Friday, March 27, 2009

"Soft Pansy" and "Soft Blues"

Similar to my other "Pansy" colorway, but this one is more pastel. In the photo to the left, the original "Pansy" is the center skein, with the "Soft Pansy" on either side, to help show the difference.

The "Soft Blues" are designed to coordinate with the "Soft Pansy". Both of these pastel colorways were suggested by one of my etsy customers.

I did not have time this week to make many sizes, but more will be dyed next week. I'll also be working on another batch of "Roses" soon, as I've had several requests for that.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Classical fantasy

Yep, that's me playing cello in the photo, wearing one of TotusMel's bracelet originals, "Happiness in Slavery".

Confession: I did have this grandiose fantasy about looking fabulously glamorous while performing incredible feats of musical skill - fantasy, yeah right. LOL!

Actually, I am only an amateur player and a rather weak one at that. To my dismay, I've discovered while practicing with the bracelet that it distracts and hampers my concentration just enough to mess up my playing - and believe me, it doesn't take much at all to mess up my playing, LOL. I've also tried it on my bow hand, but was surprised to discover how much my wrist flexes when I wield the bow, and so must remain au natural.

But, I am still proud to own a genuine TotusMel Original, and the bracelet will look fabulously glamorous at the orchestra banquet, and any other party event I attend. The bracelet is beautifully, impeccably made, and has given me a new appreciation for the different, softer feel of a needle tatted piece.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Peace" hand dyed

Here I attempted to capture the colors of a "Peace" rose.
Hand dyed thread with color variation from pink, peach, and pale yellow.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Just a peek at the new doily idea so far

So, that long strip of unconnected rings and chains is being poked into place under the previous round's chains. So now, hmm, kicking around an idea for the next round. My goal: keep it simple - not boring.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

"Orbit" pendant and earring set

This was a custom order. The thread used was from my "Rhubarb Pie" batch - size 20 for the earrings, and size 10 for the pendant. The red beads are Swarovski crystal pearls. They seem to do a "double orbit" in the earrings, and a "triple orbit" in the pendant.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Celtic knot shamrock

What I did was follow the well-illustrated celtic knot instructions from the book "Celtic Tatting" by Rozella Linden, adding a "stem". Then I added a 2nd round of rings and chains to form the shamrock, starting at the top. I used an "alligator join" at the stem, continued around, and finished with a short Lock Stitch chain and a ring for hanging. Actually, it ends up that the celtic knot isn't exactly centered, but I think it looks pretty anyway.

Ruth Perry has graciously provided the link to shamrock patterns from the Tatting Pattern Calender. You'll see other shamrocks there that use the celtic knot center.

Here is my basic Celtic Knot Shamrock pattern:

Rnd 1: Ch (18-2-2-) 3X, 18. Weave celtic knot, LJ to start. Ch 6 or so for stem. R 10, hiding ends.

Rnd 2: R 4+4 (to center p of the top). RW, Ch 2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2. LJ to next p of center. Ch 5, LJ to next p.
Ch 2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2. RW. R 4+4 (to next p of center). RW. Ch 2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2. LJ to next p of center.
Ch 6. Alligator join around stem. Ch 6.
Ch 2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2. RW. R 4+4 (to next p of center). RW. Ch 2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2. LJ to next p of center.
Ch 5, LJ to next p.
Ch 2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2. LJ to start of rnd 2. Lock stitch chain of 4 or so, then top R 6, j to finding, 6, hiding ends.
A variation I thought of but didn't tat would be to make it into a lucky 4 leaf clover by omitting the stem and using a 4th leaf there instead - I think the celtic knot would stay centered then, and the motif could be tilted by putting the hanging chain between leaves instead of at the top.

To be a shamrock though, I think it should have 3 leaves.

Anyway, the thread I used was size 20 for a shamrock about 1 and 1/2 inches (3.8 cm) across. The color used in the top one was "Celery", which I know I need to make more of. I also tatted one in "Forest" and one of the new "HH Lizbeth" colors from Handy Hands, varying the beads for different looks.

Friday, March 6, 2009

"Brilliant Sunset"

This is an attempt at a remake of a very early hand dyed thread I made in 2007, before I kept records. I've noticed that it is similar to my recent "Corsage" batch, (shown in small photo) but the "Brilliant Sunset" has a darker purple in it.

For the first time I've added some Manuela size 5 to the batch. As far as I know, size 5 is the thickest available in a 6 cord (cordonnet) thread. It's very smooth, has a nice sheen, and tats up big and bold!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

If you unwound a doily, it would reach from here to...

...well, maybe not the moon, but possibly around the house?

What I have in the photo is round 7 of a doily that I am designing in celtic style. So the "mess" you see will be arranged to form a circle, looped through the previous round, and all linked up on the following round. At least that's the plan.
And - to challenge myself further, I'm attempting to limit the design to what can be tatted using only 1 shuttle and a ball thread. At this point, no fancy advanced techniques have been used, just the celtic overlapping, which really isn't that hard. I'm not sure I can hold out to the end without throwing some 2 shuttle work in there, but I'm attempting to keep it an "intermediate" level doily.