Friday, February 28, 2014

Extremely Very Early Spring Giveaway

Very little sign of spring today where I live, but to give it a little push, I'm having a giveaway!
The giveaway prize is my new book plus 3 skeins of hand dyed thread!
I'm giving away 2 of these prize packages on March 5.

For a chance to win, leave one comment on this post to be entered in the giveaway. Two winners will be chosen at random on Wednesday, March 5. Be sure there's a way for me to contact you if you win, either a blog I.D., or an email address.
Readers of this blog from outside of the U.S. are welcome to enter this giveaway. The package will be marked "gift".

Monday, February 17, 2014

Mardi Gras and 1800's Tatting

On Saturday I listed Mardi Gras hand dyed thread in my Etsy shop

This morning there were questions about 1800's tatting patterns in my Craftsy class, which required some research on my part.

A wonderfully detailed article about Mid-19th Century Tatting written by Virginia Mescher posted on the website of Georgia Seitz provided me with many of the answers that I was looking for. 
Then, I challenged myself to decipher the Lily of the Valley pattern in The Royal Tatting Book by Riego, written in 1867. I think I've figured it out, as seen in the photo above - though, of course, tatters of that era would have probably used white or ecru colored thread. The longer picots at the top will be joined to a crocheted heading later.  Perhaps another day I'll have time to write the pattern out in modern tatting terms; it's really a pretty design. 

If you like antique tatting patterns, one of many sources is the Antique Pattern Library, run by the non-profit group New Media Arts, Inc.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bright greens

New batch of hand dyed thread, Bright Greens. The flower hairclip is tatted from the same thread.

A reminder that I hand dye in small batches, and preparation begins with winding the thread into skeins. For those who aren't familiar with the word, skeins are big circles of thread, a form that prevents tangling and provides maximum surface area so the dye can reach all of the thread.

Then, I prepare the dye, and paint it onto the thread using a brush. I wrap it in plastic and let it "cure" (the thread and dye react together for a while). Then, I rinse the thread, let it dry, and twist the skeins so they'll look pretty to sell.

Since it's just me doing all the work, each batch is small, unique, and when it's's gone.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hair clips, feathers, boomerangs

 Currently I'm in a hair clip frenzy. First off, I should mention that the flower design for these hair clips is NOT in any of my books. But, similar 3D tatted flower patterns are pretty common on the Internet, so you don't have to wait to get started on your own tatted flowers, should seeing this photo awaken a frenzy within you as well :) 

The flowers nearest the front are in my own hand dyed from the "Roses" batch, the ones to the left are in Lizbeth #100, and the yellow that I've started in the back is Lizbeth #180, all are size 10.
 Eventually this pair of tatted yellow feather earrings will be done! The feather pattern IS in my latest book, "Marilee's Beaded Tatting Finery", although this yellow pair in progress is an elongated version of the book's pattern.
The boomerang pattern is in the book as well. This is a recently completed pair of earrings that's listed in my Etsy Shop.

Hand dyed thread is always on my to-do list, and since I will be moving on to shamrocks very soon, I expect that some greens will be needed!