Monday, November 11, 2019

First Ice Drops and emptying shuttles

I finally completed my first two ice drops. The pink one is from PTG's 2019 project folder and a pattern taught by Marilyn Jones.

The second is a pattern taught by Char Toyosaki at CWT in Fall 2018. I was unable to attend the camp but for a couple of hours; Char gave me the pattern and a number of gems. The one I had chosen initially was too small as I didn't use my normal tight tension. I found a larger gemstone that was more oval rather than round. It is a bright green gem while the picture is of the original.


I think both will look beautiful on our new Christmas tree this year. I do have a lot more gems that I have been given. It doesn't take that long now that I have a bit more practice and understanding of the tension required. I will probably need to adjust my stitch count on some. I've been busy downloading files from the FB Ice Drop Addicts site to print and take with me when DH goes fishing.

GR-8 SCMR butterflies
GR-8 Da Udder Butterfly
I've been emptying shuttles in order to complete the Beginner's Doily by The Shade Tree Designer (aka Harolah Cheser) as will as planning to start Mike Lyon's beautiful Lagniappe. The pink butterflies are from Gary & Randy Houtz (aka The Shuttle Brothers) ... I love this one and usually take off with different stitch counts and differences on the picots. These will be going to Palmetto Tatters Guild to pay my 2019-2020 "dues." The brown and terra cotta one is the Brothers "Da Udder Butterfly." Another pattern that I enjoy tatting. Sometimes I add a third shuttle and take off from there; more of the SBs techniques!

The last butterfly is from a pattern I found completely by accident. It is from 2011 and is a design by Maria Lena who I believe is from Romania ... at least her blog is written in Romanian according to Google translate. I did change the stitch count and need to play a bit more with this technique. She used a beautiful gemstone to create a brooch for a friend. This is a technique that I need to work a lot more to get it to looking good!



Thursday, November 7, 2019

The "last" CWT-Fall 2019 project

The last of my homework for CWT Fall 2019. This is a design from jtatter on Etsy aka Yulia from Moscow, Russia. Her original chameleon was completed in lime green but I always thought it would look really good in Lizbeth 138 (Leafy Green) especially since some chameleon's are typically multi-colored greens in the wild. The article from Wikipedia about chameleon's is very interesting. They seem to have a remarkable life span (3-11 years depending upon the species). My decided to join me this AM at the computer.

Next on my tatting agenda is to take a break from homework and work on The Shade Tree Designer's Doily for Beginners. I have chosen to do the five rounds in four colors: a chocolate brown, a terra cotta reddish orange, a yellow, and either a light yellow, ecru or white. I'm also substituting some CWJ (Catherine Wheel Joins) for lock joins. It will be an interesting study in color I think.

Also thinking about proposing to teach at Tatting Corner's 3rd Annual Tat Days in July. The theme is "The Roaring 2020's" and some of the ideas popping around my head include updating some 1920's patterns with modern notation/shorthand and bridging and include diagrams. Might be an interesting study but there is a short timeline.

I also need to get some more of Christmas ornaments made. We are staying in Montana this year for the season. A new tree was delivered from Balsam Hill last week. Most of our ornaments are still in North Carolina so we may need to get one of our sons to ship us the boxes in which they are stored. A 7' foot will need a lot of ornaments!

Monday, November 4, 2019

"Autumn" in YNP and more Homework

Our younger son flew out on the 27th of October and spent a week with us. It gave him an opportunity to get away from work and get some rest and relaxation. He enjoys fly fishing (as does DH) as well as shooting. He got to shoot our shotgun at a really fine establishment in Bozeman.

When he booked the trip, he mentioned that he hoped to see snow. He really did see snow as well as some below zero fahrenheit temps. The short clip here was taken on Saturday (2-Nov) in Yellowstone National Park near the convergence of the Nez Perce and Fire Hole Rivers. DH is on the left and DS2 is on the left. It was about 21F when this was shot but the sun was shining. There was evidence of a brown bear in the area as well as one of the lone bull bison making his way toward Madison Junction (where the Fire Hole and Gibbons Rivers converge to form the Madison River). I was toasty warm in the car with the sun shining in and finished some more of my homework.


