Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thread Obsession!

I've always liked thread!  When I was younger, and doing thread crochet, it was the dime-store thread I bought - thread so rough it would create calluses - or file them down! 
 When I first started tatting, I still used dime-store thread - it was what was available - but as better threads became available (thank you, Internet!), I began to buy them instead.  That first ball of Cebelia - so much smoother than the dime-store thread - it was wonderful!  I soon found other brands of lovely thread: Manuela, Flora, Altin Basak.  Then I bought a ball of Olympus - really nice!  Opera made the whitest white I ever saw - such a shame it's no longer manufactured. 

Pictured are some of my thread stash - some Cebelia, some Flora, some Altin Basak, some HDT, and a lot of Lizbeth.  This is all thread I took to Tat Days or bought at Tat Days - the Lizbeth in the wrappers certainly are new.  But there's more: lovely HDT by Karey Solomon.  Yes, I have something to wind it on; yes, I intend to wind it, yes, I will be tatting something with it -- soon.  In the meantime, I'm just going to enjoy
looking at it - and imagining what I'll eventually tat from it!

Thinking Ahead!

I have taught at Palmetto Tat Days for the past several years - 2005 was my first year, and I wish we had a pattern CD for that year, as I mainly remember the needle-tatted bracelet I taught.  I also taught from 2006-2010, and I have the pattern CDs to jog my memory as to what exactly I taught.

This past year, I submitted four patterns and three were selected.  The pattern not selected will be offered again this year, and I hope, if they choose me as one of the teachers, they'll select it; it's a bracelet and it's fun!  The picture shows different kinds of clasps, but the bracelets are basically the same.

I also have an angel pattern I'm playing with, and it should be fun as well - we go from 2D to 3D before it's done.  It's still in progress, so I don't have a picture yet; I want to get the pattern worked out first. 

Do you have any suggestions for a technique or pattern class you'd like to take at "Tatting In A Winter Wonderland," to be held at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center on September 23-24, 2011?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Treasure from England!

Imagine my delight, on coming home after a long day at work, and finding a package from England in the mailbox!  Sally Kerson, who writes a delightful blog entitled, noted that I was the 100th person to "follow" her blog.  In honor of this milestone, she asked for my home address and told me she'd be sending me a "small present."

Wow!  Some "small" present!  I thought it was my birthday all over again!  I opened the package to find one of her lovely trinket boxes, embellished with her tatting.  It wasn't empty - not by a longshot!  Just look:   
Isn't the trinket box cute?  David said it looked good enough to eat!  It reminded him of a fairy cake -- a BIG fancy fairy cake! 

Thank you, Sally, you made my week so much brighter and nicer! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

We're Ready for the State Fair!

We were missing a few familiar faces around the table, but we had enough hands to sort through the hundreds of tatted butterflies, bugs, and beauties from around the world.  Each little tatted motif went into its own small plastic self-sealing bag (think Zip-Loc, only smaller) unless the motifs were very, very small - two went into the little bag instead of one.

Here are Donna Thompson and Katharine Buckner sorting through some of the beauties.  Donna is the new President of the Palmetto Tatters Guild, and Katharine is now at the Apprentice level in Tatters Across Time!  There was such a variety - not just butterflies, which are certainly very popular, but also bugs of every kind, flowers, and tiny animals and fish.  Some came to us ready to hand out, as bookmarks -- with a long, tatted tail; others had been tatted onto the single rounded end of a paperclip, for a different kind of bookmark! 
We will be at the SC State Fair on Saturday, October 23 in the Home Arts Building.  As usual, we will be displaying and demonstrating tatting - and giving away the little tatted items that so many have made and contributed throughout the past year!  Some folks visit our booth every year - to choose a new addition to their collection!  The "literary snail" at the left may be found on the Palmettos' website - - under "Favorite Patterns," along with several others.  If you haven't visited our website yet, please do - you'll find information about us and our meeting dates/times, and pictures of Tat Days! 
President Donna also announced the date for Tat Days 2011 - pencil ready to mark your calendar?  September 23-24, 2011.  We will again be at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center, where all our activities and sleeping rooms are under one roof (except for mealtimes - just a short, easy walk to the dining hall).  The Lacemaker of Cortland, Ohio, will again be our key vendor -- Bill and Tracy bring such wonderful threads, shuttles, yarns, needles, hooks - something for everyone!   There will be a call for teachers issued next spring, and it will be officially announced on the Palmettos' website.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Who's your favorite tatting author?  Do you have more than one book by the same author?  Which of your tatting books is handiest to where you sit and tat?

