Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy Tatting and Belated Happy Thanksgiving! (motif 1)

Once again, I have been busy with other endeavors and unable to post. And, once again, I have actually been tatting. I am so proud that I am starting my third (can you believe it?) round of 25 motif challenge.

I have been working on a bonnet for my friend's baby, but it is nowhere near finished. I will try to post a picture when it is.

I also made two crosses from Lindsay Rogers' Tatting Collage, both in Aunt Lydia size 10 white. One was put on the outside of the baptism card and the other was blessed by the priest and given as a gift to the baby. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures...

My Nimble Thimble group had their bazaar so I tatted up another Small Star for them to sell. Actually, I tatted two of them. One is a repeat of the green and white I have done in the past and the other is in all white, size 10.  Of course, I have no pictures to share. Drat! I plan on making more of them to give to family and friends for Christmas.  They did sell pretty quickly though.

Looking at my daughter in her cute little dress on Thanksgiving, I decided to make some hair pins to match in orange and brown, size 10. The large flower is from Lindsay Rogers' Tatting Collage, the smaller cupped center is something I came up with accidentally one day and really like.  She loved them and we even made it back home with one of them! (The other went AWOL in her cousin's room during preparations for a fashion show.)

I went on Amazon today and picked out some tatting books. My husband had been wondering what to get me for Christmas. I told him about my wishlist on Amazon and he told me later I can be expecting a couple of shipments in the next few days! The fact that he would buy these for me means so much to me. It means he understands that it is a big deal for me, not just a way for me to waste time. I'm so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Never, Ever Sneeze!

A friend in my Nimble Thimble group brought in an old hankie with tatted edging to show me. I was very impressed with the work as it had a great deal of bare thread space and I rarely see that in modern patterns. I told her it was very special and made her promise she would never sneeze into it. She giggled and offered to let me keep it for a while. I politely declined and took a photo instead because I want to show it off to all of you, but don't want to be held responsible should anything untoward happen to it.

So, here it is, I think it's pretty cool:

Another woman in the group blessed me with a bag of thread she found in her stash. Mostly DMC 5 and 8 from what I can tell. Wheee!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Lost Art and My Gratitude

I participated in my first market on Friday.

Most commonly heard remarks at market were:

"My grandmother/grandfather/mother/aunt (or insert other deceased relative here) used to tat."

"That is a lost art."

I had a really great time at the market. Not so much for the selling, because there was precious little of that, but for the conversations I had with people. Most just wanted to share their experience, reminisce about family. One said he fell asleep while his mother sat in his room tatting each night. Some expressed regret that they didn't learn, others said they had tried and failed. A few said that they had learned but let it go. A few more said they would like to learn.

For the better part of the six hours, I was sitting at my table tatting one thing or another. I would spy someone across the aisle, whispering to a friend, "That's tatting." I always did my best to catch their eye and grin at them. I let them know that I appreciated the fact that they recognized what I was doing. It usually started a nice conversation.

Quite a few people stopped and stared. I grinned at them as well. I invited them to watch, really, I don't mind. I made silly faces when a stitch failed to flip, I grimaced dramatically as I struggled with knots. I told one group that my friends (that would be you, gentle readers) and I were intent on dragging tatting kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century. I tried to make it accessible, not quite so mysterious. People seemed to take to it.

In all, I will take it as a success. My name and work are out there. I have already signed up for the next market in March. One positive note is that since things didn't sell, I have stock on hand. I also have the ability to plan better for my next outing.

I continue to be thankful for my friends and family and their support of my hobby gone crazy. They have been so encouraging about something they don't always understand.

I am also very thankful, to you, gentle readers, for your support. You understand what goes into it and your comments carry more weight because of it.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Busy fingers, 25 Tatted!

I have been doing quite a bit of tatting ahead of Friday's market. I've gotten most of my pieces tatted and only need findings for them to be complete. Somewhere along the line I stopped using a picot gauge, so if things look a little rough around the edges...well, practice, practice, practice...

In no particular order, for your consideration, I give you:

An assortment of variations on Dianna Stevens' Simple Bookmark in size 10 ecru, pink, white, and size 20 cream.

This one I messed up the chains (uniformly throughout); it looks a bit different from its companions. Size 10 white.

