Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Column Listing

    No photo this time, but if you look in the column at the right, I have added a section for my experiments. I think this may be better than putting them on the main page. The first one has 10 photos and I don't want to overwhelm the home page.
    Experiments will take place as I need them or think of them. Comments and suggestions are definitely welcome!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Rockingham Cross

    It's turning out to be a pretty good week this week. I only had to work 2 half days to help someone out. Then home to tat, among other things. I want to continue watching Game of Thrones, cut some wood and clean the yard, and watch football. Mostly I will be tatting.

    I just finished this one from Mary Konior's book Tatting in Lace. It is called Rockingham and is on page 109. I have been lucky enough to have all 4 of the tatting  books she did. I found them at what I think were good prices, too. I am actively pursuing another book, this one by Dora Young. I want the book "All New Knotless Tatting Designs". Eventually it has to show up somewhere.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

The Ball, Part 2

    Today is Christmas. Merry Christmas to everyone. It has been a good Christmas for me. I finally got a day to do some of what I want. The main one was to finish the Christmas ball I was doing. My own pattern, for once. I was going to put something between the points, but it looks as though they would have been about even so that would mean only a straight line, and I didn't want that. A couple of other people said that I should just stop and leave the pins. That is what I will do. I like those little pins. They seem to be small beads so they do set it off a bit. Anyway, tomorrow, on to something else.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Troll

    I finally got this figured out somewhat. Ruth Perry has published her pattern for a Christmas troll on her weblog ( Several people on Craftree are making them so I had to try also. The reverse ring is not hard to do at all if you know how to make unflipped stitches. What got me was trying to do two of them with just about 2' of thread for a ball thread. (I recommend at least a yard for ease. And put it on a shuttle. Much easier to handle.) And the pattern appears to call for 2 reverse rings. Well, I tried that and for the life of me cannot figure how to get the second one (the head) as a reverse ring. I used a mock ring instead. Would someone help me out here and tell me how to do it? When I tried, to close the ring left a big loop of thread. Do I just cut that and tie off? I did not try that. I did try wrapping the loop backwards. Didn't help. So how is it done?
    Oh, yeah. I did not add the hair yet. Might do that later. I do really like the "teddy bear" ears.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Present

    I got my Christmas present to me yesterday. Pretty, isn't it? 20 balls, 10 colors, size 80 Lizbeth. Yes I do have something in mind for it. No, I won't tell you yet. This is probably too much thread, but I have a habit of ordering too much because once I had not ordered enough. I figure can keep for other projects too.

     To be honest, I think the colors just laying there are pretty in their own right.

I am still working on the TAT program and I have to finish my Christmas ball. I just have to get time. The company I work for still insists on long days. Yesterday I was so tired when I got home that I was in bed around 6:45. Dropped off to sleep quickly too. At least I am off next week (except Wednesday). I hope to get some of my tatting caught up then. 

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Ball

    So the split chain worked out OK. I continued with it to try to create a cover for a 3" satin ball. Below is my attempt. I am not a designer by any stretch of the imagination, but this is what came out when I just let the shuttle work where it wanted to. I plan to make another for the bottom, then offset the points and Josephine rick rack them together. Hope it comes out like I want.

    Now I need to figure out how to make a pattern for it. I have an AutoCAD drawing that I can follow, but it is just lines and circles with numbers added. I suppose someone else could follow it, but I would really like to be able to do it with a professional look. Probably the perfectionist in me. 
    I do have ideas for other things, it is, as we have all said before, just a matter of getting time. Working 10 hours a day really cuts into my tatting time. At least I don't work weekends. I let them know I won't. I have to have some "me" time.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Split Chains

    It's been a busy week at work. Have not had much time for tatting (sob, wail, sob). I would rather tat than work, but I also know what pays the bills.
    I am also working on the projects for the TAT program so I will not post those, per request. At least when I am working on that, I am tatting.
    I am going to cover a Christmas ball. As I was working it, I thought I would make a split chain to jump out of a round. Well, I do them so often (he says facetiously) that I had to look it up, so I went to my favorite source, the Eborall University of Tatting library.
    In the library, under split chains, I see "Fast and Easy". Sounds like a winner to me. I tried it. It WORKED!!. Then I notice it is a method that was figured out by Marie Smith. Dear Marie. Next time I see her at a meeting, I have to thank her for this. I think it simplifies the split chain so much. It  really is an easier method.

