Friday 26 November 2021

On Pause... and Basket-Weaving

That's as far as I got with the new snowflake (not much further than where I was before).  I've sadly had to put everything on hold for a while, hoping that my arm will sort itself out eventually.  Very frustrating.  

I tried a different centre for that one but I still wanted to test more shapes and really need to be able to tat before I can complete this pattern.  *sad face*

In the meantime, I try to work on other things, staying away from small repetitive movements (not easy!!).  I had another play with newspaper weaving; tried dying the paper tubes with beetroot (accent on small round basket) and then with diluted paint.  I found that I can get white tubes when using the edges of the newspaper pages which can be left white or dyed (not enjoying the dying part very much so far but there are other methods to test).

I put a box or other container inside to help shape the sides of the baskets.

I started on another square basket with a woven bottom (the one above has a cardboard bottom). To keep everything straight, I start with the tubes taped down on my working mat (as per this video, if you're interested).  I'm a long way from the professional looking baskets I've seen made with newspapers but I'm learning!

You need lots of newspaper tubes to make baskets because
unlike willow or other natural material, the tubes are relatively short.
But it's a good use of something that would just go to waste
so I like that aspect of it very much.

I regularly use one of the first newspaper baskets I made the summer before last.
(click on link to see more about that one)

Best wishes,

Sunday 14 November 2021

Remembrance Sunday

I have shown this poppy before on more than one occasion.  But it's still my favourite so here it is again to commemorate Remembrance Sunday.  It is Jennifer Williams' beautiful design and one I've enjoyed wearing for several years now.  So if any of you had not seen it before and fancy making yourself a tatted poppy, I highly recommend this pattern.  It is a little complex as it is made in several parts that have to be put together, but I think it's well worth the effort.  When I made mine, I decided to use the centre from a British Legion Poppy Appeal paper poppy as I liked to keep the link with the organisation and their efforts and it looks like Jennifer has now added a new version to her website that also uses this centre.

I have another poppy I wear as well and this one is crocheted so it is much quicker to make.  I'm afraid at the moment, I cannot remember the name of the pattern but when I find it, I'll come and add a link here.

Best wishes,

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Snowflake 2021

First of all, the Pumpkin shuttle from the previous two posts has now been shipped to its new owner. Thank you to everyone for taking part, for your nice comments, and for your congratulations to the winner.

"Snowflake, snowflake, how I love thee!"

Now is the time of the year when I start thinking of my new snowflake.  Well, to be honest, as we're already into November, I need to hurry a little!  Sadly I have been struck again (the other arm this time) with tendonitis.  Urgh!  This is preventing me from doing so many of the things I love as they pretty much all involve a lot of small repetitive movements.  I'm trying hard to be patient but there is a lot I'd like to be doing right now.  So only very minimal tatting allowed to try not to aggravate it further.

Not the best situation to try to design a new snowflake in.  *Sad Face*

As I'm sure you know by now, I particularly like to base my snowflake designs on real snowflakes, taken from photos by Wilson Bentley. There is so much variety in real snowflakes!  There are truly fascinating.  Every year recently, when comes time to design a new flake, I flip through the pages of my book and wait for one to catch my eye.  This year, it's this one:

I started first by working on the interestingly shaped tips.  In the first version (top right on the image below) I left the arms unattached as per the real snowflake.   But I find they are a bit too floppy so in my second version, I attached the bottom JKs to each other.  I also slightly changed the shape of the tips to make them look more like the original:  flatter and wider than in my first version.  I added a picot in the middle of the JKs to elongate them, again to look more like the shape of the tips of the real flake.

I'm making good progress but I'm not quite there yet, more testing and sampling required.  I'm pretty happy with the arms but I'm still debating what to do with the centre.  If I want to keep to the straight lines of the real snowflake, I'll have to use lock chains... but I could allow myself a bit of artistic licence and use split rings and chains, which is what I did in the bottom version.  But that centre is too full so I'm testing again to get it looking a bit more like the real snowflake.  I'm also trying my best to keep the proportions right by gauging my samples against the photo so that it's as much like the real thing as possible (as much as thread and tatted lace can be made to look like ice crystals that is!).

Back to the worktable!

Best wishes,

Monday 1 November 2021

And the Winner Is...

 I nearly forgot to do the draw today!!  But I managed it just as the clock turned to 00:00!

So the shuttle pumpkin will go to...

the person who wrote comment No. 19
as decided by the random number generator!

Comment number 19 was written by Rita T.
Rita, please contact me to let me know where to send the prize.

Thanks to everyone for taking part!

Best wishes,