Sunday, October 13, 2013

State Fair!

We went to Columbia, South Carolina, to the State Fair, yesterday - it was time well-spent, as we spent it in the Palmetto Tatters booth!  We talked with passersby about tatting and offered (their choice) a small tatted memento of their visit. 
Answers to random questions by passersby:
  • Yes, the little tatted angel/spider/butterfly/turtle/owl is absolutely free.
  • No, we're not pushing a 'cause' - other than educating others in how to tat, and offering encouragement.
  • No, it has nothing to do with tattoos.
We also demonstrated how we tat, and most of us made up little items we put on the table for passersby.  I made several turtles and a butterfly:

Autumn Butterfly
  • 1 shuttle and fingertatting, or two shuttles CTM (I pulled off about 12" of thread, tied it to a shuttle with thread on it, and used that)
  • ^ = tiny construction picot
  • . = close ring
  • + = join
  • LJ = lock join
  • SS = switch shuttles
Tat the ring with the shuttle (or Shuttle 1, if you tied your pulled-off thread to another shuttle)
R:    10 ^ 4 ^ 4 ^ 10. SS
Ch:  8 - 1 - 1 - 6 ^ 2 LJ (to next ^ on R)
Ch:  2 + (to ^ on previous Ch) 6 --- 8 LJ (to next ^ on R)
Ch:  8 ---6 ^ 2 LJ (to next ^ on R)
Ch:  2 + (to ^ on previous Ch) 6 - 1 - 1 - 8 LJ (to base of R)
Tie, cut, trim ends the same length (they're the antennae)

They make up fairly quickly, and they're a nice change of pace from the classic 4-ring butterfly we've all made tons of!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Busy Summer - Here Comes Autumn!

It's been a very busy summer - everyone goes on vacation, and we cover job duties for one another - and some folks get sick!  Not me - but a good friend who is a vital member of our work team did get sick, so it was back to overtime work for me!

I taught at Palmetto Tat Days in early September, and had a blast - it's always so much fun to be with friends who have much the same interests!  Some are also avid knitters, and that started a train of thought that led to knitting and my ever-growing yarn stash. 

I started looking through all my needlework stuff and discovered I couldn't find half the knitting needles I wanted - duhhh - they're all in works in progress!  It's nice to know that I can find them at Michael's and at HobLob (some sizes/kinds also available at Wally World), but as this was last Sunday, and I wasn't thinking about Wally World, we went to Mikey's.  I had looked over some free patterns online and found a shrug; I got the needles (a set of double-points and a 29" circular), and ... yes, I looked at yarns!

I have learned so much in the past week -
  • Red Heart makes more than just the 4-ply worsted weight we all grew up with;
  • Red Heart makes a boutique yarn called Unforgettable, which is like an acrylic version of roving;
  • Red Heart should issue a warning with each ball of Unforgettable that warns you of impending frustration should you try to rip out what you knitted incorrectly.
Honestly, what should be so difficult about knitting Feather & Fan pattern?  Three rows of stocking stitch and one pattern row - what's so hard?  Well, let me tell you - because roving will split and you can (I did) inadvertently make an increase where you didn't intend.  It's also an absolute bear to un-knit - or even to remove the needle and try to rip with abandon; roving likes to stick to itself.  I got out my sharp little scissors and carefully snipped the strands trying to make friends with the stitch next door, and managed to get all the way back to my K2P2 ribbing.  At that point, I gave up on Feather & Fan and decided to try Trinity Stitch, which I memorized back in 10th grade (roughly 300 years ago, give or take a decade).

No, those aren't cobwebs -
they're roving fibers looking for friends!
It's hard to knit Unforgettable - - it's even harder to re-knit Unforgettable.  Let us draw the curtain on this tragic little scene; suffice to say that the ribbing and the lumpy bits that used to be the Unforgettable that I ripped back several times are in the basket and may stay there.  In the meantime, I found several online comments that this particular type of yarn is better suited to crochet, and I found a beautiful shawl pattern free online, so that's the plan for the upcoming week.  I have plain ol' worsted that I'll use to make the shrug.  I may even go back to Feather & Fan!


Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Shuttle!

Just bought it in the last few days - it's solid oak and feels nice in your hand.  Holds a bunch of thread, too!  The seller is Monica Braxton (the link will take you to her Etsy shop). 

It took me a few minutes to get used to tatting with it, as it's a different shape from what I've been used to using, but I got the knack and quickly tatted a little butterfly (below).

It's affordable; and she has another style shuttle as well as some lovely hand-dyed threads. 

I may have to get back into knitting - my DGD asked today if I'd teach her to knit!  She's eight years old now, and I had already bought and put away for her a pair of child-sized knitting needles.  I got them out, let her pick out the yarn she wanted to use, and away we went!  She's decided that she wants to knit a scarf and a bag.  Ambitious, right?!  She seems to understand the construction of the stitch and told me, "It'll just take practice, Granny."  She constantly amazes me!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Back to Work!

