Wednesday, April 14, 2021

"Phoenix" pattern is finished!

All done and now listed in my Etsy shop.

The instructions have taken 16 pages and include both the small necklace design and the large high collar, with many photos.
I have written in this style: "Ch 2+7-2 (to last picot of previous ch)." So, to clarify, I've used a + to indicate a join, and described the location of the join at the end of the sentence in parentheses.

Each design is basically constructed in the same way from a total of 6 sections with cut and tie after each. 

I used "front side/back side" tatting for this project. I know that many people don't notice any difference so of course that is an optional choice for the individual tatter.

To join the side sections to the center, I described the way I did it, starting each section in a slightly different place. Of course those sections could be started in any number of ways so just do what makes sense to you. The point is, you don't want to find yourself in an awkward spot for joining to the center last, so that's why it's better to get those joins done early.

Anyway, I hope those who tat this pattern will have fun with it!

Friday, March 12, 2021

Hand dyed thread "Crocus" and pattern progress


Always a thrill to see the first crocus bloom in the spring! Inspired by the purples, yellows, and orange colors of the flowers and the green of their leaves, I hand dyed a fresh batch of thread and it's listed in my Etsy shop. (Next batch is planned to be "Beach Cafe".)

Returning to my new pattern in progress, "Phoenix" I did successfully complete a smaller prototype that pleased me, so I've begun work on diagraming it. Both the large and small versions will be included in the finished pattern, along with in-progress photos. Here's a teaser photo:

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Behind the Scenes

These aren't all the scraps, some have already been thrown out. 

People have asked me "How do you come up with your designs?" 

Well, the answer is, "Experimenting". That actually means to learn from mistakes. To see what works, what doesn't, which parts are pulling out of shape, where to add more stitches, thinking, tatting, cutting out, more thinking, more tatting.

The design I'm still working on is "Phoenix", and I actually thought about taking a lighter to singe the scraps, making it literally rise from the ashes, lol. The "Leave Her, Johnny" sheet music background is because I'm starting to think of leaving this mess, giving up on the small Phoenix design. I have the large Phoenix done, and that went surprisingly well, but I really want a small, pendant style version with shorter wings retaining the essence of the original. A "baby Phoenix" as it would seem. 

Well, I won't give up. Once I have figured it out, I'll get to writing it up, including how to tat an excellent spiral from both front and back sides. Yay!!!

Just saying, I "waste" a lot of thread. Cotton biodegrades and more plants grow. Support designers.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Revamping My Earlier Design

Some folks familiar with my Tatted Jewelry book published in 2011 by Annie's Attic may see similar design elements to the "Newcastle" necklace in those pages. Well, 10 years have gone by, and I think I can do better. ☺ So, this week I came up with what you see here.

I like it as a high collar or choker necklace, but it's too wide to wear lower on the neck. I'm thinking that with some more changes a smaller variation could be made for a pendant style necklace. If that is successful, then I'd write up both versions to put into one pattern.

Not sure what to call the new pattern, but probably something to do with wings or flight.

Blue hand painted shuttle by Rita Richmond of Shuttle by Design
looking good with blue thread!

Thursday, January 28, 2021

A Way To Sew Tail Ends In Tatting


In response to inquiries about sewing ends into tatting, I made this video. This method isn't my invention, but simply my demonstration of the process.

I'm happy that the new Craftsy website has now put both of my tatting classes into the "jewelry" category. I think that's a much better fit than the previous "crochet" category. After all, tatting is a very different technique than crochet.

I'm having fun making some basic tatting lesson videos on TikTok. Quite the challenge since each "lesson" has to be one minute or less. My goal is simply to show people enough to get them interested. With that, they'll have the motivation to search online for more information on tatting. From the responses I've been getting, it's apparent that many people had either never heard of tatting, or didn't realize there was loads of tatting info and patterns online.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Tatting is on TikTok

There are several tatters already posting on the smartphone app "TikTok" and I've been on it about 5 weeks now. What it's all about is short videos, 60 seconds or less. The format is vertical, which is a bit of a challenge since tatting movements are mostly horizontal, but it works. The 27 seconds video I posted on January 15 went "viral" - by tatting standards, anyway. ♥☺ At the time of this writing it has received over 11 thousand views, 2400 likes, and over 200 comments. 

The comments are of the same kind we've all heard before: "So beautiful", "My grandmother tatted", "How long does that take?", "I thought that was crochet", "What magic is this?" "That's a lost art", etc. Also much interest in learning how to tat. So, a new audience eager to learn tatting.

The project I demonstrated in the video is my remake of a vintage pattern 
found in the book "The Tatter's Treasure Chest".

I found the original pattern rather hard to decipher, so I tatted a practice piece first, to see how it all fit together. Following that, I decided where to adjust the stitch count, where I wanted to place beads and eliminated some decorative picots that might get messy by wearing as a necklace. I had some trouble with the large bead inside a tatted ring, so that got turned that into an "opening a closed ring" demo.

Such fun!