Question 2 - easy.  Yes, I have several titles by such excellent tatters and designers as Karey Solomon, Mark Myers, and Martha Ess.  Questions 1 and 3 - tough. 

I have several tatting books I recommend to beginners, because they were recommended to me and they were quite helpful - so I pass that info along.  These include books by Judi Banashek and Rebecca Jones' definitive work on tatting.  For collectors of shuttles, Heidi Nakayama's book on American Shuttles and Pam Palmer's on English shuttles are always at the top of my list (the eye candy alone is worth the price!).  Then there are the pattern books -- modern patterns by modern designers, reprints of antique patterns in modern collections, and some patterns book by authors who are no longer with us. 

 As to favorite -- I can't pick one. 

Which is handiest to where I usually tat?  Also a toughie - since I tend to tat anywhere and everywhere!  I tat on the porch swing every chance I get, and I promise you, there are no tatting books outside.  I usually rummage around to find the book I want to use, then carry it with me to wherever I plan on tatting. 

I'm signing off for now - today is the September meeting of the Palmetto Tatters Guild, and I'm taking the minutes for Pam, who is at the beach (the lucky duck!).  I will take the camera, so if a photo op presents itself, I'll post it later!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Special Shuttle!

I collect tatting shuttles.  I never thought I would, but it's what I've ended up doing!  I thought, after I finally learned to tat, that I would be content with my little red "Boye" (the metal "Boye" being lost to the ages...).  Right. 

Is there a tatter among us who owns only one shuttle?  Honestly?  It starts with the one we use...and use...and use...and then we need another, because there's already thread on the one we've been using, and (pick one or all)
  1. it's the wrong color for what I want to tat now
  2. it's the wrong size thread for what I want to tat now
  3. it's still attached to the unfinished ________________
  4. that thread is just icky! (which leads us to the thread obsession, but that's for another post)
So I started buying more shuttles.  All, at this point, were the red "Boye" shuttles, because that's all that the big box chain store here carried.  One day I found a different, darker shade of red -- I bought it too, and so it wouldn't be lonely, a few playmates for it.  Then I discovered Clover shuttles -- the first ones I found were red and blue, then later on, imitation tortoise shell.  Bought 'em all.

Then David and I had a glorious Saturday in which he didn't have to work, I didn't have to work, nobody needed us for anything, and we took advantage of of our favorite things to do...we went junkin'.  In an old (decrepit) house full of "ann-teeks," on a stack of occasional tables, was a metal tatting shuttle.  It was in less than pristine condition, having a lot of wear on both sides.  The saleslady told me it was priced to sell at only $25.  I didn't have that much (on me) -- between the two of us, we managed to scrape together $10.  She took it and I was the proud possessor of an old, worn tatting shuttle.
This is the "pretty" side...the other has a LOT more wear. 

Since then, I've discovered online auction houses and while I didn't win them all, I was a contender!  And I did win some.  They are kept in the same type of plastic boxes where the decorated Clovers reside.  I do use them occasionally - I've tatted at least one thing (like a 4-ring butterfly) with each - and some get more tatting action than the others (we have our favorites, don't we?).

I've enjoyed strolling down Memory Lane and pausing at the intersection of Shuttle Street!  Next time...books!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

More Shuttles!

While looking for something else, I ran across these shuttles - but isn't that the way we usually find things, most of the time, anyway?

More hand-embellished shuttles from Shuttle Lab Trends.  The backs are above, the fronts below - hard to decide which side I like better! 

Which do you prefer - a post shuttle or a bobbin shuttle? 

The first shuttle I bought, in 1968, was a bobbin shuttle - the classic "Boye" metal on the card for probably a quarter.  The little balls of tatting thread were maybe fifteen cents, and the hanky blanks, hemstitched and ready for an edging, were a dime.  Ah, the good old days - until you remember what the minimum wage was then.  The size 80 thread seemed too tiny to do anything with, so I used size 10 crochet thread - I crocheted, so I always had a lot of that thread around - to wind the bobbin.  I popped it back in the shuttle, what?  I had never seen anybody tat.  The only "tatting" I had seen was the plastic doilies at the dime store! 

