Saturday, January 8, 2011

Refreshed and Renewed in 2011

Here we are, already a week into the New Year 2011! I always love the start of a New Year - it's an opportunity to try new things, make a new start in some way, and work toward some new goals. I seem to be having a hard time making solid "resolutions" this year - I would prefer to make life changes and just do what's best for me on a day-to-day basis.  Resolutions are really goals - and can be made at any time anyway.  The New Year just brings the opportunity to examine what is truly important in life, and worth working for.  What do I want to accomplish?  What problems need solving?  What decisions need to be made?  What changes can I make? What can I do to make someone else's day?  The New Year is a nice time to reflect as well as move forward. 

One thing I need to do is slow down with those goals.  I always think I can accomplish 3 times as much as I really can!  There are a million wonderful patterns and ideas to try - I really don't need to do all of them.  And I don't need to do the ones I choose to do in record time, either :)

The first thing I have accomplished this year is Mary Konior's Large Cross from the Tatting with Visual Patterns book. I made this cross for my aunt that always remembers me when she comes across shuttles or vintage books, threads and patterns.  I mailed it off to her with a note - I think of her every time I'm admiring my tatting collection.  This is my 8th motif of my 2nd 25-Motif Challenge.

25-Motif Challenge #2
Motif #8
Mary Konior's Large Cross
Lizbeth #106 Spring Fling,  Size 40

I also need to slow down and pay attention to the tatting techniques I'm trying to learn - even what seems like the most simple ones. I don't even remember if I learned this way, but I've always completed joins by using the 2nd half of the double stitch.  I've recently read that some people consider the join somewhat like a picot, and complete both the first half and the second half of the stitch after the actual join. I have been trying that, and have decided I like the look better.  You can really see the definite stitches. 

I used some size 10 thread to make one join with just the 2nd half of the stitch (on the left) and one join by completing the entire 1st and 2nd halves of the double stitch (on the right) to see how it looks.  I guess just anyone can't tell the difference when looking at a complete piece, but I like being able to see all of the stitches. I would love to know how others complete joins.  Is there a "correct" way or a usual way?  It seems to be just a personal preference.

I hope your year has begun as fabulous as mine has - refreshed and renewed and ready to move on!


  1. That is a beautiful cross pattern, one of my favorites, and I love the color you chose to use! As for joins, I've tried both ways, and I've found that since I've started using down joins rather than up joins, that I tend to use the second half of the double stitch. I think it is a matter of personal preference, and the look that each tatter is trying to achieve.

  2. BEAUTIFUL CROSS! I have yet to try that pattern. You did a lovely job tatting it.

    I have been treating joins as the first half of a DS, but have been reading Let's Tat and in it Angelina says to do a complete DS after a join. I think it looks better also. Habits die hard though and I'm having a hard time retraining myself.

    I have also tried to use down joins, but apparently I am an old dog - just could not get the hang of it!

    :) Ann

  3. Lovely MK, and lovely tatting by you!

    I usually tat the second half of whatever side I am tatting on, after the picot. Quite honestly, though, I do not see a huge difference either way...yet. Maybe this too will come to light eventually... or not!
    Fox : )

  4. You did a lovely job on the cross - very pretty!

    I do down joins from the front then tat the second half of the ds. When done this way, if your tension's right, you can't tell which side was tatted first, which is what I'm aiming for. To me if you do an entire ds after the join you basically added half a stitch to your Ring or Chain. This may cause it to look lopsided, depending on the pattern and thread size. I've done the up joins and I used to do the entire stitch after the join but like the look of the down join/second half of ds now. But if you like what it looks like that's how you should make it. I can't say either is wrong or right, just different.

  5. I agree with tattrldy, doing a down join on the right side and then a 2nd half ds, puts the bar at the top of the stitch so it looks perfect. if you are doing front side/back side tatting, on the back side, you would do an up join with a 1st half ds. but it all is relevant to the tatter's personal choices. as long as you always do the same type of join, and the same style of counting throughout the whole piece. it doesn't matter, unless you are tatting an item for judging, then you need to be very particular. Any questions, just ask


Thanks for your thoughts - I read and appreciate every one!