Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Angel Talk!

I made up this little four-ring angel some time back, and people here and there have asked for the pattern.  I've been told that it's flown around the world!  I've shared the pattern so much, I thought by now that everybody must have a copy...

But - - - I'm still getting requests for it!  So, without further preamble, here 'tis:

This is as written - some fun
variations are below!

Sharren's Angel
1 split ring, 3 true rings.  1 shuttle and some finger tatting.

Pull off about a foot of thread beyond what you need for R1.

R1:    2^10-2-2-2-2-4^2.
R2:    2+10-2-2-2-2-2-2-10^2.
R3:    2+4-2-2-2-2-10^2.
SR3:  2+4-1-1-1 | 2+4-1-1-1.

Cut angel from shuttle; how far from the shuttle depends on how long you want the self-hanger to be.  Double knot the ends together and trim neatly.

I left off two picots from the
skirt - it still looks good!
 Not everyone will need a foot of thread at the beginning; you're finger tatting the split side of the SR, and it's only nine DS and 3 picots.  Personally, I use between six and seven inches of thread for this; it gives the angel a self-hanger of about four inches.  The recipient can re-knot the threads closer to the angel and cut off the excess, if a shorter self-hanger is wanted.

Marie's variation - no skirt
picots, but a pretty little
flower looks great!
Marie Smith, who is herself an angel as well as being a fellow member of the Palmetto Tatters Guild, got the pattern from me some years back and has tatted, to date, several hundred.  By herself.  With no help from the audience, and nothing up her sleeve but her arm.  She has given away every single one

The rose-colored angel has sized picots, which I just eyeballed - didn't use a gauge for them.  I was on my lunch break at work and had forgotten to bring any of my gauges, but I think it looks okay anyway.

"No, I don't work out, but
thanks for asking!"

Big blue is last but not least - she (he?) is tatted with double double stitches, discussed and beautifully diagrammed by Jane Eborall.  I actually tatted double-and-a-half stitches; I tatted the first half of the stitch as usual, and did the second half as a double-double stitch.  It doesn't take up quite as much thread and it's not quite as large, but it does a good job of rounding out the stitches and preventing them from puckering up.

     This is where I say goodnight - there is babysitting and chauffering in our future tonight (David's and mine), but I hope you'll enjoy tatting some angels!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Busy Days!

I finally stopped to catch my breath - and take a couple of vacation days.  Since I'm an early riser anyway, I didn't sleep in today; but I did get to go out to lunch with my friend Catherine!  We went to Abbeville and browsed a new Mennonite-owned market, recently opened on the square.  I bought a loaf of bread...pre-sliced...a pound of chicken salad (delicious)...and a pound and a half of coleslaw.  It's all homemade, and all wonderful.  Now, if I can just round up some nice home-grown slicing tomatoes, we feast tonight!

It's not patina...it's dirt!

I won another silver shuttle on eBay, and have the before (grungy) and the after (shiny) pictures for you.  This makes three I've won now!  I decided (finally) that I (probably) have enough plastic shuttles now, and ought to concentrate more on quality and less than quantity.  I cleaned them all by the boiling water + baking soda + aluminum foil method and am pleased with the results.

Kitchen Chemistry 201 is fantastic!

The Spooky Cat was interested, too - and let me mention that, knowing how interested he is in shiny, pretty things (takes after me, obviously), the shuttles had completely cooled before I tried to take a picture!

Chew toys?  For me??

No, he didn't bite hard - he was just
exploring, seeing what it was

Hopefully I'll have some tatting to show you next time!  Catherine and I were eating in Talk of the Town, a small restaurant in Abbeville (just off the square and across the street from the fire house, if you're out this way) and I pulled out some tatting to show her what I was working on.  A lady from a nearby table explained to her hubby that I was tatting and added that she didn't know how to do it.  Before we had finished our meal, she came over and introduced herself and asked if I would teach her to tat!  She took my name and phone number and said she'd be in touch -- how about that?  We may have another tatter before too long!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Mixed Bouquet for Spring!

After some scary-hot days with threats of t*rnad*es, it has cooled off to the milder Spring temperatures I love.  I truly believe I could love year-round weather like this!

