Sunday, August 29, 2010

Motif #25

The edging I'm working on to make a little centerpiece for my kitchen table is almost done.  I haven't really made many edgings, and wanted to try combining tatting with quilting, and then see what the best way to add the edging is.  I am just going to make it a simple circle, and I'm just fiddling with it until I get it to what seems like a reasonable size.  

This is the "Lacey Edging" from A Christmas Angel and Other Tatting Patterns by Monica Hahn.  I like this one because it has a simple repeat that I can do while watching TV, or on my lunch break at work, without much serious concentration.

The edging is going to be Motif #25 of my 25-Motif Challenge.  Wow!  I was worried I wouldn't get 25 done in one year, and it actually only took 8 months. It's true - the challenge helps one to see how much we really DO get done in one year.  I will end my challenge for now, but I definitely plan to do it a second time!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Split Rings & Bookmarks

When getting ready to build my stash of bookmarks, I started blog-searching for bookmark patterns that would be simple and quick - bookmarks I could finish in just one evening.  (Yes, I can actually do that now!)  One that caught my eye was this Simple Heart Pattern by Vicki Clarke.  I used Krystledawne's Be Mine HDT, size 30 cebelia.  This is motif #20 of my 25-Motif Challenge.

This pattern has a little tail of split rings and then a tassel.  I thought it seemed like it would be too short, so I added a split ring and realized I need to practice those!  My split rings are not as nice and evenly shaped as I'd like them to be, but I see how useful they can be. 

This split-ring how-to VIDEO by Linda Davies is very clear, and is what helped making a split ring really click for me. I use the second, or 'Dead Spider' method - and agree that it is easier that taking the ring off my hand to do the second half of the ring.  Next I need to learn the split-chain.

Needing more bookmarks and more split ring practice, I also remembered this Bookmark Pattern I have saved in my collection - another quick one with split rings that is easily finished while relaxing in the evening.  I have quite a stash of perle cotton of different sizes, so I also decided to do a little thread comparison. (I seem to have to make everything a learning experience . . . ) I did adjust the length of these bookmarks to my own taste, so the length isn't a true comparison. These 3 bookmarks are Motif #s 22, 23 and 24 of my 25-Motif Challenge. (Woo hoo!  I can't believe I've almost done 25 and it's only August!)

GREEN = Perle Cotton, Size 5
PINK = Perle Cotton, Size 8
BROWN = Perle Cotton, Size 12

Perle cotton thread is woven very loosely, so it splits easily when trying to pick out a mistake. (Experience speaking!)  The stitches seem to roll easily, and also appear "fuzzy" to me - not as crisp looking as the Lizbeth or cebelia threads. Size 12 is my favorite as far as the perle cotton goes, but the larger sizes work great for bookmarks too.  I like the option of having a larger threadsize to use, but it is a bit more difficult to work with.  What types of things would you use larger-size threads for?  

I have a few different sizes of Lizbeth I think I should compare now! Being the very visual learner that I am, I find that doing these comparisons really helps me to see some of things other tatters talk about from their own experiences.  I did some other thread comparisons back here.  

I have started on a simple edging to add to some fabric for a centerpiece for my kitchen table.  I haven't done much with edgings before, so I'm trying to make that a learning experience too!  Adding an edging to fabric for a centerpiece takes waaaay less time than a doily :)  And my spare time is limited.  Well, at least until winter hits and we hibernate from the cold instead of the heat and humidity!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Summer Hibernation!

I hibernate without guilt when it gets like this outside.  By "this", I mean 90-degree temps and high humidity - the kind of weather that takes your breath away and makes you sweat just standing still.  Ugh.  I don't feel guilty staying indoors - in the air-conditioning - and working on sewing or tatting projects.   I'm not a water-sports/boating fan like a good Minnesotan should be!

This summer hibernation has allowed me to get a couple of tatted bookmarks added to my stash, and I've got a start on a tatted edging to make a small centerpiece for the kitchen table.  Pictures will have to wait for another day.

The English Major has finally had some time to start adding her journal thoughts to her blog from her 5-week trip to the Dominican Republic.  She has gotten a summary version of the first couple of weeks entered so far - if anyone is interested in reading a bit more about her experiences there, see her blog "And the Doors Opened".  Her life-altering experiences will be forever burned in her memory, and I don't think the emotions can really be put into words.  My troubles seem so incredibly minor in comparison - and the poorest of poor people that the English Major encountered were so very content with so little.  We could all learn from their happy outlook! 

And I am extra grateful to have an air-conditioned home.  I was surprised to learn that the majority of hotels in the Dominican Republic don't have A/C!  

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ribbons and Motifs 18, 19 & 20

Goal accomplished.  I entered two pieces of tatting in the county fair, and only one other piece was entered in a different category.  So, not much competition, but all three pieces/categories earned ribbons.  Hopefully that will spark some interest and encourage some more entries for next year.  Next year's goal: enter more than two tatted items!

And I did find a category to enter this doily into the state fair under: Dinner cloth . . . ?  Strange, but that seems to be the only possible place to enter it. [I would hardly want to use it as a dinner cloth!]  What the heck.  I'll try it and see while I have the opportunity and the bragging rights :)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This week I had to try some things from my new book - Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns - so I chose these pieces for Motifs 18 & 19 of the 25-Motif Challenge:

Motif #18, Bud Fragment
DMC Perle Cotton, Size 8

Motif #19, Black Magic bookmark
Yarnplayer's HDT "Tourmaline", Size 20

I am thoroughly enjoying the book, and keep going over the patterns trying to decide what to do next.  I think I better stick with small pieces for a bit while I try to get back to my T.A.T. projects.  To be honest, I have been avoiding working on the T.A.T. stuff while telling myself "I need more practice".  Those projects need to be as perfect as I can get them!

I also tatted my old standby bookmark "Flowers" by Jill Hanna from the Tatted Bookmarks book from Handy Hands for Motif #20:

Motif #20, Flowers bookmark
Yarnplayer's HDT "Tourmaline", Size 20 and
DMC Perle Cotton, Size 8

I found that my stash of bookmarks has dwindled, so I really need to get that built up again.  Bookworm friends and relatives seem to enjoy a pretty bookmark tucked into a card, and they are the perfect small projects to get the feeling that I've accomplished something.  

Next I think I'd like to try making a small centerpiece for the kitchen table by adding a tatted edging to some fabric.  Is it easier to add an edging to a circle and avoid turning the corners?  It seems that patterns with corners may be difficult to get to fit correctly.

Back to enjoying what we have left of summer.  We have a hot, humid week ahead of us - temperatures in the 90's and high humidity.  Better not complain too much - snow is not far off! [Bite my tongue, I know . . . ]