Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The real reason for finding out what’s on the shuttles

So I can start tatting this:
Tatted False Plait by Gina Brummet

I plan to use it for nametags. I am terrible at remembering people’s names. I can remember where they traveled last year on vacation. I remember where we met for coffee. I can remember what book they loaned me. Just don’t expect a name. I’ve decided some teacher cursed me with this hex because she didn’t appreciate my name. No, that’s just a bad joke. Anyway, nametags are a must for me. I can usually see well enough to catch the name, just can’t remember it.

The beads came from a bargain bin someplace. They were sewn onto netting to be used for collars. I happily snipped them off almost immediately. Tatting works much better than netting for decorating clothing!

The next post will be delayed a day. I’m helping out at the Fair on Thursday. I’ll catch everyone up Friday morning. See you then……

Thursday, August 24, 2017

productivity in what matters

It’s been a good week so far. I’ve found all 15 shuttles I typically use. Several live in a tin that serves as my Demonstration Box. A couple need some tlc work. Most are the Clover shuttles.
Nothin’ fancy, just good basic shuttles. I still need to gather all the patterns into a folder. And I’d like to wind shuttles for a lanyard to go with my tatted nametag. A couple shuttles are set up to tat another Joy bookmark. Several shuttles are dedicated to my design idea bag.
I’ve found it’s a good idea to set aside time each week for specific tasks. Designing falls into this category. Why? Because I could easily get lost in the task and spend way too much time. If I return to the task for short spurts each week, I am much, much more productive. Just how I work best. It’s important to go with your brain flow. Fighting yourself can leave bruises.

I also spent some time yesterday on the harpsichord. I came to the conclusion that I need to get proficient at replacing strings. Another string broke during the last week. I think because they are vintage strings, (no surprise there) and the wood is responding to the higher humidity here (no surprise there) by swelling. That pulls the strings tighter and week ones snap. I tuned it down almost a half-step yesterday. I figure after another week it may just stay at 415 or so. We’ll see.

I’m looking forward to practice today as I have time on the Dobson at St. Dunstan’s. It’s always a joy to play that organ. I’ll be dressing in layers as it will likely be quite a bit warmer there than at the house. That will be my short spurt for practice time today. I can no longer practice for hours each day. Especially if I’ve done cleaning chores or yard work. I’ve become much better at studying the score and thinking through the music. If I can “learn” the piece that way even a little, I can cut down on the repetition at the keyboard. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sun, what sun???

I took time yesterday for reflecting. Since the fog stayed around well into the afternoon, we didn’t have much to see for the solar eclipse. It did get quiet. And a bit darker for a few minutes. So, we experienced the event, just didn’t see much. Ah well, even if I’m not seeing as often the sunrise show, and the white deer is no longer walking through the neighborhood, our resident yard cat is still coming around for scritches.

Most of my tatting time was spent putting things away. I gathered up the patterns I used for the Fair items. I like to have patterns on hand when I demonstrate. I’ve realized that I am drawn to tatting designs that are as intriguing in the written form as they are in thread. Most of the patterns I use by other designers are readily available on the web or in book form. I usually make a copy that I can mark up with my notes; like what thread I’m using and how much I wind onto the shuttles, what beads I pick, what size picot I use, and any resources I use for tricks and tips. If I’m really going to meet my goals for tatting, I have to keep as good records as I do for music.

The rest of the week I’ll be working on music catching up. I need to work on the harpsichord and plan practice for the sub jobs I’ve committed to. I’d also like to update my material for all things organ in the Monterey/Carmel area. Plenty to do. After a walk to the library and maybe a treat.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fair entry progress

I hit a milestone yesterday:

I feel a great sense of accomplishment. When I started this project , I wanted to explore the idea of the close rows and see how firm a fabric the pattern produced.

I have learned a great deal:

By connected the ring to rings, the fabric is stronger and less lacy.

Vintage thread really isn’t worth working with except for trials you throw away.

It will be a great decoration for our new, old house.

It’s boring doing the same ring/chain combination a thousand times…..or so.

It’s a great start for a pattern of an organ case.

It got too big to keep clean.

I can’t wait to use this concept in other patterns!

But first, I need to tat stars and sew them on. Picture after the Fair closes.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017


By an organ….surprised? I’m not!

A good friend of mine entrusted me with the care of a Folding Organ. That’s right, Folding. It’s a reed organ with bellows powered by foot pedals that folds up into a suitcase:

It actually works and sounds quite nice. I can’t wait to begin using it out and about. Busking anyone?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Post Fest glow

            After a wonderful month of activities, the Carmel Bach Festival is finished. The art donated for the Raffle has been carefully distributed to the lucky winners. Those who win a piece of art are encouraged to write a thank you note to the artist. I happily wrote my note for the book I won. It’s an exquisite handmade paper book with two quotations. I love paper making, so this beauty is now displayed on the ledge in the windows by the harpsichord.

I wonder where my bookmark has landed? I count the whole Festival Raffle experience a resounding success!

            Before I go, I’ll share a bit of my success with the cro-tat technique: 

 This yarn is marketed for baby things, so it has a bit tighter twist. It’s also 4 ply which helps also. For this pattern the color way actually works too.

 Mmmmm beginner’s luck?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Cro-tat progress

This cro-tat technique is growing on me. I like the thought that I could collaborate with someone accomplished in crochet. Here’s the best of what I worked on Tuesday:

The sample on the bottom in both pictures has some crochet stitches between rings. The sample on the top in both pictures is shown with top side and bottom side. The one document I found on line suggests using rings with the bottom side up as the picots look better. I think that’s because the rings in that pattern were to represent flowers.

I used some thread left over from a previous project. I think it was tatting to put on a card. The leaf color reminds me of that series. It’s Cotton Perle in size 8. I used the cro-tat hook that I was gifted. I think it was sourced from Annie’s Attic, but not sure.

I’m going to continue to play with this.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Fair Prep begins

Remember this post ? Well, the Monterey County Fair has created a division for Cro-Tat work. When I was gifted the tool 5 years ago, there wasn’t much available for information on Cro-tatting. Georgia does have a tutorial from a 1869 publication and reviews books distributed by Annie’s Attic.

And then there’s the doily I found in a resale shop:

The crazy thing about that doily is how it matches a doily my Italian tatting friend, Ninetta, found in a small shop near her home! So, how is this done? O_o? (confused face)

My crochet skills are abysmal. I hope to convince a friend to collaborate with me to create a cro-tat something to enter in the fair

In the meantime, I've finished another stripe of the flag and am ready for Round 5 of my Wisona 2017 doily. Whew!!!