Monday, September 28, 2009

Back to Tatting!


This past weekend, I was trying to "organize" some of my stuff. While going through several patterns I've received during several visits to CWT, I re-discovered the 1999 Hedgehog pattern by Randy Houtz. This pattern using a tatted bauble methodology to create a 3-D hedgehog. I've photographed it with a SewMate shuttle for scale. The finished size (tatted in Lizbeth 20, color 692) is 1 1/2" long and stands 1" tall. I think he's really cute, what do you think? The picture's not all that clear (I'm still playing with new camera so the focus isn't as clear as I'd like).
If you would like to try a bauble, Bobbie has worked with Jane Eborall to post the technique to Jane's website at http://www.e.n.e.btinternet.co.uk/baublebobbie.pdf

Monday, September 14, 2009

2009 TatDays in the Books!

The Palmetto Tatters Guild 2009 event "I've Been Bitten by the Tatting Bug" is now history. I believe everyone enjoyed themselves ... I know we (DH and me) certainly did. Lots of work but it was worth it to see everyone we hadn't seen for a year and meeting face-to-face tattings friends that we had only meet through the Internet. There was lots of shopping, classes, shopping, laughs, shopping, chocolate (of course!), and did I mention shopping!!! Kudoes to JoannieC and HopeB as the co-chairs! Both of them, with the rest of their team, did a wonderful job. As everyone was leaving yesterday, the phrase we heard over and over was "Hate to go ... but we'll see you NEXT year!"

Tracy and Bill Jackson of The Lacemaker did another terrific job to bring all the newest threads that have just recently become available. There is the replacement thread for Coats Opera (discontinued a couple of years ago) ... it's called Freccia. Some of the balls (as they appear in that form) remind me of a perle cotton while others are closer to Opera. The thread has a pretty firm 'hand' for a 3-cord ... much firmer that Opera did and a bit firmer than Altin Basak. I do believe that Lizbeth 40 has become my favorite thread. I love the 'hand' when tatting ... nicely firm, beautiful sheen from the mercerizing and luscious colors. There were also lots of books and tatting tools whether it was shuttles, needles or other "stuff."

Georgia Seitz has to be the most OUTRAGEOUSLY entertaining auctioneer and game show hostess I've ever seen. The treasure chest put together by the Tatting World was so HUGE that it was broken into least three prizes. I couldn't tell whether AKTTTER was a female version of Monte Hall (Let's Make a Deal) or Bob Barker (The Price is Right) ... well, maybe more Monte Hall. Erin Holloway did a wonderful imitation of Carol Merrill ... the hand gestures and voice inflections were PERFECT. The auction for the Tatting Treasure Chest was a lot of fun but it raised some serious money for the Guild's scholarship fund. Watch for announcements about quilt blocks for the next PTG Scholarship Fundraiser!!

There were so many of our participants who also brought WONDERFUL items for the Silent Auction. The Georgia-Lina Tatters (one PTG's Palm Fronds) had issued a challenge to the other fronds. Everyone certainly lived up to the challenge!! The Lacemaker put in a couple of items ... I lost out of the bidding on the jar of threads, tatting tools and other goodies I was watching but I known Sharon will enjoy her additional stash. Each of our teachers contributed items. Several other tatting groups whose members were attending also contributed to the Silent Auction ... in fact, we had a wonderful challenge of finding enough table-top space to display all of the items and put the bidding sheets with them.

We also hosted the first ever, LIVE TAT IT AND SEE. Donna T was posting various stages as they were completed onto the Guild's official website. It was a lot of fun ... there is one stage that if you switched working shuttle, you could have wound up with a perfectly different critter!! In order to participate, we had to sign a SUPER, SECRET CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENT for Part 1 (because some of us were a bit antsy about blood, there was a red ink pen). To receive each consecutive part, you had to show the completed parts to JaneE, DonnaT, JoannieC or BonnieG in order to get the next part. Had a great time with that!! There were just enough distractions that I had to retro more than I usually do but with everyone having so much fun it was no problem!! My part 5 can be found here: TIAS - Part 5; my first effort was one of those that would have been very strange (went into the round file) so I changed from two decorated shuttles from SLT to a laminate shuttle by Richard Seitz and a Texas Fence Post shuttle from Jack Coen so that I could tell the difference between Shuttle 1 and Shuttle 2 ... multi-tasking brain cell disappeared!