I learned to tat about 20 years later - with a post shuttle, one of the red "Boye" shuttles that were readily available at Wal-Mart.  I still like the red shuttles, but I've had two that popped apart!  The Clovers have been among my favorite commercial post shuttles, but since Sew-Mate hit the market, the Clover shuttles have had some competition at our house.

I'm signing off for now - my work day will start pretty early!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weekend's Here!

...and am I glad to see it!  This post will be brief, just to let you know that I didn't lose interest in the blog, but I did pull a muscle in my back -- very uncomfortable.  It's much better today, so I will be going with David to the Homemade Genius Music, Art, & Film Festival in Ninety Six.  He's covering it for his paper, and I'll be his chauffeur.  I wonder if there will be fiber arts included?  I'll let you know...

Later, that same day, as David sits reading a book, Sharren boots the computer and logs on to Blogspot...

We were lucky and found a parking space in front of David's office, so I parked myself at one of the desks and tatted.  I don't know how many attended - it was heavily overcast most of the day and at times, I thought it would pour - but it didn't.  I had my water bottle and tatting bag, and a book to keep me company.  Here's what I did to stay out of mischief:
I need to make four bookmarks, similar but not the same, as gifts for four ladies who work closely together.  One down, three to go!

My back is so much better - better living through chemistry and yoga stretches took care of the tight muscle.  It has been a long day, though, so I'm signing off for tonight.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I "found" some time, and I found (most of) the decorated shuttles, so here they are:
Aren't they pretty - all done by Shuttle Lab Trends.  Some are in "series," like the three shuttles decorated with roses and the two with a seaside theme.  The backs are just as pretty as the fronts - check them out!
I know there are others - they're with works in progress.  To keep them nice, when they're not in use I put them in plastic boxes, which then go into square Ferrero clear candy boxes.  Each Ferrero box will hold 16 of the plastic boxes. 

I'm still working on the Grapes edging - I had an issue and cut off a 4" strip of lace, which will make a nice bookmark.  I've started over and it's moving along.
I used a mirror to check for any logical spots for a corner, and found one - so after I finish this bunch of grapes, I think I'll try it.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Monday Holiday Rides Again!

Yesterday being a holiday, and holidays going by pretty fast these days, I started this post and never got to the publishing point!  Today started pretty early so I'm not going to stay up very late tonight.

I have a few more pictures from Tat Days I thought you might enjoy seeing, so in no particular order, here they are:
This was the Flag-Tailed Dragonfly class which met Saturday afternoon.  Not everyone finished, but they learned a new technique; I confessed that I never managed to finish a class project in class.

This will give you an idea of just how big the largest quilt is!  There are a couple of folks behind the quilt, holding it up.  What a beauty this quilt is - none of the pictures truly give it justice, because so many of the blocks are embellished with 3D elements! 

Most of us on staff for Tat Days met for lunch at The Cornerstone Restaurant, in beautiful downtown Toccoa.  The food is outstanding - everyone had nothing but praise for the cooking and the waitstaff as well; they enjoy meeting the public and serving them, and it shows!  At the end of the table is Nina Libin, and you can see an open doorway behind her to her right - it takes you into a three-level antique mall which we've only partially explored.  They had some lovely things - I want to go back!

I did have a question or two about the hand-decorated shuttles in Sunday's post, so if I get some time in the next day or so I'll get a picture of what I've collected so far. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

It's a Long Weekend!

For those of us who grew up "back in the day," before the Monday Federal holidays were decreed, Labor Day was last Thursday.  I still think of September 2 as Labor Day...right after I think of my grandmother and wish her a happy birthday (she would have been 113 this year).  Tomorrow is just the day South Carolina closes the municipal, county, and state offices, not to mention the Federal offices, banks, and schools.

I have been working on the "Grapes" edging by Karey Solomon, and love it - but because I'm not zipping right through it, I might experiment with a simpler edging - or just a simpler version of the grapes on the vine.  As promised, as I now have a few inches done, here is a picture:
Can you hear it crying, "Block me!  Block me!"  Umm, not yet - you may be just the practice piece, so hush up.  Do please notice the lovely shuttles, which I bought at Tat Days - they were decorated by Shuttle Lab Trends (AKA Hope Bates).  She also offers hand-dyed thread, but it's been an incredibly busy summer and she didn't have any in vending this time. 

