Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Motif Sixteen

This is what happens when you start doing one thing and it goes wrong - you've already spent time on it, so you turn it into something else. I planned on doing the entire necklace in this pattern, but it didn't want to curve nicely and when I added that ring that's in the center there - that did it. It put way to much of a bend in the pattern. So I just stopped it short and added a twisted stitch/split ring chain instead.

This is some of Yarnplayer's wonderful hand dyed thread - this is from her first batch of "Rhubarb Pie" that I bought sometime last year. I just love it. You can get some some yourself at her Etsy shop -

Monday, January 21, 2008

Motifs Fourteen & Fifteen

It finally happened.

I've been doing about 10 art/craft shows a year for fifteen years. Without fail, one of the most common questions I got was - "do you use a magnifying glass??" In the beginning I would just smile broadly and said, "no, never!" Again, almost without exception, the customer would pause, give me a look, and say, "Just wait. You will."

About two years ago now I noticed I was having some difficulty seeing well, especially with the finer threads. When customers asked me the question, I smiled and said, "No, not yet."

Well, "not yet" has arrived. After taking about a month off of tatting I had an order for black earrings. I wanted to give the customer some choices, so I made four different pair, two of them in thread that claims to be size 80 thread but is really more like 90-100 (it's Anchor brand and I like it better than DMC tatting thread but I do think it is finer).

I could not see it. I tried to count stitches and couldn't. "I am going to be 39 in a few weeks - aren't I too young for this problem?!" - I whined. But alas, I had to use my magnifying glass. Fortunately I have a large overhead light that has a swing arm magnifying glass attached. It worked great. I actually used it for the entire two pairs, just holding the tatting right under the glass so I could see it perfectly. It worked really well, much better than I expected.

I had to laugh, though, when I finished the first earring and put the magnifying glass up I couldn't believe how small the earring actually was! I had gotten so used to looking at it under the magnifying glass my brain was telling me it bigger than it was.

So anyway, here are the two pairs of earrings made with the fine black thread. Incidentally, so far I don't seem to have a problem with any other color in the fine thread except black.

I know, I're thinking, "Just wait. You will." :-P

This is Rosemarie Peel's "Celtic Motif." It's the pair the customer ending up liking the best.

Based on a pattern called "beaded teardrop" by Betty Goetgeluck, I adapted this to better match a necklace pattern I like to use.