Friday, May 23, 2008

Stressful tatting

I find almost any style of mignonette tatting and any pattern with bare thread stressful. Why you ask? Well I hate the fact that the thread between the rings is never quite the same no matter how carefully I measure. I've actually done quite a few of these patterns but I use beads to get the spacing of the bare thread to appear consistent.

In ring only patterns the space between the rings is often not designated. For example, the snowflake above is from 24 snowflakes in tatting but it does not say how much space to put between the rings. This means there is a strong possibility that when I get the first round complete it will cup and I will have to start again.
I think of an easy pattern as one that will look nice with minimal skills. Although the only skill involved here is ring making, I also need to guess at the spaces needed between the rings to have the snowflake come out flat. This makes it a fussy pattern to do. I will probably work at mastering it simply because once I figure out the spaces between the rings it will tat up very quickly.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Round Robin Exchange

This is the bookmark I sent M. Eliana for April. I sent it out a few days late. I finished the bookmark part but felt it wasn't quite ready yet. I wasn't sure why...just it wasn't right. That weekend I went to the Hector Tatting seminar and found an Oak leaf charm at Debbie Arnold's table. In the fall, the oak leaves turn green and yellow which is the color of the bookmark. It just seemed to finish it off nicely. The thread is something I picked up at a needlework show a couple of years ago, I really like it. Its hand dyed silk but unfortunately, the person who dyed the silk stopped! I liked tatting with this thread and I loved the color combinations. At the time I bought it I had no money to buy more, in fact I shouldn't have bought anything. I wish that I had bought one of every color she had available.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


I was camping on the weekend with my Sparks (girl guides). I guess if you sleep in a heated building its not considered camping. We slept on the floor and spent all the time outside so its as camping as things get at 5 and 6 years old. The Sparks made mother's day gifts since they were being picked up on Mother's Day. We also made necklaces and pipe cleaner wands. I thought they turned out really cute and the girls really liked them. Everyone loves making stuff with pipe cleaners. Here is the picture of one wand that got left behind. I have also given instructions on how to make one below.

Pipe cleaner Wand

pipe cleaners- assorted colors, some cut in half
foam stars (or you can make your own out of pipe cleaners)
2 pieces of ribbon
hole punch

Take a long pipe cleaner and wind the shorter pipe cleaners around it until the entire length is covered. Use a hole punch to make a hole in the foam star. Insert the end of the main pipe cleaner through the hole and bend it back towards the base creating a loop through the star. Finish the loop by twisting the tip around the base. Finish by tying the ribbon on the wand by pulling the ribbon through the loop and tying the ends together. If you wanted to add a little more you could use sparkles around the edge of the foam. This is a craft that any age can do, you can make it fancier by making the stars out of scrapbook paper.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Little bit of Spring

Today, the weather has been great here in Ottawa. Not too hot, not too cold at 19C with the sun shinning. I'm not a hot weather person but I am looking forward to my first summer at my new house. I have a porch that I'm planning on spending a lot of time in once it gets painted. Right now its the green equivalent of Pepto-bismol. I also have a backyard that I'm excited about.

This is a picture of that hanky I made for a Valentine Hanky exchange. You can't see them but there are gold beads in the edging. I originally started using a different thread but realised I was going to run out of thread. I changed to a thread that was almost a full ball. The yellow flower is made out of Altin Basak polyester thread. A lot of people don't like using the polyester thread because its so slippery that the knots come undone but the shine of the thread is beautiful when tatted up.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Hana's Heart

These are pictures taken using my cell phone of the heart I sent Hana in the round robin. At that time I hadn't figured out how to use the scanner at the office. The picture quality is poor but you get the idea. The heart below is what I originally meant to send but...

...I had another day and some time so I added another round and got this heart. I really like how the last round change the heart's shape- it added a little asymmetry. Its a little more exciting this way. I have the pattern for the first picture (somewhere) but the last round I did free hand so I have no pattern. I think it was inspired largely by the work done by Marilee (yarnplayer). The colors aren't showing up here but were great! I really liked what came out of that last round. For some reason I was on a split chain and split ring kick. It also contained Josephine rings and a lock chain.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fastfood Nation?

Ugh! I am feeling a little groggy this afternoon, I blame it on the McDonald's I ate for lunch. I normally eat a homemade lunch but I had a craving for a big mac- big mistake. All afternoon I've had a gross taste in my mouth and my stomach feels like a rock. In addition, both the Big Mac and the fries were cold. I will not be doing that anytime soon. I need a quick infusion of something fresh.

I have been working on butterflies for my round robin exchange. It needs to be sent out in the next day or two so I need to finish. I have done a couple things but have not yet decided. I am going to try making a large butterfly tonight based on a few smaller ones I made as a trial. Here are pictures of the small butterflies:

I think that the first one can easily be made bigger. Its actually made in three parts and then joined together by the bug body in the center. The second has a frill in the center that you can't see too well in the picture. Its done in rounds and the concept that I used was a little awkward.

This third one is similar in style to the last one. I think the red and blue look really pretty together. Last night I was trying to make one that looked like a Monarch butterfly but it didn't workout the way I wanted. I think that I have to start at a different point. Tonight I am going to try to make a large one similar to the last 2 butterflies.