Tuesday, December 11, 2018

What's coming up in 2019

I’ve been trying to focus my energies for 2019. Unsuccessfully. I’ve got just too, too many ideas!
Here’s a few:
Teach more people about the organ with a workshop/class on the physics used in organ building.
Play the organ more in different locations.
Teach more people to tat.
Create documentation of original patterns.
Create pieces for display/sale in galleries.
Oh, and keep up the snail’s pace of remodeling/restoring the house and property.
That’ll keep me busy! What are you thinking of tackling in 2019?

Thursday, December 6, 2018


I had a heart to heart with myself again. It’s tempting just to express opinions while writing a blog. But, like all very personal communications, those posts don’t always represent what I intend. So, here’s my pledge: I promise to keep my posts helpful and positive as much as possible. Of course, that means I need to keep up posting, even when life is giving me lemons.

So, the topic for today: destructions

I laughed out loud when I read this post. That’s what we called the instructions/manuals that came with anything requiring assembly or a learning curve to use. My Dad was a gifted technician in all things electronic. He was a tech whisperer before the term was even thought up. He just re-engineered what didn’t work the way he thought it should. That left the rest of the household trying to figure out how to change the volume on the record player; unlocking the front door in a specific order of pulls, key rotations, pushes and key removal; and my personal favorite, Dad not using my brand new electronic typewriter because he wouldn’t read the instructions I unpacked. It also meant that we had a stack of computer programming cards to play with and construct our card houses out of; more money in the bank because Dad could fix or patch up anything; and conversations with people all over the world before chat rooms existed. In his view of the world, instruction manuals were for dummies.

So what have I been doing lately? Writing destructions for pattern ideas. That’s including learning a graphic program so that I can create diagrams to go along with the text. I find I execute a pattern better if I have both. I’ve given up creating good photographs. The brain just doesn’t see focus and light well enough and I spend way too much time taking and editing photos. That’s best left to those who have those skills.

I’m not nearly ready to share any of those destructions. In order to have a prayer of turning this idea of music as thread art into a reality, my designs are quite complicated and specific. If I do come up with something that I think others would enjoy tatting to use as gifts or enjoy creating their own riff, I’ll let you know here where you can find those destructions.

A long winded way to say, nothing to see here, pick up you needle or shuttle and tat. Well, and maybe find something to ammuse you and reduce your stress.

And oh by the way, the lemons are ripe. Anybody want to come pick some and help with the limoncello? You must be willing to taste test……

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

I created another design lelement

That’s how I’m looking at it. In the cold hard light of day, it’s a mistake:

Musicians who start playing a piece in one key with their brain still in the previous key can relate.

I’m working a snowflake while keeping at the insertion. The rings in the snowflake are R: 4 – 4 – 4 – 4 . The small rings in the insertion are R: 4 – 4 – 1 – 4 – 4 . I did manage to make all 4 picots the correct length, but I put 4 DS in the center section instead of 1 DS. Sigh. I’m too far along to take it out. I’m counting on the pass along the other edge pulling things enough into shape that when I sew the tatting onto the blouse, all will be adjusted. I hope….

So, instead of just I – IV – V – I , I’ll put that extra vi chord in.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Gift Giving

Thank you for the great suggestions as comments to the previous post. I’ve come up with a flat shuttle to wrap the completed tatting around as it grows. I’m about a quarter of the way finished, so I’ll be using it soon.

Probably the biggest challenge I’ve had making a hobby activity my business is getting friends and family to understand the time thing. History tells us Piecework is not a way to get rich quick. Especially after the Industrial Age. Clever engineers are always suggesting a machine could create it cheaper than paying someone to tat the lace. After hours of discussion, if they hang in there that long, the conclusion seems to be reached that tatting is complicated. I’ve even had an Engin-nerd suggest that perhaps tatting should die out. I just let that one hang in the air. Didn’t even dare to look up from the shuttles!

So, do I abandon my quest?  I know I have a good idea! My lace represents music. It isn’t just a pretty batch of knots. My pieces don’t make good gifts, they’re usually too complicated and take too long to create. I know there are people out there who appreciate it. Not just because the lady in the big house tatted it. But, because it is art. If painters can put paint on a canvas and make money, I should be able to find a way to fill the world with my art. Turning a hobby into a business can be done; you just have to learn to be successful. I’m ready to get started. But first, I’ll tat up a few presents! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Insertion Progress

Here’s the progress I’ve made on this:

Since all the beads for this pattern are loaded prior to beginning to tat, it is easy to take on the road. I added the picot gauge to the lanyard for my “picot pin” hook. It worked out very nicely in my travels. As the insertion grows in length, I find tucking the shuttle and ball into a pocket a bit counterproductive. Things just get too tangled up. Perhaps I need to follow the lead of a veteran tatter who comes to the Study Group and put the lace into its own bag.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wiosna Round 10 progress

I decided to take this on a trip recently. I’d forgotten the folks I visited had seen the doily before I started with the lighter thread. Everyone was most appreciative of my efforts. I must say, I think it’s coming together. No cupping….yet…and I’ve added all these beads to the pattern! More beads to come in the next 2 rounds and then another thread color change. Whew!

I really like this pattern. I was so touched by the gift when I received it. Maybe I’ll finish this doily in time to join in if Renulek designs another in 2019.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Of beads and thread for insertions

Here’s my choice for thread and beads for the insertion to go on the shirt:

The thread is Herbal Garden Lizbeth in size 40 with 4 colors of size 15 glass beads. If I tat two strips for the full length of the panel, I’ll need 50 inches. That’s a lotta of thread (I’m estimating 25 yards on the shuttle alone with more needed for the ball.)and beads (I estimate 1000). But, I got enough!

That pattern from Monday class is still floating around in my brain. Wouldn’t it look great mounted to hang in a window as a sun catcher? Or maybe as a tree skirt in fun colors! Tamie seemed really taken with that idea. I plan to cheer her on! I’m sad to miss class the next 2 weeks. Tamie will be helping with the teaching as Georgia will be healing from getting a new knee. I’ll be thinking of you both!