Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pumpkin in rope

I normally do not decorate specifically for Halloween. I’m usually way too busy with all things musical. All Saints Vesper is one of my favorite services to sing. The closure of remembering those who have passed away in the last year also feeds my soul. So, the ever present cobwebs and such is usually all that I bother with for Halloween decorations.

This year, I found some orange cord in the camping gear box. Just about that time, someone mentioned tatting with rope. Well, I was inspired to work out this decoration for our front door.

The pattern is Tatted Celtic Knot Pumpkin by  Rozella Linden.

Personally, I think I need something a bit larger for the door; it’s that massive a door. Maybe like a wreath pattern in brown cord with some harvest theme tatting fastened on. 

My smart phone was smarter than I after I tried to schedule this post. I lost Bernice's comment. My apology. She asked:

Nice pumpkin, how difficult was it tatting with the cord?

Thank you for the complement. The pattern is really quite simple. I'm sure it's posted somewhere on the Internet. Try Rozella Linden's blog: Celtic Tatting . My copy looks like it was given to me by someone. The short description is 120 DS woven into the knot. 

How difficult was the cord to work with? Easier than the rayon thread. No really! I chose to measure out 50", leaving it CTM connected, and then just used the end of that to finger tat the DS. I used about 28' total for this one pumpkin. I suppose if you really tried hard you could wind the core section onto a weaving shuttle, but I have small hands ;) and couldn't even keep the "ball" thread straight without weighting it with a binder clip. Thank you Joan Near for that very cool tip!

I'm off to a museum in San Francisco today. If I get the next stripe in the flag done and then next square sample done, I'll go shopping for the brown cord. Apparently, REI sells this in 50 foot lengths. They probably won't have very many colors, but I just have to go and ask just to see the face of the sales people!

Thanks for commenting Bernice. Any other suggestions for my door?      

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

A tatter's vote

This is nothing political. Just your tatting opinion desired.

I have a tin with shuttles and thread that goes with me to demonstrations. In it live a few shuttles I’m not fond of, but are readily available or are examples of what tatters typically used a generation ago. I also toss in shuttles with just a bit left on them; enough for a butterfly or ring or 2.

After my last foray using the tin, I decided that I really had to empty one shuttle. The thread is quite fine, I assumed size 80. The shuttle is larger, so I thought it would work nicely for beads. I decided that I should use up the thread trying out the Hen N Chicks pattern. The one in the last wasn't the greatest experience!

I should have known better than to use tiny thread for a technique I’ve not tatted before. Not only that, the thread turned out not to be size 80 cotton. It’s more of a rayon size 100. Split rings are tricky in small thread, but with slippery rayon?????

What was I thinking???? Oh yeah, right, I wasn't thinking!

But, I persevered! I had that 25th motif in sight and I wasn’t going to back down! That’s the good news. Now I have a choice: use the rest of the thread for something else, or just take it off the shuttle and move on? What’s your vote?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

25 Motifs in 2016

I did it!! This one completes the Challenge:
Hen N Chicks square by Rachael Mohler
I completed 25 motifs in 2016. I know many, many other tatters have tatted that much in 12 months. I probably have in quite a few years in the past. But, this year I kept track. I thought it would help me keep track of projects for the house, help grow the studio, and generally keep me focused and motivated. Well, it did!!

Thank you Sharon for maintaining the blog. I know how much work you’ve set for yourself. Yes, I know technology makes a lot of the task easier, but you still have to sit and the computer, look at the screen, edit the post, and then make sure it’s all the way you want it to be. Thank you!

And so, here’s my 2016 25 motif Challenge list:
17: Bead Cap Earrings by Melanie Cervi (no picture….it went poof after the gift was wrapped and given)
20: Motif from Hector Earrings by Nina Libin (no picture....I had one, but now....poof!)
25: Hen N Chicks Square by Rachael Mohler (see picture above in this post)

There! If anyone has questions or comments or would like more info, I’ll be back to check after a walk on the beach! If you're curious what else I've tatted lately, have a look at the Board I have on the other blog I maintain.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

More studio adjustments

No picture today. I’ve been working on the flag again and have added another motif to the Tablecloth pattern from Workbasket. Picture soon of that.

