31 January 2008

Barbara wrote during the TIAS.

I really LOVE the notational convention you have invented to distinguish back-side instructions from front-side instructions!! I am one of those older traditional tatters who completely quit tatting for 25+ years and "awoke" suddenly in 2006 to find the tatting world a new and wonderful place replete with split rings, split chains, front-side/back-side tatting and such. I find myself going through patterns and writing "F" or "B" in front of every line because I am now trying to achieve the consistent-front-side look. Your notation allows the pattern-writer to provide this very helpful information without adding to the length of the patterns. Ingenious!!!

I am wondering if anybody has any further suggestions on this type of notation. Are there better or alternative ways to do it? Do we need it, even? All comments gratefully received either in the comments on this blog or as an email to my regular email address.

29 January 2008

Further thoughts about notating the SR and SS!

This is a message I had from Riet. As English is not her first language I think she's VERY brave and very articulate in explaining her thoughts below. Thank you, Riet. Also thanks to SueH for her comments in the comments below too.

it is the first time, I hear of this problem, but who am I and how much do I hear.
I always saw the shuttle, you use for the second half of the split ring, was just a thing that comes in and goes out, before you close with the working shuttle. There is also not a SS before starting the second half of a split ring. I think you you should try to learn the new ones to look at the working shuttle, woooow what is this difficult to explane in english.
OK try it again the shuttle that is in your right hand is the working shuttle, so ring closed, you go on with that shuttle normally it doesn't need a SS because you just go on, It only needs an SS when something differents than normal happens

Look at the first SS in day 2 , to compleet the flower and close the flower in the way you want, you have to do ss you have to go on with the other shuttle I think this SS can't be difficult than the second after R 17 is again making a new R take the orher shuttle and make a SR. I think this is also clear. Than the next day. After SR 20 it is more difficult, but still normal, when you look with the technique in your head, When you should go on as normal, you should RW and tat the Chain, the chain will go the wrong way , so to go in the other way, you need a SS and that includs that you don't need the RW.

I can inmagin that for starters this is difficult, but when you learn your starters that the shuttel that makes the ring, in other words that closes the R is the working shuttle, the shuttle in your right hand. When they learn and understand this it will no longer be difficult. I , but again who am I, would prefer it to go on in the way we are doing, think about it you also don't say ss in a pattern after the first part off the SR. Again try to let your starters understand what they are doing, it makes them much more understand the way a pattern is written

My, I hope , understandeble 2 cents
Riet the B-engel

Thoughts about notating the SR and SS!

This message came from Barbara Hevener and has given me food for thought.

I got involved in trying to help someone else with this project (TIAS) at the Palmetto Tatters Guild meeting last Saturday. That person (an experienced tatter) had gotten confused about what shuttle should be in her right hand after completing "SR20: 4 / 4 - 2 - 6 Cl SS".
Because of the shuttle-switching that occurs whenever one makes a SR, it occurred to me that it IS somewhat confusing whenever "SS" immediately follows a split ring.

This morning, I looked up several purported definitions of "SS" (including the old first edition of Judith Connors' "Illustrated Dictionary of Tatting"--I don't have the second edition yet), and found that nobody ever really seems to say how "SS" should be interpreted in conjunction with a SR. I'm betting that tatters (and perhaps even pattern writers) might interpret it in different ways. For example, if I started making the SR with Sh1, do I "SS to Sh1" (because Sh2 made the final stitches of the SR)--or do I "SS to Sh2" (because I just pulled the SR closed with Sh1)? So it might be helpful if pattern writers were to specify "SS to Sh __" in such a situation. Another alternative would be to provide a more complete explanation for "SS" within the pattern instructions.

This is a good point and I would appreciate other people's comments. In the past I used to stipulate which shuttle the worker should be using at each stage but have recently dropped this in favour of SS. Having read Barbara's points and being a tatter who assumed that everybody who finished a SR would pull it up with the original working (core) thread this didn't occur to me to be a problem until now!!!

Please email me with your comments and I will add them to this post - if you wish.

27 January 2008

Excellent Comments on the TIAS

These comments were sent in by Kate Sharp and I thought they would be useful not only to me but to others too.
Day 1
I haven't encountered joins on the second half of a split ring and although I managed to keep the ring sliding, the picot is twisted so I probably need some extra tuition on how to resolve this.