Another Janette Baker bookmark in size 10 white.

A bunch of flowers (there are actually about 30 of them) ready to be made into hair pins. Some are Leila's pattern, others are from Lindsay Rogers' book Tatting Collages. All tatted in size 10. I intend to layer them.

A few variations on the Kersti's Stumpy Bookmark in size 10 pink and white.

And lastly the heart I made for Aunt Maryann. It is Birgit's Celtic Heart in Southmaid variegated pink and Coats ecru, both size 10. (I messed up on the chain at the top, but I think I'll just stick with it.)

If I don't count the flowers, this puts me at 25 again!!!!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Oops Turned into Ooooh!

I was happily tatting away at my local while nursing a glass of strawberry lambic and finished this:

Kersti's Stumpy bookmark (sans tail) in Southmaid, a variegated pink, size 10.

I loaded my shuttles with Aunt Lydia's size 10 in white and was a quarter of the way through another when I realized I had added a picot that shouldn't have been. Since I didn't want to untat and it was my second project of the night, I decided to hang it up, enjoy my drink and a snack and go home.

I worked on it again today and decided to make the same mistake throughout for uniformity. As I got around the other side of the piece, I realized that I had also added an extra 5 ds to the ring with the extra picot. Now that throws the whole thing off! I thought I might cut and run, but I didn't like leaving a piece that was so close to done.

Time to get creative... I started tatting chains and joining stuff and put in a small ring and came up with something else.

It's working title is Dadratted Heart (or Criminy!).

Monday, October 28, 2013

Expanding The Empire continues

A handful of posts ago, I mentioned meeting an antiques dealer who was interested in my work. We have been in contact over the last few weeks and I have decided to take part in her pop-up market. This will be my first booth, first sale, first a lot of things as far as lace is concerned. I am incredibly nervous.

As a result of this decision, I have begun tatting away at a brisk pace (roughly completing a piece every two days). So far I am enjoying the challenge of the project. I do not know where it will lead, but I feel good about it (despite the nerves). My focus right now is to get the tatting portions made and then team with my sister to complete the pieces. She has a great eye and I trust her taste in all things.

I have no illusions as to this marketing becoming more than an occasional thing. It was the persistence of this dealer, and perhaps a touch of my own vanity, that brought me to this point.  I have no plans involving Etsy or anything like that at this time. I intend to leave that to the pros until I have something to show for myself.

So, here's to a hectic couple of weeks! All prayers, good vibes, advice, and assorted happy thoughts appreciated.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy (and motifs 10-14)

My apologies for what has seemed to me like an interminable silence. I have been concentrating on things other than blogging. Nonetheless, I have been tatting; no idle hands here.

I had neglected my TIAS in an effort to complete a few other projects but have gotten caught up and finished it.  In need of a serious blocking, here is my completed Piccadilly Express:

As I predicted early on, I have had to learn a few new skills. First came split rings, then in one swell foop came the floating ring and onion ring, followed closely by the shoelace trick. I was able to tat the onion rings on my first try (very happy about that). I'm not saying I made this without any mistakes, for that would be a major fib; I am saying that I made much fewer that I had expected. I believe I missed a switch shuttles at least once and I'm not sure if one of my chains is going in the right direction. However, since it resembles the completed sample posted by the designer, I'm going to take this as a victory.

I have completed my first Tat It And See and learned something new along the way. I acknowledge that I have a lot more to learn and this has given me the confidence to pursue it.

In the meantime, I have completed the tatted portions of some bracelets, a snowflake, and another heart.

The bracelets are based off the bookmark pattern in Jeanette Baker's Learn To Tat done in Lizbeth size 20 black and size 20 Jellybean.

The heart is 'Tattered' Heart from Lindsay Rogers' book Tatting Collage made in Aunt Lydia's size 10 victory red. It will go to our departed uncle's longtime love.

I am working on a heart for his sister as well. It is a two-part pattern so I will abstain from posting it until it is finished (hopefully in the next few days).

This is Birgit's Small Star tatted in DMC size 5 white and ecru. I really like the sheen and the color combination more than I thought I would, although it does not show well in this photo. I hope to make a few of this combination in size 10.

