Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Thread and a Pattern


Yesterday I spent a really long time dying thread, and I'm really happy with the results! The colors are rich, even, and shiny.



Links through the pictures goes to the Etsy page for size 20, but there are sizes 10, 20, 30, 50, and 80.

The pink one is my absolute favorite. I'm keeping a skein of #50 for myself. It looks a bit unorganized in the pictures, but, unwound, it fades very evenly. I like it!

This is a pattern for a doll hat that can be tied with a ribbon. It's pretty easy and easily adapted to be as frilly or non-frilly as you like. I made it to stay on one page and it's in black and white with clear photos, so very printer friendly! Click here to see it. This should help make up for my recent advertising.

Thank you!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Hallelujah!

This is a post I've been dreaming about for a while.



It's finished.

It took months, practically. Hours and hours and hours.... But, it's now finished! I might find a square motif to put in the corners, though. The pattern was "Svea" from Tatting Patterns and Designs. It was intended for a collar, so required a little manipulating, but I think it looks nice! The handkerchief was from the kind Michelle. What led me to take on the ridiculous edging was the nice size of the handkerchief. It's very cute. Alone, the handkerchief measures just under 9". The edging, alone, measures 2" thick.

More pictures.



In my head, it seemed, that once this project was complete, I would feel free, FREEEEE!!!! But, I don't.... Because now there are a million other things I need to complete. I've got to keep reminding myself, though, "DO NOT START ANYMORE BIG PROJECTS".

Some random stuff.

With the tatting needle, came a needle threader.. that broke... They all break. Maybe its just me. I thought the back of it was cool, so I fashioned it into a ring.


I've got tons of those middle cardboard parts that hold thread. Not wanting to throw them away because they're so sturdy, I've been hoarding them. I finally decided to do this art installment-type thing. I'll add on as I get more, and little things can go in them. 


Ummmm another painting. 



And Darla! A ton of pictures of her. I realize that there are millions of cats that look exactly like her, but she's still cute!!! 






That's it! New thread tomorrow. 

Thank you. (:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Needle Tatting Complex

All day, I worked on needle tatting, waiting for a breakthrough. For some reason, I always figured needle tatting was just a modern version of tatting that's really fast and easy to hide threads. Not necessarily that way for me. It's a lot slower and hiding threads is a little harder. Like I said, most likely not that way for those who swear by it. Also, this is probably not normal, I get really antsy when there is something touching the same spot over and over on my hands. It's not irritating, physically, more mentally. The needle is constantly bumping into the tips of my fingers, not poking or anything, but it didn't turn out well. I'll stick to shuttle tatting!

It can be so pretty though, needle tatting (not mine). I relate it to tarantulas. Yes, you read correctly. Tarantulas. In Southern California and Arizona, we have tarantulas that are pretty big, but have skinny legs. And, other places, they have big, fat tarantulas with chunky legs. Needle tatting is the fat tarantula and shuttle tatting is the kind we have here.


Oh my.... Just creeped myself out. Not a big fan of those..... Anyway!

Left is needle, right is shuttle. Unpressed.



Little needle tatted motifs. They're itty bitty, and I actually like them.



 Pretty much it. In my frustration today, I swore I'd never needle tat again. But, maybe I will, sometime in the future.

Shuttles work for me! ^_^

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stuff is Fun

About 4 days ago, I ordered a package from Knitting-Warehouse.com. First of all, knowing anything is in the mail for you is really exciting. Second, know how fabulously, spectacularly amazing it is, is REALLY REALLY REALLY exciting (excuse my capital letter overload).

I decided that I need to get some threads that were finer. The kind I ended up liking is DMC Cordonnet, so I researched the best prices and sites and everything. (The?) Knitting Warehouse seemed like the best option. They got really good reviews and their prices are awesome. Supposedly, their shipping is admirably fast, which I REALLY should not have read, because, it made me even more antsy.

Got the thread in white, bla bla bla, boring... And noticed they actually have a tatting section. *Hallelujah* SO many cool things. They have these shuttles for $2.50 each. They are a lot bigger than Clover shuttles. I like!


They're pretty, too.

And this bobbin-type shuttle. $1.85. Meh. I don't particularly like it. We'll see.



This was the most exciting, I think. A tatting needle!