You can see my first attempts at it with this method worked fine. I do have one stitch that I did not pull tight enough, but that is minor. I love this way of doing it. I think I owe Marie some chocolates.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

New Toy

    One of my pet peeves is how thread on a ball will bunch and move around or fall off in bunches of loops all at once. Then I have to straighten it out and make sure there are not knots. Yesterday morning I decided to do something about it. I fired up the modeling software and designed a winder and a spool. I was not sure how well it would work but I was sure going to try!
See how messy this is starting to get?
     First I laid out the spool I sort of measured it against the ball of thread. It may be just a little large, but not by much. Once I got the spool figured out, I designed a winder, nothing elaborate, but it turns out more than what I needed. I had six parts, but one of them, as it turned out, was too flimsy and unnecessary. The rest worked fine.

What really surprised me was the last photo. It fit in the ball holder I have from Handy Hands. It unwinds neatly. I always hated the way it could bind in the holder, but not now. I am going to make more spools now. These work pretty well. Yes, I could probably just buy them, but when you have a 3D printer, you like to make the most of it. I am always looking for something to make and when its for my tatting I really like to do it.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Tightening the Rings

    I have too many irons in the fire. I am trying to finish up the items I already have started before I start something else, but, well, you know how it is. You see something you like and just have to jump in. I am going to have to stop doing that. (Yeah. Let me know how that works for you.)
    I am back on the third round of the doily I am doing in the Sulky thread. I have been experimenting again and I like how this is working. If you look at the first picture, you can see that the core thread (oranges) is not really where I want it because If I start where it is right now, I will have a hole between the rings. I checked the photo in the book and it shows a gap like that. I just don't want that. I want to close it up.

    I passed the core thread through the left ring of the trefoil, then passed the shuttle through that loop. When I pulled it tight into the crotch of the ring, it has relocated the start of the core thread back closer to the chain thread. Now when I do the next few stitches, the threads appear to all come from one central location. I think it looks better, cleaner and gets rid of "Gapsosis", as Georgia calls it.

    Now to finish the round.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Leen's Angel Finished

    I finished Leen's Angel in white. Nice piece to tat. You can modify this to no end. I decided for mine to make double picots at the bottom of the skirt and put beads on them. I think it makes it a bit fancier.

    My friend at work, Brandi, got hers done and it looks great. You would not know this is only the 4th piece she has tatted. And she is already into beads. Now that she sees what I did, I bet she will try to do something similar.

Again, the pattern is by Eileen Stafford. We found the pattern on Craftree.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Leen's Angel

    A friend of mine that I taught to tat is making several of Leen's Angel for Christmas, I think for presents. She has not been tatting long (only 3 or 4 projects) and already has progressed to using beads. I really think she has a knack for this.
    The pattern she is working has 2 parts, the  body and wings, and the skirt. In the center of the body are 4 rings. She asked if there was a way to add a bead there. The problem is that the bead has 2 holes, but she wants 4 connections. We talked about a couple of ways to do it. One was to make a ring around the bead that has 4 picots to connect to. This is too much trouble and will change the construction of the body, adding too much material in the middle. The solution is simple, actually. Put the bead on one picot and connect around it.
    Then another problem arose. The rings are gapped and can twist. They don't hold their positions. The rings, it turns out, are 6-6. So I changed that to 4-2+2-4. Same stitch count, but putting the picots on the side lets me join the rings near the bead, keep the correct stitch count, and it makes it all look a lot better with the bead in the middle. I think she will like this solution.

