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.'