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.


Etha said...

STUNNING!!!!!! those earrings are absolutely gorgeous! and, ohhhhh, I've been using magnifying glasses for so many things for so long now, it isn't really funny... but I've come to rely on them, much better than an eye strain headache!! but then, I got a few years ahead of you :)

Lace-lovin' Librarian ~ Diane said...

The earrings are beautiful! I almost bought a magnifying glass with light at a sewing expo this fall... I regret that I didn't!

Tattycat said...

The earrings are lovely! But then, your work always is.

LadyShuttleMaker aka MadMadPotter said...

Yes these are beautiful! I wish I could see them in person!

Unknown said...

The Celtic earrings are gorgeous, you should be very proud.

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, everyone, for the compliments!

I will say that having to use a magnifying glass is not as bad as I thought it would be - I should have started using one a year ago, I's so much easier on the eyes.

Toptattyhead said...

Well the magnifyer did the trick, girl, the earrings are as exquisite as ever!

Katherine said...

My eyes are driving me crazy, a pair of glasses lasts about 9 months before I'm struggling again. I hope yours behave better.
The earrings are beautiful, is the celtic pattern in a book?

Anonymous said...

Those are GORGEOUS! And as for the magnifying glass...well, I've worn glasses most of my life, but recently my eyesight has changed, or my arms have shrunk, or something!

Gina said...

Stunning was my first thought too.
:-) Gina

Barbara Gordon said...

Love them. #1 is my first choice. Keep it up and maybe print a book with patterns!

Artifax said...

Hi there! Stopping by from the etsy forums!

Oh wow! I have absolutely no idea what tatting is and when I think loom I think 16th c. tapestry maker :) but this stuff is *gorgeous*!!!!! Love your work!

If you wrote a book, I would buy it! :)