I'm also working on a star, which is now half done; I did most of it after church, waiting with some of the others for Cynthia to come cut her birthday cake.  She did (it was yummm) and we all decided my mom was right - "life is short, eat dessert first!"
Non-decorated shuttles this time; one is a Sew-Mate, the other a red Boye.  Tracy, co-owner of The Lacemaker of Cortland, Ohio, who were our key vendor at Tat Days, told me that Boye is bringing back these nifty plastic models - in six different colors!  They should be available later this fall.

The photography on both these pictures is lousy - my bad.  I will get a better picture of the star when it's completed, and the grapevine too (when I decide what I'm going to do).  The pattern for the grapevine, as I mentioned in an earlier post, is from Karey Solomon's book Tatting Elegant Edgings.  It is available from some booksellers (check suppliers for lacemaking supplies - if they carry books, they'll probably have it) or from Karey herself (threads at empacc dot net).  The star is available on the "Fall Into Tatting - Palmetto Tat Days 2010" pattern CD, available from, along with pattern CDs dating back to 2006!

Have a lovely evening (or day, depending where you are)!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturdays - gotta love 'em!

...Mainly because the alarm is not set Friday night, so we can sleep as late as we want.  Usually I can make it to nearly 6:00 AM...

I still haven't located Mary Fitch Poplar leaf #2 - I did find #1, but that's not going in the "show and tell" bucket.  It will go into the "bits and pieces" bucket, to find new life at a later date, as part of a tatting-embellished greeting card.  I do, though, have more pictures to share!
Left to right are Georgia Seitz, Erin Holloway-Moseley, and her hubby Raymond Moseley.  I don't know what Erin was saying, but she was definitely making a point!
Here is Sue Hanson addressing an attentive audience.  Her topic?  The lace artistry and legacy of Mary Konior.  I tatted Mary's heart pattern from Tatting with Visual Patterns - it's in silver on the Crazy Quilt. 
A little eye candy to finish out this post - all English-made lace.  Isn't it lovely?

In the big blue box I won in the Silent Auction (among many other goodies) was a lovely lavender hanky, ready to edge.  There was also a copy of Karey Solomon's Tatting Elegant Edgings - hmm.  Wonder if there was a plan behind it all?  I am working on the edging entitled "Grapes," and using Leafy Greens and Purple Splendor threads (both Lizbeth).  When I get enough done so you can see how it will look on the hanky, I'll post a picture.

Friday, September 3, 2010

More Tat Days Fun!

The very talented Karey Solomon presided over the Early Birds session, which began at ... well, dark o'clock!  I stumbled in around 6:30 and there were already quite a few tatters there.  This year, Karey had us all tatting the Mary Fitch Poplar Leaf.  It's a neat little pattern, one shuttle, and works up quickly.  If I can find mine, I'll post a picture of it.

Speaking of are some of the Early Bird crew:  Theresa (sitting, left), Karey, Jean (sitting, right). 

Mine was not the prettiest leaf off the first try, in autumn colors, definitely looked like a dead leaf.  My second (and final, since I haven't made any more yet) leaf looked more like the picture on the pattern I was given. 

This was just at our end of the table...I don't think I got a picture of everyone there, but I did snap a quick one looking down the table. 

Everyone looks so busy, but I promise you that we were laughing and talking the whole time.  That one sentence pretty much sums up Tat Days - or any given Guild meeting - we were busy, but laughed and talked the whole time. 

The goodie bags we each received had tons of neat stuff in them, and the teachers each received a special teacher gift bag.  We each got a small bag stuffed full of fun stuff at the "Left and Right" game, and there was also the Silent Auction which had some really beautiful items this year!  I won three of the auctions - I won a large, blue box that folds almost flat; a round, drawstring tatting bag; and the latest issue of Piecework magazine.  I'll try to get some pictures this weekend to share.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Home from Tat Days 2010

We really enjoyed the new venue - we met at the Georgia Baptist Conference Center, just outside Toccoa, Georgia, on lovely Lake Louise.  Sound like a travelogue?  Well - if it will entice you to come to the next Tat Days, then travelogue it is!  This is the lobby in "our" building - all our classrooms and sleeping rooms were under one roof.  We only had to leave the building for meals - it was a short walk to the dining hall, where the staff kept the buffet well stocked!

I taught three classes this year.  Here is Hope, modeling her newly-completed class project: a dragonfly pin.
Didn't she do a great job!

We had a great group of teachers!  Please visit the Palmetto Tatters website - - for pictures, bios, and more information about this wonderful group (of which I am proud to be a member!). 

More later -