Friday, November 29, 2013

Snowflake and Christmas Bell

I have thoroughly enjoyed having this week of Thanksgiving off.  It has given me more time to get some of my Christmas Tatting done.  This was my first attempt at a 3D Christmas bell.

25 motif challenge # 2, motif 1
The pattern is by Renulek and you can find it on her blog here.  Her blog is in Polish and you can use Google Translate to read it, but all you really need is to print the pictures that have the stitch count.  The pattern is easy to follow.  I used a crystal bead for the clapper and a bead cover at the top.  It's done in Lizabeth white size 20.  I'm really happy with the result and have started another one in white and gold metallic thread.

I also finished a snowflake by Renulek.  The pattern is here.

Motif # 2
Again done in Lizabeth white size 20.  I really like the little hanger it's on.  You can't see it well in the picture, but it's a silver metal hanger with crystal beads at the top.  I got a box of them at Hobby Lobby.  There are several different bead configurations to the hangers in one box.  I also got gold hangers with red beads, which I will show you when I finish my gold bell.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In Memory of a Great Designer

I was saddened to hear that one of my favorite tatting designers, Jan Stawasz has passed away.  His designs were meticulous in their attention to detail, but not usually that hard to tat if you paid close attention.  There was certainly no sleeping at the wheel when I tatted his patterns.  Here are some of the beautiful designs I have tatted so far, but plan to tat many more.

He will be truly missed, but his legacy lives on in our work.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

An Early Christmas Present

I opened my mailbox this week to find a lovely package from England!  It was from Sally at Tat's Heaven.  I won her giveaway and got all these wonderful goodies:

The bag is just the right size to carry a tatting project.  There are pockets inside and out to hold shuttles, beads, thread, etc.  Everything you need for your project.  The card inside says it was made by Sandy of  There was a surprise in every pocket, including a tatted button pendant which I can't wait to wear.  And front and center is a pop-a-bobbin shuttle made from Applewood from Sally's father's orchard.  It is a shuttle I will treasure.  Thank you so much, Sally for such a wonderful gift.  (Pop-a-bobbin shuttles are available at Jane Eborall's Etsy site here.  Get them while they are hot because they go fast.)

On the tatting front, I have finished a few more snowflakes, but have a lot more tatting to complete before Christmas.  This snowflake is a pattern by Renulek which you can find here.

Motif # 24
I love this pattern, but you can see the ginormous mistake I made at about 11:00 o'clock.  I put the large floating ring in the wrong spot and it throws off the entire design.  But that's okay.  I'll put it on my tree and make more as gifts.  You can't tell from the scan, but the thread is white with a metallic silver filament running through it.  It is really beautiful in real life.  The thread is Altin Basak white/silver metallic size 50.

This snowflake is from DMC's Festive Tatting and is also done in Altin Basak in white/silver metalic size 50.  No obvious mistakes in this one.

Motif # 25

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tatting Dulldrums

When I start a tatting project, I am usually very enthusiastic and try to spend every spare moment working on it.  But as time goes by, my enthusiasm wanes and I start looking for the next project to work on.  I don't actually start a new project because I don't like to have too many WIPs going at once.  Usually only two, maybe three WIPs at a time.  I finally finished this WIP after nearly six weeks of working on it.

Motifs # 20, 21, 22, 23
It's the Maltese Tea Set from Martha Ess' Tea is for Tatting. It's done in white and royal blue Lizbeth #20.  I made it for my next door neighbor who is British and collects tea pots.

While working on this project, I downloaded and printed numerous "future" projects, mostly snowflakes.  Even though I have several snowflake pattern books, including Jon Yussoff's Tatting Gems, there is something very satisfying about hunting down and then printing free patterns from the web.  My favorite recent downloads come from Ninette's blog and Renulek's blog.  In fact, my next project will be the 3D bell Renulek has posted right now.  At least when the projects are fairly small, there is less time for me to lose my enthusiasm.  I feel like a man with the remote control to the TV.  He doesn't want to see what's on, he wants to see what else is on.  I'm never happy with my current project, I'm always looking for the next project.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The sum is greater than its parts

I found this great snowflake pattern that is really genius.  You tat the outside points in one complete round, then you tat the inside of the snowflake in another round.  When you are done you have these two interesting but unimpressive pieces.

But when you put them together, i.e. pull the points from the left piece up through the chains of the right piece, it's like magic.

Motif # 19
You have a beautiful snowflake.  And the best part is you don't even have to do any joining or sewing or anything, just pull up the points.  I found this pattern here  on Jane Eborall's website, designed by the great Jane Eborall herself.  The pattern calls for a bunch of seed beads to be worked throughout the pattern, and the beads would look great.  But I detest tatting with beads, so I just put in a picot wherever it called for a bead.  I think it looks great with just the bead in the center.  You may not be able to tell from the picture, but the center bead is a clear crystal bead.  The thread is Lizbeth Ice Blue in size 40.  The blue tones are more subtle in real life than in this picture, so it gives the snowflake an icy quality.