2nd Part I've done it and it works! I don't think I've done split ring in and out of a flower to travel along in a line, so it was a good experiment! Turning ove the work and reversing the stitch order is also new but I reprogrammed my brain and achieved it. Didn't quite pull the two upside down rings (10 and 11) fully closed. Last two stitches in each ring seem to ping the other way a little, probably because the stitches and ring are a little loose. Good intro to the technique though! Very clear notation and good corresponding diagram.
Day 3
Still struggling with twisted last two stitches of opposite way round ring, and joining to second half of split ring, but I've done it. How much is 1/8 inch?! No guesses as to what it will become!
Day 4 and 5 Forgot to do the 'front side back side' tatting technique for the tiny ring 21 in part 4 but as its so small it doesn't show too much. Tied on a new shuttle as ran out the two yards I'd put on working shuttled to start with. It seems to be a nicely spaced pattern without straining to join up. Got fractionally confused as to which shuttle I was on but found that it all made sense if I just went with it! Still no idea what the motif is!
Days 6 and 7 Still going well and the notation is clear to follow. I find it much easier having instructions and a diagram for reference rather than a diagram bespeckled with numbers. My joins on the second half of a split ring are neater and becoming easier to work, although they still don't always look quite right. The front side/back side tatting is clever and impressive! I am pleased at how stable the piece is. I think I might be tatting a little pig! Its tail went a bit short though. I wondered if the circles bouncing along its back might make it a woolly sheep, but I think its legs look more pig-like. I hope it will be cute! I have found it most intruiging to witness the construction of the design and where uneven split rings end up!
Day 8
Got a bit confused about which shuttle to start with, so had to unpick a giraffe neck I'd made! Forgot front-side-back-side tatting for the second chain of block tatting, but never mind! The block tatting is fine though, not something I'd done before but the instructions were nice and clear. Wound another two yards onto the second shuttle as I'd run out the two yards that were already on there. I reckon it's going to be a hippo now.
Days 9 and 10
I have tatted a hippo! The lock stitch seemed to go fine - so many reversals and different stitch combinations that I haven't tried before! The eye bead went on very well - before when I've tried this it's twisted and not worked very well, so I was pleased about that!
I had expected him to have an open mouth with two little rows of teeth - maybe this could be an adaptation! I also think he looks a bit rhino-shaped so maybe another version could have a horn! I was pleased to see he looked like the picture!

In my experience, the 'main' working shuttle needs about 3 1/2 - 4 yards and the secondary one about 2 1/2 - 3 yards - if I'd put this much thread on at the start I'd have had less ends to finish when I'd completed it so I think a thread estimate would be a useful addition to any similar future project.
The process has been fun and I've looked forward to the instalments, which were in very achievable sized chunks. I have learnt a lot about the construction of a tatted animal and I think his feet are really cute! Thanks Jane!

25 January 2008

New necklace

The first picture here is of a necklace/bracelet which I bought while in America last year. It has magnetic beads so that you can wear it as you like. When I saw it I instantly thought 'tatting' but when I got it home I decided to wear it as it is. Now this was fine for about ten minutes when I realised that the non magnetic beads were sharp little beasties and jabbed into my neck or wrist. You can probably see that in the picture below.

Well I found some more of these in a local hardware store in town. Hmmmm, why that sort of store I don't know. They were in their sale so I bought two more.
Having thought about the unpleasant feelings of being stabbed constantly in the neck by the beadsvvI decided to go back to my original plan and replace the ordinary beads with tatting.
Here's one done and dusted. SO comfortable to wear. I will spray it with Scotch Guard to stop it getting mucky and will try to remember to wash my old turkey neck more than once a year!!!! Oh, the neck really is mine and not a turkey's. I daredn't show the face - too frightening!!!!

21 January 2008

Neglecting this blog!

I'm afraid that this blog has been a bit neglected over the past week. I've been ebaying more of the little hearts and realised that last week the prices were probably a bit high. This week I've reduced them. I do hope that some wedding planners will see them as they'd be ideal for place cards, invitations etc.
The 'tat it and see' has taken over my life. That's good news to me as I do hate these winter months where there's nothing but rain, darkness and cold and this has really cheered up my days.

What has really surprised me most has been the way this idea has been so popular. I did think about a dozen people might take it up but .........
The really good thing is the relative new tatters who are also having a 'go'. As they didn't see the completed piece before starting there was nothing for them to look at and think 'that's too advanced for me'!!! I have had a few people ask for extra help which has also been good as I've learnt a lot about how to write/draw things too.
On Sunday after day 7 went out, my mail box just kept filling up with guesses. I've (hopefully) managed to keep up with them and have got a 'summing up' post to release at the 'close of play'. I'm hoping too to be inundated with finished pieces but even one or two would be good.
Finally the only really negative thing that's happened is that progress on a new pattern has staggered to a halt!! I am not really blaming the TIAS but my brain!!!

19 January 2008

Tshirt edging finished AND sewn on!

