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!

Beginner Shuttle Tatting Project

Beginner shuttle tatting on Christmas card

Beginner shuttle tatting on Christmas card

TA DAH!!!!!  My beginner shuttle tatted Christmas tree is completed.

I am so thrilled!  It’s far from perfect, but a few weeks ago I would have never dreamed that I would be able to shuttle tat at all!

I also got my order with Aero shuttles and bobbins and two SewMate shuttles to try today.  Needless to say, I am playing with my new toys tonight!

Oh, the red flowers are supposed to be poinsettias.  😀

Oops, I forgot to add that the Christmas tree pattern is a free pattern from be-stitched.com.

Perfect Day Today!

Today was one of those rare, absolutely perfect days.  The weather was sunny and warm — short sleeves warm — with just enough of a breeze to keep it from being hot.

We went to Mom’s church with her this morning.  It was their 91st homecoming.  They had a Southern Gospel group with okay music, and they presented a nice sermon, too.  It was especially good seeing Mom’s pastor again.  He has been there for 26 years.  So he has married, buried, dedicated babies, counseled, visited hospitals, and been an integral part of the congregation’s lives for a long time.

His wife died a while back.  He remarried a widow whose husband had been a pastor, and I was thrilled to see that they appear happy together.

I had a precious visit with my sister Hope this afternoon.  She had the windows open.  We could hear a neighbor using a chainsaw in the distance, and it was such a pleasant sound to us.  It reminded of other sounds that we love.  One of our favorites was Grandpa Mayo’s tractor during drowsy summer afternoon nap times  when we were kids.

Then this evening we watched The Sound of Music at Mom’s.  It had been so many years (decades) since I had seen it that I had forgotten a lot of it.  So it was almost like seeing it new again.

After that, I went back over to Hope’s and we watched TV together for a while.

I am feeling GREAT for the first time in a long time, so everything is fun again.

Tonight there is a beautiful full moon.   It couldn’t be a more perfect ending to a perfect day.

I have been working on my shuttle tatting.  I have started one project over three times, and finally have a good start on it.  But I am doing just as much retro-tatting (picking out mistakes) as I am constructing the piece!

Once in a while I ask myself if it is worth it, when needle tatting is so much faster and easier.  But the feel and quality of shuttle tatting is so much nicer.  So yes, I think it is worth it.  And I keep plodding away at 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!

My tatting is improving

Second try at this bookmark pattern

This is my second try working this pattern. It's a big improvement over the first.

Haven’t heard from the RV shop yet.  I hope they get the camper done soon.  I left some of my jeans packed in it and I need them!

In the meantime, I’ve been tatting, and my work is getting better.  I do tat too tightly, but will continue to work on that.

Here’s my latest… and I am so proud of it!  Again, it’s one of Jon’s beautiful free patterns.

I decided to use my first flawed version as a motif on a little girl’s tote bag.  It looks great as a motif, and the mistakes aren’t so glaring when used this way.

Little girl's tote decorated with tatting

A tiny tote


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