Onion Square 1
Onion Square 2
Magic Square 1

 The pictures above (left to right) as well as to the right are from Robin Perfetti's Onion Square and Magic Square. The first two are in the shades of pink with the colors reversed for the two squares. The picture of Magic Square 1 is the reverse of the previous post; the rings are a solid blue while the chains really show off the colorway I chose.



The picture on the left is Anne Bruvold's Flying Minor Norwegian Dragon using Lizbeth 20 (179) Herbal Garden. LeesaK taught this at Camp earlier in October focusing on SSSRs using a second wrap around the base to add stability as well as twisted picots for the horns. The piece isn't yet blocked and lacks some size 80 red, orange and yellow threads to form the flames to be fire-breathing.


Last for this session is Dinky the Cat, a pattern from Erin Holloway taught by SandyC. The one on the right is the one that I actually finished in class ... however, after seeing Bernice's it was evident that I had forgotten a ring on the body. That one is done in a calico colorway from Karey Solomon; her HDTs are wonderful. The one on the left follows Erin's pattern and has a pink body (reminiscent of Peter Seller's Pink Panther series) which is Erin's favorite color and notice the BLING from the eyes and bicones as the feet.


Saturday, October 19, 2019

Finishing More "Homework"

I've been working on more projects from various classes I've taken since retiring in April 2017. Much of the time, I usually work on these in Yellowstone National Park while hubby is fishing the beautiful Madison River (which is formed by the Gibbons and Firehole Rivers). Yesterday (Oct 18) when we were leaving the house, this beautiful scene of Fan Mountain presented itself:
Fan Mountain is to the left of the picture with the peak slightly obscured by clouds but the sun's rays pouring through the clouds were spectacular (my phone's camera doesn't do it justice)! We were presented with lots of changes in the Park during the day as well as the drive to and from. Going through the area between Quake and Hebgen lakes, we got snow and slush along the highway. Windy in West Yellowstone of course then into the park where we had lots of wind along with sunshine, light drizzles and light snow. More snow expected there today and our rain is forecast to turn to snow later this evening.

I did manage to finish a Magic Square project from Camp WannaTat although this is not the original start from camp (that was in two shades of pink and I am NOT a pink person). This one is done in some DMC size 80 in my stash. Most of the chains and the interior of the onion ring is done in a solid (#693) while the rings are in an ombre colorway of blues. This piece isn't blocked as yet ... I just put it into a tatting press that I was given several years ago (thanks, Di!). The piece is approximately 4" square and is from Robin Perfetti (Magic Squares); the one pictured is Magic Square #2. I worked on a Magic Square project many years ago and it's in a "safe place" somewhere among my other WIPs. Currently working on MS#1 ... probably half-way done; I'm just reversing the use of the threads as the rings will be the solid while the chains are the colorway. Doing onion rings the way Robin does them makes me want to go back to Lene Bjorn's 24 Snowflakes in Tatting to redo the onion ring flake using the Catherine Wheel Joins that were emphasized at Camp on the this project.


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Indiana Recovery and Projects

I have recovered, mostly, from the long drive to Chesterfield, IN for Tatting Corner's 2nd Annual Tat Days. Lisa and Kaye did a fantastic job organizing. I enjoyed all my classes and have finished the projects associated with four of the six (pictures below). Now to start on the two that I accomplished least in class.

