Saturday, September 7, 2019

Shuttles From Tat Days 2019

    I went to Tat Days this year. For a few hours. I could not stay long, so I did what I could while there. I wanted to meet some people, say "hi" to some people, pick up a few things. I am not happy that I could not stay, but life happens.
    One thing I did get was Dreamlit shuttles. Lisa from Tatting Corner was our vendor again and she brought a lot of them for sale. I really like Lisa. She is just so helpful. By the way, she was being assisted by Kaye Judt. I had never met her before, but, well,she is a wonderful lady to talk to. I did get her new (signed) book. I bought one of each color shuttle (5 colors) and a matching set of bobbins for each.
    Back to the shuttles, lets take a look. I had tried one while there and it feels good and has a good weight. Not heavy, not light, just right. In the photo you can see it pulls apart into 2 pieces with an oval bobbin. The pins either side of the magnets slide into each other snugly. The magnets are quite strong, but do not require Samson to separate them. This shuttle is very stable and solid. Please notice that on the bobbin is a small round indent in the top left corner.

I ask you to notice the indent because I decided to use it. Most of the bobbins I use have a small hole that I pass a thread end through to hold with a finger until I get the thread wound on it a bit. This new bobbin does not have a hole, but the indent looked like it would punch out. I used a needle on it and sure enough, it went through very easily. This would be a good place to do this because the plastic is a bit thinner here. On the inside, the plastic was sticking up so I used a utility knife and cleaned it up. Now I could pass the thread through to hold it. I roughly measured the thread I was winding on it to add to my thread chart. This thread is King Tut. I will do the other sizes later.

     I found couple things about winding it.
  1. It will not work with my Side Winder. The hole in the center is bigger than a standard bobbin's hole.
  2. The holder for the bobbin will trap the thread you passed through the hole so you do not need to hold it with your finger.
  3. As you fill the bobbin, watch that the thread does not try to go between the bobbin and the holder.
  4. If you find the thread twisting as you wind, usually you have to put the bobbin in shuttle to let it hang and unwind. With this, you can slip the thread between the bobbin and holder and let it hang. Even with thread as thin as King Tut, the holder was tight enough not to let the bobbin unwind if you do this.
    All in all, I think this shuttle is going places. It feels good, looks good, works well, seems to have been well thought out. I think I will like using it.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Tat Days Is Coming

    Tat Days is coming and I am ready! No, I didn't prepare for it. I mean I need the break. This has been a busy summer. Getting the yard cleaned up, replaced part of the ramp at the deck, Wired my shop. I am digging a trench for the power cable by hand. I am too cheap to rent the machine for $200. Anyway, ready for a break.

    I have almost finished the Juliana doily that I am test-tatting. I think it may go on my dresser when all is done. I saw where there was going to be a class by Jane Eborall to teach her llama, so I made this one.

    This is a really good lesson. You will learn to do an SCMR, but I think the biggest take-away will be the join in the "second half" of the split ring. Some people have a bit of trouble with that. This will be a good project to learn it, even though there is only one place it occurs.
    Know what was nice? I have been making the Juliana doily in size 20. I did the llama in King Tut. I do like my fine threads!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

The Round TUIT and More Juliana

    Yesterday, Jane Eborall said something about a bracelet when she gets a roundtoit. So now I have to show you this.
    This is my round TUIT. It is made of lead. I use it for a paperweight. I forget where I got it. I have had this one at least 35 - 40 years.

    On the bottom used to be a paper that has long since worn off. It read: "This is a round TUIT. Now that you have it you can get to all those project that you said you would do when you got around to it." I suppose I don't have that excuse any more.

On the tatting side, I am on round 9 of the Juliana doily that I am test tatting for Ms. Eborall. I have a bad habit of getting caught up in a mistake and then spazzing out for a bit until I think it over and see where I went wrong. Once I get over that, everything seems to come out pretty well.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

New Threads

    I have finished round 8. It was pretty simple to work. The instructions were fine and it went fairly quickly. Now I am starting on round 9. This should be interesting. There are these "flowers" all around it and they are not hooked together so they will be flopping, making it a little more difficult to handle. I shall persevere, though. One thing I found that will make it more interesting is there are lock chains used. It will provide a bit of change and cause me to look at it a bit closer as I work. I have not ironed it out yet.

