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: 

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 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


 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!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Adventurer and Khaki hand dyed

The difference between these 2 batches is that "Adventurer" has olive drab in it, "Khaki" does not. 

The reason that I did "Khaki" is that someone requested my original "Adventurer" from a few years back which didn't have olive drab in it at the time. I don't remember who it was and can't find the message (from several months ago), so I'm just putting this out there for anyone interested.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Video: Tatting a Mock Ring and Floating Ring With Beads

This 10 minute video shows me working with 2 shuttles, tatting a mock ring around a bead, bead picots, lock join, chain, tatting a floating ring thrown off a chain, putting a bead in the center of the floating ring, and you'll hear me talk about what I'm doing.

It's actually a demonstration of the start of my own Nouveau necklace pattern. I made this video in response to questions about the techniques used. I hope this helps!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Pictures from Tollway Tatters at the Hinsdale Oasis in Illinois

Rita and Denise tatting together! Did you know that Rita makes beautiful tatting shuttles? She sells them on Facebook at

Diane working on her doily project.

Photo montage showing Diane, Sue Anna, me, and Denise

Examples of shuttles that Rita has decorated.

Julie and Diane

More shuttles designed by Rita

Tatting in progress!

A collection of Diane's Ice Drops!

Diane taught me how to do an Ice Drop. She's a great teacher! These Ice Drops really are fun to make.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tatting clunies on a snow day

 Around here we don't enjoy snow in mid-March. The Greater Milwaukee Tatting Guild meeting that was scheduled for today was cancelled.
 So, there is time to tat clunies! I'm working out the details for an earring design I came up with a while back, but could never quite figure out how to do it again or explain what I did. I am determined to finish writing up the pattern! Fair warning, there will be a lot of technical details besides the challenge of the clunies!

Monday, March 6, 2017

The shamrock and green heart

I still need to follow the illustration of the Celtic knot from Celtic Tatting Knots and Patterns by Rozella F. Linden every time I tat one of these shamrocks! Actually, I do it backwards from the illustration, using the paper clip end to weave the knot so that a Celtic shuttle isn't required. 
This particular shamrock pattern is mine, and you can find it here.

These green heart earrings are based on the "Sweetheart" pattern in Boutique Tatting, but I altered it. I'm always experimenting! Instead of 2 shuttles, I used 1 shuttle and ball, and when I reached the bottom, I lock joined, tatted the ring, and lock joined again. At the top, I substituted lock stitches for the Josephine chain.

After the tatting was finished, I wire wrapped an emerald green Swarovski teardrop, connecting it to the bottom ring while wrapping. I also made the earwires.

Not much tatting lately, since I've been busy with my cello music. Often choir music contains parts for several instruments in the score, but seldom for cello. The choir director gave me a trombone part, but after hearing it we both agreed that the cello is definitely NOT a trombone ☺ 

So, what I'm doing is transposing the "C" instrument part (usually intended for flute or violin) down an octave into bass clef for cello. I have music software, which helps, but I still have to do it note by note. Naturally, I'm putting my name in as "arranger" underneath the composer's name on my printed sheet music (I'm the only one who'll ever see those pages, anyway).

Monday, February 20, 2017


In my life outside of tatting and hand dyeing, one of the other things I do is play the cello. I learned how by taking lessons as an adult student, and now I've been playing 23 years. I've played in a few different community orchestras. The current orchestra that I'm in is called Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra, or WIO for short. Spring concert will be June 2 at 7 pm, at 135 North 76th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53213.

Sometimes I also play cello to accompany the choir at church (St. Rita's in West Allis). I sing in the choir too, as best I can. It's challenging, but fun! 

The cello tapestry is something I designed many years ago, woven of handspun yarn. Some of you may remember her as my first "yarnplayer" logo!

Well, on to the tatting. Here's some photos of things I've finished lately:
The filigree centers are from Fire Mt. Gems.

Argentium silver wire wrapping with tatted cotton "flowers".

"Unfolding Heart", based on this pattern.

Blue "Sweetheart" earrings, based on a pattern from Boutique Tatting.

Current dye batch still in progress is "Spooky". It should be dry and listed in my Etsy shop sometime tomorrow.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Colette made a commercial for me!

Take a look! A good friend simply volunteered on her own to prepare a YouTube commercial for me. It's totally awesome! I love the music she put with it, too.

Thank you, Colette! ♥ ♥ ♥

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Another Tatting + Wire-wrapped Pendant

 Experimenting again! 
The basic procedure I've been using for my tatting + wire pendants does seem to always work, with random, asymmetrical, organic results. Generally, for these pendants here's what I do:

First, I form a frame of 18 gauge wire. Any shape seems to work, as long as it forms a base of at least 2 wires to attach the tatting to (so that the tatting stays securely in place and doesn't spin around the wire.)

3 colors of thread on shuttles. I like to use hand dyed thread of size 10 to 20, sometimes mixing the sizes.

Mostly I use Josephine rings for the flowers, but throw in normal rings and dimple rings for variety. Encapsulation technique for the chains (stems), wrapping over the unused colors with un-flipped stitches.

Then 28 gauge wire in basic wire-wrapping techniques to attach the tatting, beads, and cover the frame wires. I think the tatting is strong enough to stand up to the wire, as long as it's over double stitches, not over a single thread.

I have a YouTube video showing this type of work HERE.

I sell pendants like this and other original tatted jewelry in my Etsy shop.

The back side