29 January 2011

More magnetic bookmarks

This is another 'batch' of bookmarks which were ordered by friends.  

The first 'batch' is for Dinah who used to live in this town.  She wanted 4 for female readers and 1 for a male reader.  Easy for the ladies but the gentleman needed a tad more thought.  Thus was born the bowler hatted bookworm who you can see top left!!!

The penguin is another request in the second picture alongside the butterfly for the 'lady at the post office'.

Next?  Well, baaaaing too many distractions - sheep!!!!  

28 January 2011

Changes in tatting

Don't forget - today is Day 6 of the TIAS.

Following on from yesterday's post about starting and finishing tatted pieces today I want to ramble on about picots and front side back side tatting.

It's not until I came online in the early days of the internet that I'd ever heard of picot gauges and I still to this day don't know what use they are except for the longer picots that have to be a certain length to make a pattern work.  For the smaller decorative picots I'd never slow myself down by relying on those - eyes are better than gismos!!! Also a slight variation in sizes gives a piece a more 'easy' look to me.   Please note, however - I am NOT and never have been a perfectionist!!  I enjoy my craft but I don't want or expect each piece to be perfect.  Using a gauge seems to be quite a popular way of working nowadays but as far as I know there's no record of it being the way our ancestors worked.  Certainly it didn't show up in any instructions or patterns when I learnt to tat!!!

Now the question of whether to use front side, back side tatting.  I can certainly see the effect of tatting this way (with a 'right and wrong' side) and now notate patterns to help people to do it.  But I'm not convinced it's important.  I DO use it when I'm making a piece that will be sewn or stuck onto something but if it's going to be 3D or given away to somebody then I stick to the 'old fashioned' way of not worrying about it.  Why?  Well how many people would NOTICE or know if a tatted doily was the 'right way' or 'wrong way' up on a table?  I'm sure no non tatters would!!!!  Again looking through old patterns it's obvious that this was never done in the dim and distant past.

Well, that's enough of me for today - tomorrow I'll show you something I've been working on.

27 January 2011

I've been thinking!

No, don't worry - it won't last and I'm sure it's not catching.

As the TIAS has been progressing I've noticed 'things' about the way people work.  Only minor 'things' but 'things' nonetheless!!!  

The first thing that sprung to my attention was that many people nowadays  seem to start their tatting with CTM (continuous thread method) which  obviously couldn't be done with the TIAS.  The CTM  while allowing the worker to avoid tying a knot at the beginning, seems (to me!) a big fiddle before you even start.  Unless you know exactly how much thread you're going to need (and not many patterns tell you) there seems little point in doing this as you'll still have some thread left on the shuttles when you finish!  I know some people then use the 'remains' to make little diddly things (I personally take the thread off and re-wind it back onto the ball).  The TIAS involves starting with two colours which prevents the CTM totally!!

A lot of people have used an overhand knot like this to start.
Now obviously this isn't 'wrong' and people have their own reasons for starting this way but there are other ways.  Personally I do prefer to knot my ends together when I start IF the item is going to be a 'wearable'.  But I always use a weaver's knot which can be found here.  Why a weaver's knot?  Simples (does anybody from the UK follow the meerkat adverts?) - because it makes a much, much smaller knot.  I then tat over the two ends too - one end in the first ring and t'other in the following element.  I just sorta feel 'safer' using a knot too!!

If the item isn't going to be worn or suffer a lot of wear then I just start without a knot - here's a link for some ideas.

The one 'trick' that I've only ever used once or twice is the magic thread trick for which you can find a link here.  

There are two reasons for this - the main one on which I fall at the first hurdle is planning!!!  

Also I feel there is no point in using it at the start of the work as the ends can be hidden so easily.  The second reason is that it does take some working out on where to put the additional threads - if you are using it as a finishing off method.  

I did try it once but the ends came out a few days later!!!  I know, I know that some people will say that I got the 'wrong sort' of additional thread and probably I did - BUT it's something I'm not going to risk again.  Not when I know that for me it's so much easier to tie a double knot (reef knot) and then, using a self threading needle, sew the ends in!!!

Which reminds me - another tip is to add the needle onto the thread before cutting it.  That way you can judge exactly how little you need!!!

The above are only my personal opinions and are a true report of how I work!!!  Here endeth today's ramble!!

26 January 2011

Welcome to my new dating agency!

Well I should've learnt by now to keep my BIG mouth shut - see here!!  There again you can't teach an old dog new tricks, can you?  

Please, folks, it WAS a joke the other day about starting a dating agency but if at the age of 67 I have to start along new career path then that's what I'll do.  Actually what better way to spend my time than fixing pandas up with dates!!!

Please meet Bo who is the progeny of Sarah.  Now what a bobby dazzler.  

Oh, Sarah says that Bo's top hat is a pattern by Teresa Woods, 2006. She wanted to make sure she got credit.
 The news on Royal Mail is now gettng slightly better.  I had a message as I was lying in bed last night from one of my bestest customers saying this:-
"I don't know if you put the fear of God in your postal workers but one of the missing packets showed up today! Yeah (happy dance) and I have hope that the next one will arrive in the next day or two.  Funny post mark is Dec15, 2010.  HaHaHa if I was that slow with doing my job I wouldn't have a job."
It's the packets that I mailed on that date or the day before/after that have been causing me to worry.  I'm just going to keep my fingers crossed that the others turn up over the next few days.

25 January 2011

Done and dusted!!

Here is the chicken wing doily with MANY thanks to Geraldine for pushing brain cell 3 towards this!!!

Also, believe it or not, the Fandango bookmark!!!!  I'm going to reward myself now with some chocolate this evening.  
Next task is catching up on bookmark orders!!!!  Also I need to make a kitty cat for bookmarks too but brain cell 3 isn't QUITE ready to tackle that.  7 bookmarks first, old lady, 7 bookmarks first!!!!
More news on missing mail - Maureen's has turned up in Brisbane despite the floods.  Still several not arrived in the USA.

24 January 2011

Panda talk

Today it's time for day 5 of the TIAS. This is the halfway point but there's still plenty  of time for people to start and catch up!

Meantime here is a picture of Erika's panda which she sent me a few days ago.  She's looking for a boyfriend for him - does anybody have a panda who needs a partner?

Oh, heck, does this mean I've now started an animal dating agency? Get a life, old woman, get a life!!!

I'd not long finished the above talking about Erika's panda when who should pop in but Sarah's pair below!!!  

Now I'm seriously wondering if this really is going to be the start of a new animal service.  Sarah said:-
"I thought I would show you what I have been doing while waiting for day 5 of TIAS... I had a hard time with the SCMR. I had never tried it before and for some reason the loop kept knotting when I tried to close it ... don't know what I was doing wrong but with some fiddling and a lot of un-tatting ( I seem to spend much of my tatting time un-tatting rather than tatting! ) I think I got it worked out. Think I will try another one to see if I can do it with out so much taking apart!  Lol ...I am in awe of you and many of the other tatters I see on the internet who seem to be able to whip up something in no time at all... these little critters took me hours and hours over three days! Well I do think they are cute and well worth the time...Thank you for sharing the pattern and the instructions for the SCMR...  don't know what I will do with them but I'm sure something will come to mind."

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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
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