DH rode his Kawasaki motorcycle down and there is a picture of it (sans the cover) on Lori's Facebook page: The 650! He had a good time and it was a nice ride down from Gastonia on US 321 for him. Because he had his own transportation home, I got to join the Chocolate Therapy frond at the Mall Sunday afternoon for a bit more tatting but instead of chocolate we had ICE CREAM!!  Better dash and take care of some reports and maybe pick up a shuttle to put some double stitches onto a core thread and make more lace!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Countdown - 7 Days!

Just a week until Palmetto Tatters 2009 Tat Days - "I've Been Bitten by the Tatting Bug!"

There are a lot of last minute details that are being completed. The goodie bags have lots of very useful stuff this year. I've had several boxes of goods from various consignees for the vending room that have arrived for transport to White Oak.

DH and I have been our staging area to load the car to go to Winnsboro on the morning of the 10th. If the weather continues to be nice, he's talking about riding his street bike down. We'll take US321 down from the Charlotte area. That is such a lovely drive.

Lots of folks are listed as coming and it will be so much fun to see everyone we haven't seen for a year. Others we haven't seen for several years. There are even some "newbie's" for attendance but certainly not strangers to our Guild.

I'll try to better about getting pictures this year but take a look at the Guild's website. Donna and Jeff (in there spare time --HA!HA!!) have put slide shows from our 2008 event. http://www.palmettotatters.org/events/TatDays2008/TatDays2008.shtml#slideshows is the URL. There are three slide shows that are fun to watch!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

2009 Tat Days Preparation

Doesn't seem possible but we're only about 2 months from PTG's 2009 Event "I've Been Bitten by the Tatting Bug." Vickie Clarke from Canada submitted the winning logo and the pattern is sure to be on the PTG 2009 Pattern CD which is available after Tat Days ... unless you'll coming to White Oak Conference Center for the event. It's sure to be lots of fun. Additional information is available on the Guild's official website http://www.palmettotatters.org.

A little birdie has told me that there is a Tatter's Treasure Chest to be auctioned by Pirate Captain AKTatter. She's even 'threatening' to bring along her cutlass to coax bids from the captive tatters. Promises to be lots of fun ... ARRRRGH!!! Proceeds from the auction and other silent auction donations go towards the scholarship fund that Palmetto Tatters Guild has to aid tatters to attend the TatDays Events.

Bill and Tracy from The Lacemaker will be trekking down to South Carolina again. I really think it surprised them last year at the amount of thread was purchased. Other items of interest will be available in the vending room from other tatters. Marilee (The Yarnplayer) is sending a box of HDT and hopefully copies of her book. She did send a copy of her book for the Guild's Library and looks to be one that many of us would like to add to our personal libraries.

More later ... if you're thinking of attending, remember that on-line registration is only open until August 5th. We have eight lovely ladies who will be teaching lessons this year and I have my normal dilemma ... how do I clone myself to be in all the classes and yet see all my friends from past years, meet new friends and oversee the Vending Room. DH will also help out there and there's not much telling what Tracy will be bringing that will intrigue this year. Last year I picked up a couple of Lucet's and Tracy gave me a quick lesson in Kumihimo. Both are intriguing, especially the Kumihino.

In the meantime, I'm also working on some items for a craft sale the Guild will be participating in at Greenwood, SC two weeks after our TatDays Event. Bookmarks, crosses, angels and perhaps some earrings are items I'm planning to donate.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

On the way home

It was really good to see Gary Houtz this year and to finally meet his lovely wife, Vera. We all had missed Gary last year but are certainly glad he felt well enough to make the trip. Irene and her husband had all kinds of issues with their "new" motorhome ... but the dealership will really take care of the issues when they return to OKC. I know I certainly wouldn't want Irene on my case as she is TENACIOUS!! Good to see Deb from CoSprings again and to meet several new folks and tat again along beside old friends.

I was finally (about time, too) to make a decent looking tatted bauble. I can hardly wait to get down with a couple of other small projects and then 'tackle' the bag pattern from Bobbie. The pattern is a re-creation of a bag Bobbie had found thrown away, probably because the silk lining had been riped. The original bag had crocheted baubles but the one I want to make will, of course, use tatted baubles.

I left Bobbie's on Monday morning and stopped at Casper, WY. I had once visited an aunt and uncle, along with their children, many years ago ... probably somewhere between 45 and 50 years. I don't remember much of the town but I remember how long it took us to drive from our home in the Texas panhandle.

