Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Celtic Motifs

 Size 40 Lizbeth and hand dyed resulted in a motif just over an inch wide, so I thought it would do nicely for earrings. I used my own design, a variation of the Celtic Triangle taught in my "Next Steps In Shuttle Tatting" Craftsy class http://shrsl.com/qo0s (affiliate link which gets me a little extra money when people purchase a class after clicking it).
For the pendant I used size 10 thread that produced a motif almost 2 inches wide. 
 Yesterday I attended a meeting of Greater Milwaukee Tatting Guild. We're a group of friends who get together at the food court of a local shopping mall and tat. Usually every month, but taking a winter break so the next meeting is planned for February.
I started another Celtic tatting motif at the meeting, using Lizbeth metallic for one of the elements and adding some of Karey Solomon's hand dyed thread from Graceful Arts Fiber Studio. I'm happy with the combination so far!

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


 Longest line I ever saw in the local polling place today. I'm mildly surprised and hopeful for the future.

This pair of tatted earrings is from my Carnival pattern in hand dyed thread "Hydrangea Dark". There isn't any of that thread in my Etsy shop currently, but I just may put that colorway on the next hand dyeing "to do" list.

 Since I tend to tat very tightly, most of my tatted earrings are stiff enough without adding any stiffener. However, if needed, I paint some on the back of the tatting using a brush.

This pair is made from "Berry Sundae" hand dyed thread. My own pattern (Grand Aura), but I noticed that my tatting is at a tighter tension than 8 years ago when I designed it. So, I had to add 2 more double stitches around the center bead to get it to fit. That worked!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Sue's Blues

 I dyed a fresh batch of "Sue's Blues" thread. The story behind the name is that it is, indeed, called Sue's Blues after a friend of mine named Sue. Now, I do have several friends that go by the name of Sue, so let each of them think that I named it especially for her!
Here's a pair of earrings tatted from size 20 "Sue's Blues" thread.The design is based on the "Giddy" pattern in the book "Tatted Jewelry" published by Annie's Attic. I fancied it up a little with more seed beads, my hand formed niobium ear wires and an Argentium silver wire wrapped dangle at the bottom.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Sue's Blues coming soon

The picture shows an old batch of "Sue's Blues" being tatted into an earring at my workbench. A fresh batch of Sue's Blues will be underway in a few days. My assistant (dear husband) will have more time to prepare skeins for me now that his seasonal job of working at the ballpark is done for this year.

I did finish tatting the earrings started in last week's post, so here they are:
Thread color is hand dyed "Pizazz" and pattern is "Trendy Teardrop".

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Found! "Carnival" Earring Pattern

Found in my computer files! My original free pattern (from 2007) for the "Carnival" earrings.

Download the PDF file HERE.

This is another of the designs that Annie's purchased to publish in the book "Tatted Jewelry". Since the original was available for free on my blog in 2007 it seems reasonable to re-post it.

Old file issue: When previewing in a Chrome browser, the PDF has annoying yellow boxed annotations when mousing over the photos. No worries, those yellow boxes are gone in the downloaded file.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Brilliant red orange shading to dark red, Pizazz is another autumn inspired hand dyed thread. I've nothing finished yet to show, but have made a start.
The beautiful Calla Lily shuttle is from TheKnottedVine on Etsy. The tatting is the beginning of a Trendy Teardrop earring.

By the way, I have brought back my original pattern from 2011 for Trendy Teardrop and listed it on Etsy. It's the same design that Annie's purchased from me to publish in the book Tatted Jewelry, but from looking at my communications with them I've found that I'm allowed to sell my original self-published pattern on Etsy. Which is good, because the book is out of print and I don't get any royalties whatsoever on Annie's PDF of Tatted Jewelry.

If you use Facebook you may have noticed my page and profile are not there anymore. I did NOT get hacked. I just decided that Facebook was taking up way too much of my time and energy, so I "temporarily" deactivated my account. I'm still on Instagram, which is simply pretty pictures and a happier place. Twitter is where I put pictures that aren't pretty enough for Instagram ;)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Tatted Dalek Went to the Maker Faire

That's me with my tiny tatted Dalek meeting a big Dalek at the Maker Faire Milwaukee.
We're all beaming with excitement!

Close-up of the tatted lace Dalek. (A Dalek is a character from the television series Doctor Who.)
Yes, this one is my original tatting design. No pattern......just...no. Exterminate! ☺☺☺
Seriously, I used the techniques of a bead inside a ring and block tatting. I made the gun and sucker arm from wire and a saucer bead. The lights, eye stalk, and globes are beads.
Here I am with my tatting display at Maker Faire Milwaukee.
Many people stopped to ask questions and watch me demonstrate shuttle tatting.
I gave single ring tatted butterflies away to the children.
A collection of big Daleks and the Tardis (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) as seen in the TV series "Doctor Who".
This particular Tardis was not bigger on the inside, but fortunately these Daleks were friendly!
There were many astounding science exhibits. I was able to leave my tatting booth long enough to see this Tesla coil in action.
I don't know the story behind these jelly fish lights, but they were impressive with their size, changing colors and twinkling!
 A Maker Faire is a great event to see amazing creativity in action for both kids and adults. If one takes place in your area, I highly recommend that you go see it! Even better, sign up as a Maker and demonstrate what you make!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Lark's Head Picot Join from the Back Side

 The Lark's Head Picot Join looks just like a double stitch (on the front side). There are several tutorials for how to do it online, but the ones I found all showed how to do it from the front side of the tatting. I simply reversed those instructions to tat it from the back side.

