9 November 2006

Ta de dah - t'is done!

The dolphin is sorted!! I shall work a final one this afternoon or evening just to check my text and then he'll be ready for the great big cyber sea. In fact the split chains work well but can be omitted by cowards! In this final version I've altered the beak once more (just the odd ds here and there) to make it less swordfishy!! Hopefully over the next few days I will get the chance to do a final tat of the starfish and then with the new small fish the three can be launched into cyberspace. Next project? Hmmmmm - finish my Secret Santa and get it photographed and packed ready for mailing.

8 November 2006

Another look at the dolphin

I gave this pattern a rest yesterday evening to complete my last lot of orders but decided to look again at him in the light of day. A comment left on the blog gave me food for thought and a giggle too. Why not call it a sword fish somebody said!! Yup, it certainly was starting to look more like a swordfish than a dolphin and I put that down to altering 2 ds on the chain from SR6 to R9. I shall revert back to the stitch count on the previous version to see if this changes it back to a dolphin!!! What a difference a day makes - or even a few double stitches!!! Underneath you will see my amended drawing with faint double lines and question marks in two places. I've got to see if I can work in split chains here to make the appearance of the dolphin more pleasing. Perhaps when I've done this it may throw the whole thing out of kilter again!! So what, it's fun playing with the dolphins!!!

7 November 2006

I had another attempt at the dolphin but although the flukes are now sorted I'm not happy with the beak!!! When will I ever be happy with anything I do?

6 November 2006

Back to the Dolphin

A fairly good evening for making dolphins. I've put a link in the title to the picture I'm using and this also gives the 'proper' names for the dolphin's tail, fins etc. Interesting.
The first picture is a retrograde step going back to rings and chains after the last trial with SR's! Notice I've now tried the flippper!!

The next picture is there to show just how often I 'lose the plot'!!! Really lost it this time so had to start again!! I'll really HAVE to learn to count!

The last picture below shows my final attempt last night. It was late but I did have a final inspiration on the flukes (that's the tail to you and me!). If you look at the link in the title you will see that they should be much 'fatter' and this is what I've attempted here. They need more shaping as the lower one is trying to go the 'wrong way'!


I'm not happy with the space just below the dorsal fin. There seems to be a bit of an anomally there!!! I also need to look at the beak again and see if I can get the chain running from the actual top of the beak to the eye ring a bit more shapely! This is called the melon!!!
Right, enough rambling - time to get on with the day. Back to the dolphin (probably) this evening.

3 November 2006

Dolphin design

Now this has come about as a result of Connie's fish. While I was working on that design I suddenly 'saw' the one that I'd been thinking of for months and months - a dolphin. I saw the dolphin's beak (yes, that's what the dolphin's nose is called) while I was working round the mouth of the fish. This time I decided to start the whole process in a slightly different way. As the dolphin was to be loosely based on the fish I took the fish drawing and 'played' with it. This is the result of that play.
I also downloaded a picture of a bottlenosed dolphin which I then 'traced' over using Serif DrawPlus and the fish drawing. This gave me the 'perfect' outline. BUT!!!!
The following is my first attempt at tatting this. You will see that the beak is totally wrong!!! I thought about using a very long picot for the top fin but if I do this it will need beads added to it and - well, I'm not sure about that. The tail on this first attempt is too floppy and I just didn't bother with the lower fin as I got disheartened!!!
In the next attempt (below) I think I've resolved the floppy tail by using down picots and lock joins. The top fin is now a chain but again I'm not convinced!! I've also used split rings instead of 'ordinary' ones to try and shape the back. The beak is looking better and you can 'just' see where I've used a down picot (which WILL have a bead) for the eye. I think I may well go back to the straight rings and chains on the next version. As I write these patterns down I keep all versions of it so that I can refer back. So, this evening. I need to make one or two of the chains shorter, go back to rings and chains, sort out the fins (top and bottom) and tat, re-tat and re-re-re-tat until I get what I want!!!