First, is the Kaye Judt's Treble-Tatted Trillium using Lizbeth 20. I inadvertently picked a darker yellow for the last round but it looks okay, I think. The center is 691 (Mocha Brown Med) and the petals are 616 Daffodil Med. I think that the outside turned to be 613 Golden Yellow Med. The Trillium turned out to be about 3" (~7.5 cm) in diameter but it is large enough to see where the treble stitches form an edging. Reminds me of the picot edging I have on several of my hand-knitted socks. Altogether this was a very nice class. There was another tatter there, Dorcas, who had been tatting for sixty-six (66) years! She's a little bit of woman but full of fun and knowledge. It was a real pleasure to sit near her.
The picture on the left is Randy Houtz' Bauble Hedgehog but I did this in a Size 3 Lizbeth thread (691 Mocha Brown Med). Since I'm not used to tatting with 'rope,' there are numerous issues with tension. But it's okay. The hedgehog shown is a little over 3" (~7.5 cm) long and stands nearly 2" (~5 cm) high. My other excuse is a larger shuttle than I normally use but again, it's just an excuse. Really enjoyed meeting so many tatters from the mid-western USA area. I look forward to seeing some at Palmetto Tatters 17th Tat Days September 5-8.

The next series of challenges but fun was the set of keys to "Unlock Your Wild Side" by Carollyn Brown.

 These were fun to do although the Taj Mahal (Design by Margaret Davies) was a bit of a challenge. Some of the instructions were accidentally left off and the picture wasn't clear enough as it wasn't straight on but rather at an angle from a flat surface. I know that both Carollyn and Margaret were tired of my queries but my interpretation is shown on the right. Key to Happiness (left) is a lovely monochromatic study using size 20 thread. I hadn't tatted with size 80 in a long time and it was strange after finishing the hedgehog to switch from a 3 to an 80! The thread Carollyn furnished in the kit was a very light green to white colorway along with lime green seed beads. It doesn't show up very well on the dark background but does catch light and sparkle. The Taj Mahal key is done in Lizbeth 40 (637 Country Grape Med) and still requires blocking for the best presentation. We planning to use the keys as ornaments on our Christmas tree this year and in the future. Carollyn is working on some new patterns and has shared those pictures with me ... Looks like I'll be buying more patterns and keys!!

Off to start on Shelley Perraeault's Spiral Galaxy Ice Drop. I tried it three times in class and it just wouldn't work with this old, tired brain that day. Perhaps I need to tat one (at least) of Jane Eborall's No.3 Brain cell. It will actually be my first ice drop although I am a member of the Ice Drop Addicts group on FB.

I actually have more done (nearly the entire back) of K. Boniface's Very Wild 3D Giraffe. Working in size 10 is not my favorite but it such a cute pattern. Will have to make a trip to the florists' in town (or perhaps a craft store in Bozeman) for pom-poms and chenilles (aka pipe cleaners). I may even try stuffing with felt as Carolyn Craig has done.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

July is here!

Summer has only been here for a couple of weeks (by the calendar) but I feel as though it is flying by! Heading east next week to Indiana for Tatting Corner's 2nd Tat Days. I have some interesting classes scheduled from Carollyn Brown, K Boniface, Shelley Perreault, Kaye Judt and the irascible Randy Houtz.

Registration for Palmetto Tatters Guild 2019 Tat Days is well underway. This is the 17th annual event that PTG has hosted and the tenth year for the location near Toccoa, GA. It's a lovely location with a lake just outside the dining hall. The staff at GBCC is always courteous and so helpful. We have 93 registered after only 3 weeks; on-line registration will remain open until midnight August 10. Lots of surprises this year including a purple shirt, a really cute shuttle from Shuttles by Design and a special commemorative ... a pattern media for the first three years (2003, 2004 & 2005) ... never available previously!

I've spent some of this time making up zipper pulls for the staff at Flathead Lutheran Bible Camp where Camp WannaTat has continued since the passing of Bobbie Demmer. They are such a wonderful group of folks and work so very hard.

The zipper pull is made as Gary Houtz' variation on Patti Duff's lanyard pattern. With the exception of the first and last rings, all others are SCMRs with the bead placed onto the core loop BEFORE posting the shuttle through the loop and drawing the SCMR closed.

