Saturday, October 18, 2014

"Knitty Gritty"

Hand dyed thread "Knitty Gritty"! It's an earthy combination of autumn-y colors, from dull green, brown, gold, rust, and another brown.

I used this color in one of my "Linnea" bracelets.
The colors of autumn are pretty, but I really don't care for the colder weather around here. Hoping for one more nice day yet to grill outside :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Assemblage greeting cards with tatted embellishments

 One thing leads to another, so I've been making greeting cards, with tatting on each as an embellishment. The main features are from digital photos, sometimes my own, sometimes purchased. I'm having a load of fun with paper, scissors, glue, and thread!

What I do to get pretty paper is open a blank document and insert a photo, and re-size it to cover nearly the whole page (my printer needs at least 1/4" margins) then print it onto cardstock weight paper. It can then be trimmed to the size needed, resulting in the picture covering all the way to the edge.

A document file is also how I print off other photos and clip art in a variety of sizes to choose from, for featured pictures and embellishments on the card.

The antique car photo is from JantasticPhotos, the steampunk digital paper is from TheArtBoxDesigns, and the vintage camera image is from GraphicVariete, all on Etsy.

Here's a shout out for Tatting Days Nov. 6 - 8 at the Tatting Corner - I'm one of the teachers there! My class is the "Rotation" pendant.

Friday, October 10, 2014

New original bracelet pattern with pearl tatting center: "Linnea"

It's done! Available in my Etsy shop and will be in my Craftsy pattern store as well. This is the pattern for the bracelet that caused such a stir on Facebook, and was the motivation to make my YouTube video about pearl tatting.

A challenging pattern to tat, because of the combination of unflipped stitches in the pearl tatting part, along with normal double stitches and reverse order double stitches (2nd half first, 1st half second) in the rings. It's all explained in the pattern, and diagrams with stitch counts are there, too.

Surprisingly, this design also demonstrates Newton's 3rd law of  motion by curving when only one side is done. It lies straight when the other side is finished, because at completion each side exerts equal and opposite forces. Sounds like rocket science? Yes, it is in a way, because a rocket flies by producing a bigger force than the drag against it :) 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Video: Pearl tatting, adding thread with Lark's Head knot, rings thrown off each side

My latest video shows how I do pearl tatting; there are, of course, other ways. I plan to link to the video in my new bracelet pattern, which at the time of this writing is still in progress.

Also shown in the video is the technique of adding on a new thread to the base of a ring with a Lark's Head knot, and tatting over the tail end. I put it in there because I use that technique in the bracelet, and I like it.

Just making the video has helped me to remember which side of the pearl tatting has the stitches in reverse order, to keep both sides looking the same. If this video helps someone else too, that would be wonderful.

Music is "Clear Vision" provided by SmartSound

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!