Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am working on a pattern...

...for the book! The only hint I will give now is this photo which will probably appear in the final version. The item will be something wearable. I will explain how to add beads as best I can. People add beads in different ways, I can only show how I do it.

By the way, for those following my hand dyed thread colors, there will not be a new dye batch till next week; I need time to make some progress on the book.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Two pinks

I just noticed that I have 2 shades of pink in the shop - one from the "Rhubarb Pie" batch (top), and a slightly darker one from "Peace" (bottom). I could do a pink series... a doily could have one shade in the center, progressing to the next shade in the next round... too many ideas!

Friday, January 25, 2008

"Rhubarb Pie" back on the "menu"

The amounts of each look small in the shop, but all total this was a huge batch of 70+ skeins!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sweetheart earrings

These use 2 shuttles with some beads on each shuttle. It's fun to play with the colors of the thread and the beads. I do intend to put this design in the book, but I just couldn't wait to show it! There are some technical details to work out.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The long and the short of it

Check out the top photo: This is a hand painted thread with really s-l-o-w color changes! Slow color change threads are more work to dye, so I will make them only as time and my whim allow. With color distances of up to 70 inches, a small project might show only one of the colors! So something to think about, and something else to play with. Shown in "Tourmaline" named for the gemstone with similar color variations.

The second photo shows "Tourmaline" in my usual skeins, with color changes about every 4 to 8 inches.

Progress on the book: I started on the largest and most challenging pattern that will appear in it. Decided I needed more thread, so I "bought" some from my own shop. Began tatting the design, thought of an improvement, so I need to start again.

Then I had to dye more thread!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Getting started on the book

Here is a sneak peek at something I've decided to work on for the book. No title yet, and I'm not sure what will be in it...but I'll just keep putting it off unless I make a start. So, I'm starting. We'll see what happens.

Monday, January 14, 2008

What is a 6-cord thread?

In the photo above, I have rather painstakingly unraveled the end of a 6-cord thread to show the construction.

6-cord (cordonnet) means that there are 6 plies in all: there are 3 sets of 2 plies twisted together, with all twisted yet again in the opposite direction. The result is a very smooth, durable thread with outstanding body.

Most crochet cottons commonly available in arts and craft stores are 3-cord. These are softer threads. The 6-cord is harder to find, and usually more expensive.

It's fun to experiment with different threads to see how they work up, and explore the differences in how they feel. For some projects a softer thread could be more suitable. But a beautiful, smooth, lustrous cordonnet thread is something worth trying. Because of the higher twist, the shuttle needs to be "dangled" more often to prevent the thread from kinking up.

An item made with 6-cord thread will be very hard-wearing, have sturdy picots, and be easier to block. I've never used pins when I block, ever. I just steam and shape the item with my hand.

There are many wonderful tatting shops online that stock 6-cord threads from several companies in many colors. Worth checking out. Or let the managers know at your local arts and craft store what items you wish they carried. If there is enough customer demand, they will stock more and better tatting supplies. Remember what happened when suddenly everyone wanted to knit with novelty yarns - every shop was crammed to the brim with novelty yarns!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Bookmarks and tatting over ends

The large one in the center makes use of the Catherine Wheel or Split Chain Join as explained by Sabina Carden-Madden. It's tricky, but makes for a smoother long curve in the center. The smaller ones are based on my easy flower bookmark pattern.

Experimented some more with this 2 shuttle design, adding more rings and chains to the outer edge, and a fancier base. It's starting to resemble either a carnation or fan - or a fancy rug beater!
I ran out of thread part way through, so had to refill my shuttles and deal with thread ends. The photos to left and below show the old ends being tatted over.

The thread used was my own "Peace" hand dyed, and the solid peach from that batch for one of the smaller bookmarks..

Monday, January 7, 2008


The photo above shows my latest dye batch "Peace", which was inspired by the colors of a "Peace" rose.
I have also been attempting to add a few solids to my hand dyed color selection. The photo below shows the solids I have done so far.

I have also been tagged! I will respond in the next post. Thank you, Diane!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Holly Snowflake

Here it is finished, just in time for Three Kings Day!

It measures a whopping 4 and 1/2 inches across, done in size 30 DMC Cordonnet Special. I used white along with my own hand dyed "Pizzazz" and "Fern".

I do plan on sharing the pattern in some form. More ideas than time, isn't that always how it goes?

Thank you to all who voted in the thread size poll!

Just finished hand painting a new dye batch of thread in all the various sizes listed in the poll. This batch should be dry and up in my Etsy shop on Monday, Jan. 7. I tried to do a few solids from the same dye colors. They may not turn out to be completely "solid" so I may have to resort to the phrase, "desirable variations in shade, characteristic of hand dyeing." Anyhow, they will have come from the same batch, so should coordinate beautifully, at least that's the plan.