Now it's one thing for me to finish a piece but it's another when it comes to sewing it onto fabric! I made this edging for the neckline and sleeves of a tshirt. I've devised a way of coping with myself in these situations. I will NOT allow myself to start something new until the whole project is complete - and that includes the sewing on!!
This is the edging which I've got almost ready to upload onto my pattern pages. Mary Jarvis has very kindly tested the pattern out for me and given me feedback on it. I will check this out in a day or two as I really would like to use it again to make a handky edging.

I'm very pleased with this edging as it really seems to 'flow' well from the lower to the upper part. I may well tackle something more difficult in the future.

17 January 2008

Tatting Talks

Yesterday I went to a small village just outside of town to give a talk on tatting. (Last talk I did was in November - at another village).

I had the feeling that this might be an old age pensioners group and having done a few of those some twenty or more years ago I must admit to not being that enthusiastic. I used to find that the men weren't interested and dozed off and that there was always one lady who 'knew how to do it' and who conducted her own version of the talk in a loud 'whisper'.
Anyway, I arrived with my suitcase to find that we were in a small (and VERY cold) side room off the main hall. Anne, who had booked me, took me in and sorted some tables out for me and put the heating on. Heating in village halls is notoriously 'iffy' but this was magnificent and the room warmed up very quickly.

The 'victims' arrived and were mostly eldery (heck, Jane, so are you!) BUT and this is a VERY BIG BUT, they were very, very interested. I enjoyed every minute and was SO glad I'd taken all my best pieces with me. One lady had brought her own piece of tatting which she'd done many years ago. It was a cream doily in a fine (guess about 40) thread and had been done extremely well.

Another lady admitted that when she heard that the talk was going to be about somebody's hobby she wasn't all that keen to come but had really enjoyed hearing about 'tatting today'! I think they were most surprised at how many people were doing it worldwide.

Oh, I told them about the 'tat it and see' and I told them it was going to be a £$^%&*"!£%^&£ but I'm not telling anybody who reads this blog!!
One of the group was talking with me afterwards about being nervous of her computer and the internet. I told her about a scheme that the local library runs for 'silver surfers' to have an hour with a volunteer tutor. She may well go and ask for an hour and as I'm one of the volunteers we may well meet up again. I do hope so as she was such an interesting lady.

After the talk they had sandwiches, cake and tea. I was very good and only had a cup of tea - until I saw the chocolate cake!!! Now how many calories is that?!

15 January 2008

Another little heart

Yesterday I decided to make another little heart.
Sadly I appear to have upset a dear friend with the other design which she says is very like one she designed some years ago. I have apologised and have been very upset to think I inadvertently upset her.
This is the new one.
Having ordered lots more of the crystal hearts for the centres I felt I needed to use them when they arrive. I think these hearts would make very pretty accessories to wedding place settings, cards etc.
I have revised my listings on ebay and do hope that this will resolve the matter. I lost a night's sleep over this as I hate to think that I upset somebody that I respect and admire so much.

13 January 2008

Hey, ho, a quiet day

Yesterday was a quiet day so I sat and made a few more of the hearts I showed on this blog yesterday. I got four done to list on ebay. I also listed four more Aero shuttles too. I must check the bag to see how many I've got left as I need to keep a few to replace mine as they break - not that they do very often. Perhaps I lose one every year or two but they certainly put up with a lot of wear and tear from me.
Here's one of the little hearts I listed today. They're here on ebay.

12 January 2008

An ancient pattern!

I remembered that some years ago I did a heart pattern. The two intertwined ones below are what I made for my youngest daughter's wedding. We used them on the place settings.

A few weeks ago when I was out at the local garden centre (they also have a craft department on site) I found some very pretty heart shaped beads. They have a hole at the top and one at the bottom which go from back to front (or, front to back!!). I took a guess and found that they fit the little heart.

I'm wondering if I ought to put this pattern on my site. I must go and check to see if anybody's done it before!!!!

Well I've checked with one of my tatting gurus - Georgia Seitz (didn't want to bother Sue Hanson as she's so busy with HBT at the moment) and she's not seen it before. So, now I must put a page together and get it into cyberspace!!! Tat'll keep me quiet for an hour or ten!!!

10 January 2008

Been tagged again!

Two people have now tagged me for the 'You Make My Day Award' so I'd better sort out my ten favourite blogs.
I love Teri Dusenbury's The Lover's Knot
I love her wacky sense of humour and her fantastic commitment to whatever she's doing at the moment.
Another of my favourites is Gina Brummett's Threads from a Tatting Goddess
I like this one as Gina always has something to say most days and it's always interesting to see what she comes up with.
Next is Pamela Myers as hers is just so pretty. I love her animals especially the camel. Can't wait to see more.
I love the 25 motif challenge and am forever grateful to Sharon for all the hard work she does on this. I've never joined in but do follow the progress of all the participants.
I did have another favourite which was walkingthestreets which has now dissapeared. This was an account of the daily life of a traffic warden. Wish he'd come back online.
There's another blog which I go to every so often but I'd rather not list the url as it's a family member (though not related). An interesting insight into a modern young mother's way of life.
Mark Myers blog makes me nearly pee my pants when he posts. I can't believe what he does with 'bits of string'.
I've only got seven so far so will come back to this later. There are way toooo many to choose from and I love them all.