    As usual, pardon the background. That is my pinning board, thus the holes. I do not have this one pinned out. I just finished it. Next, I will add the skirt.
    This pattern is by Eileen Stafford.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

I Won!

    Its official now. I did win at the State Fair for my Monster Doily. I got 3 ribbons. The far right one is first place blue ribbon for the doily.
    The middle one is the award from the Palmetto Tatters. I think that one means the most to me because these are people that I know that know how to tat that judged me. There is a small piece of double stick tape on it. There was a tatted rocket on it that someone had made, but I cannot find it. I am going through my stuff looking for it. The double stick tape did not hold I want to stitch it to it if I can find it. I will search again at daylight. I hope it didn't drop in Columbia. That's 90 miles from here,
    Then there is the purple ribbon. Riet had mentioned the purple ribbon in a comment on a previous post. I was thinking that she is from Netherlands, maybe they use different colors for ribbons there. Nope. There really is a  purple ribbon. I have never heard of it, but hey, I have still never been to a State Fair. I really wanted to go to this one, but the hurricane changed that.
    The purple ribbon, I am told, is special and somewhat rare. My understanding is it is not handed out often and is like a best of category overall kind of thing. I hope I have that right. I have tried to look it up, but don't find anything on it. If someone has a better explanation, I would appreciate hearing it.
    Best of all, my doily is back and back on the little table in the bedroom where it will live for a long time. It has seen a whirlwind journey the last couple of months. It's good to be home.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

New Shuttles

    I got new shuttles yesterday. These are made of maple burl by Veronica from St. Petersburg, Russia. I got them from Lisa Adams at the new Tatting Corner. Only took a few days to get them in the mail. Price was really reasonable. Looks like she is going to carry some of those.
    These are 2"3/4 long and about 3/4" high and 3/4" wide. The tips are really tight. I don't know if they will relax a bit with use or not. I have not tried much with them yet, but I am going to soon. They look as though they should hold a good amount of thread. I only tried them with size 10 enough to make a ring.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Fixing a Round

    Yesterday I was starting a new round and a lot of people chimed in on methods, especially Muskaan. I do appreciate the links and suggestions. Well, I worked a bit of the round and you can see that there are Josephine rings on the shorter chains. Those take a bit of care. Don't you know I got one knotted when I closed. So I ended up cutting it loose.
    Yesterday, I attached the chain into a loop from the first ring. This time, I do it just a bit different. Once again, I don't know if anyone else does it this way, but it works for me. (So far, at least) It may not be the "correct" way, but is there only one way to tat? Nope.
    I have taken the tatting loose back to a ring. Now I have a short chain thread left and I need to attach my "ball" thread. I pass the end of the thread thru the ring, leaving about a 6" (maybe a little longer) tail.
    Holding the thread at the ring, I tat the chain stitches over the short tail. I went ahead and made the Josephine ring, then carried the short tail to the end of my chain so it would look even.

    Once I got that done, I pulled the end of the new thread down into the crotch of the ring. I threaded a needle and wrapped it once around that ring thread, then sewed it into the previous chain through the caps. When that was done, I continued tatting. It doesn't look too bad. And in thread this small, the average person wont see a thing.
 I must admit that even though it is a bit of a challenge using the Sulky thread, I do like it a lot. I have tatted with smaller threads, though, so it is not particularly new. Just different.


