Saturday, August 31, 2013

More tatting stuff!

Over the summer I decided that my thread stash and my shuttle collection were too small.  I'm not quite sure how I came to that realization since I've been tatting for about three years and have survived just fine.  Actually, I blame my stash-envy on blogging.  Seeing everybody's beautiful projects and getting new ideas with supplies I don't own has sent me on an e-bay shopping spree.  On several recent purchases, I bought these vintage shuttles and size 70 Star tatting thread, variegated pastels in the original box.

Two of the three shuttles work great with nice, tight ends.  The large ivory colored one on the top has loose ends and is really too big for my hand, so it will just go in the collection.  I must say buyer beware when shopping on e-bay.  Prices vary widely for the exact same product.  My advice is to just watch (in your watch list) items you are interested in for a week or two to see how much they sell for before bidding.  I'm watching two Tatsy pattern books, one has a starting bid of $1.49, the other starts at $5.49.  Needless to say, I'm bidding on the lower priced book.  

I also bought a nice stash of Perfect Quilter thread, thanks to Fox's suggestion.  Here are the colors I got:

And I want to thank God's Kid for sharing her dream catcher earring pattern and very helpful tutorial.  I made one this afternoon and here's how it turned out:
Motif # 13

My daughter selected blue to match her blue eyes.
They will look great when I finish the other earring.  Thank you God's Kid!!  Here's a close up of the dream catcher.  I think it turned out pretty well for my first attempt.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back to school

I  haven't had a lot of time to tat this week because it's back-to-school time.  I've been busy buying clothes and school supplies, meeting teachers and filling out paperwork.  School starts on Aug. 27.  Although I love summer with a more laid back schedule, I am looking forward to having some time to myself while the munchkins are at school.  

Over the last couple weeks, I have purchased two new vintage shuttles and several spools of Perfect Quilter thread, so most of my tatting has been playing with my new toys.  I love how the PQ thread tats and whipped up this pair of earrings.

motif # 12
The pattern is "Mirror" from Jan Stawasz's Tatted Treasures. The picture of this pattern in the book looks much larger, but with such small thread, the motif is probably about 1 inch from top to bottom.  The color is called Easter Egg, and it's a variegated pink/purple, even thought the dark purple looks black in the photo.

I also attempted to make the "Tiny Square Teapot" from Martha Ess' Tea is for Tatting, but missed a join and then skipped a line in the pattern and decided to bail on the project and start all over.

The trefoil at the top is supposed to be centered over the motif, but is lopsided because of the missed join and incorrect count on the chain leading up to that trefoil.  It only took me about an hour to get that far, so it wasn't like I'd lost 2 or 3 days of work.  This is also in a Perfect Quilter thread, color "Denim."  It is a variegated blue, the darkest color being dark blue, not black as it appears here.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

New Thread

Almost my entire thread stash consists of Lizbeth threads, size 20 and 40.  I've only been tatting for 3 years and I started purchasing Lizbeth #20 at Hobby Lobby, not knowing what other threads I could use.   But about 6 months ago I decided to "graduate" to size 40, so I went to my trusted Handy Hands web site and purchased several spools of Lizbeth size 40.  I found this thread very hard to work with because it twists so easily.  I constantly have to dangle my shuttle to unwind the twist, but I thought that was just normal.  When I saw Fox's post on Perfect Quilter thread, I went out and purchased some.  What a difference from the Lizbeth #40.  Perfect Quilter thread is even smaller than size 40, but it doesn't twist up as much as the Lizbeth and is therefore MUCH easier to work with.  I love the colors and the feel of the thread, even though it is a little fuzzier than Lizbeth.  I was so excited about my new thread purchase that I had to tat up a few gems just for fun.
Motifs # 9, 10, and 11.
The lower left is a Flower Fragment from Mary Konnior's Tatting with Visual Patterns in PQ #82.(I don't remember the name and it's out of stock at so I couldn't look it up.  It may be Easter Egg.)
The lower right is PQ #72, (sorry, don't know the name), also a Flower Fragment.
The top two flowers are your basic daisy pattern in # 72.  The stems are in PQ #89, Olivia.

Love, love, love this Perfect Quilter thread for tatting.  Thank you Fox for recommending it!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Too much tatting?

I truly love to tat and spend as much free time as possible tatting.  But I have found that too much tatting can cause aches and pains.  My main complaint is my left arm and elbow.  When I reach out and try to grab something (like my son's hand), my elbow hurts, almost like tennis elbow.  A nurse friend of mine said she thinks it's a repetitive motion injury from moving the fingers in my left hand to flip the stitches when tatting.  Does anyone else out in blog-land suffer from this?  Does anyone have a cure?  Should I take up knitting or crochet to strengthen other muscles in my hands and arms?  Tatting is the only needlework I do.  My arm gets better when I take a couple days off from tatting.  I've also found that swimming the breast stroke with just my arms (no kicking) helps keep the ache away.  If anyone can give me a magic bullet to tat pain free, I would be able to produce more treasures like this:
Design my Jane McLellan, thread Rainbow-licious byTatilicious 
And this:
Doily X by Jan Stawasz, thread Aunt Lydia ecru and Lizbeth Garnet, both size 20

These are two projects that I've previously posted as WIPS that are now complete.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gorgeous new threads!

When I saw that Jess over at Tat-ilicious had her hand-dyed threads on sale, I couldn't resist picking up a couple from her Etsy shop.  I purchased "Rainbow-licious" and "Grackle," both in size 20.  Both threads are beautiful and I couldn't wait to start a project.  Here is Jane McLellan's bookmark pattern in Rainbow-licious.

Motif # 8
The colors are very bright and there are a lot of subtle tones as the colors change.  The blue, for example, goes from Baby Blue to Royal blue to deep Indigo.  The colors also change very quickly.  As you can see in the bookmark, the large rings have at least two colors.  Those color changes make tatting very addicting for me.  I love tatting with variegated threads because I like to see the changing colors and how they play against each other.  I could not be happier with this colorway.  I can't wait to start a project with the Grackle thread.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pre-vacation progress

Prior to going on vacation (see vacation photos below), I did manage to complete one project and make progress on another.  I finished the Large Cross by Mary Konnior in  Lizbeth size 40 Grape Pomegranate (I think).
Motif # 7

I think the middle turned out a little too fat.  I may try to re-block it and stretch out the ends a little more.  Other that that, I'm very happy with the cross.  For the "tassel" that comes out the top, I chained lock stitches, then split rings to give it some interest.  I really like the effect of lock stitches (where you don't flip the second half of the stitch) in variegated thread or two different colors of thread.  The lock stitch shows both colors of thread alternately and makes for some interesting variations in your work.

I also finished round three of the Stawazs doily # XII and started round four.  

I love the contrasting color of the red in the second and fourth rounds.  It really makes the doily pop. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Beach vacation

I haven't posted anything in the last week because I haven't been tatting much.  I have been enjoying the surf and sun with my family in Port Aransas, TX.  Instead of tatting, we did this:
And this:
And this:
And we also enjoyed this:

I have several projects that I finished or made progress on before the trip, but got so busy with preparations and packing that I didn't have much time to post them.  I will get to that in the next few days after all the unpacking and laundry etc., etc. gets done.  Unpacking from a trip is never as fun as packing.  At least I have these pictures (and a million more, but I didn't want to bore you with too many) and great memories from the trip to keep me motivated as I suffer the drudgery of unpacking.