Some of my patterns

31 March 2007

Nothing done!

I didn't get anything finished the last two evenings. Not been feeling too good and some worrying news didn't help! BUT I did get round to listing some more Aero shuttles on ebay. http://search.ebay.co.uk/_W0QQsassZjaneeborall
Just hope that I feel well enough today to be able to get to the NEC tomorrow with the Ring of Tatters. That annual trip is my 'treat' of the year!! I love helping to demonstrate there. Busy but fun.

29 March 2007

Pair of Butterflies

Yesterday I started on a series of 'giveaways' for family in America. These are the first two! A pair of butterflies.


27 March 2007

Relaxing tatting

I'm taking time out to re-tat several of my patterns to check for mistakes and also to make other 'bits and pieces'. Last night it was a return to one of my favourite little pattern books - New Critters on the Block by Martha Ess. My middle grandson will be four next week and he's 'into' dinosaurs (well, his grandma's one, isn't she?) so I made these two guys for his birthday card. I used a number 20 Flora HH (variegated) which I didn't know I had. It's lovely and a doddle to work with.

25 March 2007

Finished - I think!

I finished off the lilac butterfly from two days ago - miracles do happen!! I used my favourite invisible thread and added beads to the feelers.
I then went back to adding beads to the very long picots which is the second butterfly but I wasn't happy with this either.
The final pink one is my favourite. One less bead on each long picot and that seems to have done the trick.
All I have to do is finish off the drawing, put it all together and it's done! Another one off my list of 'to do's'!!! The hardest part of this design was getting it into my head that the rings were facing outwards and the chains inwards. Don't know why but I just couldn't get it going at first. I struggled with the instructions just after the fourth SR where a chain takes the worker to the lower left wing. This I did about six times just so I could get the SS or RW or whatever right! Just hope it is now!!!




23 March 2007

Looking a bit better!

Well a few ds here and there and another way of adding beads and it's looking a lot better. This evening (IF I stay awake) I shall try the very long picots again with the beads on. It's amazing the difference a day makes!!! I have tied this into the ring temporarily and would add beads to the feelers too.

22 March 2007

Not so good!!!

I had to virtually re-write the whole pattern yesterday evening after Sue and I had discussed how to do it in one 'hit' and two colours!!! This meant starting in a totally different place and working in the opposite direction and then having to re-do one of the top wings again as they are not symetrical!!! Hey, ho, finally got to the end (this time the butt end!!). I added beads to the long picots BUT will re-tat again with fewer beads (i.e. one bead instead of Vlp's with beads on). Still quite a few issues so that it lies flatter but this may have more to do with the abundance of beads than the actual pattern. Yesterday's with the 'scraggy' looking picots did at least lie flat and the stitch count was exactly the same. I need to look again at some of the chains towards the tips of the wings (they could probably do with an extra ds here and there) and also the head which tends to 'hide' behind the two top wings. The two rings at the base of the lower wings also need to be joined, I feel. I need to stay focussed on this pattern instead of wandering off onto something else. I have a deadline - self imposed - but a deadline nonetheless!!!!

21 March 2007

Goody, goody, goody!

After the hassle of the heart in the ring I nearly gave up trying to do anything more with rings. BUT as I'd bought so many from Claire's sale just after Christmas I started to feel a little guilty. I nearly fell off my chair last night when I finished another tryout and found that it FITTED the ring. Least it's pretty good for a first 'real' attempt!!! Next stage is to work out the lengths of the long picots and as Sue Hanson has already guessed - find out how many beads fit onto them. I think I'll only need 2 beads on one of the shuttles (for the ends of the top wings which are SCMR's). My only disappointment is that I can't work it in two colours without doing it in three parts. Still I'd rather do it in one hit and one colour with no ends to tie in!!!!!

20 March 2007

Another project started

I'm off again!!! Remember the butterfly that I amended and made to fit into a ring? Weellllllll I decided I 'neeed' another one to sort of 'match' but which would fit in a larger ring. I wanted it to be different too.
Here's my first and second attempts. The scraggy looking picots will eventually be 'refined' and will hold beads so that the whole thing should be surrounded by beads. The body is NOT right but I had a brainwave in the night and will try a block tatted centre this evening. Next stage will be to 'trace' over the second picture in my drawing program and then 'play' with it to see if I can do something with the body without tatting it. This also gives me an insight into different ideas. I would like to make the top wings a little more 'shapely' too.


