Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse sale!

 Sale! 17% off all items in my Etsy shop with coupon code ECLIPSE until August 25, 2017. Or, just follow this link:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/yarnplayer?coupon=ECLIPSE 

Why 17% ? Because in my area the eclipse will cover all but 17% of the sun. Also, it's the year 2017 and I've had my Etsy shop for ten years! 

And, here's a picture of the fun last Saturday at Tollway Tatters! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Designing a new pattern

Just to let you know that I'm working out the details on a new design that will become a pattern soon! The colors I'm working with for the first sample are in the photo above: Lizbeth numbers 188, 628, and 706. Decoupage shuttle by Lace-lovin' Librarian ~ Diane.

On Saturday, August 19 the Tollway Tatters will be gathering at the Hinsdale oasis. I need to get my tie-dyed t-shirt out of the laundry to be ready!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Turquoise stone donut wire wrapped + tatting


A stone with shades of green and black as well as turquoise blue provided the impulse to seek out thread to match. I used my own hand dyed from the "Pond" and "Adventurer" batches to tat the little flowers, using the encapsulation technique described in a previous post.
 Having experimented combining tatting with wire wrapping for about a year or so, I'm finding that I like to use Parawire for the wrapping. Parawire is 99% pure copper with tarnish resistant, colored coating; lead and nickel free. It comes in several colors and gauges and costs much less than solid silver or gold.

Back of the pendant

The wire wrapping in progress
I've put this one of a kind pendant up for sale in my Etsy shop.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Encapsulation and the stone pendant

 In this pendant, I used a Mookaite Jasper stone with colors that went well with my "Knitty Gritty" hand dyed thread. Using inspiration from several wire-wrapping tutorials that I found in books and online I launched forth into wrapping the stone.

I tatted the flower motif separately. Then, when I got to the place in the wire-wrapping where I wanted the tatting to be, I wrapped the wire over the tatting. To clarify, I only wrapped the wire over the tatting in a few places, to catch it in place. I folded the tatting out of the way to continue the wire-wrapped pattern underneath. 

The methods I use for tatting the little flowers are Josephine rings (rings tatted using only the same half stitch repeated) and encapsulation (tatting over multiple core threads). Scroll down for the tutorial on these techniques.
Wire weaving in progress.

Catching the tatted motif in place, while continuing to weave the wire under the tatting.

The front side of the finished pendant.

The back side of the pendant.

 Here's a tutorial on the encapsulation technique that I use for the little flower motifs.

You need at least 3 threads. For this example I used a continuous multicolored thread on 2 shuttles plus a contrasting color on a 3rd shuttle. 

 The threads can be knotted together, but I like to get started without a knot. I pick up one of the shuttles with the continuous thread, which is the color that I want for the rings (flower petals), and tat a Josephine ring. I like to use the 1st half of the double stitch only, because it gives a tighter ring. But, the 2nd half of the double stitch can be used instead, for a looser look. The differing results are because the 1st half tightens the twist in the thread, the 2nd half loosens the twist. I usually put 9 to 14 half stitches in these rings, which must be closed carefully because the thread wants to kink.
After closing the ring, a short chain follows. Hold both of the continuous threads and the tail of the contrasting thread. The tail needs to be long enough to tension it along with the other threads for the multiple core of the chain. (Note: at some place along the "stem" of the flower motif the tail can be abandoned and cut off later. This is how I start the motif without a knot and no tails to sew in.)

 Wrap 1 unflipped double stitch over the multiple core threads. I used 2nd half first, 1st half second for this, but the other way around works too.
Pick up the same shuttle that you used for the first ring to tat the next ring. It is important to keep a main core thread sliding freely inside the chains for the flower, to be able to snug the flower up tightly when it's done. Only after the flower is closed, can any of the threads be used freely.

Follow each ring with an unflipped double stitch wrapped over the multiple core.

Use as many petals as you wish for the flower. Follow the last ring with 1 unflipped double stitch chain. Then, to close the flower and continue with a chain for the "stem", put the chain thread on top, leaving the multiple core threads below, between the 1st and 2nd rings.

Wrap unflipped double stitches for the "stem" chain. If you want the stem to curve upward, bring the wrapping thread under the multiple thread core, then tat first half, 2nd half. To curve the stem downward, leave the wrapping thread below the core and tat 2nd half, 1st half.

After a few stitches, pull the main core thread to tighten the flower. From time to time, also tug the other threads to keep everything nice and tight.

Continue the flower motif any way you wish, throwing off "leaves" and "buds" using any of the threads. To end off, the extra threads can be hidden inside the final rings, and the last ring can be a single shuttle split ring, leaving no tails to sew in. Have fun with it!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Knitty Gritty and Craftsy sale


New batch of "Knitty Gritty" just added to my Etsy shop!

