Monday, July 30, 2012

Miranda’s Challenge!

Check out Tatting Fool, for Saturday, July 28!  Miranda has offered a challenging exercise in design – not exactly a doily, but an illustration of one.  The illustration is part of an all-over print on some fabric she happened to run across while shopping at Jo-Ann’s.  She included a couple of pictures of the fabric, and anyone familiar with the construction of tatted lace will recognize it for a tatted doily.

But – it’s more of a sketch of a doily, than an actual doily….and therein lies the challenge!  Can you construct a reasonable facsimile of the doily, with no pattern, no stitch count, no nothing?

I don’t always participate in these challenges – time is one reason, then there is the frustration level when what I think should work, doesn’t.  But – with only three rounds, why not try?

Here is my test piece – rounds 1 and 2 complete, and round 3 in progress.  By the time I get all the way back around to the beginning, I think I’ll have a pretty good idea of the stitch count that works for me (yes, I am making notes as I go).  I’m tatting this one with what is left on several shuttles, so it should be >ahem< quite colorful when it’s done!  I’ll tat it again, from my notes, in two colors and without cutting at the end of each round as I’ve done here.  Since it’s an experimental piece, I didn’t even hide my ends – I tied and clipped! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

This Tatter’s Treasure Hunt!

My granddaughter, age 7, is an aspiring tatter; she loves handling the shuttles, comparing the sizes, unwinding the thread on them, and seeing all the pretty colors.  This said, she’s not actually making knots, unless you count this  =============>

Somewhere in that tangle are 10 shuttles, one chatelaine with two crochet hooks and several other tools on it, a piece of black felt with two sewing needles in it, and a pair of scissors.  You have 10 seconds – GO!

Did you find them all?  No problem if you didn’t – I did.  I got them all untangled after we got home last night, and even had time to empty the thread off two of the shuttles by tatting this little cross!  They’ll be giveaways for the South Carolina State Fair, which we’ll visit in October with the Palmetto Tatters Guild.  We’ll be demonstrating tatting as well as teaching, so if you’re in the Columbia area on Saturday, October 13, please do stop by and visit with us!

The cross is easy-peasy; as I mentioned above, I’m making them to use  up the last of the thread that’s on the shuttles.

Tiny Cross
©2012 Sharren Sarver Morgan

3 rings and 2 split rings

Pull off about 12” – 14” for finger tatting the split rings and one ring.  Pull off additional thread for R1.

R1:          1^10^1.
SR2:       1+4^1 | 1+4^1.
R3:          (use Shuttle) 1+10^1. RW
R4:          (finger tat) 1+10^1. RW
SR5:       1+5 | 1+5.

Tie ends together to form hanging loop, and cut from shuttle.

You can also make the world’s tiniest bookmark by pulling off more than a foot of thread to start; plan for at least 1½ feet.  You can tie this thread to another shuttle and avoid finger tatting, if you like.  When the cross is complete, make a length of lock stitch cord (whatever length you prefer); then, tie the ends in an overhand knot and clip the threads for a tiny tassel.

I used size 20 thread but wouldn’t size 80 be amazing for this pattern!  I’ll get right to work on that as soon as I get a bigger magnifying glass!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Making Plans and Dead Batteries!

One of the joys of Tat Days is - - tatting with friends I haven't seen for a whole year and impromptu "show-and-tell" sessions!  So ... I tend to want to pack nearly everything tatting-related I own, for fear of wanting something when I get there and realizing I left it at home.  I am getting better about this - - over the last few years I have gone from a large two-part wheeled tool chest to a smaller carry-about tool chest. 

This year I'm going to try to just take a satchel and just take what I think I'll actually want, and pack more carefully and think long and hard about what goes with me!  Besides ... there will be vendors there...!

I've already decided I'm going to need some Crystal Light energy drinks for those late-night sessions (mmm, Strawberry!  Or Peach-Mango!) as well as some extra lighting.  I noticed last year that lighting that's fine for just conversation is not necessarily fine for tatting, so I resolved to bring a good light from home.
Folded up, it really doesn't
take up much room

Which brings me to full-spectrum lights.  I have several: a floor lamp (definitely not going), a conical OttLite with a wrist strap but no separate electrical cord (a possibility), and a Verilux travel lamp with a fold-up base and a separate electrical cord (a definite possibility). I haven't used the Verilux much, because it had to be plugged in; the rechargeable batteries included didn't seem to hold a charge.  I took them out and pitched them yesterday, charged up our rechargeable batteries, and put in three of them - voila!
Lots of light from such a small lamp!

Works like a charm!  So it will be coming with me.  I'll find some way to pack it - possibly rearrange the satchel, or change to a different type of case (>gasp<).

I'm starting to work on something for the SC State Fair in October.  That sounds a long way off, but it isn't really - I've got several projects ahead of it, for Tat Days, and it will need to be turned in at the September meeting for delivery to the Fair.  I'll need to get busy if I'm going to have anything to turn in for competition!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Some Like it Hot!

...but I'm not one of them. I'm not crazy about single-digit temperatures, but at least you can put on more clothes and keep warm.  When it's hot -- >whew<!!

This is just a short time ago - - it hit 100F before noon today, and has hovered around 106 most of the afternoon.  So far, the official high was 107 at 2:35 PM EDT (they were expecting 108, but we didn't quite make it).  Warnings abound, against going outdoors if at all possible, and avoiding sun exposure.  So... we have stayed indoors.

Did I mention that we DO NOT have central air conditioning?  We are getting by with a window unit in our bedroom so we can at least sleep in relative comfort.  We have another unit, ready to install on the other side of the house which gets the afternoon sun, but that is not going to happen today.  I can't help lift it anyway, as my broken arm is just healed and not ready to lift heavy objects, and it's a two-person job.  So... we swelter. 

The good news is that this heat wave should break this week and temperatures should go down into a more reasonable  low '90s by Friday, and lower still over next weekend!  YAY!

The other good news is that with the A/C on in the bedroom, I can tat...and I have some show-and-tell.  The bracelet that I was not going to finish - - got finished.  Yep, I even hid my ends - see?  I hated to have tatted that much and then give it up, so I used the Starlit shuttle as my ball thread and the smaller shuttle as my working shuttle, and finished it.  YAY!

By the way, registration for Palmetto Tat Days is now open!!