Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Prairie Dusk" hand dyed thread

 Several shades of purple, khaki, and orange, blended together in cordonnet sizes 3 to 80, plus embroidery floss. These colors have a subtle sort of "Halloween" association, but are not limited to that since they're just pretty. The batch is now listed in my Etsy shop.

The bracelet that I was working on this week is now finished and listed as well, though of course with most of my followers being tatters themselves, there is a great interest in the techniques and the pattern. In fact, pictures of the bracelet went "viral" on my Facebook page yesterday, with more than 9 thousand views! So obviously I need to write up the pattern, which I will do as time allows. I do think I need to come up with a variation that is similar but doesn't require the pearl tatting part, so more people would find it do-able.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New bracelet in progress with pearl tatted center

Still unfinished, it needs the thread tails sewn in, steam blocking, and the findings attached. This is a new design experiment with a pearl tatted center. Pearl tatting meaning a 3rd thread added, with unflipped stitches worked over it, alternating sides. The result is sort of a cord with picots on both sides, which I thought might be handy for joining other design elements to. 

So far I'm pleased with this design, especially the colors, which include my own hand dyed "Adventurer" for the center, "Stonehill Wine" for the 2nd round, and Lizbeth #676 Leaf Green Dk for the final round, all size 10. The beads include Toho 11/0 Round Andromeda MA #704 strung onto the thread, and over selected picots I used 8/0 seed beads in a slightly brighter but similar color.

The bracelet turned out a bit too large for my own wrist, so expect to see it listed in my Etsy shop soon. As for the design, I'll probably tweak it and experiment some more.

Hand dyeing a new batch of thread tonight!

Monday, September 15, 2014


For those who are looking for a neutral, camouflage, shaded khaki thread. This batch of my hand dyed leans just a wee bit to the olive side. I had in mind the image of an adventurer off on an expedition to an exotic locale, possibly with a military espy.

The earrings are tatted from size 20 of this batch. I added a brass corrugated bead and a gear for a steampunk style that an "adventuress" (female adventurer) would find pleasing. They almost look like they could be hiding some sort of mechanized ansible device (but they're not - they're only earrings)! Just fun!

Friday, September 5, 2014


So September has arrived, and in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area it isn't hard to find some leaves that have already changed color. The days are still warm and summery though, and I hope that lasts a while.

A new batch of "Sugar Maple" hand dyed thread has been added to my Etsy shop. That batch always gets "oohs and aahs," but I'm loving how many of the other colorways look good as autumn leaves as well :)
The pattern for the earrings is my own original "Small Maple Leaf."

My dear husband, Jan, has been getting loads of admirers and views for his own Etsy shop, and it's given him something to focus his own creativity on.

The Museum of Wisconsin Art will soon be putting some of my tatted jewelry on display in their gift shop. I'm excited to have my work included there! Also coming up on the calendar is Milwaukee Tatting Guild on Monday, September 9, and Tatting Days in Indiana at the Thread Corner the first weekend in November. Lots to do!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Needlebook with tatted closure and "Roses" HDT

There's an easy-to-follow tutorial by jessyratfink on Instructables on how to sew a needlebook. I used it as a guide for making my own needlebook, changing it just a bit to suit myself.

I made my needlebook smaller, 3"x4" closed, to fit more easily into my tatting project bag. Of course I wanted a tatted closure! This one is something I just made up, but I think there are many small motif's that would work. Just add a tatted loop long enough to fit around the button. The elastic is simply put through openings in the lace of the tatting, before sewing it into the seam as usual.

As a personal challenge, I selected some photos that my husband is offering in his Etsy shop JantasticPhotos, printed them onto photo transfer paper, and ironed them onto the fabric before cutting and sewing. It's the first time I've tried the photo transfer process, and I'm pleased with how well it turned out!

The dye batch this week is "Roses", and I think that completes the rose series for a while. Fall colors will be arriving in a little while. Summer just flew by way too fast!

Hand dyed thread and roses

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Past & Future

With time on my hands, I decided to curate my first treasury list on Etsy. 
I was in sort of a "timey-whimey" mood (to quote Dr. Who).  There are 2 tatted pieces included, from Smaranda C. and Sarah McKee. The rest is sort of a mix of retro-future.

No tatting of my own to show yet today, but my injured finger is starting to feel better, so will get back to tatting very soon! Dye batch this week is expected to be "Roses", and after that I will start in on all the autumn colors.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


 Neapolitan is here! Strawberry pink, vanilla, and chocolate brown, softly shading together in a pretty hand dyed thread.

I will have to wait to tat something with it, though, until my finger is healed. I was stringing beads onto thread with one of those needles that open all the way down the middle instead of just at the end. Well, I will never use that type of needle ever, ever again! Because the needle is so razor thin from being split into 2 sections like that, it cut deeply into the tip of my finger. The cut was still painful 3 days later and looked black and scary, so I got medical attention for it. Fortunately it is not infected, it will just take time and care to heal.

I did manage to finish the "links" for the collaboration project with my wire artist friend, but will tell more about that in a future post. It's difficult to type with one finger bandaged.
Tatted "links" for future earring project

Trying to tat with a sore finger

Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Celery" greens

 It has been a busy week, having fun with friends at guild meetings, trying to design a tatted connector for a friend's wire jewelry collaboration project (no success yet on that), and helping dear husband Jan set up his own Etsy shop. He's just getting started with selling digital photos at his Etsy shop. So, if you have time, do browse through what he's got so far, and favorite the pictures that you like.

I hand dyed a new batch of "Celery" thread, which people have been asking for. It's quite a bright shaded green, like leaves in sunshine. Now listed in my Etsy shop.

Have you seen the new Tatting Central website? It's nicely organized with links to guilds, suppliers, patterns, tutorials, and designers. So far, the designer section features Jane Eborall, Linda Davies, Tat-ology, TotusMel, and me!
Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane with Carol at Tollway Tatters