Monday, April 18, 2011

Scrambled tatting

I'm trying to teach myself some new tatting tricks, and it's giving me a bit of headache. The first trick is to tat without shuttles. I'm trying to learn this because I'm in love with the Riego join as taught by TATBiT.  It's just so clever and beautiful, with one thread slipped into the other, no extra bulk, no blips.  The thing is, it requires that the thread be off the shuttle. The only tool I'm using is a little floss threader to pull the thread through.

It's actually pretty comfortable just finger tatting.  At first, I worried about having to do a lot of adding new thread since I'm working with shorter lengths.  It turns out that it's not that much of an issues since using encapsulation, adding thread is actually one of the easier things to do in tatting,  The only issue is that the threads tend to tangle, which makes the whole thing less portable.

The second thing I'm trying to learn is to tat Reverse Riego, again as taught by TATBiT.  I still prefer to tat using the slip-n-slide method, but with beads, it causes problems.  First, you just can't get a lot of beads onto a shuttle. Next, once the beads are on there, they have to be 'managed'. All unused beads have to be wound up into the shuttle.  If they get loose, they get caught in the stitches, messing up the works.

Both of these problems drove me nuts when I was working on a Nina Libin necklace.  In desperation, I switched tatting styles, and it worked!  The Reverse Riego method is somehow looser than the slip-n-slide.  There's a lot of slack in the thread, so there's time to push the beads out of the way before the stitch closes. It means I can spend more time making stitches and less time winding up beads.

Also, with reverse riego, you can use just about anything to hold the thread.  As TATBiT suggests, I'm using a netting shuttle.  It's shocking how many beads this thing can hold.  It makes the whole bead tatting experience more pleasant for me.

My Aeros are looking a bit sad and empty right now.  It think I'll start some snowflakes and give my brain a rest.

Friday, April 15, 2011

FO Friday: Headbands

The headbands are done.  I haven't quite figured out how to do those 'take pictures of yourself in the mirror' pictures.  So, I got my little guy to take the photos.  He's a sweetheart, so he was enthusiastic and patient for the photoshoot, although he still doesn't quite understand what a blog is (he's 6).

Here's a group shot.  My mother says these headbands should not be worn by anyone older than 12.  She's right in a way.  These clash horribly with my current waredrobe (t-shirt and jeans, with a striped shirt for meetings).  I must have been channelling my inner 12 year old when I put these together.

It's a Saturday here, but it's Friday elsewhere.  So now I'm going to start my weekend by browsing through the FO's on Tami's Amis.  Hope everyone out there is enjoying a nice weekend too.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday: Headbands

A friend of mine gave me this cute headband.  I think it's one of her first projects, so I'm honoured to be the recipient of this gift.  There's a saying that goes 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery'.  I'm not sure I agree with the saying, but in this case, the headband did inspire me, with lots of different variations running through my head.

Here are my versions. Hopefully those rolled up bits in the middle will look like roses when I'm done.

Since it's Wednesday, there are a lot of lovely WIPs on Tami's Amis. Stop by and take a look if you have the time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

FO Friday: Mermaid Hello Kitty

Thanks to Tattingrid, Sue, Tami and Faizon for the encouragement.  It really helped keep me on track.

A few deep breaths and some perseverence later, I have an FO!  It turns out I only needed 44 flowers to cover the doll (not sure yet what I'll do with the extras).  There's also a hibiscus tucked behind her ear, giving her a Malaysian flavour (the hibiscus is the Malaysian national flower).  The little lady wants to put the Hello Kitty doll on some pillows and pretend that she is a mermaid basking on a rock in the ocean.  She has a sweet imagination.