Sunday, October 30, 2011

MK's Leaf Braid Variations!

Tatting with Visual Patterns is still under copyright, so I can't write up the pattern here.  However, I can tell you that it's on page 18 in the 2002 Lacis soft-cover edition, and it's easy-easy-easy!

The variations, though, are mine - and while I can't write out the exact pattern, I can describe how to tat the wreath and the zig-zag.  These have not been test tatted!

Wreath:  1 shuttle.  Size 20 will take at least 4 yards, and I'd load 5 yards to be on the safe side (why add thread later if you can avoid it?).  Size 20 Opera is a little thinner than size 20 Lizbeth, so 4 yards should do fine (but you know your own tatting style, so load what you are comfortable with.  If you want beads like my wreath has, string 27 before you begin - put one ring in the ring thread for every ring you tat, and let it stay at the base of each ring.

1st ring - tat only the 1st ring of the set.  Reverse the work and tat both rings of the set.  *Reverse the work and join the last picot of the 1st ring you tatted to the shuttle thread (yep, it's a shuttle join).  Now tat the 1st ring only again.  Reverse the work and tat both rings of the set.  Repeat from * around; when you see that you've got just about enough room for one more inner ring, tat it and be sure to join it to the 1st ring; then, when you reverse work to tat the last set of rings, remember to join to the first ring of the first set (it's tricky!). Hide the ends.  Sew or glue a bow in place where you like it.

Zig-zag:  A little trickier than the wreath, because you're tatting the first ring of the set on each side instead of just on one side.

1 shuttle.  Tat the 1st ring only of the set, and reverse the work.  Tat both rings of the set, and reverse the work.  Join the last picot of the 1st ring with a shuttle join and tat both rings of the set.  Reverse the work and tat the 1st ring only of the set, and reverse the work.  You should start to see a pattern of rings:  single ring, 2 sets, single ring, 2 sets; the other side should have set of rings, single ring, 2 sets, single ring.

Have fun!

MK's Leaf Braid Again!

I had another idea for Mary Konior's Leaf Braid -- could it be tatted as a zig-zag?

Yes, it can!

I also finished a wreath!  This one is tatted with Opera size 20; I think it's just a bit smaller than Lizbeth size 20.  The bow is plastic and came from Hobby Lobby; because it already had the hole in a convenient place, I joined to the ring thread with a lark's head knot.  I've got to tell you, though, it made tatting after joining into the bow a little fiddly -- the bow is rigid plastic and it's a bit cumbersome.  This wreath also came out with 10 points - so I'm going to tat another wreath in the same thread, but without joining into the bow (I'll attach it afterwards) and see how it does.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Accident Becomes Inspiration!

Are you a Mary Konior fan?  I am!  I'm the happy owner of her tatting books (Tatting, Tatting In Lace, Tatting Patterns, and Tatting With Visual Patterns) and would like to draw your attention to "Leaf Braid," found in Tatting With Visual Patterns (on page 18 in the 2002 softcover edition published by Lacis).  It's a one-shuttle lace; if you're not familiar with it, it's two rings, joined, reverse work, two rings, joined, reverse work, etc.  MK calls it "the easiest pattern in the book and probably the most useful."

In my previous post, I discussed working the Leaf Braid in size 40 Lizbeth "Grape Splash," and wondering how long a piece of lace 15 yards of thread would yield.  It's about 13" - but there's a *gotcha* - it's not a straight piece of lace!  It turns a corner!!

I'm bad about not paying strict attention to my tatting - I'll be tatting and chatting, or tatting and reading, or tatting while watching a movie (at home), which generally leads to frogging.  This was the case when I was working on the Leaf Braid the other night - I turned over my work to start a new set of rings, and found that I had only done the first of the two rings the last time I worked on that side of the braid.  The braid had a definite bend to it, due to the missing ring; this started me thinking - could this be the way to turn a corner on this edging?  I worked another single ring (the first of the set), then reversed to work the "outside" where I worked another set of two rings, joined.  I reversed it again - the bend was at a more noticeable angle.  I kept working.

Three single rings were needed to make a nice, square inside corner.  I turned just the one corner and kept going straight - so one side measures a bit over six inches, the other over seven inches.  I found I could get a nice, flat braid by leaving a bare thread space of about 1/8" when I reversed work; and a very small 1/16" bare thread space between the pair of joined rings.

I like to experiment in tatting - and what if  starts me off on a new adventure.  What if you tatted the Leaf Braid, with the corner variation, but just did all first rings of the set on one side?
Merry Christmas!!

Of course, I got all bead-happy - but it would look pretty with just the beads in the middle of the circles of rings.  I may make another, with just those - if I do, I'll post it so you can see it.  I used four yards of thread for this - didn't have to cut it from the shuttle, as I was finger-tatting the last ring!  Nine points works fine - it lays flat - but if you wanted ten, I think that would work as well.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

More Mary K!