I love making lanyards this way as I can use two colors, one on each shuttle, and don't have to worry about counting/loading the beads before I start tatting. I also used two different kinds of beads. Hard to see here, but the pearl beads have a facet cut (size 8) and the reddish beads are size 6; the charm is one I found at Fire Mountain and thought appropriate for the recipients. The colorway is Lizbeth 154 (Wildflower Garden).


I've also been playing around with a ball of Altin Basak and Mary Konior's Curds 'n Whey (one of my favorite edging patterns). While the thread isn't exactly my favorite, I think it will work into an insertion. I can't believe that the colors are matching up as well as they are.

I worked on this the other day while DH was fishing in Yellowstone National Park. One of the park rangers told him that he had a BIG, BIG brown bear watching him. The bear was about 30 feet above him on a bluff while RLW was on the far side of the Madison River below the campground. I had seen the bear earlier and he was really big. I could see him a quarter of a mile away WITHOUT my field glasses.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Shuttlebirds 2019 Workshop - #23 WOW!!

Had a great time the first weekend in May at the workshop held at the Ross Point Camp & Conference Center in Post Falls, ID. My second year to attend where I enjoyed seeing folks I met last year. I took classes from Heidi Nakayama (CA), MaryAnna Robinson (OH), Sharon Fawns (KY) and Natalie Rogers (WA). I really enjoyed the seahorse and crabby crab from Heidi; the seahorse is from Pam Palmer's Tatting Treasures (published in 2018 by Heidi). I'll need to dig more into that book as it is a treasure trove of items Pam taught through the years at various workshops.

MaryAnna's Peas in a Pod class was fun and, for me, the perfect ending to the 2-day event. I'll need to start getting size 10 threads at some point ... after I play more with all the 80, 40 and 20 I have in my trove.

Natalie always finds something interesting to teach and continually challenges my poor old brain and fingers. She is a very good teach with lots of enthusiasm. I still need to finish the earrings though.

One class that I really enjoyed was a hybrid technique taught at the workshop by Sharon. The idea of using both a needle and shuttle to perform split rings is originally attributed to Rosario Ruiz Moren of Puerto Rico and taught at PTG's 2017 Tat Days by Wally Sosa. At the workshop, I only had size 20 thread with me (see the second paragraph above ... SIGH) and wasn't pleased with the progress. The first picture is one Sharon took at the end of the class time; mine is the green ombre colorway which is next to the last on the right.

The next picture is one of the bracelet that I re-did using a hand-dyed thread from Jessica Spaulding (aka Snapdragon) in a size 10. It is a slight variation on the original instructions from Sharon in order to fit my fat wrists. I do have enough of the flower beads remaining to create some kind of accompanying earrings ... just have to do it!

I like the hybrid method ... I just have to get used to doing needle tatting as I consistently use shuttles.

Monday, April 29, 2019

Pam Palmer's Seahorse

The pattern is from Pam Palmer's Tatting Designs published in 2018 by Heidi Nakayama. It has the cat on the front cover and is a lovely collection of patterns that Pam had taught at various meetings and conferences. 

I received a ball of Altin Basak in the CWT exchange and decided to work on the seahorse that I really mangled at camp. The picture to the left is from that ball of thread. Since I tat frontside/backside by choice, I was able to create a right-facing seahorse (with the beads) by starting the initial ring on the front side in standard order (under & over, then over & under) ... and yes, there were pattern-reading errors on that one as clearly seen on the head portion. The left-facing seahorse sans beads starting with the initial ring as RODS.

Still working in my mind how to complete this in a single pass as the original instructions have the abdomen added as a "second pass."

The original camp effort doesn't have a long enough tail as you can see on the right here. This one is Lizbeth 20 and color 152 (Christmas Green Mix). The beads are from some that I received out of Bobbie Demmer's stash. There are also errors on this one in addition to the shortened tail but it does resemble a seahorse!

