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.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Still Around!

-- And I'm looking at the light at the end of the tunnel!  This is the third (and final) week of working 8am - 8pm, Monday through Friday.  The schedule will change back to something more "normal" the first full week of May.

Hasn't time flown by!  I have been tatting a little, usually at lunchtime, and resting when I get home.  I still read the "funnies" every morning (and Dear Abby too, as reading her column is a tradition at our house). 

I wrote the above last week, and had more to say, but got too sleepy to say it!  Starting this week, I should be back on a more "normal" schedule - for me - 7:15 through 4:15.  Yes, it's early, but it's also back to a mere eight hours per day as opposed to the twelve I've been averaging for the last month.

I'll also be working Saturday mornings for a long time to come - long story which I won't bore you with here - but as a trade-off, I'll be off on Wednesday afternoons, and I won't have to work until 6.00 PM on Fridays. 

I haven't been tatting as much as I'd like, but I've gotten in an angel here, a butterfly there, for the SC State Fair giveaway in October.  Tatting at lunchtime hasn't been happening as much as before - many times I've been asked to clock back in to deal with one thing or another.  I've been able to tat yesterday afternoon and today, but I've also read today - until the Kindle informed me that it was about out of juice - so it's on its lifeline, slowly recharging. 

I've written up a new pattern and plan to tat it by my instructions this evening - probably with a movie on the computer (my idea of multitasking).  Pictures will be coming as soon as I get the camera batteries recharged and get some time to take the pictures!  That may be tomorrow - I'm an optimist!

Thanks for hanging in with me - - :-D

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Almost forgot!

... to tell you about the lovely green variegated thread I'm using for the edging!  It's a size 40, hand-dyed thread by Jess! of Tatlicious.  She's got the prettiest colorways - I have several, and it's lovely to work with.  Do stop by her shop and browse when you have a minute - she's also on Facebook, for those who have a Facebook account.

Thanks, Jess!, you were absolutely right about the subtle greens working well with the hanky!  Can't wait to finish so I can post it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On the Edge!

It will be, eventually - the edge of a handkerchief, that is!  More about that, later...much later.

What edging should I do?  I dithered for months  - I'd wake up one day and decide on one, tat a sample, then decide it just wasn't what I wanted.  I'd put the edging on hold and work on other projects, then I'd come back to it...still undecided.

David had put away several of my tatting books - in a safe place - and it was extremely safe, as I had no idea where he'd put them.  Neither did he!  He began a search for them, and after several days, he found them and put them on the bed where he knew I'd notice them when I got home from work!  The missing books included all four of my Mary Konior books!

I'm now deeply into the edging - from this book, one of my favorites, by one of my favorite designers - the one, the only - Mary Konior!  If you look at the edging closely, you can see that she lifted one of the elements and used it in her "Queen of Hearts" motif (in Tatting With Visual Patterns).

I LOVE "Queen of Hearts" - I have it memorized and can tat it without the pattern in front of me (and frequently do!).  I decided to do this edging - but almost immediately noticed a roadblock: it didn't have a corner!

Hankies have corners; sure, you can tat a couple extra elements and work them around the corner, but with an edging like this, you really need to find a way to tat a real corner.  I used the mirror technique: I held a pocket mirror at a 45 degree angle and slid it over the picture of the edging until I saw exactly what I wanted to see - a corner!

Someone, somewhere might want to tat this edging - with a corner - so here is how I did mine:
following the pattern, start the Ring B at the spot where you want to turn the corner.  Tat the chains and Rings C and D, then repeat the last chain and Ring D again.  Continue with the pattern.  You'll have two free picots in the corner element, as opposed to four free picots in each of the side elements.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Time Off - At Last!

I've had a lovely week - I've been on vacation!  It's really been a stay-cation - we've just lounged around the house.  I've been busy, though - I worked on my application to teach at Tat Days and finalized the last few patterns!

I'll offer seven patterns to the Tat Days Committee - there is a new angel this year, and a couple of projects which use doodads.  I've enjoyed working up the models, and will email the completed application and patterns in the next few hours - please wish me luck!

I've also had some time to play - I've started Jon Yusoff's Merriment Doily.  I think it's going to need major blocking when it's done.  It's all curly!  I'm contemplating starting a second project; something small enough to complete fairly quickly (they give you such a sense of accomplishment).  I'm thinking maybe a bookmark - what say you?

I made an attempt at tidying up my tatting supplies - I got several new totes at bargain prices and used some of them to corral the various boxes and bags I have for tatting.  One of my favorites, the good old plastic pencil box, I found at Big Lots for 88c some time before Tat Days last year - and bought several.  The tote holds six with ease, and room for other things as well.  It stayed tidy for several hours - at least until my granddaughter visited!  Oh, well - no big deal in the scheme of things.  Everything's back in place now!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Cut it Out!

Or up.  Whichever.  I just want to reclaim the beads and findings from these "trial runs!"  This is part of my design process: tatting pretty much the same idea over and over, finding what works, finding what doesn't work, and each time, keeping the good stuff in and finding something to replace the bad stuff.  I did get a "keeper" that I've written up, and will submit as one of my patterns when I apply to teach at Palmetto Tat Days 2013.

I always take some tatting to work - don't always have time to tat at lunch, because sometimes lunch is "abbreviated," but I do have it with me just in case.  Lately I've switched from my post shuttles to some of my bobbin shuttles, and have I ever been giving them a workout!  I got a neat pouch to carry my extra bobbins in, too, from Jane Eborall (but I got mine at our last Tat Days).  I think it will hold most sizes of bobbins (I mostly use Viking and Aero); with six pockets, I can fit in 12 - more than I'll probably need, but hey!  You never know, do you?  Best to be prepared!