I’ve also been spending quite a bit of time at the organ. Not because I have a deadline approaching, but because we found some shutters at a resale place. They are tall. Like about 6 feet tall. There are also 5 of them, so they will fill a space between the pillars in the studio. When I saw them, I thought they might eat up the highs from the organ. I think they do. It’s hard for me to judge because I’m sitting at the organ playing, but I think they do. Now I need to figure out how to fix them up, attach them to the pillar, and get them in place. Oh, and I need to decide which gap to fill with them. I hope the organ voicer likes them. I’ll try to snap a picture once they get in place.

I also realized yesterday that there is barely 10 weeks left in 2016. I took the time this morning to refresh my memory of what I’ve accomplished, browse my goals, and pick the 5 most important. Normally, this would result in needing a walk to clear my head and refocus. Well, I’m pleased to say that after 55 years, I’m finally getting the hang of working towards goals. I have accomplished my 5 most important 2016 goals. Mind, that doesn’t mean that I’ve done what I really SHOULD be doing, just what I picked. More on that after the New Year.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Workbasket Tablecloth motif

Tablecloth square

I took a break from the house cleaning/organization the other day and found a copy of a Workbasket tatting pattern. I remember who gave it to me (I know surprise, surprise!) and need to remember to thank her the next time I see her. 

Anyway, it intrigued me because the center is so tight. Trefoils of smaller rings all join to each other. It’s another “fabric” pattern with not much negative space in the center. I think it would make a nice tablecloth.

Now, back to our regular schedule housework!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

How is that Possible???

I seem to be drawn to activities that seem impossible. Like keeping a tidy, organized house.

No seriously, I’ve learned a few tricks in my time:
Playing the piano and organ.
Weaving, tatting, loom knitting, etc.

My nickname for a madrigal group was Legerdemain. They gave me that because I always seemed to be producing something that was needed just as someone realized we needed it. It wasn’t hard. I had sung with many small groups and knew the ropes. I wasn’t particularly thrilled. Part of the definition is deceit and trickery. Not my style!

Remember the pin loom I found in a box at a silent auction? I’ve been working through the directions posted by eLoomaNation . Thank you!!!! You can see where I forgot to weave in the final row and things unraveled a bit.
The weave structures are not hard to grasp except for one point: Much of the directions for warping the pin loom have you wind ½ the warp, ½ the weft, and then the rest of the warp. Yes, I wrote that correctly.  So, how DOES that work?????

Knitting uses loops of fiber to create cloth. Tatting uses knots. Weaving used intersections (the over/under you see). How can you get over/under if you only manipulate ½ of the weft?????

Well, I still haven’t wrapped my brain completely around it, but I have learned to predict where to weave in every other row for some of the weaves. Twill is easy. Rep weave made sense also. Color weaves were fussy, but worked. I’ve decided to leave it aside for a few days and see where my imagination takes me.

In the meantime, I could use some legerdemain with the clutter in the house. Maybe if I wiggle my nose?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

See what can happen when you're distracted?

Yes, I got distracted again. I decided to tat the second motif we discussed Monday inclass

I wanted to see if I liked it in 2 colors. I think I do. The next time I’ll make sure to have enough thread I won’t need to SLT to finish out the last chain. ;)
Then, I wanted to see how it would look in size 80:

The folks who come by for the Tatting Tuesday Study Group favor working with tiny thread. Mostly in size 80. I can’t say I gravitate towards it now, but they have pushed me to giving it a fair trial. Ever since I worked on the SaintSaens doily, I haven’t really enjoyed size 80. At the time I just thought it was because there are so many cool embroidery/quilting threads out there and what I had in my stash in size 80 looked so boring. Anyway, it’s closer to the size I like for earrings, but a bit too round for my tastes. Three more shuttles are empty now. I’ll have fun choosing what thread to use for the square motif.

Update on the fire is available on CalFire website. It sounds like most of the homes are escaping the inferno. It’s still a threat as the winds will be picking up today and could blow it out of control. Perhaps that will discourage the crews working with the jack hammer in the street. Either that or they will finish demolition. The walls are thick enough the sound isn’t excruciating, but the windows let enough in. No tatting on the front porch until the dust settles either. Maybe I’ll just have to walk down to the beach!