On the left is my first-ever bit of needle tatted lace compared to shuttle tatted. Needle tatters kind of amaze me. Later on tonight, I'll be youtube-ing some tutorials, being that I pretty much winged it. Something that confused me was that the needle is Handy Hands' brand, but it costs 40 cents more in the Handy Hands catalog. I'm puzzled. Whatever....

Random Stuff Time:

Card I made (Cardstock is on sale right now at Joann!)



And a painting. Only happens once in a blue moon, really. I'm happy with it. The black is shiny, so it looks kinda gray.



Hmmm mhm, that's it! Pretty much my week in a nutshell. I've been having to do that whole 'studying' thing. Ew! Actually, I quite like studying, it's going well.

Anyway, thank you! ^_^

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Gettin' Fancy!

So, apparently, I've made this transition from being a "Once in a while; one or two skeins" kind of dyer, to a "Dozen skeins at a time" kind of dyer, and I cannot emphasize how BORING winding skeins is. Sure, it an be done while watching TV or something, but, ironically for a tatter, my attention span can't take it. That's why I planned out this contraption.




It came to life in about an hour, too. Winding is now super fast! The whole project cost about 7 dollars, but I had the PVC on hand already from the lame old niddy noddies I made way back. Note the statement in parenthesis in the drawing. After I drew my plans, I realized that it highly resembled a swastika, and I would be showing the drawing to several people at the Home Depot, so a disclaimer was necessary. How embarrassing! But yeah, there it is! REALLY easy to build and it takes about a minute to wind 50 yards, so definitely worth it.

Can't wait to dye some thread!

The only thread I've had on hand was #30 and #10, so that's pretty much all I did. But, this morning I ordered like 1500 yards each of 50 and 80, and I'll be getting some 10, 20, and 30 within the next few days. How exciting! YEEE...

Ran out of the 30, so, this is the last until the shipment comes.

Link goes to the page for #30.

Boring!

Here's Bunny (poodle). I think she needs a friend.


Thank you! (:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Conscience

I've got one of those. No lectures, or essays. Yes, I am sleep deprived, so it's entirely possible, but I'm going to spare you. I've had one of those Etsy things for a long, LONG time, but I am very prone to guilt. I worry that I may disappoint someone. Not to say that I have little faith in myself and capabilities, it's just that I hope to have a positive impact on people in one way or another. To get over that feeling, I decided to put some thread up.

That's it.




I swear.



 Each picture is a link to its page. ^_^

In size 10 and 30. I've got to say that size 30 is entirely lovely. My favorite is the middle one.

Thank you!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Scattered...

Finally, the Internet is accessible through my laptop at the new house. My initial plan was to spend a good long time just reading through the weeks of blog posts I had missed. I only read back a couple weeks, but now they're being read daily, so that's good!

As you can tell, I ponder over things quite a lot, and one of the recent and ongoing thoughts was and is the value of not only the sense of community in the tatting realm, but the value of tatting itself. Maybe it's that I over-think things, but the tatting community is really quite extraordinary, even in the rarity of the craft. It seems as though tatters are bound to find each other at some point, and it's kind of like a fly in a jar of honey: once you're in, you're never leaving. You may abandon the craft, or the earth at some point, but your legacy remains, be it large or small, as do your creations. And, though not many (compared to other crafts) know the art, because of that "honey effect", the thought is there, and slowly but surely, more and more are trapped in the honey. Surely, the sense of community will be lost at some point, but each and every tatter today is able to have the initial support of a small group and, one day, go on to spread the craft.

There I go obsessing and talking too much.... My point is that growth is inevitable, and this is a pretty good time to be part of it all! Actually, I remember what I was supposed to say in the first place. That I'm grateful. I'm grateful for you, and for being able to be a part everything. Yeah, that's what I meant.

I think what sparked the whole essay up there was what Teresa said. She said that the tatting community feels more like an extended family than just the Internet, which is very true. A few weeks ago she sent me these little magazines from The Workbasket, which were published years and years ago, and have a ton of crocheting, knitting, and tatting patterns. It's so strange to think that tatting patterns were actually published at one point. Also, they are each quite a few years from each other, so the prices are different. I imagine that might have caused a stir! "Can you believe that?! 25 cents now?!?! What a nerve!" hehe



A surprise to me, Teresa also sent a tatting book! Celtic tatting, to be exact. I had seen Celtic tatting, but never really thought to try it, but it's honestly very cool.









