12 February 2011

Another choker.

First of all I must add an addendum to this post.  I thought it was somebody named Susan who had sent it to me and so searched high and low (emails, internet, everywhere) to find a Susan who tatted.  Then yesterday the culprit owned up!!! It was Lily who can be found here!!!  She did mention ages ago she was going to send me something but I'm one of those people who forget easily so that I can have a bigger surprise when things do turn up.  BOY was it a surprise too!!!  So, thanks LILY and not Susan (Lily's mum who's name was on the package as the sender)!!!!

Next bit of news is that the shuttles are all in the shop and ready to 'go live' on Sunday - around midday (that's GMT) so that America is awake or nearly awake!!  There is a fabulous mixture of hooks/no hooks this time with some great new woods too.  I've also updated the pop a bobbin page here on the blog to show them off!!!  There is a link at the top of this post (somewhere!) too.

Just thought you'd like to see what Geraldine's done with Jane's chokers.

Geraldine sent this in with her picture earlier this week and she said:-
"Well not much H/work has been done this week end . Why? Your TIAS and that wow choker of Jane's. I'm so glad you got the pattern. I have so enjoyed tatting it. I have tatted the 47 rings as stated, but it only measures 12 inches which does not fit my neck. I have thought of another use when I have finished I will send a picture."

11 February 2011

2 size 30 hearts

Before I start - just want to let you know that I'll be listing more pop a bobbin shuttles in the Etsy store over the weekend.  Not quite sure what time at the moment but I think they'll go live when I get up on Sunday morning!!!!  Some will have hooks and some will not!!!  Also I've added the aeroplane pattern to the pattern page - right at the bottom under odds and ends!!!!  I'm hoping a few more will come in to land over the weekend unless there's a volcano erupting somewhere or a baggage handlers strike!!!!

Well our flights are booked to the USA later this year so what to take with me for little pressies is the next 'problem'!!!! 

In the past I've taken dangles, bookmarks, brooches and other bits and bobs.  What will I make this year?  I made these two hearts the other day in a size 30 thread and thought I'd make them into dangles.  Problem is that they're a little too big for the rings I've got.  Then I thought of something else but it's a 'not got roundtoit' at the moment.

ANY suggestions for what to make would be VERY welcome.  Whatever it is they've got to be VERY pretty and also fairly fast to make.  I'll just have to give dear brain cell 3 a ring too!!!

10 February 2011

Using up odds and ends

I've got a few ezybobs emptied now  by doing the flowers and diddly things below.  Having spent a few days working on a new design (another critter) I craved colour and beads in my life.  So to kill two birds with one stone I decided to empty the ezybobs and play with colour!!!

Then decisions had to be made!!!!  What do I do with these?  So eventually (after a few hours of thought!) I decided to add them to my handbag.

This was a bag given to me for Christmas by one of my daughters.  I never have a bag that is 'just right' but this one is THE first ever JUST RIGHT handbag I've ever had.  It was a bit dull (for me, that is!) so I'm gradually brightening it up.  You can now see these 'diddly bits' on it!!!

It has room for everything in it - even my roly poly with my carry round tatting in it.  I'm so pleased with it that next time I need a new handbag I'll send her to buy it for me.

9 February 2011

A gift package

Ooooh, look what Royal Mail (notice, not Fail this time as they did deliver! in 7 days) brought me yesterday all the way from Florida and from Susan.  More toys to play with.  THANKS, Susan.

Unfortunately the beads don't show too well but they are drop dead gorgeous.  I recognised the snowflake too - I should've pressed it before scanning but I was too excited!!!  The earwigs will be worn with pride with my green tshirt. 
Also below here are two more bookmarks which I hope to get in my Etsy shop later today.  I really, really love making these flowers.  In fact I've got three that I made last week for my handbag.  I'll show you those another day - and my handbag too!!!

8 February 2011

A trip to the dark side!

If you are of a nervous disposition OR a needle tatter DO not read further!  Well, perhaps you ought as it isn't 'all bad'!!!!!  If you do read then I hope you'll read to the end - before you fall asleep!!!