30 October 2006

First part of my Secret Santa done

This is the first part of my Secret Santa done. Do you like it? I'm VERY pleased with it. I hope my partner likes the colours and the beads.



Did you REALLY think I was going to let the secret out yet?

29 October 2006

Gone Fishing!!

I was also asked by the same lady to make her three pairs of fish earrings. I immediately thought of Martha Ess's dear little fish in New Critters on the Block but found that once made it was too big for an earring. Then I decided that I was just being downright lazy and that I should make one of my own. The first picture below is the progression of how the fish developed on Friday (after the booties were finished!).
The next picture is Saturday's progression and the third is the finished results. I used a no. 20 thread with a sparkly filament added and tiny seed beads for the fins and tail. The eye is a slightly larger bead.

28 October 2006

Booties finished

Just finished this pair of booties for a lady in America. The pattern is in Tatting by Cathy Bryant. I wonder how many times I've made these? Hmmmmmm

26 October 2006

Odds and Ends

I had an evening off yesterday and made the starfish below for a customer. Yes, I will put the pattern on my site (eventually) although it's really a bit of a 'steal' from another pattern. No copyright issues here, though, cause it's one of my own I've stolen!!!!!!! Underneath that is a birthday card I made a while back for number one grandson. I used Martha Ess's wonderful little 'New Critters on the Block' designs. Thanks, Martha for the 'boy orientated' patterns - just right for Callum.

24 October 2006

Handkerchief Finished

I don't like doing handkerchief edgings but was asked for one so did this!!! It's the pattern on my site - One Pass Edging and works out about 1 1/4" when I used Finca Bollilos linen thread. I'm actually quite pleased with it!!

23 October 2006

Antique Lace

Antique lace - some of which I need help with in identifying. Please contact me on lovetotat@gmail.com if you can help.

5 above are crochet and measure 6"

Above is Irish crochet in a fine thread - possibly 60 - 80.

Irish again above measures 15" perfect.

Crochet above measures 12" perfect.

This may be bobbin 19" across and perfect condition.

Not known - help needed 9" perfect.

Knitted - I think.

Possibly bobbin 7" across perfect

No idea - 13/14" perfect and I have two!

Think this may be needle - it's spectacular perfect and 16"

22 October 2006

Why I've been quiet lately!

This is why I've been quiet!! I listed some tatting on ebay and orders for more stuff has been coming in. I've still got a hanky edging in white to complete and a pair of babies booties. Then there may well be a pair of seahorse earrings too. Another lady wants a starfish but the idea's still in my head!!!
Just to show you some of what I've been up to!

15 October 2006

Commissioned Work!

This is what I was commissioned to make for my DP (dear partner!) who is modelling the garment. Honestly, promise - he asked for it and he got it!! I used the letters from Mary Sue Kuhn's book 'The Joy of Split Ring Tatting' and 'stuck' them on with 'Wonder Web' which is the stuff you use for making hems when you don't want to sew them. Fiddly but ......... That's why it looks a bit mucky when you click on it and see the larger version - it was still damp when I made him put it on!!!

13 October 2006

Cherry's Birthday Card

I'm off to a little birthday party on Monday for the lady along the road who will be 95! Her name is Cherry!!! I made this little card for her.




10 October 2006

Eureka!!!

Finally and at last - the bookmark which is done in one 'hit' is almost completed. All problems solved and I'm pleased with it at last!! Just one or two small 'problems' with the text and a way of overcoming too many SLT's on the second side which occurred to me in the middle of the night and I can soon start to put a web page together. Also I'll be able to start something NEW!!! Yippeeeee. I shall work a final bookmark this evening and then maybe explore the possibilities of making a corner on this to turn it into an edging. I can never see the point of having an edging if it doesn't have a corner!!!!!

9 October 2006

I thought that I'd try and 'resolve' the second side as a rest from worrying about the ends!!! I think that the second part with the two rings joining to the flower is about right. I'm going to re-do the ends this evening - if I can drag myself back to it!!!!

