Thursday, August 29, 2013

Primal Pods

 Inspired by jewelry styles of antiquity, I attempted to achieve tubular shapes in tatting for the main motif of this necklace. They seemed to resemble pods or seeds to me, and since I was aiming for a primitive look, the title of "Primal Pods" seems appropriate for this design.

The dangling long beads at the bottom are held in place with Loop Tatted Rings. 11Frivole has made a very good video to show how to do the Loop Tatted Ring.

The rest of the necklace used techniques such as a bead inside a ring, Josephine Chains, and I also encircled a ring around a chain. To tat a ring that encircles a previously tatted chain you need to plan for it by wrapping the thread around the chain twice before winding the shuttle. Similar to the way that I put a ring around a metal split ring jewelry finding before I discovered split ring pliers - and of course the pliers can't be used in this instance.

All in all, it seems that to make tatting look "primitive" some highly sophisticated techniques need to be used. But, I enjoyed the practice, and I'm pleased with how the design turned out. It's not a style that will appeal to everyone, but it's definitely unique.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Still designing a tatted feather and a "tribal" necklace in progress

It's not so much that a creative mind is disorganized, it's that the planet spins around too quickly. That's the reason I can't get more projects finished. The odd-looking mess of beads, paper clips, and hand dyed thread in the above photo is a new original design in progress, that will have a primitive, rustic, or tribal look when completed. Making tatting look "primitive" rather than the usual "Victorian" is hard! I'm using some tricky techniques such as Catherine Wheel Joins and Loop Tatted Rings to get my design to work, and I'll show you the completed necklace when I get it done.

I've done a little more on the feather idea as well, and I think I may have a workable picot-ed version. I do plan to write up the feather pattern at some point in the future, but I'm hoping that a third feather inspiration comes along first.

For those who mark their calendars well in advance, I'll be teaching a day-long workshop on beginning tatting at Shake Rag Alley on May 31, 2014. It's a pretty location with major tourist attractions nearby, and Shake Rag Alley sets their class fees to be quite reasonable, when compared to other workshop events. Other attractions in the area include House on the Rock, Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin, and Wisconsin Dells.

Besides hand dyeing a batch of Knitty Gritty, I also tried dyeing a small experimental batch of "Sumac". At first I planned to call it "Angry Martian" because I was "very angry, very angry indeed" at the time, but when it turned out so pretty, my mood improved and I changed the name to Sumac, which is a common shrub around here that has cheerful, bright colors in autumn.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tatted Feather Earrings

So far this is the best feather design that I could come up with using tatting. I've been thinking about feathers the last few weeks (can you say, "feather-brained" But, I like the feather-y effect of the folded rings, the beads down the center that accentuate the center rib, and the natural look of having one side slightly larger than the other. The picots at the base of the feather could be cut and frayed, for a downy look, but I chose to leave them uncut, thinking that with wear they would hold up better. What do you think?

Martha Ess has done a very nice tutorial on folded rings.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Greater MIlwaukee Tatting Guild, fun with friends

Me wearing tatted flower hair clip
 A nice relaxing time was spent at the Mayfair Mall food court, tatting, looking at pattern books, admiring tatted works, visiting with tatting friends, and meeting new friends!

Khomi brought visitors from India. They were very interested in how I add beads to tatting, so I gave some demonstrations. I explained that I learned most of the techniques of adding beads to tatting from the website of Jane Eborall!

My large red tatted flower hair clip and red tatted earrings called for a profile photo of me :)

Tatting by Sue Anna
Sue Anna brought more of her beautiful completed pieces to admire: a Spinning Wheel mat from the pattern by Mary Konior, a Rotation pendant in red, white, and blue, earrings from the Nouveau set pattern, and more. She also had another Spinning Wheel mat in progress, in hand dyed thread from the Sugar Maple batch.
Barbara G. brought more of her beautiful work, that we had seen at the Tollway Tatter's meeting the previous week - but I didn't get photos of it either time, aw, shucks!

Ana worked on a Wondrous Window pendant from my Up and Tat 'Em book.
Sue Anna's work in progress

Chocolate was available in plentiful supply, courtesy of Sue Anna :)


Friday, August 9, 2013

Tollway Tatters Summer Fun

The Tollway Tatters get-together at Hinsdale included special guests Tatting Marie and Lace-lovin' Librarian Diane's mother and sister.

Sue Anna can be seen on the left corner of our table laden with tatting goodies, Barbara Gordon on the right.

A doily in progress, tatting by Barbara

Tatting in progress by Sue Anna

Some of Diane's thread collection

Beautiful tatted bag by Marie

More of Marie's amazing work

Some of Diane's pretty doilies. The white cotton center was purchased from Handy Hands.

Lovely handmade gifts from Marie!
The time passes so quickly with tatting friends! I was sorry when it was time to go. But, on Monday, August 12, there will be a meeting of the Greater Milwaukee Tatting Guild, so more fun with friends to come!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Filigree earrings

Its fun to tat around the metal filigrees that are readily available now from bead shops. Just a few simple rings and chains, joined into the holes of the filigree, and you've got a unique pair of earrings.

For the pair above, I used brass diamond shaped filigrees that measured 15mm across (a little over 1/2 inch). The thread was Lizbeth size 20 in Herbal Garden. I strung 15 size 11/0 Delicas onto the thread, putting 12 of them on the shuttle thread, and 3 on the ball thread.

I started with the top center ring.
R 2-2-2, join to filigree, 2-2-2. RW.
Ch 2-2-2-2-2-2. RW.
R 4, join to filigree, 4. RW.

Ch 4, [slide up a bead from the shuttle, 1] 2 times, then slide up the 3rd bead, 4. Lock join to filigree.
Ch 7. Lock join to filigree.

This is the basic pattern. The way it's arranged and repeated can be seen in the photo. At the bottom I used the 3 beads that were on the ball thread, to dangle from a picot at the bottom, between the chains.

This is just to give an idea of what might be done. There are many possibilities!