I ran across a Sew-Mate shuttle nearly full of lovely hand-painted thread; what to tat, what to tat?  I went back to my old standby, my go-to pattern:  Mary Konior's Curds-and-Whey edging, done with just one shuttle.  Before I knew it, I had run out - and the edging was not long enough to really use!

I switched to some of the Lizbeth I bought at Tat Days - some of the new colors, in size 40.  At the right is how "Blue River Glades" looks, tatted as Curds-and-Whey.  .

Fifteen yards of this thread yielded about a foot and a half length of edging, which made me wonder: if I switched patterns and tried, maybe, Leaf Braid, how long an edging would 15 yards of Lizbeth size 40 give me?  I'll let you know - in the meantime, here it is in progress (in "Grape Splash").

The world is a lot smaller than we think - thanks to the Internet!  Case in point:  I have a friend, Jeanette, who is an expert spinner.  For the last 25 years (at least), a couple of times (at least) each year, Jeanette has dressed in 18th century garb and carried her antique spinning wheel to our local historical site, Star Fort, for Living History Days, where she has demonstrated and discussed the art of spinning.

Imagine my surprise (and amusement) when I got an email from Jeanette the other day:  Isdihara recommended that I contact you to schedule a tatting lesson. I didn't know you taught. I tried to learn from VCR tapes and a DVD. I am having problems with tension. Please let me know if you can help me.  

Isdihara is a good buddy; I've known her online for a few years, and met her in person at Tat Days 2010.  Now we talk on the phone and email, as well as follow each other's blogs.  She also lives in Virginia, and I live in South Carolina.  Jeanette, on the other hand, lives about two miles away from me.  Small world indeed!

I called Jeanette and we set up a meet at a local chain coffee shop (I'll call it "Coffee-Bucks," but you and I both know what its actual name is).  We tatted and chatted for over two hours, and probably could have kept on, but we both had some other stuff to do, so we parted with promises to stay in touch and meet again to tat and chat.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Our Day at the Fair!

We had a great time talking about tatting and demonstrating how easy it is to do!  Marie had a very nice young lady, Bree, who came into our booth and talked tatting for quite a while.  She had already learned how to tat and was interested in furthering her knowledge.  She sure asked the right person!

Pam also had a student who was very motivated to learn, and Pam had her flipping her stitch in no time!
See the beautiful gold bag? It has 10,000 beads!
Our "Tatting Hands" video played
for interested visitors.

In Shock!

Last week was busy...very, very busy.  I glanced at emails -- didn't open and read any, just glanced at them (that did a lot of good, didn't it?).  Didn't have much fun time on the computer at all.

And then it was Saturday, October 15 - State Fair day!  The Palmetto Tatters go to the South Carolina State Fair in Columbia, SC every year (that counts as our October meeting) and demonstrate the art of making lace with string and air.  We had parked and were waiting for our ride into the fairgrounds, and Gloria walked over to wait with us - and congratulated me on my "big win."

"Oh!" I exclaimed.  "I did win a blue ribbon!"  (My work friends told me all along that I'd get a blue ribbon, and I had to bring back pictures so they could see it.)

Gloria said, "Well, yes, but I meant the big award - Most Innovative.  You won that!"

My chin still hurts.  That blacktopped parking lot is hard, and when my jaw dropped,...well, you get the idea. Once we were inside the Moore Home Arts Building, I found out where my necklace was displayed, and got this picture.  I'll make a better one, once I get it back, but that will be sometime next month.

I'm still in shock.  I've gotten blue ribbons before, but never one of the big awards.  This will keep me floating, up around Cloud 9, for quite some time!

Oh, and before I forget - Isdihara, this one's for you - we were on the phone and as I came around the corner of a building, I remarked on the beauty of the fading sunset behind the lights of the fairgrounds.  This picture doesn't really do it justice, but it at least gives you an idea of how really pretty the scene was.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New Threads! in thread, not clothes... Back in the day, we said "threads" when we were talking about clothing...ahem... anyway...

Has it really been just two Saturdays ago that we were in Toccoa for Tat Days??  Seems longer...way longer!  I'm getting over a sinus infection (so what else is new) and finally getting around to trying out some of the beautiful new threads I picked up.

First up - Pink Cocoa, a new Lizbeth colorway, suggested by Jane Eborall!  I actually started this motif at Tat Days - I usually prefer size 20 thread, but the new colors were just available in sizes 40 and 80 (yikes!), so I bought a ball of size 40.  I like the way it looks!  Good job, Jane!

Next up is Sea Island Citrus, another Lizbeth colorway, suggested by Carolyn Craig.  The picture on Handy Hands' site didn't  do this thread justice!  I really like the way the cool green and blue play up against the dabs of yellow.

Lastly, Altin-Basak color 343 (why don't they name theirs?  Anyone know?).  I received two full balls of this lovely turquoise blue, along with gobs of other goodies, in a Silent Auction item I bid on.  I haven't decided what to make yet, but I've loaded a shuttle - that's Step 1!

Between the antibiotics and the decongestant, I'm getting sleepy again.  I think a "nap" may be Step 2 right now instead of "choose a pattern!"