Monday, November 7, 2016

Starting a Round

This morning I am starting a new round on a doily in one of the Korean books I have. I love the patterns in those books. And the books themselves are so nicely done. The book I am taking this from is Lovely Tatting Lace, Vol.2. You can get it from Lacis.
What I wanted to mention was how I am starting the round. I wonder if anyone else does this. I have not seen it, but surely I am not alone. I even asked Jane Eborall one day because I thought it was her method, but she said it wasn't.
What I do is make the first ring, tatting over tails. I leave a small loop at the beginning, like I would do if I were starting a chain. Once I close the ring, it is time to add the "ball" thread on. I slip that up through the loop, then pull the loop closed with the tail I tatted over. Now I have the "ball" thread attached and as I start making my chain, I just tat over those tails also. There is no knot at all. Does anyone else do it this way? I think it makes a very neat, clean join. Now if I can just find a way to do a final join in a round that is as neat and clean!

Oh, by the way, I am working this in Sulky 712. It is about a size 60 thread.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Craftree Awards

Well, well. I was checking in on things at Craftree yesterday (I do keep my nose in there. A lot!) and noticed a red box at the top signifying that I had a message. It was from Kersti. Seems my monster doily is shortlisted for the annual Craftree awards. If anyone would like to vote on it, you can here. If you want to vote for another, that is fine too. I can appreciate all the entries and the work that went into them.
Vote Here
There are 4 other doilies in the running and they are all quite good. Serious competition. I couple have me doubting mine is good enough. There are other categories there too. One is for beginners. You would not know they were beginners.
 I never once, when I was making that doily, thought that it might win anything. I just wanted to make a doily to put on my table in the bedroom, like you see in the photo. Then someone mentioned it and off we went. After this year, I will probably fade back into the woodwork. It would be quite hard to try to match all that again.  Like people have said before, I really think it is more the journey than the destination. I am glad the doily is done, but I miss working on it.
Now I probably will just do my experiments and work on the TAT program. I do want to make a few things, but I am in no rush.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Have not posted anything for a while. Still trying to clean up the mess from the fallen trees, so my time is mostly outside lately.
This morning I decided to take a different tack and try something I had only failed at before. Now I won't say it is a roaring success, but at least now I know what I am trying to do. This is the first bauble I have successfully made. At our September meeting of the guild we were supposed to make a bauble, but I had no idea what they were. I ended up with a mess. This morning I got out the book I bought by the Shuttle Brothers and started in on how to do a bauble. This one is not much to look at, but at least it is somewhat what it is supposed to be. I am still trying to figure out tying up the ends, but that will come. With practice I will get better at making them. I need to do this anyway so I can join Jane's exclusive club. So! On with the practice - among other things I am trying to do. Too much to do, never enough time.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

We Have Normality...

“We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.” - Douglas Adams. I always loved that expression from the book. We got the TV back Saturday and yesterday we got our phone and internet back so now I can get back to posting on here a bit more.  My brother came down from West Virginia with a big chain saw and cut up that tree in the back yard. I could not have done it. I have tree chunks all over, but at least they can be moved to the road for removal by the city.
Back to tatting. I am almost finished with the second piece for the TAT proficiency program. I should finish it today. I wish I could post it, but I will respect the program. I would not want to cause unfair advantage. Actually, if you are attempting this, the piece I am working is not that hard, and it is rather fun to make.
I am anxiously awaiting the next meeting of the Palmetto Tatters Guild. I had one member submit the "Monster Doily" to the state fair. From what I can find out online, I won the blue ribbon. I was not able to go to the fair because of health. I was driving earlier that morning and had an attack of being light-headed. I did not want to chance driving like that for 70 miles.  I looked it up online and it appears I won 2 categories. I think I also won the award the guild gives out. I did get a check from them in the amount of the award.
When I was at Tat Days and won the best of show with that doily, the prize was a tatting bag from DS9 designs. I thought I would give it to the wife as it would look a bit like a purse and what man would carry a purse. Heck with that! I use it. I take it with me. I take it to work and tat at lunch. It is a nice tatting bag and I really like it. If someone has a problem with that, it is their hang-up, not mine.