I'll probably redo this same thread/bead combination at Shuttlebirds 2019 workshop the first weekend in May.

Monday, April 1, 2019

2019 International Tatting Day

Hope you are all having a wonderful tatty day! Here in the Madison Valley, the sun is shining and the snow is melting. This picture was taken on the 27th of March from Ennis bridge over the Madison looking toward the North. The ice dam from the previous week is completely gone although there is still flooding in low-lying areas ... primarily now from snow melt. 

I was working on a flurry of snowflakes for our tree in December however the 75+ I had finished will need a SEVERE washing as I found some "floating" in tea. Some may have to be re-tatted but I will face that after returning from Flathead Lake this weekend. I don't have any new pictures to add as I am getting my shuttles ready for classes from Randy Houtz, Anita Barry and Heidi Nakayama. I am looking forward to seeing everyone!

I have decided however to let you have a copy of two snowflakes I designed in
PTG 2005 Snowflake
the Winter of 2005-2006. Just email me and I will send you the PDF file. The PTG 2005 snowflake has "modernized" notation, a picture and a diagram. The SCMR 2006 snowflake does not have a diagram (someday I'll get around to that someday). Pictures
SCMR 2006 Snowflake
(taken from the PDF files) are shown.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Ruth's Inspiration

I have always enjoyed tatting patterns by Ruth Perry (aka Rozella Linden) whether they are the easy ones with emphasis on negative space or her artful and fun Celtic Knots. Here is a picture of a snowflake that I did by changing up some of the counts from her "Open Hearts Doily 2018" pattern (file found here: https://tatting.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/heartsdoily2018.pdf). She sent me a picture of the snowflake that she had actually designed but I haven't tried it yet; Ruth said that she hadn't plans to do anything with it on her site.

The picture looks a bit strange because 1) the piece has yet to be blocked and 2) the piece was draped across the arm of my recliner. I used BDS (aka double-
doubles) in some of the elements. The piece does hold its shape pretty well without blocking and stiffening. I think it will be a nice addition to our Christmas tree in December.




It was V-E-R-Y cold last weekend and we have had 4-5' drifts around the house. In fact, last Sunday (3-Mar-2019), Ennis set a record for the lowest temperature for several years ... -27⁰F (or ~-33⁰C). Our log home was a toasty 63⁰F (or ~17⁰C). We did turn the propane stove on to help knock off the chill in our great room as the vaulted ceiling makes it seem cooler than it really is. We do though get some fantastic sunrise pictures toward Fan Mountain (this one does have cloud cover obscuring the "fan" portion of the mountain but it is really nice shot).

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Finally finished!

The 1940's knitted lace doily is finally done. We will not think about how many times I started over ... nor will I discuss that there are any number of mistakes. I used Lizbeth Size 20 on Size 4 (US) needles. It measures about 42 inches (~106 cm) across and hasn't yet been blocked. Should block out another 2-4 inches. I'm pleased with the overall look even with all the errors.
We are currently watching the nearly horizontal snow fall outside our snug and warm log home. The picture at the left was taken in November but we have a lot more snow now and more expected. Montana DOT released a map earlier today showing nearly all the Montana highways as dangerous. There are also a number of passes that are closed because of "White Death" ... my term for snow and ice on the road along with blizzard conditions. The Madison River has gorged from an ice dam just "above" Ennis and is currently flowing over US287 just south of the Ennis bridge. I think Mother Nature is making up for the mild December and January we had.

Staying snug and cozy inside our home gives me time to pursue crafts and learning that I didn't have time to do during all my years of working. I am currently working on snowflakes for our tree in December (we plan to stay in Montana this year for Christmas and New Years). I have completed all of the pieces from 24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjørn, a collection of Stars and Snowflakes from Randy Houtz, Snowfall 2017 from AlenAleaDesign by Lea Rako and Tatted Snowflakes by Jon Yusoff. 