I drive into my sister's in Amarillo last night arriving about 8:30 PM CDT. I hadn't told them I was coming. She and her husband are hosting a mortgage-burning party on the 4th (this Saturday). I won't get to stay as I still have two days driving before I get home and I have to be at work on the 6th. I'll also get to surprise my mother when she arrives at the Amarillo airport on the 3rd. She has no idea I'm here either. Since I missed her 80th birthday dinner in April, I thought this might be a good surprise as well.

Since I'll be here several days, I do have a couple of friends to try to see and also to see my aunt and uncle while I'm here. I haven't seen their new place so I hope I can catch up with them but I know my aunt is busy and my uncle has had some health issues this year.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Greetings from Western Montana

Arrived at my westward most destination about 4:30 PM MDT. Really enjoyed the drive ... well except for all the road construction. Road construction however has to be done during the summer months in the more northern states because concrete and other paving materials just are not maleable during other times of the year.

Our lacing conference this weekend is a full house but it will be lots of fun. There will be tatters from Washington, Oklahoma, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Colorado and North Carolina. It's always great fun and inspirational. New techniques, technique improvements, new designs are just the start!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Montana ... well, nearly!

I'm really bushed ... left Omaha, NE about 7:30 AM CDT and arrived at Sheridan, WY at 7:00 PM MDT. The day started out in Omaha rush hour drive and of course, I didn't listen to Gypsy (my GPS co-pilot) and made one wrong turn. Didn't take us long though to get back onto the correct road. I did go through a very bad thunderstorm as I approached Sioux Falls, IA on US Interstate 29 North. No hail but heavy rain, lightening and lots of wind!

It was a really lovely drive though after going through the thunderstorm. I was under cloud cover until about half-way across South Dakota on US Interstate 90. I drove out from underneath the clouds and the sky was magnificent. There must have been a couple of years (DH & I haven't made the drive since 2006) of good winter/spring moisture because the fields, pastures and foot hills in South Dakota were absolutely GORGEOUS ... I don't remember ever seeing them as green and lush as they are now. I can really tell that I'm in cottonwood country too as the cotton is flying all through the air ... I've also got some hay fever.

One more day and I'll be at my destination until Sunday or Monday and then it's back in the car and the journey to North Carolina as I have to be back at work on the 6th. More later!!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Westward HO

My vacation has started and I've begun my annual trek to Montana. This year I'm driving and look forward to a number of days in the car, listening to several new books on CD. Tonight, I'm in southern Illinois and will travel to the Omaha area to spend tomorrow night with a relative. I also look forward to seeing all the Western US tatting friends who will gather for a great weekend of tatting later this week.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

New Stuff -- FINALLY

Thanks to Karey Solomon, Palmetto Tatters will be teaching her beaded body dragon fly during a couple of meetings. For the June meeting, we'll create the wings using the pearl tatting and monofilament (fishing line) as the core thread. Monofilament used as the core thread creates a stiff wing ... pearl tatting helps too ... without stiffening.

Karey is teaching at the 2009 PTG Tat Days and the technique for the beaded body is one of the classes she is doing. With that in mind, Guild members attending the September meeting will go other that technique and finish their dragonfly.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tatting Treats

When I got home from the office tonight, I had some pleasant treats.

First, the 2nd book from the Shuttle Brothers has finally arrived. Aptly named, Tatting the Self-closing Mock Ring for GR-8 Design, it is truly inspirational. I think Gary and Randy have done their usual excellent process of taking the individual tatter beyond where he/she thinks they can go. Having been in classes that they've taught and sat with them during other classes, their minds are always racing ahead.

While the book is black and white, all the diagrams are excellent. There are pattern diagrams as well as drawings of hand positions. The photographs of the tatted models are extremely well done. It is the perfect companion book to their 1999 book entitled, Tatting the GR-8 Self-closing Mock Ring. The three-page discussion of Front side / Backside Tatting is probably the clearest explanation I have ever seen in writing and they included a number of drawings illustrating the discussion (you know, the old "a picture is worth a 1000 words" kind of thing).

Secondly, I received that shuttle I had won on some of the Ebay auctions. This one is from Dublin, Ireland. The wood is described as "Bocote" and is a beautiful shuttle. The pictures on the item (see 330302222643) do not do this work of art justice. I'm very pleased with the shuttle as I like smaller shuttles (length-wise) but I think it will hold a lot of thread because of the design.

Last week I also received the ceramic shuttle I ordered from LadyShuttleMaker. It is very nice as well; I can't believe how light it is. Thanks, Sherry!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

TAT - Intarsia Star

I have learned (through the Tat Across Time Tatting Proficiency program) many new techniques and appreciate all the hours that must have gone into designing the program, creating the phase manuals, and producing samples/diagrams. There are many talented designers who graciously gave permission to the TAT group to use their designs and techniques.