8 October 2006

More progress on the bookmark

After a long morning listing some more tatting and other stuff on ebay (my ID is janeeborall if you want to take a peek) I've finally found time to show the progress on the bookmark.
I don't like the ends and will not be using those I don't think!!! They look very clumsy to me. Quite pleased with the new look flower though. I took on board several suggestions that said it would be better without the green on the one side. This has meant changing the SR to a SCMR BUT this then needed a chain to take the flower away from the start point in order to work the SCMR back. An interesting new idea which I feel I may use again!! The other side is now going to be a challenge as I don't want to do any C & T's!!!

6 October 2006

My Personal Tatting History

It's now about 50 years since I learnt the craft of tatting.

When I was eleven years old I was allowed to go on the first ever school trip run by Broad Street County Primary School to Belgium. I remember that it cost my mum and dad the tremendous amount of thirteen pounds and ten shillings. I knew I was very lucky to be able to go as I had a younger brother and sister who would also be going in future years. This was probably my very first lesson in 'how expensive' things are!!! A lesson which was well learnt and has stayed with me throughout the rest of my life!

We travelled to Bruges and one of the things I saw was this lady making lace.

This made SUCH an impression on me that for the following two years I nagged and nagged about learning to make lace. I must have been a real pain!!!

In 1956 my gran then aged about the age I am now, decided to go to tatting classes at the old Technical College in Henley Street here in Stratford upon Avon. She wasn't really sure whether she wanted to learn or not! Gran was an extremely good artist but never did a lot after her marriage.

Anyway, after her first lesson she asked if I'd like to learn. Woweeee, nearly, nearly bobbin lace!!! I went to her house and we sat down to try this new fangled craft out. Oh dear, gran had forgotten about the flip!!

To this day I clearly remember seeing what should happen and together we got it under way. Many, many hours we spent together swopping ideas, patterns etc. My pocket money was spent on the only threads we could get hold of - white and ecru (Coats) and the old Coats & Clarkes books and Penelope Books were our only source of patterns at that time. We did manage to borrow a Norma Benporath book from the library (they had found one in a library up north somewhere) and this was very inspiring.

When my gran was just into her seventies she decided to take a trip round the world to meet her brother whom she hadn't seen for fifty years because he'd emigrated to Australia. Whilst she was over there with him she advertised on TV and radio asking for copies of the Norma Benporath book and she managed to get one good copy. I now have this and an original Mrs Beeton's book (also gran's) in my possession.

In later years I learnt bobbin lace, knitted lace, crochet, netting and filet but throughout I have always, but always tatted!!! I've done a lot of sewing and patchwork too in the past.



4 October 2006

Back to the bookmark!

Back to the bookmark and after the very constructive comments after the initial attempts I've managed to 'get rid of' the green colour on the centre 'flower'. This meant running a chain forwards and then going back and instead of using a SR with rings thrown off I've used a SCMR. The two other SR's simply have to have one side of green!! The problem now is the second side (oh, and the ends!). I wasn't happy with the original ends as they didn't lie flat enough so I shall 'fiddle' with those. In the scan below I need to remove one SR following the end (on the left) and before starting the long chain. Now I really, really need to resolve this second side. Up til now I've been putting the shuttle through the gap so that the chain and shuttle thread can do a SLT around the gap between the two SR's but I now think that I'll probably use an OTT join instead to give me more scope to play with this second side. All comments would be VERY welcome. I shall now have to leave this again for a day or three as I've an 'out of ebay' order to fulfill!!!

2 October 2006

If you have ever noticed this butterfly on my site http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~nickeb/butterflyring.htm then you'll see that the following are the same but with a tatted centre. I will amend the pattern in a few days. First of all I want to work this again but without all the picots as I think it might give a clearer outline - all comments welcome!!! Oh, these haven't been pressed yet!!!

28 September 2006

Fleur finished.