My process is to first wind the thread (Lizbeth or DMC) into skeins, then put them into a soda ash solution to soak while I get the dye ready. I use Procion MX fiber reactive dyes for permanent colors. As the photo shows, I mix small amounts of dye in paper cups, then paint the dye onto the thread with a brush.

I wrap the painted skeins up in plastic to cure overnight, then rinse them out the next day. When they're dry, my dear husband helps twist them into pretty skeins ready to sell.

In other news, Craftsy has a sale through July 30 with over 500 classes under $20, including both of my tatting classes there! Click my affiliate link for the savings: http://craftsy.me/2smdngT  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Mixed beading/tatting experiment

 This was my first time making a peyote beaded bezel. I had 12 mm Swarovski rivoli and wanted to learn how to bead around it. Deborah Roberti's tutorial Creating a Peyote Bezel is very detailed and easy to follow.
 I followed her instructions for the basic bezel cup to hold the rivoli. For the decorative outer row of beading, I came up with my own simple embellishment of alternating large and small "picots" of 5 seed beads and 2 seed beads.

 To add the tatting, I used a small crochet hook to grab the tatting thread (size 20) and lock join between the 2 beads.
Quite a bit of "ripping out" and trying again happened before I came up with a design that I found acceptable enough to finish the pair. The earrings are 1 and 1/4 inches wide, and weigh 1 ounce each. I'm keeping this pair for myself. Now that I've got the basics down, I expect other ideas for combining these techniques may occur!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sue's Blues II

 New batch of hand dyed thread is listed in my Etsy shop! I call it "Sue's Blues II" Named for a flute-playing friend of mine, and "II" because I've done it before, but I think it may be slightly different. I haven't found any of the old batch, so I don't know.
I've started a pair of earrings with it. Most of the blue shades in this batch tend to be "warm" blues. Sort of like fading blue jeans, but not exactly. The pictures are as close as I could get to the actual colors. Oh, and the earring is from my own "Quadrille" pattern.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Just chillin'

Teaching the Tatting Basics class at Bead&Button Show.

A pattern is emerging on the weaving loom.

 No tatting to show on this blog just now, but I've been teaching tatting. Still to come this week is the "Meet the Teachers" event at Bead&Button where I'll have a table display, and another class to teach on June 11.
This is not tatting, but it is lace, and it's given me an idea. I think it would be a fun thing to do on a t-shirt. Cut the shoulder and sleeve apart, finish the raw edges, then insert a piece of tatted lace. I've gotten as far as the idea and buying a t-shirt. Run with this if you want! You'll be done before me :) I'm feeling a bit tired, so just chillin' for now.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Projects looming and new cello

I've started warping my loom. This is a project that won't be finished at the "speed of the Internet". 
I actually prepared the warp months ago!       

The heddles on the loom shafts being threaded. The pattern will be an 8 shaft turned twill, for fancy dish towels. I've done a similar project, years ago! It's not that hard, just slow paced. Good for when you only want to relax, yet see some results...eventually!


That's me on the left, Ana on the right. We were tatting together at the mall.

The project that I was working on at the mall, all finished. It's a variation on the Celtic Triangle pattern that I teach in my Next Steps In Shuttle Tatting class on Craftsy. My affiliate link about that class: http://craftsy.me/2navHdI 

The finished necklace is listed in my Etsy shop.

The most exciting thing happened while I was still writing this blog post. My new cello that I ordered from luisandclark.com arrived! I have been wanting a carbon fiber cello for ages, and I'm very happy to finally own one! 

I'm enjoying my new cello on a beautiful spring day!


Friday, April 28, 2017

Stardate and classes coming up!


New batch listed!
Photo at left shows one of the steps in the dyeing process, the rinse bath.

The classes that I'll be teaching at the Bead&Button Show this coming June are filling up! So, if you were thinking of coming to the show in Milwaukee and taking a tatting class there, better register soon before all the seats are gone!

These are the projects for the classes:
Shuttle Tatting Basics by Marilee Rockley

Steampunk Gear Tatted Earrings by Marilee Rockley
I'm gathering supplies and preparing to pack the kits for the classes! 


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Spring!


 At last spring is bursting out all over!
I'm really enjoying it after the bleak winter we had around here. Since I'm involved in church music (singing in the choir and playing the cello) last week was very, very busy! Saturday night the church looked especially lovely and I got into the photo with the flowers. I'm wearing pink "Grand Aura" tatted earrings, and below is a close-up of the earrings.The pattern is my own, found in the Up and Tat 'Em book.

For Sunday morning, I chose a pair of aqua tatted earrings, done in the Celtic knot pattern from Celtic Tatting Knots and Patterns by Rozella F. Linden. I started the earrings at what would have been the Greater Milwaukee Tatting Guild meeting on April 10, except the meeting was poorly attended due to weather conditions and people having other commitments. It's still fun to tat in public, anyway!