We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.
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We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.
Read more at:
We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.
Read more at:
We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.
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We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.
Read more at:
We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.
Read more at:
We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.
Read more at:
We have normality. I repeat, we have normality. Anything you still can't cope with is therefore your own problem.
Read more at:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Still No Internet

I really want to do more posting on here, but since the storm, I have little access to the internet. We got our power back, but when they replaced the pole the power was all they restored so I still have no cable TV, no phone other than cell phone, and no internet. I don't want to post much from the phone because I don't have much of a data plan.
I have made a bit of headway on the spinning wheel glass mat, but I keep getting other things in the way. One thing is the second part of the TAT program that I am working on. It is coming along nicely so far. Tonight I plan on starting the second project. It happens to be one of Jane Eborall's patterns, but I cannot tell you which one. If you want to make it, you can probably go to her website and make one of everything. It is probably on there. Jane, when are you going to publish a book of all your designs?
I am still working on that idea I have for a design. I finished the second round (another of those that I pick up and the wife calls for something that needs doing). This might look OK the way I have it, but I have secret plans for it. Now to try something for round 3. I guess i will try to incorporate that lonely ring.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Back to Work

We got power back on at the house yesterday around 7 pm. Glad of that! I was able to get that hot shower I needed. Slept better too. I ran my generator all day until they fixed the power lines.
The weather people had predicted 5-6 inches of rain and 40 mph winds. We got 12-14 inches of rain and 70 mph winds. I think they were off a bit.
The contact people from work texted that the plant was back on power and we could work today. I am posting from work because, though I have power, I do not have TV or internet back yet. I have been reading posts and such using my cell phone.
I was not feeling too good yesterday, probably because I had not been eating much, with trying to find things we needed like gas and toilet paper. Yes I found them. Really needed the paper for the 2 women. (Wife and her sister). But to try to slow down a bit and keep a little sanity I started a glass mat from the Konior book Tatting with Visual Patterns. Its the spinning wheel looking mat. Got a bit done, probably could have finished it if I had felt better. I will finish it in the next couple days.
A bit of good news, I got, in the mail, my artisan portion of the TAT program. I am ready to get started on it but it may have to wait a little bit.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

In The Dark

The storm is gone and cleanup begins. I had someone come by with a chainsaw and cut the tree out of the driveway. Getting out of the neighborhood is a challenge. Still a lot of closed roads because of fallen trees, power lines and flooding.
Trying to tat a bit before sundown. Guess what I have now. A set of Mandatory's Shuttle Holsters! Aren't they neat? I asked her if she could add a bit of elastic to one because I like to use my silver shuttles and they were slick and fell out. She did that and now they work so well.  She got the right tension for that elastic. Now they work great.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

After Matthew

Well this sucks. I have trees down and the yard is a mess. We'll get through it but it'll take a couple of weeks. Here's a couple photos.

Hurricane Matthew

This is fun. Hurricane Matthew came ashore just a little bit ago about a hundred miles from here. Our power has not gone out, just flickered so it restarts the computer. The internet went down for an hour and we have tropical storm conditions outside. I don't think we will get the hurricane winds. Most is about 40-50 mph gusts and rain. A lot of rain. Since midnight probably 8". Maybe more. I don't feel like there is any danger, just mostly inconvenience. I do keep having to check the storm drain to keep it clear. I just grab an umbrella and a rake. I get wet, but not too much.
So what am I doing while the wind blows? Tatting, of course. I don't need power to tat, just a bit of light and a loaded shuttle. So far this morning I have made the butterflies below. In a bit I am going to see if there is a football game on. If not one I want to see, I may go back to tatting.
I have also been working on some of my "project". I think I like making the SCMR's more than the LTR's, so I will probably go that route, but that is not my final goal.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Working on it

Please bear with me. I am still trying to figure out how this blog thing works. I finally got rid of the link to Google Plus, as I do not use it or care for it. I am trying to figure out pages and links. I know there are gadgets but what is "undefined"? I have some reading to do. I want to do a links page, a book list and a Tat Days page at the least. And maybe some photos of stuff I have made. Anyway, lost a pair of Gingher scissors to the washer. They rusted overnight. Ordered another pair. I went to Jo-Anns because the online ad said they were half off. Then the store people said they will not honor the ad. I won't be back. I did send an e-mail to the corporate telling them they may as well pull our store out of ads because they won't honor them. Ordered it from Amazon. I just need another pair of scissors. Should be delivered during the storm that's coming.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Got it!