Later in the day and I've been 'playing' with this design on the computer. I've also asked 'me old mucker, Sue Hanson, to check to see if she's seen a butterfly like this might look before!!! I'd hate to upset anybody over copyright issues. Been done to me and I don't want to do it to anybody else!!!
As a lot of people will know I use Serif DrawPlus for doing my drawings (along with a Wacom graphics pad). The way I normally work is by finding an image from the internet through searching Google images. I find a definitive picture to study and usually paste this onto a lower 'layer' of my file in Serif. This is then made transparent by 50% so that I can go back to the layer above and make a guess at how I would tat it - i.e. starting places, progression, techniques etc. First efforts are rarely any good but in the case of this butterfly I did quite well. I then tat this piece (guessing at numbers of ds etc) and scan it (see above). This again goes onto the lower layer in Serif and is made transparent. I can then 'draw' over it. This should be named the 'guestimate' stage!! Below you will see the result. I have added some more ideas to it which I now want to work on - one suggested by Sue. This is where life gets more complicated as this will throw out all the numbering on the text that I've already written in Word!!!! I've omitted the possible picots as I need a clear idea of where I need to join rings etc. I'm hoping that this will allow me to use two colours which is always difficult when working a piece in 'one hit'. Hopefully only one lot of ends to finish off too.
Hey, what's an old lady gonna do on a bitterly cold day in the UK?!?!? Tat and dream of butterflies!!!

19 March 2007

Another ring and now I don't know which is my favourite!! I've given one or two away so will have to replace them!! I want/need one to match every colour tshirt I own!! I also do the same with earrings and bracelets so actually getting all the bling on in the morning takes longer than getting the shopping!!!! Such a hard life!!!!

18 March 2007

Nearly finished

I have nearly finished putting together the meercat page, the finger ring page, a page to say how to make the braid for the ring, a page on a 'no hassle' way of block tatting, Heather's snowman and finally Heather's spinnaker tower!!!! Been a long few days plus learning new software. I could have stuck to the old software but I DO love a challenge!!!
Here's another finger ring - my favourite so far although I am making one in a variegated purply, maroon thread!!!
Right, I'm off to finish the pages and then list some more Aero shuttles.

14 March 2007

The final version

Here he/she is finally finished. I tweaked the face slightly, fought with the lower limbs and did the drawings yesterday afternoon. All I have to do now is put the page together.
I want to finish another piece which needs another evening or two's concentrated tatting and then I'll have two patterns to put on my pattern page. I'm trying not to get tempted away to another idea which is brewing until these two are completely off my hands!!!!



11 March 2007

Drum roll, please!

Finally I have a good version of the MEERCAT!!! There - the cat's out of the bag!!! Sorry, nearly bad pun there!!! This is NOT the quite final version as I may elongate the legs slightly although they do 'match' the picture I printed out and have been following. The cut picots are the claws which these funny little creatures have. I've a few tweakings to do to the face too.
I'm also working on a 'how to block tat without changing shuttles' instruction sheet too. I used this method for making the meercat BUT I'm sure the traditional way would work too.
Here's a url to the Oakland Zoo's information on meercats. http://www.oaklandzoo.org/atoz/azmeerkat.html and there are lots of pictures if you use google images.


Oh, I've also listed some more Aero shuttles on ebay too!!

10 March 2007

Another teaser

Just finished ebaying some more shuttles and bits and pieces of tatting so I decided to MAKE myself get back to the mystery animal.
This one has been a real pain! I've almost thrown it out of the window on numerous occasions. I've spent most evenings this week 'fiddling' with it!! The main problem now is just the length of the legs - the ones at the bottom of this scan. There is only one showing here and that's too long!!! I've re-written the text to shorten it and have changed the method of working it quite a bit too. The second leg which you can just see started behind it is coming out at the wrong angle so again this needs to be rectified. I've tried the head once and that wasn't too bad but have since re-drawn it. There's no way this creature can be worked, I feel, without cutting and tying after the second lower leg.

I think I've nearly got the back legs right at last!!! I'll 'tweak' them on the next one to make them a little better. This animal has claws which is what the cut picots at the end of the feet represent. Hey, ho, off to attack the face now!! Hopefully when this is done the guesswork and teasing will be over. Just below is the latest attempt done this afternoon.



7 March 2007

The latest pattern

I thought I'd better do some 'blogging' today just to let the world (if there is anybody out there!) know what I'm up to!!! The new animal was looking very, very sad when I started back in on him on Monday evening. I'd got to the back legs and then got into one of those situations where deciding what technique and which way the back leg should bend stumped me. I did and un-did so many times that in spite of tatting, re-tatting and re-re-re-re-tatting I still couldn't get it to work. By the way, the front leg looks OK but probably needs to be a bit longer!
Tuesday evening I bit the bullet and went back to the offending leg and after several more attempts did a reasonable one!! It's not that good yet but it's good enough to 'improve' on, I hope! In the end cause I couldn't decide whether to show the other back leg or not I cut the thread and decided about half past eight to have a go at the head! Now any normal person would just do a sideways looking or full frontal head but this isn't really in the character of the animal. About three goes with several retro tats and I finally got a head. Crikey, I thought, that's awful!! I've just looked at it again in the 'light of day' and actually it's not bad. Still needs quite a lot of tweaking etc, though. I'm not going to add the picture yet as I'd like another good evening sorting out a few of the problems!! At the moment the pattern has to be worked in two parts and I cannot see a way to avoid this. I love to avoid starting and stopping so I shall take another look at this too.
Well, that's the story, so far!!! I want to finish this animal soon as it's been living in my head for about a year now!!!

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