Doily — Progress?

I’ve picked up my long-abandoned doily… and it’s not going smoothly!

The outer flower motifs are the same as the center ones.  But I have a bit of a spatial perception problem, and working the motifs upside down and backwards so I can attach them to the outside row of the doily is very frustrating.  I’ve either cut out or opened and retatted 6 rings in these three motifs due to my attaching them to the wrong picots.

I think I finally have a feel for how they are supposed to go together, though.  Hope it goes smoothly from here on out!

Picot Overkill

Giant picot overkill?

I love picots.  Big picots.  Giant picots!

But I think I finally overdid it with this tatted motif.  The huge picots detract from the design and it just looks a bit messy.

Lyn Morton would be horrified to see what I did to her beautiful pattern!  🙂

I made several mistakes, missed a couple of joins, and experienced two disasters while tatting it.  The “Tips and Tricks” in Mary Konior’s Visual Patterns book came to my rescue.  (If you are a new tatter, her “Tips and Tricks” alone are worth the price of the book.)

Using her instructions, I was able to open a ring easily and untat my mistakes as simply as untatting a chain.  And I used her weaver’s knot to rescue a broken thread that only had about 1/3″ tail remaining.

So it was a learning experience on several levels…. one of which is be careful when you change the length of the chains in the center because it definitely impacts how the rest of the pattern fits together!

Tatted Bouquet

A tatted bouquet

I liked the little tatted flower in my previous post well enough to make an expanded version — with more clover “leaves” and flowers.

The red and blue flowers are from Lyn Morton’s Tatting Patterns.  I didn’t use the part that surrounds the flowers because I really don’t like making the chain flowers and having to mess with those tiny joining picots.  Also, I have a hard time forming the chains properly, and they don’t want to lie flat.

I enjoy making rings for petals a lot more.

In fact, I did the little yellow flower while I was riding my exercise bicycle this evening.  It kept me from getting bored, which usually happens when I ride the bike.

It also tends to make it hard to form even picots!  🙂

Tatting is FUN Again!

Greeting card with tatted flowers and butterfly

For the past few weeks, tatting hasn’t been as much fun as it used to be.  I attributed it to burning myself out by rushing to get my tatted Christmas gifts done on time.

But for some reason it felt like I was fighting the tatting instead flowing with it.  I just wasn’t enjoying it very much anymore.

Then last evening I decided to pick up my neglected little Clover shuttles just because they looked so cute.  I started doing the tatted Briar Fragments from Mary Konoir’s Visual Patterns.

The old magic was back!  The tatting flowed with the soothing rhythm I remembered.  And it was FUN!

I had switched to Aero shuttles back in November because they seemed so practical.  They have removable bobbins, so I wouldn’t have to tie up a shuttle with unused thread from a previous project.  I could just wind a bobbin with the new color, pop it into the Aero and go.  Or I could pop in any bobbin that already had thread on it and start tatting.  The little hook was perfect for tight joins that I couldn’t do with the Clover’s pick.

So even though my hands felt awkward working with the Aeros, I stuck with them because they just made so much sense.  But their length was a continual irritation.

I ended up cutting the bobbin winders off two of the Aeros to make them shorter.  They worked a LOT better that way.  Comfortable tatting.  But still no magic.

My small collection of shuttles: Sew Mates, Clovers, modified Aeros, and Aeros. I've ordered 10 more Clovers.

So last night, as soon as I realized how perfect the Clovers are for my style of tatting, I ordered two more packs of 5.

I still have to keep an Aero handy when I use the Clovers so I can use the hook in tiny joining picots.  But considering the joy I feel working with the Clovers, it’s worth having to keep an extra tool in reach when I use them!

Flower Garden Tatted Bookmark

Down the Garden Path tatted bookmark.

I finally finished the Down the Garden Path tatted bookmark last night — except for working in the ends.

I wanted the greenery to look very lacy and ferny, so I made giant picots.  I like it–but the size of the picots may have made it look more weedy than ferny!  🙂

I’ll work in the ends this evening.

The pattern is from the book Tatting Treats Three.  I found it online several places, but since I love Handy Hands Tatting, here is a link to it at that site.

The pattern also includes a diagram for a corner, so you can use it as a flowery edging if you prefer.

I’m planning to get one of those nice matted picture frames from Hobby Lobby that has all the different sized openings for pictures in it and put several small, brightly colored tatted pieces in it for wall decor.  This is one of the items that I plan to include in it.

Trying Shuttle Tatting

First shuttle tatting attempt

I have been needle tatting to date because I had so much trouble learning the shuttle.  But some of my needle tatted pieces are limp and floppy.  I knew that the work is much tighter and crisper with shuttle tatting, so I am giving it a go again.

The practice piece on the left has a LOT of mistakes, uneven picots, a picot joined in the wrong place — BUT I am finally getting my stitches close enough together that the core thread doesn’t show through.  I consider that GREAT progress!

It took longer for me to recover from the virus than expected.  And we have had non-stop rain for two days.  I couldn’t bear the idea of setting up in a muddy campground with a runny nose while sneezing, so we still haven’t left Georgia.

The sun is starting to come out now, I really do feel better today, so we are planning to leave tomorrow…. at last!

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