Note: double stitches are in reverse order when tatting back side (2nd half first, 1st half second).

Friday, September 7, 2018

Earrings, Fall, and Orchestra

Finished 4 pairs this week! 

I decided to wire wrap earwires for each pair, including matching seed beads in the wire. I used natural niobium wire, a pure, precious metal that is very unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in anyone. The pattern is One Shuttle Glamour, found in the book Boutique Tatting.

Next up, fall colors. Sometime next week fresh batches of hand dyed thread will begin to be added to my Etsy Shop. I'll probably do Sugar Maple first (shown on the leaf in the photo below) and follow with Pizazz (the leaf I just started).

Some blog followers also are interested in the fact that I am a serious amateur cellist. I play at church with the choir and I'm also a member of the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra. The orchestra rehearsals begin next week, and the date for the next concert has been set for December 14. Can you find me in the picture below?

Monday, September 3, 2018

One Shuttle Glamour in progress

Earrings in progress from my "One Shuttle Glamour" pattern in Boutique Tatting.
 Somehow this pattern begged to be tatted after lying dormant in my first book, Boutique Tatting, for 10 years! It still works! The title, "One Shuttle Glamour" implies easy, but actually it's a bit of a challenge with all the long beaded picots coming off a mock ring around a bead.

On the later earrings, I've begun trying a Lark's Head Picot Join (I learned from Karen Cabrera's video on YouTube) to join the tatted rings to the long beaded picots. Many thanks to Karen for her awesome videos!

So far I like this tweak - although most folks wouldn't notice the difference. I'm tatting the rings back side. I don't know if there's a video showing that Lark's Head join from the back side, but I figured out it's just the opposite of the front side directions: down through the picot instead of up, twist the opposite way each time. I decided to simply count the join as an extra double stitch. It changes the appearance of the earrings just slightly, but I think it's an improvement! Of course, they still work with the normal join, too!
In this earring, I used the normal join on the rings to the long beaded picots.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

More "Beach Cafe" hand dyed thread

Another batch of "Beach Cafe" is now listed in my Etsy shop.

By the way, my self published printed books are still listed at a sale price on Etsy for a while. To be honest, I'm just tired of boxes of books lining my hallway! I'll still print books when requested by the wholesale buyer "Handy Hands Tatting" but I don't want to store the books in my house anymore. I will continue to offer the digital PDF files for sale as usual.

I took one of my finished "pods" from my Milkweed Pod tatting pattern and finished it up as a necklace. I strung it onto a beading wire with some leaf beads and seed beads, putting a crimp bead on each end to hold the arrangement in place. I'm keeping this necklace for myself! ☺

Friday, August 24, 2018

Milkweed Pod tatting pattern

 My original design, inspired by nature: Milkweed Pod in tatting. 

This 3 dimensional pattern is a good challenge for experienced tatters who are not afraid of split rings! ☺

Of course I used artistic license and made my pods very colorful! I used a different color for each step in the pattern to make it easier to follow, but naturally the pod will be lovely in a single color as well.

The tatted "seeds with fluff" are at the stage where they are just beginning to emerge from the pod. Do feel free to use your imagination and use other items inside the pod!

I've been told that at an earlier stage in the pattern, the unfinished pod resembles a leaf.

The PDF pattern is listed for sale in my Etsy shop and also my Craftsy pattern store.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Three Pairs of Hearts

 Finished these using my own hand dyed thread, with different colors and beads for each pair. They're listed in my Etsy shop as well as the pattern, "Heart Aglow".

For two of these I substituted wire wrapped links for the chain suggested in the pattern. I like the results!

Each pair I finished by making the ear wires myself. I favor pure Niobium for ear wires because it's very unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in anyone, but the pair with the gold beads and chain I matched up with gold filled wire. Of course, I can change that out for niobium upon request.

Since my time is limited, I only make tatted jewelry as I can and want to. I don't do any custom orders, and each piece of finished jewelry in my Etsy shop is one of a kind.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A rivoli is...

 A rivoli is a crystal with a foil backing, making it very sparkly. There are no holes, so it's a cabochon, not a bead. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, for many creative possibilities.
 The foil backing needs to be protected from scratches and wearing off, because if that happens, the crystal will lose some sparkle. Before working with the rivoli, paint some clear nail polish on the foil back and let it dry.
I beaded a peyote bezel around my rivoli before adding tatting around it. Deborah Roberti of AroundTheBeadingTable.com has written an excellent free tutorial for creating a peyote bezel, and that's what I followed. She has many more patterns for sale on her website. 

I used a 12mm Swarovski rivoli, size 11/0 Delicas and size 15/0 seed beads. My beading thread was 6 lb Fireline, which is a little thicker than the 4 lb Fireline recommended in the tutorial, but it worked well for me. I must point out that it's important to use a thread especially made for beading to do the peyote, because an ordinary sewing thread can easily break from the stress. 

The necklace I designed. The center is a beaded rivoli, with tatting added around it. I joined the tatting by inserting a tiny crochet hook under the beading thread between beads. Tatting techniques used included bead picots, beads on the core thread, Josephine rings, and split rings. I used size 20 thread in my own hand dyed "Lilac Sea" and "Forest", plus Lizbeth white.

I chose to finish the necklace with strung beads on a flexible beading wire.

Tatting the necklace in progress. I was surprised at the creamy color of the size 11/0 Toho Lt. Jonquil seed beads on the white thread, as compared to the darker color in the tube. I was very pleased with the results!