9 January 2008

A lovely motif

Yesterday morning a small packet arrived from America. Always great excitement when packages - or anything arrives for me that isn't a bill!! When I opened it there was the dearest little motif that looks SO like bobbin lace it's amazing to think that it fell off a shuttle!

Guess who it was from? Nah, too easy - just take a quick look and you'll know straight away. It's from my adopted son, Mark Myers.

Well I had to adopt him as I'm way too old to be his mistress and, sadly, he's far too happily married to Kim anyway. Sigh, sigh, sigh!!!!

7 January 2008

Yesterday was a 'play day'!

I've given up on the little tree I've been working on for a few days. Frustration set in!!

My sister's been around this weekend and she gave me some magnetic clasps. I'd bought some in the USA so wanted to test both for myself. I feel better for having a 'play day'. I must do some autopilot stuff today - an order from a friend and then after tat? Who knows!!!

Here are the results of yesterday's play.

6 January 2008

Late, sorrrryyyyy

I know that Christmas has come and long gone but time seems to rush by. Something to do with getting older, 'they' say!

Anyway I haven't spoken yet about the gift I received in the Secret Santa exchange that Giina Brummet ran on the tatting goddess list.

My huge jiffy bag arrived about ten days before Christmas and the address looked familiar. Me, being me eventually got curious and looked it up in my address book. Ah, Carol Lawecki. Now Carol's been a great tatting friend for years. She used to test tat my 'bits' in the early days. Now she's working and raising two teenagers she's got a very busy life.

I was very, very good and waited til Christmas Day. Very difficult as it was sat in front of my armchair all the time!

Anyway, what was in the bag?
Inside were lots and lots of goodies. A lovely picture - framed beautifully - of Pam Palmer's partridge in a pear tree. Then there were sweets and chocolates (looooong gone!). The tins are now being used to store things (the emotitats live in one to stop me losing them!).

Also in the packet was a ring pull thing that you have on name tags in offices. On this was a tag with my name beautifully tatted attached. There were also notelets (made by Carol's mum), tea bags (yummy), beads in a dear little sachet, a key ring (with more tatting in the clear part), three spools of quilting thread (which I've already 'test tatted' and found superb especially for jewellery), flossing 'thingies' and finally needle pullers (best things since sliced bread - LOVE them).

Nick and James sat and watched me open each little packet and oooh and aaah. They were quite a lovely shade of green by the time I'd finished!!!

5 January 2008

Denim purses

Just before Christmas these two dear little denim purses arrived from Grace Kock - another tatter I've met via my dear friend the internet and our associated passion, tatting. Aren't they cute?

3 January 2008

New edging

This is an edging I've been working on for a month or two. It's worked in one pass (no second row to go back and 'do'!).
There is also a corner which could prove useful when doing a hanky edging. Currently I'm using it with a number 30 thread and making neck and sleeve edgings for a new tshirt. I call this my 'autopilot' tatting as it's relaxation when I've finished playing with new ideas!
I'm hoping to add this to my web site in a few weeks time along with the Palmetto patterns for 2007 and one or two other 'forgotten' pieces that I've found lurking on my computer.

2 January 2008

Last ring of the season!

I just HAD to find an excuse to use the thread that Carol Lawecki sent me in the Secret Santa exchange so what better 'test' than to make a final finger ring. These need a firm thread and, like the Dual Duty that I showed t'other day, this one has that quality. It's a Coats quilting thread.
I had three colours to choose from. Green, pink and brown. Just lately two of my favourite combinations are pink and brown. I've tried photographs of these but they didn't work too well. These are scans and still don't give a true idea of this stunning colour combination.

1 January 2008

Ring in the New Year

Corny, or what? This is what I was playing with last night. Two new finger rings. The pattern is here if anybody wants it. The green is worked with the Dual Duty thread which my friend TatBit sent me. The gold is worked with the 'new to me' Oren Bayan which I got from Tatting and Design. This is a metallic thread which works up beautifully and is easy to use.

31 December 2007

Finished the letters!

Here they are in all their 'glory'. Flowered and butterflied with gold threads and Madeira. I will Scotch guard them when the weather is fine (better to spray them in the garden) and then they're ready to go!! Below the individual letters is the final hanging.

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

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