The foyer - love the window seats!
Vacation is over...for awhile.  We've just spent a lovely week of leisure pursuits, including a couple of nights at the Simmons-Bond Inn, in Toccoa, Georgia (US).  It's our favorite getaway spot - we wish we could go more often, but time is usually the deciding factor!  Toccoa also has a great museum - one of the best I've ever seen - on the military.  It covers the Revolutionary War through Afghanistan, with a fantastic (and huge) section on Easy Company (Band of Brothers), including one of the actual stables they called home while stationed in England!

Our room - this trip - the Benjamin!
We didn't get to visit with Karrieann this time, but on the way back to Greenwood we stopped by Panera Bread in Anderson and had lunch with Marie Smith and her hubby, Rick.  It was David's first time in a Panera Bread - now it's his new favorite!  Wish we had one in Greenwood!

I've not tatted a whole lot lately - I did one 4-point star for the Starbursts class, in order to make some notes on how much thread is needed for the 4-point and each successive Starburst - determined that and passed it on to the Palmetto Tatters for test-tatting.

Sounds like a fun club!
Toccoa is a nice town - great place to visit, and we always hate to leave.  The Simmons-Bond Inn is right there in town, so it's a very easy walk to restaurants and antique shops.  They have a really nice used bookstore, where we found a few books we'd been hoping to find somewhere, and I noticed this sign on the way out.  (In case it's too small to read easily, it says "The Toccoa Literary and Chicken Pot Pie Society: A Writer's Group of Book Lovers - New Members Welcome!"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Once More With Feeling!

Can you stand one more picture of my many, many variations of Mark-My-Words?  Here, I've substituted lock stitch chain for the midsection of the bottom arm of the cross (2 vsp 1 [lc total 5 1st half DS alternating with 4 2nd half DS) 1 vsp 2).  This is the one I like best, and the one I'll keep tatting (for now!)

The Palmetto Tatters met 10 days ago, 5/18 - and I got to be with them!  Due to some software upgrades at work, I didn't have to work - - in fact, my boss encouraged me to go to "my event!"  I had such a wonderful time - I have really missed attending the meetings and enjoying the company of fellow tatters.

I had a question today about the brooch class I'll be teaching at Palmetto Tat Days in September - Beth asked what size button to get.  It's really the size of the shank, more than the size of the button - here are three buttons, all with the same size shank.  They all fit the tatted backing, and the shanks are the same size, so they will all go through the metal split ring that is at the center of the tatted backing.  More on the classes and prep later - we're packing up to hit the road for a day or so! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

As Promised!

Here is Mark-My-Words in Purple Splendor - with another twist!  I've replaced the center ring of each trefoil with an SCMR and thrown a ring off in place of the third decorative picot. 

I started in the same place as the previous cross; in finishing, I had two SRs to tat before tatting the chain.  Which cross do you prefer?  Or do you prefer the original?

The teacher list is up at the Palmetto Tatters website!  Yes, I am on it, and I have very distinguished company:

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tatting the Afternoon Away!

Per my new work schedule, I'm off on Wednesday afternoons.  The trade-off is that I work Saturday mornings.  "Someday" I'll be eligible for Saturdays off, but it's going to be quite a while.  In the meantime, today being Wednesday, I came home after my co-worker (she's my backup and I'm hers, and we can't both go to lunch at the same time) got back from her lunch.

I've been tatting and watching Downton Abbey - Amazon makes it available for free for their Prime customers (along with some nifty other benefits) and it's cheaper than Hulu Plus (nyaaaah, Hulu!).  Today I tatted one of Mary Konior's crosses.

This is Mark My Words, found in A Pattern Book of Tatting.  I fudged it a bit; if you look closely, you'll see that it's not exactly as written:
  • The center rings in the trefoils aren't as large as given in the pattern; I only tatted 4 DS between the join to the previous ring and the first decorative picot, and there are only five instead of seven.
  • The outer rings in the trefoils aren't 2-6-8; they're 2-7-7.  Same overall DS count for the rings, but I think they fit better at the joins this way.
  • The long chains are now lock chains (first half flipped, second half not flipped); the equivalent of nine DS for each chain, and they're nice and straight.
  • I started with the third ring of the top trefoil and worked around to the other side of the trefoil - after tatting that ring, I tatted a split ring to exit from the top; I'm working on the chain now, and haven't decided how to finish it.  I can do a tassel or a mini-cross (and have ends to hide) - and I'll need to decide soon, as I see that I'm running out of Scottish Thistle on the blue shuttle.
I like to pair up unlikely threads, just to see how they look together; these are Sea Island Citrus and Scottish Thistle.  I rather like them together!  I realize now that black, while it makes colors "pop" in real-life, can increase glare in a photograph.  I'm planning on tatting another of these, and I'll try to get a better picture of it.