30 December 2006

Back again with thoughts on making tatted earrings

I couldn't get into my blog yesterday so the seahorses are what should've been added then!!!
The earrings are some I made yesterday and I'm VERY pleased with them. They look even prettier in 'real life'. I've listed all four pieces on ebay!!! The pattern is here http://tinyurl.com/yco7pv
Some of my thoughts on making tatted earrings.
Having made earrings for about twenty to thirty years I've found out by many, many mistakes that the design has to be simple and strong. By strong I mean that it has to withstand being worn!!! Obvious, I know, BUT not always easy to achieve. The really pretty lacy looking earrings don't often work for me. After a few 'outings' I find that they bend even when well stiffened. To combat this the addition of as many beads as possible can help! (See my other earrrings which are based on the 3D snowflake). http://tinyurl.com/ylrmef
Using a very tight tension and a strong six core thread helps too. A thread like Flora, Manuela etc. Earrings can be made using a fine 60, 70 or 80 but I find that these work better with an added filament - again plenty of beads. Design is the main part of making earrings. Keep them simple and with clean lines. Slim earrings no more than and inch or so wide work well - length doesn't matter. Adding a split ring (like those you find on a key ring) to hang the finished piece to the findings is also an good idea and this is best worked into the tatting itself. The earrings below have them added into the long beaded picot but with the Christmas tree earrings I actually tat over the ring.
Another suggestion and one which I've used on the white pair below, is to Scotch Guard them to prevent them getting dirty.
The above are only my thoughts on making earrings and I would be very happy to add other people's suggestions to these.
Additional ideas from the comments section and email lists.
Also, as Wally suggests - you can squidge in some PVA to make the earrings not only a bit stiffer but to also keep off the dirt!!
From Sylvia in Penarth (that's in Wales!!). I have also tatted around a four hole tiny button, these make very pretty ear-rings, I used flora and a tight tension, they ended up stiff enough as they were. So keeping clean wasn't a problem, I washed them!!
Gina has reminded me that another thing I do is use PVA glue to 'blob' the piece of tatting onto the finding if a split ring isn't used. I used to do this in the past but nowadays try to 'build in' a split ring as it makes for a safer finished item.


Needledreams said...

Those are good points about earrings. I don't lke earings that are too lacey because they don't stand a long wearing like one that are more "solid". I like the use of beads instead of decorative picots because this gives some weight to the earring. About the Scotch Guard, that's a cool idea. May be PVA glue can be used if Scotch Guard is not available. That way if the earring gets dirty, you can wash it and apply the glue again.

Thanks for the ideas! And patterns, of course! :-)

Tattycat said...

Jane, I absolutely love these earrings! I haven't made any earrings yet. I think these will be my first - hopefully of many. My mother-in-law gave me three bags of old pearls last week. I have been searching for a pattern for them. This just may be the one.

Marilee Rockley said...

I use 6-cord thread for pretty much everything I make. I like size 20 or 10 for my jewelry items.
The exception was the snowflake earrings, which I wanted to be especially dainty. But Ruth Perry has a great idea for using hand quilting thread with a glaze on it. It's wirey and takes getting used to, still I think I will give it another try.

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