Not Tiny Tim and a Doily

My Mainland concert ukulele should be here tomorrow.  I can’t remember when I’ve been so excited.

I’m getting a hilarious reaction from my family…. like DON’T play the ukulele around us!  But I am excited enough about the musical possibilities that I will love disappearing into my own little world of music.

In case you associate ukuleles with Tiny Tim, take a look at these two Youtube videos.  This beautiful style is what I am most interested in learning.

Also, I’m working on tatting my first doily.  It’s Mary Konior’s Flowerpiece from Visual Patterns.  It’s a bit ruffly around the edges right now.  Hope it flattens out when I put the last round of flowers on it.

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!

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!

First Tatted Visual Pattern

Cross tatted from visual pattern

While we were camping I tatted this cross from a book of visual patterns.  That means there are no written instructions — just a chart.  I waited until we got home so I could steam iron it before posting a photo of it.

I much prefer written patterns with a photo to refer to.  It took me a while to figure out that I needed to go around the sides instead of continuing the pattern from the two bottom motifs where I started.

Nevertheless, I’ve accomplished another “first” milestone in my tatting journey!

 

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