Thursday, September 17, 2020

I know how to do that!

I'm big on self-talk.....

I try to teach by encouraging, not criticizing.....

I know how to do that!

 I have to keep telling myself that. 

I have a bad habit of seeing something in my brain or hearing something in my brain and before I can get the music in the air or the thread into lace, I talk myself out of trying. 

Perhaps that’s why I jumped at the chance to recreate the vintage mat in the collection at the Lace Museum in Sunnyvale. It’s much easier for me to read the printed score or examine the tatted lace. At any rate, I’ve enjoyed the journey with this mat.

To register, follow this link to the Lace Museum: intermediate class

I’ve finished notating the pattern for the edging. To be clear, this is not the only way to tat a similar edging. It’s the path I saw and used tatting the example. Just a bit more and I’ll be able to block and sew it onto the fabric with the inset.

I also know how to do other “advanced and complicated” tatting techniques. I know how to wrap picots for a daisy picot. I know how to add beads. Just being able to claim that knowledge helps me to persist in learning how to couch and finish stitching the Elephant. Thank you to all those who are cheering me on! I will complete the projects!

Oh, and to register for the beginning class, follow this link: beginning class

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Progress and a milestone


Maharajah's Elephant
designed by Mary Long

I completed more of the elephant. The next parts involve couching. I know enough to recognize the technique and the basics of how, but not enough to thread the needle and start stitching. So, I’ve asked for help.

I’ve also completed the second round of the edging. The final bit shouldn’t take long to tat. I know how to do that. Look for the promised picture on Thursday.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

I blame the smoke

 I know it’s lame. Our air here hasn’t been as affected as other places in our County. I shouldn’t wine. But, it was bad enough the other day that I just didn’t accomplish much. So, not much to share here. I didn't find a picture I wanted to link to either. Photographs do not convey how wrong things look. I'm sure you can find a story from a reputable news source to read. 

Yesterday, the air at my nose level wasn’t bad. The upper atmosphere was very smoky. The orange tint to the sky upset the animals. If you’ve ever witnessed an eclipse of the sun, it was like that. For the whole day. The sun burned through a bit, but looked like the orange ball you see just before it drops below the horizon. Up over your head at mid-afternoon, it just looked “wrong” and creepy! I tried to keep busy. I keep working on the sample for the October classes. I’ll be sharing an in progress picture next week. I promise!

For today, I’ll be demonstrating an organ for visitors from out of town. We all will be wearing masks and staying a respectful distance apart. The room is large and airy. It will be fun to play a different organ. Yes, I love the Rodgers, but it’s still fun to play something different every once in a while.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

I'm getting excited!

 The class is listed. Registration will open soon!!

Mar inset with corner of edging (scroll down a bit)

Come have fun with us!

Thursday, September 3, 2020


I came across this in my reading thisweek. In this Pandemic time, I resolved to learn more Bach (Fantasia BWV 572 for video see this post); finish a monster doily begun *ahem* several years ago; catalogue my music; etc. Oh, and learn more about teaching left-handed people to tat. Several veteran teachers have shared how they teach “lefties” and I have my own experiences to ponder. Because my right hand has suffered the most damage over the years, I try to learn new skills left-handed first, then if I just can’t manage, I try right-handed. I still write in my journal using my right hand as that’s not a *new* skill. J I was alerted to this article by Marjorie Mann written for Needle Arts (publication of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America. The series is on Left, Right, Up, Down, and Around in stitching. I found her insights very useful for teaching tatting.

In the second article of the series, Ms. Mann wrote of the concept of Boustrophedon in stitching. As she describes it, the stitcher economizes on thread by stitching “right-handed” one row, then “left-handed” the next row. In her opinion, the technique is both handedness neutral and handedness inclusive. I immediately saw that. It explains what I’ve observed watching a good friend stitch! Incidentally, weavers must learn to through the shuttle with both hands. One learns which side is easier to keep a good selvage and keeps that in mind planning for the next warp.

So, shuttle tatting…..

In my opinion, lefties have an easier time learning the flip. They’re used to holding things in their right hand and moving them around. They have an easier time relaxing their left hand on command and usually find individual finger movements easier. I encourage a leftie to hold the shuttle however they feel comfortable. I’ve even encouraged trial tatting with me providing the hand with ring thread wrapped and ready. Only one person has decided they needed to hold the shuttle in their left hand. Taking the time to establish that made all the difference in the world for her!

It’s good to know the challenges stitchers face in handedness. I will be exploring boustrophedon in the future.

My motto: The knot doesn’t care how it’s made, the thread just wants to be lace!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Happy September!

With the start of a new month, I’m hopeful.

Hopeful I’ll finish my tatting projects.
Hopeful I’ll learn the music.
Hopeful I’ll regain my stamina.
Hopeful we’ll all be able to meet up soon.

Until then, stay safe and well.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

New Music

I bought some new music yesterday! 

It feels fun to indulge in some retail therapy. What did I buy?

It is program music. In more ways than one. The composer based it on a poem from “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” by T.S.Eliot. She focused on Mr. Mistoffelees. Now, if you’re familiar with Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber, you will be hard pressed to consider the Overture by Rachel Laurin without prejudice. A bit like looking at tatting with cluny elements without thinking of a favorite trim or edging. The effort is worth it. She gives a table of some structural and musical characteristics related to the poem. I’m really looking forward to learning and performing this one!! Here’s a link to a performance that will have to suffice as a world premier in this time of COVID. 

And yes, I’ve already made some sketches of a tatting design I see when I consider Mr. Mistoffelees!