The fact that it's very thread efficient was most exciting. The center of that heart was tricky to figure out. Embarrassingly, it took me around an hour to figure out. Then, finally, I just wove it backwards! Easy peasy. Perhaps I should take my time to understand directions, but, that never happens, as seen here:


I started knitting a sock, and then, I remembered that I......don't actually know how to knit socks...... That posed a problem, and has been set aside until further notice. Very pretty yarn though!

Speaking of yarn, Joy sent me some. Aileen hosted a "Christmas in July" exchange. It reminded me of a Secret Santa type thing, because you didn't actually know who was sending you something, which was pretty fun! I had the joy (it's punny, right?) of having Joy as my "Secret Santa".




That was exciting, being as, for some reason, I completely forgot about the exchange (in about 3 days), so it was a surprise. I reallyyy like the handkerchief. Small, delicate handkerchiefs make me happy! And everything else of course, yeeee! You should probably go check out her blog if you haven't already, she's crazy talented. Honestly, I don't think what I sent sent off was as thoughtful! We shall see...

Oh and remember that handkerchief that Michelle sent me? Almost done!!! ONE side left in the making. I have a feeling that, once I finish this, I'll be very proud of myself. And it will be one of those rare things that I will keep for myself, and always be proud of. The sides are a mess because I'm just going to press them and hide threads when they're all done.



That's pretty much it. Here's some thread that you've probably already seen on other people's blogs.




I'm very vague with my thread, sorry. I never say the size, how many yards, or what it's called. It's safe to assume that the thread is size 20, since that's the most widely used, it seems, and most readily available. I'll say if it's different than 20. And, all of my skeins are a full 50 yards, if I send it to you, or sell some day. Feel free to name it whatever you want. What the colors make me think of, might not be the same for you. The dye I use is Dyson. And, the thread base I'm digging right now is Aunt Lydia. It's smooth, shiny, dyes well, readily available, and pretty darn affordable. I've used Royale, if you're interested in trying small scale dying for yourself, it dyes REALLY well, but it's not very smooth, and multiple colors don't blend too well. It's more for one color and the natural white, or multiple shades of a single color. The fire thread didn't dye as well as I had hoped, actually, it was my own error. At the time, I didn't know how to blend very well using that thread base, so there will be another version of that.

Lastly, (jeez, I'm talking a lot today) I just wanted to share my process of starching things that are to be very stiff. This is a snowflake frommmm....hmm.... I really should start remembering the patterns. I'll make sure to post it in the next one, because this pattern is so sweet. It's from a book that Gina, so kindly, sent me!

It's in ecru size 80. I think I'm just obsessed with size 80, even though, strangely enough, I think it more readily displays mistakes than a larger thread.


I was initially using the cup, but switched to a jar. So, don't think I'm messy! The trouble I have with stiffening tatted things is that there is no way for it to lay right. So, to solve that problem, I first pinned the snowflake out on the ironing board and pressed it to perfection, using a little starch. Then, the glue mixture is made. The only thing to make sure of, is that, no matter what your ratio, the consistency is VERY watery, and you'll see why. I was able to use quite a lot of glue before it got globby. Just mix it up a lot, you'll see. It just shouldn't be thick. The snowflake is pinned out on a flat piece of foam board that I think was for insulation originally. It is covered with a piece of wax paper, shiny side up, that is pinned in place. For sake of precision, you can have graph paper or something underneath the wax paper, assuming it's clear. I'm using some organic stuff that was really cheap and clear.


As you can see, I used as little pins as possible, those were just to secure the basic shape. Using the sponge brush, I saturate the snowflake and give it a few minutes to sink in. Then, using a cloth or paper towel, you soak up the mixture all the way. This is why it needs to be the consistency of water, so that it will all absorb into the cloth or paper towel. Now, you can properly pin it out Just remember to keep your angles and tension to a minimum, that was what the first starching was for. Where the pins are pulling, it will leave a noticeable mark.


If you did it right, it should look like this. Not gluey, just wet. And it will dry to look like a tatted snowflake without and globs or imperfections. The pins that are angled aren't pulling against anything, they are simply making sure it lays flat. And, when it's dry, it can be peeled off the wax paper and voila! I'm sure there is a better method, but that's mine.

This post was veryyyy long, but hopefully kinda interesting for you.

Thank you for stopping by! ^_^