Monday, February 23, 2009

Opening a closed ring

Tatting along full speed ahead, all going well, and then -- oh, no! A mistake in that ring I just closed up tight!

But, no need to cry and reach for the scissors. It is possible to open a closed ring - at a picot.

What usually works for me is to spread the stitches as much as possible at a picot, preferable the one nearest to the end of the ring. Then I reach down in there with a crochet hook, and insert the shaft under the core thread. The core needs to be pulled in the same direction as when opening a ring normally while working. Pinch the double stitches at the end where the core is sliding, to help prevent them from turning and getting so tight that the core cannot slide.

After there is some slack in the core, it can then be pulled down through the base of the ring as usual to finish opening it up. Then the mistake can be picked out, the ring finished correctly, and closed.

BTW, the photos show just a peek of part of a larger project that I am in the process of designing - to be revealed at a later date :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another "Winter Blend"

Blues, marine violet, black, and white. Sort of a repeat of an old batch - but there are some refinements since the first "Winter Blend" that I dyed in October, 2007 - yes, it's been that long! There are a few skeins of "slow color change" included as well. Because making longer color intervals is a lot of extra work, I only make a few skeins of this special kind of hand dyed thread occasionally.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tatting demo at Loose Bead Society

As part of a jewelry techniques with fibers presentation during a meeting of "The Loose Bead Society of Greater Milwaukee", I got to demonstrate tatting! I was actually quite nervous when I first arrived, but people showed so much interest, that I soon got excited talking about tatting and was having fun sharing my love for the craft!

So, a lot of people said they wanted tatting classes. Someone knew of a fabric shop that might be interested in having me teach tatting there, so I will have to get a proposal written up and try to get something started.

There are several challenges to convincing a store to offer tatting classes:
  • tatting doesn't really push that much "product"
  • often stores don't carry the shuttles, thread, and other supplies needed
  • small class size required, ideally 5 students or less (most stores like larger classes)
  • several sessions - the first 2 hour session is spent mastering the "flip" (stores like to display a "quickie" project that can be completed in one session)
  • several basic skills need to be mastered before getting to "the fun stuff"
Anyhow, I will keep trying to find a place to teach tatting classes. Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

"Snowflake" hand dyed thread

Frosty pastels with white. Inspired by the photos of snowflakes on
I think this is the 3rd batch I have made of this colorway, with a few skeins of embroidery floss included this time.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

And the winner is...


Estela, who has a blog called "Spared Change" is the lucky winner that my youngest son pulled from the bowl of all the entries on my One World, One Heart giveaway post. She wins the "Bedazzled Butterfly" tatted necklace, the hand dyed thread, and a copy of my book, "Boutique Tatting". Congratulations!!!

This has been so much fun, we'll need to do it again sometime!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

"Eternal" tatted cross with 3-D rose center

The pattern is now available as pdf! Click here.

The structure of the 3-D rose in the center was inspired by Sharon Morgan's Jessica Rose, but I didn't use the "dimples" in mine, just plain tatted rings. The design of the cross itself is very simple, only vintage-style rings and chains.

I tatted the rose first (from my own "Roses" hand dyed thread), then lock joined the white thread at a picot between petals on the back. I opted to use lock joins (shuttle joins) at the places where the cross joined into the rose. Not sure if this is "right", but it's what I chose to try this time. I guess I thought "locking" each of the branches of the cross separately this way would give them more stability.

Eager beavers who want to try making these can probably figure out how it's done from the photos - go right ahead! It's fairly simple.