I also starched the cross for pastor using cornstarch. That was fun. It is fairly stiff now and only in want of a thread to suspend it. I found that the cornstarch was rather thick and gooey. Did I overcook it? I had read where it may be kept in the refrigerator for a while. How do you then make it liquid enough to use again without significantly diluting it? Any advice would be appreciated.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Time Out!

Life has been busy these past weeks, lots going on, lots coming up. I have been tatting but have nothing to show for it as yet.

But I will take the time to say this. My little darling turns seven years old today. She is a tender-hearted little child with lots and lots of energy.  My sister calls her Foxy Loxy because she has a lot of moxie. She is the apple of my eye, the grin on my face, and the chuckle in my throat. She makes me smile on a regular basis and makes me growl all the same.

I love her with all of my heart and that's all I'm going to say.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Tatting to Help Mend

My husband's uncle passed away on Sunday. While it was not altogether unexpected, it is still a shock to those who loved him. His daughters' hearts are breaking right now. I'll give these hearts as a reminder that they are so loved by him and the rest of us.

Birgit's Quick Heart in size 10, unlabeled sun-faded ball of variegated pinks.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Poppies, poppies, poppies... (Motifs 5-7)

Okay, maybe just one. I have been tatting Birgit's Small Star in Aunt Lydia's size 10 Victory Red and white, and finished two before deciding to take a break. I made one five-pointed because I was running out of thread on the shuttle. The ring on the other one isn't really twisted, it just flipped when I put it down and I JUST NOTICED IT NOW and I'm too lazy to take another picture.

I used the remaining shuttle thread to make a poppy from Tatting collage by Lindsay Rogers. I made the stem extra long to use up the last of the thread but I think it will find a purpose. I have a plan for this one which I will not reveal at this time. In the meantime, here's the poppy in Aunt Lydia's size 10 Victory Red and green:

I have had the pleasure of working on the TIAS we started last week. I think I'm doing pretty well so far. I've learned split rings and lock joins. My picots are a little big; I'll adjust them in the next go round. Here's Day 4:

And I'm back to work on the cross for pastor. I had thought it would be sewn to vestments and left it natural. It turns out he intends to wear it as a pectoral.  I'll be looking into means of starching it this week. I want something that will hold the shape and not dull the color or sheen of the piece. After that, I figure I'll add a jump ring and let him decide on how to string it.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Unsought Treasure! My Mom Rocks!

My mother, who is amazing, by the way, is taking part today in a huge garage sale at her church. They have been setting up since last Thursday and it started yesterday and finishes today. It's quite the production.

I helped her with set-up on Monday of this week and had a lot of fun. I met a woman there whose cousin Eleanor is a tatter (since retired, I believe). We discussed what she has made and what I have done, as well as newer uses for lace; it was a lovely chat.

I didn't bother looking for anything for myself while I was there, wanted to work more than shop. Imagine my surprise a few days later when I received this text from my mother:

For you my dear!!!!!!

I called her immediately, thanked her, and started asking about the threads.  Seems she had worn her Ripple Necklace to a church function and it had gotten some notice. One of the women who had spoken to mom about it saw the box of threads (with tatting shuttle, Susan Bates) and brought it to my mother's attention!

She has high hopes for me, that one does. She asked if she had done well and I couldn't stop thanking her. She is looking forward to my creations, especially with the goldish thread. It's Texto-Syltex and I'm not sure if I will be able to use it. There's quite a bit so I'll have to find a good home for it. I am open to suggestions.  Of course, I'll know more when I have the thread in hand and, let me tell you, my fingers are itching to get hold of that box. I don't know when I will see mom next, but I really hope it's soon!

With all the thread I have now, I'll have to tat for quite a while before I need to buy more...

TIAS Day 2 and 3

After getting my tatting stuff back, I was more confident with the TIAS. And then I saw the lock join on Day 3. Luckily, they provide a link so I was able to learn THAT. Sheesh, like I need more stuff in my head. I jest, because it probably just pushed out something else that I no longer use, you know, like long division.

Without further ado, I give you Day 2:

And Day 3:

Still have no idea what it is, but we'll find out eventually, eh?

