27 June 2009

Seahorse shuttle

Do you remember that I won a shuttle in a raffle at Rosemarie Peel's tatting afternoon? It was this adorable toucan.

Carol Lawecki and Rosemarie both told me about it's provenance here.

Shortly after that Mimi Dillman
(the Queen of the Clunies) wrote to say she'd got the seahorse in the set and had - well, this is what she said:-

"I have what I think is a Sebalace Seahorse shuttle that I won in a raffle sometime I can't remember when or where (an early Shuttlebirds workshop most likely). I've never used it nor have I pulled it out much other than to look at it and wonder who really should have it. Is it you, an ace Seahorse designer and tatter?"

So we did a trade!!! Mimi wanted a bag for her tatting and I offered to give the seahorse a good home too. Look what else came in the parcel - I'm officially a tatter now.

Thanks, Mimi - I'm VERY happy with our trade.
I wonder if there is anybody in tat land who has the fish to complete the set? Wouldn't it be great to have all three together?

25 June 2009

Tea for one

Oh, oh, oh. You're not going to believe this dear little teaset.

It's from Martha Ess's latest book 'Tea is for Tatting'.

When I first got the book I told Martha that this was one of the patterns I wanted to tat and she said that the teapot would be boring.

She was so WRONG. It's definitely and categorically NOT boring. It's actually very interesting. All the elements in the set are easy to follow and a pleasure to work. The only 'alteration' I made in the pattern was to use as size 20 rather than 10 thread.

Wonderful, wonderful little pattern. Thanks, Martha.

The apple is a small one to give you some idea of the scale of the set. The boys next door saw the set and just ooohed and aaaahed. I'm going to look for a transparent box of some sort to put them in. Stick them to the base and seal the box. Not sure where I'll get them from in our town so it'll probably be an internet search project.

24 June 2009

Another new book from ............

The boys are back in town!!!

Yes, the
Houtz brothers have 'done it again' and with the promise of more to come too!!!

Their new book has arrived in the UK at Tatting and Design. I know you can order from their own web site here but I'm pleased to say that Lyn has it now in the UK.

Of course, I had to have a copy, didn't I? There's only really one word for this book. Inspiring.

If you ever think of giving up tatting then go and look through this book and you'll be getting out the shuttles darn quick. Although it's in black and white only this actually makes it more inspiring as the 'greys' make
the imagination run riot. I've just found this page on their website which will give you an idea of some of the things which can be done but there's SO much more in the book.

Thank you, Gary and Randy - an old git in the UK is happy again!

These are only my 'experiments' with the threads and shuttles available in tat corner. Neither to be taken 'seriously'!!!!!

23 June 2009

What a difference a SSSR makes

Look what happens when you use the SSSR with the heart pattern!!!!

All I did was use this technique (running the second colour through the SSSR) to achieve a totally 'new' look to this old pattern of mine!!! I only did that with one SR too. Just a little longer to work but what a stunning idea.

If tattingchic hadn't put me onto this idea then I'd never been able to work out how to do this heart in one pass.

22 June 2009

The reversible motif

I said I wasn't happy with the way my pattern was written and on the web page but it's taken me ages to get 'in the right frame of mind' to do something about it!!

Finally the amended version is done and floating around in cyberspace!!!

I also managed to squeeze in Judith Smith's celtic cross and edging. If you go to my site and look under 'guest designers' you'll find them there!!!!

It's very odd because I thought I'd run out of space (see yesterday's post) but I've now been able to add the two new patterns without any problem at all. Maybe the host was having a 'bad day'. I'll still try to get my 'name site' back eventually.

So that's two things now scrubbed off my list of 'things to do'!!!!

21 June 2009

Split ring bracelets

Today's blog offering is from Juliet Herring. She's happily sharing her pattern for these little bracelets.