I finally got what I was trying to do. Simply put, loop tatted rings. I have done them in the past but it has been a while and I kept getting it all messed up. I know what the problem was.
1. I had too many threads in front of me tangled up and making a mess
2. I was in a hurry. I was in such a hurry to make 3 rings that it only took 3 days. I need slow down and take my time to get it right.
So now I have the rings the way I want them. I am trying to work out the stitch count and ring size for some of the elements I want to use. Now I am getting somewhere. But like I said, size 20 thread is a lot easier to see than the Sulky 712 thread. Now I am going to slow down with the Sulky and see what happens. I bet it works.
By the way, the first two sets of 3 rings are using a mock ring with thrown rings. The third set is a normal ring with ltr's. They look about the same. I think that is supposed to be how it works. That extra ring was just a notion I had. I dont know if I will do that or not. Now to see how the round would look. I am not real happy with the long chains yet.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Weekend is coming

Sounds like Game of Thrones. Might be. They just closed the schools for the rest of the week. Hurricane Matthew should arrive around midnight on Friday night. They say it will be a category 2. We are about 70- 80 miles from where they say it will make landfall. I guess we will just go to bed and get up if it is too noisy. The wife is nervous. I figure I cannot do anything about it. If the lights go out I have a generator that is good for a few hours per gallon. I cannot tat tonight. I want to. I am still trying to figure out a couple things. But I have a radio club meeting (amateur radio) and we will be making plans for the storm. When the cell towers go down, radio still gets out. Will tat more in the morning and see if I can get it right. I tried to do some experimenting with what I want to do at lunch. Sort of got most of it, but still a couple glitches. I will get it figured out before I tell what it is. One of you probably could tell me what to do, but sometimes I just want to do it myself. One of the problems is probably that it is a bit harder to see Sulky 712 thread. I should probably work it in 10 or 20 first but I do have a stubborn streak. And actually, what I want to do is a preliminary before I do the final idea. I better get ready for the meeting. I hope we don't have to activate emergency services. They look at me funny at those meetings any more. I just sit, listen, tat away...

Monday, October 3, 2016

It's Monday...Again

New work week. Up at 3 a.m. Always. Weekends too. Habits are hard to break. Still a bit under the weather but I have to go in. I get up early so I have an hour or so of quiet to tat and think. I think mostly about tatting at this time. My experiments this morning are not working right. I wanted a cluster of rings, but they were chained together, not the way I want them, so I will try again this evening or maybe tomorrow. I am trying to design, for once. Never did before. Just followed patterns. I have an idea in mind, but I have to get it worked out. Why do I want to do things the hard way? No photo of that though. I threw it out. On the bright side, this past Saturday I did get my apprentice pin for the Tatters Across Time. Pretty nice! I have already submitted the fee and application for phase 2. It looks like it will be a lot more challenging. I can do it. Just a matter of attitude to me.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Thrown Hanging Cluny

Well, that worked. I like the colors better now. Can't abide that orange. Now to business. First up I suppose is something I have not seen but think may be useful. I can do a thrown ring easily, but how about a thrown cluny? And a hanging cluny at that. I got it finally. Its a 3 shuttle project. I have a design I am working up for them. I still need a lot of practice at clunies and shaping, though.

Start Here

I am told that I should have a blog online somewhere. I suppose this will do.
This will showcase my tatting, experiments, failures. Well, we shall see.
First I have to figure out how this thing works. Hehe.