    Last round I had to add new thread 3 times. I bet this one will take 6 times. I am keeping wound bobbins ready. I do not tie knots to add thread. Instead, I try to end at a ring, sew in one end, then pass the new thread through the ring, pull it up and tat over the tails. How far? Well, it depends on the new ring or chain. Often i will tat over tails for the entire ring or chain to give it a more even appearance. Sometimes I only do it until the first or second join or picot. It's all a judgment call.
    On round 8, I had to join in the middle of chains. Most of it was chain, join, chain, join and so on. I made a join, then sewed that thread back into the previous chain. Then I passed the new thread through the join and continued, tatting over tails. It works for me.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A Little Better

    In the photo you can see my new desktop. On this folding table I use as a desk, the surface had deteriorated over years of use. I had tried using a tablecloth, but kept pulling threads and snags. I then tried that black plastic picnic tablecloth, but that eventually tore and the fuzz inside kept getting on everything. Finally, I bought this contact paper at Lowe's. I had already done one table with the same pattern and it has held up very well. Now I have done this table. I like it. It does not show the white thread so well, but I do use a lot of colors that should show easily. We will have to see.

    I purchased some blocking mats from Amazon. Not the expensive ones. I needed to block Juliana a bit so I could keep it from becoming a tangled mass. I laid it out yesterday evening and pinned it out, then hit it with the starch. I think it did just what I wanted. I tried to find all the twists in the chains and picots and straighten them. I got all but a couple, I think. Still, now I can see the pattern a lot better.
    I think I can start round 8 today. If not, tomorrow. I don't think it will be nearly as complicated as what has already been tatted.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Close Call

    You have to love it when this happens. I have just a couple of rings and a few chains to finish the round. And then I notice I am almost out of thread on the primary shuttle. Looking at it, do I continue and see if I can make it or go ahead and change shuttles, having to hide ends by tatting over tails.
    I can see the center of the bobbin showing thru. I decided to push on and see if I have enough. I got the next ring and a half and the thread let go of the shuttle. I needed to finish the ring and make one more chain. I finger tatted the rest of the ring, then rewound the bobbin with what I could to do the chain. It is the core thread, so I only need a couple of inches on that.
     I was able to finish the chain just before the thread let go again. You can see what was left. About 12" of thread. Just enough and I did not have to hide extra ends. I hate having to hide ends, don't we all?
    At least I was able to finish round 7. I am going to have to press it out before I go any further, just to be able to handle it. You can see it is quite unruly. I will probably block it out a bit this evening. Then hit it with a light starch.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Testing 1, 2, 3

    Some of you may have already guessed this, but Jane Eborall needed a test tatter for the Juliana doily pattern that she figured out. I checked with her after a bit and she had no takers so I volunteered. Being recently retired, I figured I would have the time. Of course, that is a fools statement. I think I work more now than I did when employed.
    I did not mention this before because I knew, as you did, that she was finishing it and sewing it down and was going to have a reveal on her blog. Now she has told me I can blog what I am doing with it. Thanks, Jane.

    Jane never fails to amaze me. That she could pull all this from a poor photo is almost unbelievable. But she did it. There are 10 rounds. I am working on round 7. I have found a few minor mistakes, but nothing to really get excited about. Mostly things like stray picots in the diagrams and that sort of thing.
     I did get my knickers in a twist in round 6. I thought that she was doing a DNRW and SS where it was not needed. It took me a while and several contortions to realize she was exactly correct. I had just not really understood the reasoning behind the method, but it worked so well once I did understand. I felt the fool and I did apologize for the aggravation.
    The doily as shown in the photo, using size 20 thread (not King Tut, as I am wont to do) measures 19" long and 10" wide. I have not ironed it out yet. There are 3 rounds to go. It's going to be big. I hope to finish soon. I want to take it to Tat Days. More as I progress.