Flakes on a Plane! (Part deux) (motifs 1-4)

Meant to be published on Monday. Yeah, it's been that week!

I had the pleasure of being airborne again this past weekend which called for tatting of snowflakes. I accomplished two before I decided to move on to other projects.

While waiting for my flights, a gentleman next to me commented, "If my mother were here , she would love that. She would be knitting right now." I smiled and he watched me tat for a while.

First plane was mostly empty and I slept a bit before tatting. Second plane was full and I had a young girl going off to college next to me. She was trying not to be obvious until I said, "Go ahead and stare, it's fine with me." She was very interested in what I was doing. I showed her the basic knots and set us a challenge. I told her I bet I could get her tatting before we reached our destination. She declined graciously, but continued to watch as I tatted away. I finished my second snowflake (Birgit's Small Star, size 10 white and green):

I moved on to the cross I have been working on for Pastor. Done in Aunt Lydia's size 10 Victory Red is Crazy Mom's Cross:

I made it a bit smaller per his request. We'll see what he thinks when I give it to him this week.

I moved on to another project as we neared our destination. It is a bookmark From Janette Baker's Learn to Tat. I am working it in Lizbeth Size 20 Black to eventually become a bracelet.

Saturday was spent travelling from one wine-tasting to another with my husband and his co-workers. His company had us out for a spouse weekend. With our spouses travelling as much as they do, it was nice to have some downtime with them, do something fun, and be in the company of other spouses dealing with the same issues. It was a wonderful, energy-renewing time.

It also left me with time to tat. It was either chat endlessly, sleep, or tat and chat. Of course, I chose the latter. The first option would be too annoying, the second, too anti-social. The third option was social and productive at the same time! I had a few people ask me about it and one knew what it was because she had seen it in Europe during a school tour. Everyone seemed to agree that it was pretty darned cool. I like that in my first "corporate wife" outing, I was able to impress others and make my husband proud. At least, that's how I'm reading it. They could all right now be recalling that crazy chick who played with string all weekend...

Despite feeling the effects of the wine-tastings, I was able to tat a bit on the plane on Sunday. This morning, I finished my bracelet (the tatted part, at any rate). Worked in Lizbeth size 20 black:

I went out and bought new clovers to tat the T.I.A.S. that starts today. As I was telling my father about it last night, I said I hoped it didn't have anything I couldn't do. His response was basically, if it does, then you just get to learn THAT now. So, of course, I look at the pattern and it has mock rings and split rings right there in the first piece. I am not allowing myself to look at other people's work until I do my own. But this does mean I'll be hitting up YouTube tonight.

If you need me, I'll be splitting hairs and mocking my rings...

Monday, September 23, 2013

TIAS Day 1

So, I saw this post about a Tat It And See. I decided to sign up for it, thinking the challenge would be fun. As the first day drew near, I began to wonder. Would I be able to do it? Would I have the requisite skills? Would my tatting be up to par? Would I have the courage to put it out there for all to see?

After looking at the first bit of the pattern, I had new questions. How the heck do you make a split ring? What is a mock picot? Do I really have the time and brainpower necessary to do this? Will all the big kids laugh at me? Do I have enough chocolate?

So, off I went to Janette Baker and her Learn To Tat book. I did a few split rings:

And then it was off to google climbing out with a mock picot.

Armed with a little bit of knowledge and relatively no experience, feeling very confident and having a few pieces of chocolate, I wound my shuttles with DMC Cebelia size 20 white and dove on in.

Here is the result:

I do not know when the next piece of the pattern will come to us, but I will update my blog and the TIAS site as often as I can.
For those of you interested in joining, here is the link for the pattern.
Stay tuned!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Motif Number 25!!!!!

I have finished my first 25 Motif Challenge!

At least I think so.

Basically, when I did a slew of butterflies earlier this year, I didn't count them all. So, I kind of picked and chose from what I did after that.  Somewhere I posted about tatting 17-20 and I have counted up from there which makes this one #25!!! (If I've miscounted, well, there were about 30 butterflies, so...)

I am proud of myself for what I have done so far. I know that there are many of you out there who have done far more. I hope to be able to keep up with you all someday. In the meantime, I'll be happy with what I have accomplished in the nine months I've been tatting.

