Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tatted Concoction bracelet

 Not sure if I like the bracelet, but the process was certainly a learning experience.

I learned how to put a bead into the center of a ring from the back side. Didn't want to! But it was needed for all the crazy turns in the design.

Tatting a chain around a bead is not so hard, here's how to do it:

Put the bead onto the shuttle thread, and secure with a paper clip. Add another paper clip just under the bead at the bottom, to save a space for joining later. Then, tat a chain, snugging the double stitches together as you progress. When you've tatted halfway around the bead, remove the paper clip at the top of the bead, and join (just a normal join) and continue tatting the chain until it reaches the bottom of the bead. Remove the bottom paper clip and do a lock join.
 In the future I'll probably use some of these beading skills in new designs, but I think this project is just too many beads. It's very time-consuming and difficult to tat, especially on warm days when the rings don't want to close!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

A concoction in progress

 Another bracelet in progress here. I'm making it up as I go, and I don't really know what I'm doing! But, perhaps after I get this "rough draft" or prototype finished, I may be able to get a better idea and tidy up the next attempt. 

The inspiration came from the Russian book pictured, but I am trying for an original design of my own. I bought the book from Handy Hands quite a while ago, but it doesn't seem to be in their current catalog. I'm glad that I got the book while it was available. The work in it is amazing.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Okay, I'm going

After hearing great things about the event for many years, this September I'm happy to finally be able to attend Tat Days! I'm looking forward to meeting many tatting enthusiasts in person, that so far I've only "met" online through blogs, tatting forums, etc. Here is a link to info about Tat Days 2012 Palmetto Tatters Guild.

I've signed up for several classes and will attempt to learn as much as I can! I do expect to come away inspired with loads and loads of new ideas and techniques for creating exciting new designs - as well as having acquired many new friends :-D

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tollway Tatters!

Just have to share some photos of the fun! 

There are a group of us that drive to a central location to get together for tatting fun, and the best location for us just happens to be at an "oasis" (rest stop) on the Illinois Tollway. So, we are the Tollway Tatters!

This is a very generous bunch! Beautiful gifts were shared all around.
 The youngest tatter in this group is 10 years old, and already has an impressive shuttle collection.

 One member tatted earrings from my pattern that was published in the April 2012 Bead&Button magazine.

Diane had another of her favorite doilies in progress, and I tatted more bracelets. We all tatted away the day, and enjoyed the good company.

Already looking forward to next time!

Monday, July 9, 2012

More bracelets, fancy and fancier

 2 more bracelets! The wider one is more challenging. I started with a vintage edging, but modified it a lot by changing stitch counts and adding the beads. It took 6 repeats of the points to get it to fit around my wrist in size 20 thread. I used brass beads and my own "Parchment" hand dyed thread. The pattern may show up better in a solid color thread, but I like the aged look of the parchment colors.

The narrow bracelet is a very simple and quick tat - if you can do split rings! I used size 10 for this  one. The beads are strung onto the thread beforehand, half on each shuttle. Then, when needed, the beads are slid into place and secured with a lock stitch (1st half of a double stitch unflipped, 2nd half flipped normally). This simple split ring design is similar to the "Double Scoop" bracelet pattern that I use to teach about split rings in my Craftsy class, so I'm going to post this project there as well.

Beads slid into place from each shuttle
Lock stitch to secure beads
 If I can get all the "Parchment" thread put away, I may get a new batch dyed later. I get a lot of requests, but to be honest, I mostly ignore them. If I didn't, I'd go crazy! Most people have no concept whatever of how much work and time it takes to hand dye. The same can be said for designing or tatting. Unless they do some sort of handwork themselves, they really haven't a clue - isn't that so? But, since the split ring bracelets are fairly quick to make, I'll donate a few to to the church craft table at the summer festival. Church craft sales in these parts are known for selling new and beautifully well made handcrafts at ridiculously low prices - which is an injustice on so many levels - but perhaps the bracelets will brighten someone's day.

So, there is work to do. Hope you are managing to stay cool where you are. Here, the weather was so hot last week, my tatted rings didn't want to close. But this week the weather is much cooler, yay!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bracelet in progress and tatting in the news

This bracelet is not finished yet, but here's a peek at it in progress. I plan on adding a 2nd row to stabilize it so that it won't stretch out of shape when worn.

A happy surprise was in my email this morning - I've been featured in Funky Finds! Click here to read the article.

The number of students in my Shuttle Tatting course has been growing by an alarming rate (it reached 1000 in only 2 weeks), so hoping that means there will soon be many new tatters!