Friday, February 22, 2008

Motif Eighteen

With 3" of snow on the ground I'm ready for spring already. That must be why I'm doing so many butterflies and flowers lately - I just can't seem to stay away from them! I haven't posted them all here, but I did one yesterday that's a little unusual so I thought I'd post it.

This one is an aqua flower - yes, my own pattern but a very simple one - with soft chartreuse butterflies on it.

Here is more of a close up so you can see the detail better. The chain is beads over thread with tatted rings in between - I like the look but it is a bit time consuming and requires planning ahead of time.

I had a lot of fun designing and executing this one - and this is one of my all time favorite color combinations as well, so I'm a happy camper. I really need to get some tatting done today, though, so ciao!

Sunday, February 17, 2008


I have had a few people ask me if I am going to be publishing a book, so I wanted to address that - at this time, unfortunately, I have no plans to do that. My knowledge of programs to draw patterns, writing them out long-hand, or actually putting a book together is limited at best. Not to mention the fact that I have no time. Someday...maybe. For right now, though, I just love the tatting process, and I love making jewelry, so that's where my focus is.

If someone would like to recommend a program for diagramming patterns, I'd love to hear it. I can almost guarantee any book I write would only have diagrams and not be written longhand, because that's how I design and document patterns, by sketching - I never write them out.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Motif Seventeen

I keep telling myself - "I will blog at least once a week, I WILL blog at least once a week!" It doesn't usually happen though. Tax season is here, and it's a little bit busy. Besides that, I have a show in 3 1/2 weeks (inventory! I need inventory!), and trying to establish a presence on Etsy is time consuming as well. Add to that a couple of orders and voila! No spare time.

Today it is icy and snowy in the northeast, and I woke up with a bit of a sore throat, so I'm home. No taxes today. I'm washing and blocking some tatting, and tatting some new things, and I though I'd do a post on the blog as well.

Just in time for Valentine's Day - a heart! This is a pattern I started using a while ago - it is a combination of some different patterns from the web - none of them are exactly like this, but they are similar (I mean, all hearts are a similar shape, so, when tatting, a lot of people come up with a similar way to arrive at that shape). As I've mentioned before, when adding beads, or transforming a piece of tatting into jewelry, there are some adjustments in stitch count or the way things are joined to help things lay better, or look a certain way.

I hope you can tell by the scan - this is no normal tatting thread. For those of you who are adventurous and like a challenge, may I offer to you "Petite Very Velvet" thread. It is made of 100% nylon and is hand-washable. It comes in about a dozen beautiful colors. Normally used for cross stitch, this gorgeous thread tats up about a size 10. When finished, it is a little bulky, but also plush and soft and beautiful.

This thread is not for the faint of heart. It is also not recommended for tatting beginners, those with little patience or anyone who tats very tightly. It will break fairly easily, rings will not close tightly sometimes, and don't even THINK about trying to make a ring larger than 3-3-3-3 with it. I cannot be held responsible for any screaming, tearing out your hair, throwing shuttles or any other act of severe frustration.

In some ways this is like the metallic thread, you have to be really good at controlling your tension, have oodles of patience, and know how to add thread very well. Small pieces are best, or pieces where there are few rings and a lot of chains. I am working on a full necklace in black, but I dread working on it.

I have one of these hearts myself (I actually have very few pieces of my own jewelry, mainly the ones I wear to shows) and I LOVE it. It is so lightweight and soft, and I get lots of compliments on it. So try it out! Or, if you'd rather not test your frustration level with this thread, I am putting this one up for sale in my Etsy shop - feel free to stop by!