I took a trip to the dark side the other day - you know me and know my opinion on needle tatting from the past.  But, I realised after several conversations with needle tatters (particularly Barb) that the needle tatting I self taught myself back in the 70's with the Jiffy needles (courtesy of the Morins) was different to the needle tatting being done nowadays.  Takes time for the penny to drop with me!!!

My opinion about needle tatting is based on the fact that it's not traditional - here is a link which gives the history of tatting on Wikipedia.  I have seen one very old published item (1917) showing that a needle can be used but it does make me wonder why it was never adopted and developed like shuttle tatting.  I think this is the piece I remember seeing - below. After yet another ‘chat’ with Barb she pointed out that (like the Jiffy needle method) this is an antiquated method (I hadn’t looked at it closely – just used it as an illustration of when the use of a needle was first seen - probably) and again is probably the reason that the ‘modern’ needle tatting has evolved.  
Anyway after these conversations I felt curious enough to try it for myself.  Bearing in mind I've had a set of the new sorts of needles  (after Jiffy) which I bought before internet ordering was available from Handy Hands and which has remained unopened  until a few days ago - you can see my interest in this skill - nil!!!

So, digging around in my tatting cupboard the other day I found this ancient (but new!) set of needles!!  Still unopened.  A matter of an hour or so later I'd got the 'hang' of this technique.  I don't mind the wieldy and (definitely not pretty!) needle or the fact that you have to be careful you don't sit on it but what really bugged me (and I couldn't get it any better - is the 'padded' look of the finished piece.  I read all the instructions and got the right sized needle for the right thickness of thread.  I tightened my stitches up real snug on the needle and they looked beautiful.  I slid them off and there they were - all floppy and limp.  I also quickly got into a mess with the long length of thread needed but fortunately the phone didn't ring and nobody came to the door - I only got a tangle once!!!
Anyway, the needles were relegated to the cupboard again for a few days by which time I'd given it more thought and decided to have another 'go'!!!!
This time I thought I'd do a comparison and was surprised to find that the needle tatted and shuttle tatted pieces both came out the same size.  That DID surprise me.  BUT the needle tatted one is still floppy and the 'stitches' do not hug the core thread as in a shuttle piece.  On the left is the needle version and the right is the shuttle.
Now, to summarise my excursion to the dark side (which turned out to be not so dark!). 
I can now say that the although the finished item is ALMOST as good as shuttle tatting - it doesn't quite 'make it' for me as it certainly doesn't give a crisp finish.
The needles are NOT pretty!!!  
The length of thread needed that lies in the lap is extremely annoying and tangles easily - in my second attempt I got into an even worse tangle as there was more thread.  I'm not sure which would be worse - so much dangly thread or forever joining in new!!!
Finally - why on this planet would anybody want to learn something that is harder to learn than using a shuttle with a poorer result!!  I can't see how this is easy to carry around with you when that length of thread is going to have to be put in a bag!
My final word is still that this side line of the craft should not be called tatting.  In fact ALL tatting SHOULD in my opinion be defined by the way it is made.  We  have 'bobbin' lace, 'needle' lace, 'knitted' lace, 'tape' lace and 'machine' lace so why shouldn't we define these two as 'shuttle' tatting and 'needle' tatting every time it's mentioned.  Honestly it's only fair to the person reading it to be given the information that there are two ways of getting there.

7 February 2011

Another heart

I've got a heart like this in my shop but this one isn't there!!!  This is for a returning customer who works in our Post Office. 

The staff at the post office are always curious as to what I'm mailing abroad and this lady one day was puzzled as the package 'stuck' slightly to her counter top.  She said if felt as if it was magnetic.  Thus the conversation was started.  I took a butterfly down to show her  few days later and she bought that and then ordered a heart.  

Oh, must tell you a story.  On Saturday Sally and I were looking through the clothes racks in a local shop and she spotted a nice top.  I pointed out that it had three quarter sleeves to which Sally said that was fine.  Then out of my poor old mouth came - 'hmmm, spose it would be OK for me too as I've only got three quarter arms'.  Never thought about it until a woman nearby burst out laughing.  It's true, though, my arms are short and long sleeved things are always waaaaay too long and fall off the edge!!

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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
I beg your pardon? I didn't quite catch what you said.