tried the earrings with a trefoil at the bottom and without.  I decided I like both versions.

This morning I received more of the little pearls I'm using in this design so tatted yet another earring in colours for a friend (she loves olive green) and I think the new bronze pearls I got look nice and blend in better with the green.  I decided to make two rows around the pearls in this one and I like that too.  Now I'm trying different ways of treating the trefoil to give it more stability.

The cream pair I've been wearing yesterday and today.

I'm making progress on this and enjoying the process.

And the last question, which you may help answering, is whether to stiffen or not stiffen earrings.  What do you think?  Those of you who make tatted jewellery, do you prefer tatting in its natural state or do you like to help it a bit to keep its shape when worn by stiffening it?

Just adding beads in the centre of this design already does give the lace more weight and stability which helps keep the earrings into shape when worn.  But I still always wonder about stiffening.

Look forward to your answers!

Best wishes,