I have learned that my biggest challenge in my tatting is to complete the project. It wasn't until I did this program that I realized there are many items that really need to be blocked. Once the tatting is complete blocking really shows effectively all the time, effort and love of our lace that we all invest in our craft. This is especially true if you are creating a piece that could become a family heirloom.

One piece uses a technique termed as "Intarsia." In the TAT glossary: "series of even or uneven split rings with two colors incorporated to create a design, often with 2 core threads." I know the term is sometimes used in knitting but my knitting is so simplistic, it's never been anything I've encountered.

In this case on the split ring rows that are the first and last of the piece are the only ones which are not padded. This design from Nan Alsbrooks of Texas is really more of a challenge in following the directions to obtain the look ... in my case, an orange, five-pointed star on a field of blue. The second row of the design introduces the thread color for the star and the rings become padded as a second core thread has been introduced.

Another challenge of this technique is to remember to NOT to flip the stitch on some of the rings with the secondary color is used ... has to be direct tatted or the guess what ... the ring WON'T close.

I really enjoyed the technique though it is a bit fussy at times. As a native of the great state of Texas, I have considered tatting a Lone Star Flag using this technique ... just haven't gotten a 'roun-tuit.'

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Update on Gary - SB1 and the NEW BOOK!

I just spoke with Randy (SB2) and got an update on Gary. Randy says that Gary retired both the walker and wheel chair just before Christmas. Gary is using the walking stick that Randy carved him to get around ... well, unless the snow is too deep and then it's time for the crutches. He's working as best he can and still doing rehab. Gary is expecting to have more surgery and will wind up meeting with his doctors probably in May to continue moving forward on his rehab. He's still not driving yet but his spirit and determination are unflappable!

I'm sending a check to Randy tomorrow for their new book. I was privileged to see one of the final drafts last summer while at Bobbie Demmer's. It is a wonderful addition to their first book. Randy says that he hopes that the third book, currently in the works, won't take so long to put it together.

Speaking of new books ... I usually buy my own Christmas and birthday presents because DH says, "I don't know what to get you but I know you want some more tatting ' stuff ' so have at it. DS#1 and his girlfriend gave me Jon Yusoff's "Tatted Snowflake Collection" for Christmas and then an original "Priscilla #1" book for my birthday last week. The Priscilla book is more than 100 years old and WILL not go onto my bookshelf but will have a more protected place to reside. It will stay in the armoire where I keep the books I refer to most often.

I also purchased a really first-class reproduction of "eThe ART of Tatting and Netting" originally published by The Butterick Publishing Co. I have seen bits and pieces of this book reproduced through the years but never the entire collection in a single binding and the quality is excellent. Kudoes to Iva Rose Vintage Reproductions!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Flowers of Lace - Samples


One of the lovely ladies who is purchasing the Flowers of Lace fundraiser book has asked a question. Judy is wanting to know who has tatted the rose in the book. The photo shows the rose with a spray of tatted Baby's Breath.

If you have tatted the rose, please share a link to the photo and share size of thread used and approximate dimensions. I haven't had time to do anything in the book yet.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

January 2009 update

I always have the best of intentions ... but sometimes the follow through is a bit sketchy. A few more of the fundraiser sets have gone out. Last month, I attended a craft fair with one of our Guild's members. I made 18 pairs of beaded earrings and several dozen angels of which we sold about half of each. We also sold a number of other items that had been made by our guild members so every little bit helps.

In addition to preparing lesson plans for the Guild, I've been test tatting some patterns for a designer who lives in the Western US. Hopefully, her next book will be ready and available soon. The patterns are variations on a theme and the concept is a bit different from anything else I've encountered.

We had a quiet holiday season, with DS#1 spending several days at Christmas. He gave me Jon Yusoff's "Tatted Snowflake Collection" for a gift. I really hope to get to some tatted soon. DH mentioned when we were taking down our Christmas tree that he thought it would be nice to have it decorated something with just tatted items. Snowflakes, Hearts, Angels etc. I think he would also like the tatted "garland" that Dianna Stevenson did some time ago. Don't know if she got her domain back but I think I can find the instructions somewhere in all the printed stuff I've never organized but have printed off the Internet.

DH is scheduled for eye surgery in early February ... cataract removal, replacement lens and corneal transplant on the right eye. Recovery from surgery is expected to take a bit of time and DH has never been known for his patience. Well, better get back to doing something.

Wish all of you a prosperous 2009!