Once again, worked in size 10 Aunt Lydia's green and white, I present to you Birgit's Small Star!

The next UFO I have to complete is the cross I've been working on for some time. So close, must get back to it.  The deadline on that one is growing near...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Presenting the Bonnet!

At long last, I have finished Merry Higby's NIN Baby Bonnet worked in Aunt Lydia's size 10 white. After I finished round four, I was intimidated by the idea of the medallion in back. I tatted a few other things while I worked up the courage to attempt it.  As I worked through it, my fears left me, and I was able to tat it pretty quickly. As I may have mentioned before, I tat pretty tightly so it is smaller than intended. I am going to make a concerted effort to loosen up a bit and see how it changes what I make. The result will most likely be a softer, more pliable bonnet. It is supposed to fit on a softball; it doesn't. So, here it is on my daughter's Bitty Baby doll.

Even with my tight tatting, I had a to make a lot of shuttle changes. I can only imagine how many thread ends I'll have to deal with on the next one. Now to upsize it and tat for an expectant mother I know. Sheesh! But a lovely pattern and a great organization. Thanks, Merry Higby!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Nimble thimble, nimble shuttle?

As I may have mentioned before, I met with the Nimble Thimble quilting group near my home. They are a sweet bunch who are very interested in my tatting. I am working on some designs for them that I hope to have ready to make soon. In the meantime, however, one of the ladies brought in a few balls of size 10 crochet thread for me to use. I am so excited. I have promised to use the thread only for the work I do there (as I have promised the school thread for use for their projects), and keep it there; as a result, I have no picture at this time. Oh wait, I do.

At my last visit, one of the women brought in a shuttle and some thin gold thread. I agreed to TRY to teach her to tat but said that we wouldn't be using the gold thread anytime soon. She laughed and said it was for me to use for anything else if I wanted. Whew, I could just imagine the frustration of trying to learn on size 70(?) shimmery gold thread...

Either way, I am officially a member of the group now and hope to have something to show for it soon. Maybe tomorrow will be the day I figure it out. Who knows???

Art Imitates Life

Some time ago, back when I was in 7th or 8th grade, I decided to make chocolate brownies. I got out the box of mix and gathered my ingredients. I was very careful, repeatedly checking the directions for proper measurements and instructions.  I poured the batter in the pan and put it in the oven which I had preheated properly. Something didn't look right, too runny. I couldn't put my finger on it.

I called in my older sister and explained the situation. I opened the oven the show her the batter and she asked to see the directions. As I held up the box, insisting I had followed it to the letter, she started to grin. She asked if that was the box of mix I had used. I replied that it was.

She gently pointed out that it was unopened.

Which meant I had completely forgotten to incorporate the dry ingredients.

Which meant it lacked a great degree of substance.

Which explained the runniness and bright color of the batter.

All of which earned me a place in the oral history of the family, a dubious distinction at best.

Why am I sharing this very embarrassing moment with you, gentle readers? Because last night I made this:

As I approached the last ring, I wondered why it was so hard to manage. I looked at the picture and realized my mistake. I had failed to join the six picots that hold the thing together.

Which meant it lacked a great degree of substance.

Which explained the floppiness and sloppy nature of the finished form.

All of which I now share with you, gentle readers, my tat-family.

As I did with the brownies, I went on the finish the star, with a great deal of chuckling and head shaking.

Some things never change.

I have learned that if you can't laugh at yourself, everyone else will laugh at you. I'd just as soon you laugh with me.

If you need me, I'll be making bricks without straw.

2013 Tat It And See

I just joined the 2013 Tat It And See project! I'm very excited. I'm also a little frightened. My mind is swirling with visions of twisted picots and split rings. It will be a challenge, but I think I'm up for it. I'll be posting both here and on the TIAS site so please forgive the repetition. I'll try to make it interesting.

If any of you dear readers are also participating, perhaps we can offer mutual moral support, an emotional gift exchange, if you will. (Although, I'm sure you won't need it nearly as much as I will!)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Expanding The Empire!

So, this has been one heck of a weekend! At first, it was a "weekend of beauty" what with getting my hair cut and colored (I know, you all thought it was naturally this luxuriously rich honey tone), and my nails done (pedicure gift from my mom, thanks mom!), but it turned into so much more.