If anyone is thinking about applying to teach at Palmetto Tat Days this September, please note that the completed application - with patterns and pictures - is due April 1, 2013.

Well, back to work - on more patterns!  The ideas just keep on coming!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Flurries of - - Snow!

The thermometer dipped w-a-a-y down - really cold for us here in the Deep South who aren't used to it - and first the rain came down, then rain and snow mixed, then snow!  Then everything stopped for at least an hour - this was yesterday, and we traveled from Greenwood to Columbia for the February meeting of Palmetto Tatters.  We had patchy rain showers on the way; then, we went into the library and down to the meeting closet room and I enjoyed the company of our fellow tatters!  DH roamed the library and looked over the "Friends of the Library" books for sale.  The snow started up again, before we left, and quickly changed to rain - then stopped.  We had a few flakes hit the windshield on the way home, but it wasn't at all bad!
We were in one of the tiny conference rooms - again.  We had to leave the door to the main room open, or risk suffocation - it got very warm in there with so many!  Our lesson, taught by Marie Smith, was a heart by Karen Bovard, a tricky little tat with mostly split rings and a whole lot of fun!  Eleven rings make it up - and once you "get it," you can tat one up in no time at all.  Marie made up thread kits for us of size 10 red thread - here's mine.  The last ring was written as a regular ring; but I did a split ring and finished with a lock stitch chain to make a bookmark. 

We also did a heart exchange - I did extra in case we had visitors who wanted to play too, and we did - so here are the three I put in for the drawing.  Motifs are great (I have nothing at all against them), but I try to turn mine into a bookmark or something so it can be used.  I did one of  Georgia Seitz' Basic Split Ring Heart (from Tatting on the Edge...and Beyond, book 4 of the Ribbonwinners Series) and two of Mary Konior's Queen of Hearts (from Tatting with Visual Patterns).  In each, I "fudged" the pattern just a little so it would end with the bottom ring, which I did as a split ring so I could keep tatting a lock chain. 

Oh, and before I forget - I need to note a very useful link for several friends who asked -- Georgia Seitz - home of the Online Tatting Class, which she runs - it's always fun and informative, so do check it out!

I've also finished my TIAS for 2013 - I would have finished it days ago, but life keeps getting in the way!  I cut the ends long enough to sew them in - but I think instead I'll use them to sew it down to a cute little tote bag I received as a gift - it's begging to be decorated with tatting!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunshine and Tatting!

We had both in abundance yesterday, but at the Palmetto Tatters meeting, we only saw the latter and not the former.  Because our regular meeting place, the Lexington County Museum was closed for the long, three-day weekend that some folks here in the US get to enjoy, we met at the Lexington County Library on US1.  They didn’t give us the spacious, airy Large Meeting Room, though – they sent us downstairs to a conference room where we were packed in like sardines!  These conference rooms are made to hold about a dozen people.   Period.  We had at least 20 people in there, plus tatting bags, our tatting library, etc., and ran out of table space (that’s still not as bad as one time, though when we had at least 30 people in there – it was challenging).  A different group had the large room – I really hope the size of their group justified the decision to let them have in the large room for their meeting.

Our lesson was Nina Libin’s Holiday Ornament III – the third one on a prepared leaflet which we were given.  I didn’t make one yesterday – I worked with a brand-new tatter instead.  She wasn’t consistently flipping the stitches when she left, but she understood the concept and knows she’ll get better with practice.  I found that I have the beads I need to make one of the ornaments (yay!), so I'll do one at some point.

I’m still working on patterns for submission for Tat Days – and work takes up a lot of my time.  I put in 50+ hours this past week, I will put in at least 2 hours on our Monday holiday, and we’ve already been told that more weekend work is coming.  Yikes!!!  It's hard to have a life when you're working overtime every day.
A big thank-you for all the good wishes sent my way - I am completely over the ear infection now and so glad!  I think I mentioned that it was the first one I ever had in my entire life, and I really hope it's the last.  I didn't know what to think with the roaring in my ears!
Is everyone taking part in TIAS (Tat It And See)?  If you don't know about this fun game, hosted yearly by Jane Eborall, please visit this site - it's never too late to start, it's never too late to finish, and it is so much fun!  Please let us see your work as it progresses - it's fun to see which colors everyone's chosen - and do try to take a guess at what we're making (the more outlandish the better).  Day 4 will be published tomorrow; I was going to share a picture of mine, complete through Day 3. but Blogger is not cooperating with picture upload (again).  Oh, well, Jane has put my pictures and comments on this blog, so do have a look and see what everyone's doing.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Not a real post this week - I'll owe you one. :-)  I've got an ear infection in both ears - first ear infection I've ever had in my life, and (naturally) it's got to be both of them.  Not fun - sounds like a B-52 is in a holding pattern in my head, and when I talk, I hear an echo in there too.

Yuck!  Catch you next week, and hopefully I'll have something neat to show you!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lazy Sunday at Home!

Things are s-l-o-w-l-y returning to a more familiar pattern at work, and I got to leave almost "on time" at least once!  We worked a few hours on New Year's Day, but didn't go in at the crack of dawn, so that was OK.  This week is supposed to be even more "back to normal," and that will be really nice! 

I don't have any show-and-tell this week; I haven't been able to tat at lunchtime this week, and what tatting I've been doing in the evenings has been towards coming up with some new class proposals for Palmetto Tat Days in September.  It's not completely down on paper yet, but there will be a new angel this year (her head and body are done and documented), and a new snowflake. 

In the meantime - I wish everyone a Happy New Year - may your threads never tangle, may your needles be straight and true; and may your shuttles always have enough thread, is my New Year's wish for you!