The prayer shawl is still being worked on, but I am also back to tatting.  I got in the mood to tat something when I ran across this ball of Oren Bayan Pearl Cotton – the color is really pretty and it has a very attractive sheen.  I don’t generally tat with pearl cotton despite having tons of it around the house.

Not blocked and ends to hide!

Anyway, I was browsing through A Pattern Book of Tatting and ran across this motif – “Mixed Bouquet.’  I decided to use the Oren Bayan and here it is finished, mistakes and all!

Now, what to do with this motif?  I thought it might be

  • a butterfly, with a hairpin standing in for the butterfly body(c'mon, use your imagination!)     

  • a flower (hmm...gonna need more than one, for sure)

  • a section of a doily
o       like this or

o       like this

I could also see them joined, end to end, to decorate a throw pillow...above the hem on a pillow case... matching hem on a sheet... in other words, a whole bunch more than I'm prepared to commit to tatting!  I like the pattern, but for me it's pretty much a one-shot (unlike Mary's "Queen of Hearts," which I've tatted so much that I've memorized it). 

 I may string some beads tomorrow evening - I'm in the mood to tat a bracelet!  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Spring Fever Part 2!

I did end up missing some work last week - because of "fever," but it was a sinus infection that caused it and not Spring!  I have been playing catch-up since then, and, sadly, have nothing interesting to show you.  I can tell you that 1) I had an idea late last week for a new snowflake, and 2) I've started working on a new prayer shawl.  The dark blue is just not working out - obviously I didn't remember the pattern accurately enough!  It has been about 15 years since I last knitted one of that style, though, so...

I should have some time Monday or Tuesday evening - hopefully I'll have something finished enough to show you!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Fever!

Let's see a show of hands - - of all those in favor of taking the week off to enjoy the blue skies, abundant sunshine, and soft breezes!  Of course, if you live in an area that hasn't yet gotten their fair share of blue skies, abundant sunshine, and soft breezes, you may want to take the week off in hopes that Spring will finally show up.

Or, you may just want to take the week off "just because" - - and that's OK too!

Some of us were discussing a prayer shawl ministry a few Wednesday evenings ago, after prayer meeting, and since then, I've been wanting to pick up my needles and knit.  David found me a "bargain" sack of yarn, 7 skeins of Premier yarn by Venus, in dark blue (what was I thinking?), from Big Lots for $1 per skein.  I found my shoebox (clear plastic by Aero - love that name, don't you?!) containing sets of knitting needles, and pulled out a size 10 circular.

After I wrestled it away from the Spooky Cat ("What?  I'm playing with this!  It's mine, I already claimed it!") I pulled out a skein of yarn and started.  Ten minutes later, I started again after unravelling a very unsatisfactory beginning.   Five minutes after that, after I untangled the Spooky Cat from the yarn and circular needles, I cast on and began again.  Twenty minutes later, after considering the work-in-progress from all angles, I slid it off the needle and ravelled it out.

How could I possibly forget how to knit a shawl, for cryin' out loud?? Aren't they, like, the first thing you knit because they're so freakin' easy???  Good grief, I just finished one in 1973 -- that's only ...wait, that's ...no, that can't be right.  Thirty-eight years ago?  Oh.  I guess I could forget in that length of time. 

I Googled "prayer shawl" and found a lot of sites to check out - and of them, I've found four patterns I like, all easy, including the basic triangle I kept making a total mess of.  I printed them off and once I discover more yarn (possibly at Wal-Mart), I'll be working on one of them.  In the meantime, I'm attempting (from memory) a shawl of the late, great Elizabeth Zimmermann's.  So far, it's moving right along -- which may be an indicator that I'm doing something wrong, or that I've correctly remembered it and and knitting it correctly.  Time will tell. 

The little one in the middle is my own design, and I
taught it at Palmetto Tat Days in 2007.
 In tatting news, I have tatted three snowflakes for the 2011 Scholarship Quilt Fund-Raiser and debating re-loading with white and continuing.  I probably will, in that knitting is a bit harder to carry around with you whereas tatting just slips into your pocket.  Here are the three I've finished -- the ones on the ends are from "Festive Snowflakes & Ornaments for Needle and Shuttle Tatters," published by Handy Hands.  The one on the right was written as bare thread, but I did lock chains for a more substantial look.  There are quite a few very pretty snowflakes in the book, as well as medallions and other ornaments.