It went like this. Early to the nail studio, I decided to walk around the town square. First antique store I entered had three shuttles for sale, one black celluloid post that I couldn't identify and two Susan Bates bobbins. I noticed that the post shuttle points didn't close and mentioned this to the proprietor. It didn't stop me from test driving the thing and I didn't buy it, but I did leave a small ring on the thread for her display purposes.  I am not used to bobbin shuttles yet but I checked out the Bates' anyway. The bobbin wouldn't move on one (I think it might have been the wrong size) and the other looked in rough shape. I told her that if someone gave time and effort enough, they would be willing to fix and use all three, but I wasn't that person. She understood and tried to make a deal on some crochet thread. Late for my appointment, I bolted.

Afterward, while waiting for my mom to come by and run errands with me, I continued my walk around the square and found myself in the Old Green Shutters Antique store. There I met the proprietor (and tatting collector) Carey. She informed me that she had just sold all of her shuttles (a bowlful, as she described) to a customer. I could only imagine. We spoke a bit more, she looked at pictures of my work, and encouraged me to try to market some items. I thanked her and went on my way.

Our errands included a trip to the grocery store, Joann Fabrics, an office supply store, and Costco. The skies opened while at the grocery store, and the line was so long to cut fabric at Joann that I sent my mom to the other places while I waited. By the time she returned, I had cut fabric, introduced two customers to the joys of tatting and found Lindsay Rogers' book Tatting Collages! I was sooo excited. I skipped out to the car in the pouring rain and we headed back to rescue my father from the clutches of my daughter.

As we neared home, I turned to my mother and declared with a grin, "My car is still back at the nail studio!" We laughed about how very blonde we are and tried to figure out the best way to get me back into town. Upon our return, my father was unscathed but offered to drive me back to my car. I requested a bit more time to roam the square which my parents were happy to oblige.

I stopped back in to Old Green Shutters because I wanted to show some actual work to Carey. She restated her interest and again encouraged me to market my work. She also mentioned that she had a friend down the block who is a tatter. I immediately headed out.

That was how I met Ginger. She is a kind soul who hails from my hometown. And she is a tatter. She loved my work and encouraged me to listen to Carey. Oh, remember how Carey said she sold the shuttles to someone? That customer was Ginger. I was happy to meet the recipient of such largesse. We talked for over an hour before I realized that I had to get back home.

I shared with my parents all the exciting things, the new tatting book, the new friends, and they were very encouraging. My father turned to me and said, "Who knew you'd come out here this weekend and expand your tatting empire!" Really, who knew?

And now, I get home to find that my eBay purchase of thread arrived earlier than expected! A wonderful weekend indeed!

I actually managed to get some tatting done as well. Here is a small star by Birgit (I don't know her last name) worked in size 10 white and green.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Christmas in August!

This post started over a week ago. My how time flies...

With the school year about to start, I decided to reclaim my possessions from the spare classroom at school. I run a crafts afternoon once a month there and had left some of my supplies and other PTA stuff. I hadn't counted on the fact that they would be using that room as an active classroom this year. So, I walk in to find nothing where it should be. Yes, I know I should have gone back sooner, and I had meant to, I really had. But the summer just got away from me. I was able to track down my bin of remnants but am at a loss as to where my collection of pinking shears has gone or my PTA files, for that matter.

Funny thing is, though, when I opened my remnant bin, there was a bag with about seven balls and two cones of thread in it. They aren't full by any means, and I have no idea what size the thread is, but they are now mine!

I have decided to use the thread to make snowflake or star ornaments for our Christmas market at school. I've spoken with the organizer and she thinks it's a great idea! I hope to tat one up before school starts so she knows exactly what I'm talking about. So far, I'm thinking the Leal Morgan Snowflake pattern in red or green or ecru. Or a star pattern I found (I'll post the pattern designer when I have something to show). I'm looking for something simple that tats up quickly since I may need to make quite a few of these.

Upon closer inspection, the balls appear to be size 10 and the cones may be as well. One of the coned  threads is sort of fuzzy so I don't know what I'll do with that. Feel free to leave suggestions in the comments, please!