Split-Ring Tatted Bracelet by Juliet Herring

Materials: 2 Tatting Shuttles, (I use Turkish No. 50, about a British 30), Hook type jewellery fastening, 2 spacer beads (about 2.5mm 3.0mm diameter), 1 focal bead (8mm/10mm diameter), a small pair of pliers to open and close the small attaching loop on the hook.

I use a Turkish No. 50 thread. I measure out a good 6 arms lengths of thread (about 4.5 to 5 meters). You may find you need less, depending on your own wrist size and I would rather have a bit too much thread that run out and have to join in. Using this thread will make a bracelet about 15.5cm long. Thicker thread will make a much longer bracelet, or you could just use less stitches in each ring (using a no. 20 thread you need to use at least 2/4 stitches less per ring). A bit of trial and error is need here.

Start by winding your thread so that half is on each shuttle (keeping the thread as one length).

Ring No. 1 Make a normal ring of 10 double stitches. You will later attach you jewellery fastening to this.

The next stage uses split rings and both shuttles.

Rings 2, 3 & 4. Split rings of 20 double stictches—10 double stitches made using the main shuttle, flip the ring around and work the 10 ‘false’ double stitches using the second shuttle.

Rings 3 and 4 as Ring 2.

Rings 5 & 6. Split rings of 24 double stitches—12 double stitches using the main shuttle, flip the ring around and work the 12 ‘false’ double stitches using the second shuttle.

Rings 7 & 8 Split rings of 28 double stitches—14 normal and 14 false.

Rings 9 & 10. Split rings of 32 double stitches—16 normal and 16 false.

Unwind both shuttles and thread on your beads—one spacer, one focal, one spacer. You can use a needle threader or bead loader for this (a bead loader is just a long-looped need threader. I make my own using ‘Beadalon’ 0.12” nylon coated stainless steel bead string wirebead jewellery wire. I cut a 15cm length, cold it in half and hold the ends together using a couple of French crimp beads, or tie them. I add a bead or two to make it easier to find when I drop it on the floor). Rewind your shuttles.

Rings 11 & 12. Split rings of 32 double stitches—16 normal and 16 false.

Rings 13 & 14. Split rings of 28 double stitches—14 normal and 14 false.

Rings 15 & 16. Split rings of 24 double stitches—12 normal and 12 false.

Rings 17 & 18. Split rings of 20 double stitches—10 normal and 10 false.

Ring 19—The last ring will be worked as a normal ring of 18 double stitches. Begin by cutting off the second shuttle, leaving yourself about 10cms of thread. Darn this end in to the first 9 double stitches. You do this by making each half of your stitch as normal, cross the thread and before tightening the stitch, pull the end from the second shuttle through the stitch to lie parallel with the ring thread. To work the second half of your ring, take a thinner thread (I use at 30cm length of British no 40) folded in half and darn this in to the next 8 and half double stitches (the fold loop first so that it ends up at the closing point of the ring. Finish the second half of your last stitch and close the ring. Cut the thread from the shuttle, again leaving yourself a working length of about 15 cm. Pass this through ring number 18 (for extra security I pass only a loop of it through 18 and pass the end through that to create a simple knot). Pass the end through the loop on the thread you worked into the last ring and then gently pull the free ends of this thinner thread, pulling the end back through the stitches of the ring.

Trim off the ends, attach your hook fastening to the ring 1 by opening the small ring on the hook and then reclosing it. Your bracelet is now finished, and no ends.


Remember that when you are working your ‘false’ double stitches you must do the second half of the stitch first, then the first half to complete the stitch (and don’t cross the thread as your ring won’t close). This way, when the ring is closed, the stitches all look the same.

When choosing focal beads, remember that heavy metal beads will drag the bracelet. I prefer to use glass beads such as are used for lace spangling, or flatter glass beads, rather than round ones. I also use Thai Hill Tribe silver beads (the flatish round ones that have a raised thread channel) - these are really light and look great.

You can adjust the number of rings in your bracelet to suit your own wrist size, but don't make extra rings any larger than 32 double sticthes, they just don't look right!

Happy Tatting

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