Well, that's finished!! Taking out the silly little 1 ds chain, shortening two SR's slightly and adding two picots to two chains to stabalise the feathers seems to have done the trick. I shall put the web page together over the weekend and then test tat the whole thing again next week to look for further mistakes.
Glad this is finished - I'm going to make some badger bookmarks to sell on ebay and then get back to the bookmark that needs tweaking. I think I'll try some different colours and take on board some of the suggestions kindly put forward by people.

27 September 2006

Nearly, nearly, nearly

I think this is nearly done. There is no way that I can make this in one piece so there will have to be a T & C after the lower half is done.
I've made the chain leading up from the central feather much shorter. Down to 1 ds. I'm going to try it without the chain altogether today which will bring the central feather slightly lower. I'm also wondering if it will then allow me to put in a joining picot between the central feather and the two outer ones to 'stabilize' it. All comments welcome .........
If you look at Mark's splendid Fleur de Lys http://www.tat-man.net/patterns/fleurdelis.jpg you will see that he's done his in two or three parts. If the maestro has found that this is the only way of doing a piece like this then who am I to argue!!!! Hi Mark!

26 September 2006

Nearly there!

A good evening. As usual at the last minute and without me really noticing it all fell into place!!! The picture is a bit lopsided cause I haven't pressed it or anything! The bottom part (end of the feathers) needs something different but if I use 'just a chain' it doesn't work! I'll have to fiddle around with this. Also the 2 chains leading into the central feather need either drastic shortening (1 p only) or getting rid of completely. I'll also have to re-draw most of the diagram too which should keep me out of mischief for a while!
I still cannot see a way of making the Fleur in just 'one hit' unless I find a 'returning' way round those lower feathers. There - just set myself another challenge. Whoever said designing was easy should have my convoluted brain! Why can't I just be satisfied with it 'as is'? Trouble is that I'm now itching to get back to the bookmark and I want to make some badger bookmarks to sell on ebay - oh, and what was that other idea that jumped into my head while I was talking to Hope yesterday?

25 September 2006

I didn't get much done yesterday evening due to several phone calls. I did get the base of the Fleur de Lys done, however, so this afternoon/evening should see a good attempt at the upper part. I cannot see a way of making this in one 'hit'. Dissapointing!
I was also monitoring my ebay stuff yesterday evening. I've listed a few tatting items - some of those earrings which are SO hard to assemble. I shan't be making any more of those in the future. There's also a clown, sunflower, tatting needles etc. I do hope I sell some more of the stuff as I really need to re-charge my Paypal account so I can start shopping again!!!!
Oh, my ebay ID is simply janeeborall!!!!

24 September 2006

Finally the right shape!

This is the right shape but there's still a LONG way to go. This has been worked in two parts (darn tying and cutting) so I've got to start again and try to eliminate that problem. I also need to 'design out' the hole in the middle.
Now a bit more about 'why a Fleur de Lys'. My sister (also a tatter) is a Beaver leader here in the U.K. Here's a useful link
http://www.scoutbase.org.uk/6to25/beaver/ Next year is a big anniversary for them (can't remember which one!) and she asked if I could make a Fleur de Lys as that is their emblem. She wants to make some as giveaways.
First of all Sally sent me their logo and I pasted that into a lower layer of Serif DrawPlus in order to 'trace over' it on the layer above. I then did the first two attempts as posted on previous days. It then occurred to me that this was getting me nowhere so I tried popping some rings etc over the top of the logo. I've added that to the blog too. I'm hoping that this will show my many and devious ways of designing. I can't say that I have any particular way of doing a design or that any of it is 'set in stone'.


23 September 2006

17 September 2006

A Bookmark - I think!!!!

I've finished this sample but I think it looks better in the picture than in 'real life'! May play with this a lot more before I 'launch' it on my web site. All comments for improvements are welcome!!! Brain's gone to sleep on this!!! I shall also make it into and edging with corners when I next get 'inspired'. If anybody comments on this would they please also email me privately so that I can reply!!!

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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
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