I just received my first catalog from Handy Hands and I'm quite excited! The Lizbeth color chart is quite convenient and I know I'll use the matching reference guide (not so good with the color matching). I've perused the sample newsletter, made a note to subscribe, and am about to dive into the catalog itself. Hooray!!!! So happy to see that in my mailbox!

Just back from a quick trip to visit my parents. I am fortunate enough to see them fairly often and I never fail to feel refreshed after a visit. This was particularly fun because we staged a little fishing derby. My parents, daughter, and nephew all headed out with our fishing poles yesterday. My nephew was determined to catch fish for our dinner. As you might expect, it didn't turn out quite as planned. In the end, I cleaned fish for the first time in years and he had some tasty pan fried fish bits from the two fish he managed to land. (note, grapes are for scale)

My parents and I were more interested in the fishing so as the kids hung out of the deck we fished for the better part of today. Mom and I managed to land a little 10 inch bass. I say we because she left her rod lying on the dock next to me while I fished and I happened to land the thing. It had taken the hook far too deep to survive and since it was a fair-sized fish I decided to cook it rather than release it. My fish-cleaning skills were better today (with the aid of a proper filleting knife) and it was deemed quite tasty by the consumer.

My last act of my visit there was to work with my father to re-rig a number of fishing poles we found in the basement.  This was a completely unplanned activity; I found him down there and couldn't resist.  We stood there, side by side, at the old tool bench, tying leaders and attaching weights and bobbers, while reminiscing about fishing in Canada and tying our own lures years ago. We worked very well together; he checked the reels and selected the proper materials while I tied the knots. I credit my tatting for making my fingers a bit stronger and more dexterous.  It was a lovely time and I will cherish it as he slowly slips away.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Flakes on a Plane!!!!! (Motifs 17-20)

Just back from a weeklong trip to the Seattle area to see family and, wow, did we have some fun. We saw mountains, the sea, flying fish (okay, people throwing fish), more mountains. It was lovely. I even found some time to do a bit of tatting while we drove and flew.

I was concerned about taking my shuttles on a plane for the first time. I didn't want to lose any of them to TSA but also didn't want to sit and stare for four hours. I know I could have read but I'm not really invested in any books at the moment (hard to believe). So, I wound some of the thread holders from my recent haul...okay I wound all of them to maximum capacity with size 5 white for snowflakes and size 10 victory red.  I also wound one with size 30 ivory for magic thread use.  My other clovers were already wound with size 10 for the bonnet.  I CTM wound two shuttles full of victory red size 10 for pastor's cross and gave the bonnet with accompanying shuttle and ball the Ziploc treatment.  All went into my travel tat bag with patterns.  I have never been so organized as I was for that flight (tatting-wise anyway).

I had packed my scissors in my luggage so we made it through security without a problem. I was able to tat a snowflake from the Lael Morgan pamphlet I recently purchased. But without my scissors, I had no way to detach it from the shuttle to start a new one. Bummer! I switched to the bonnet and made some progress there.

I took the chance in the return flight and brought my scissors with me. Of course, no problems at security; I could have brought them through the first time. That meant I could get a bit more done.  In total, I was able to tat four snowflakes, part of the bonnet and get a good running start on pastor's cross. Below are two snowflake number 2 and on the left are two snowflake number 3 from Lael Morgan Pattern No. & Splendid Snowflakes. I have tatted them in white size 5.  I plan on making more of these for use as Christmas ornaments.

Simple Cross by Crazy Mom in Size 10 Victory Red. I am hoping to have it done for the first day of school next week. Fingers crossed and, most likely, entangled.

Watching this bonnet take shape, I am seeing more and more proof that I tat tightly. At this point, a bonnet that should fit a softball might fit on a baseball.  It may be that I adjust the pattern even more than I thought and keep this one for my daughter's dolls. I would consider going with larger thread but I'm having a heck of a time working on the size 5 snowflakes. This is my Merry Higby NIN Bonnet. I'm getting close to tatting the medallion on this one and then we'll really see how tiny it gets. It is a lovely pattern, please do not let my execution of it give you any wrong ideas.

So, now I know what I'll be working on during future one hears the clickety-click as I tat along!