I am currently working on Lee Buchanan's Permafrost collection (seen on the right from Lee's booklet; can be purchased from her Etsy store). This comprises 6 center motifs with 6 different surrounds for the flake points. I have completed items in the first four columns, the first one in the fifth column and have one last point of the second one of the fifth column. After these, I plan to do the collection of designs from Sharon Briggs (found on her blog Sharon Briggs) for 2018. I also have her Tatted Flurries from 2010 to do that I had purchased. Then I'll comb through my library for others; a quick look shows I have collections in my stash from Karen Bovard, Patricia Rizzo, Vida Sunderman, Jon Yusoff (more!!), Jennifer Williams and others!



Monday, February 5, 2018

Tatting Adventures and more

I love having time to do my crafting but I also have time for exploration both with DH and alone. Last week, after a lunch meeting with my oily friends, I went driving around Ennis Lake (which is still partially frozen over). One of my favorite spots is on the southeast side of the lake looking towards the Tobacco Root Mountains. There is a an old fireplace where a cabin once stood and it looked a bit strange. When I took a second look, I realized it was a Bald Eagle. I grabbed my cell phone and snapped a picture. Unfortunately the picture doesn't do the magnificent creature justice.

I also go exploring with DH and one day, we decided to drive over to West Yellowstone as our roads in Ennis were clear and US287 to the South was clear. HOWEVER ... when we made the turn towards the east near Raynalds Pass, the conditions changed somewhat abruptly with snow and ice on the highway. Both Quake Lake and Hebgen Lakes are frozen over completely. Snowmobilers were out on Hebgen and folks were ice fishing. The picture is of Quake Lake as we were heading back to Ennis after visiting Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone. The area with all the snow on the mountain side is the slide area of the Aug 1959 earthquake that created the lake.

Now to the important stuff. I'm participating in both an exchange and a tat-a-long in a couple of Facebook groups as well as JaneE's 2018 Tat It And See (TIAS). I've also done some edging pieces and small motifs for the PTG 2018 Fundraising Quilt and am sending back to Georgia Seitz today or tomorrow.
FB Just Tatting - 1Q2018 Exchange - "Seasons" Coasters
FB Tatting - 1Q2018 - Tat-a-Long
Flora 50 thread from B.Demmer's stash
PTG 2018 Quilt block - edging samples and motifs










Through Day 9 of the TIAS, I sent this off to Jane earlier today. I figure it will be one of Jane's "people" but I need a few more clues as to specifics.

With the exception of the Tat-a-Long, all other threads are Lizbeth 20. I also have some pink threads on order from Tatting Corner. Pinks are not typically colors I have in my stash so it gave me an excuse to order for the TatAMonumentInPink initiative by Canarithy. It's a nice little motif that doesn't take all that long to do a single one. If I forget to put in magic threads or filament loops, it takes me longer to sew in the ends. I hope to get 10 or 15 completed before I need to mail to Belgium. There are three together in the center of the quilt block picture above.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Variation on a theme

Playing with my block tatted heart pattern. I used DOUBLE-DOUBLE stitches (ala Elgiva Nicolls) in the heart center. This is also known as a balanced double stitch (BDS) as taught by Ruth Perry.

The above picture is the result on the left (but was not taken against a flat surface); the original is on the right. I haven't really decided which I prefer. I also varied the picot sizes but only finger blocked the resultant medallion.

This piece is only one of the items I'll be sending back to AKTatter (Georgia Seitz) to decorate a patch for Palmetto Tatter's Guild 2018 Fund-Raising Quilt. I've completed a GR-8 inspired butterfly and a length of hen & chicks edging in the same thread. Since the piece of pieced fabric I have has lavenders, turquoise, oranges and yellows, I've also decided to include a length of edging in my favorite edging, Mary Konior's Curds & Whey. I'll grab a picture of the piece before I send back to Georgia. {Poor baby, she's had an awful case of influenza this season}.