Friday, December 30, 2011

Motif 17: Potholder dragonfly

I thought I'd try something different from flowers and butterflies.  Unfortunately, inspiration proved elusive so the best I could come with was this little dragonfly.  I know, dragonflies are almost the same as butterflies.  This is Lisa Reichert's dragonfly, worked in chunky size 2 thread.  It's a simple, effective pattern, but I'm not so sure about my version.

A while back, I made up some skeins of thread, mixed up some batik dye and let the kids loose.  The result is a little container of mixed up HDT.  Some of the threads came out quite pretty.  Others came out looking like turmeric mixed in mustard.  Both are nice in food but neither is nice on fibers.  Still, add some beads and it's an interesting looking dragonfly; in a macrame potholder sort of way...

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Motif 16: Pearly flowers

I still have flowers on the brain, so today's motif is a little flower brooch from Tatting Lace by Sumi Fujishige.  These are done in Anchor variegated perle cotton 8.

It would probably have look better with darker beads, but on the whole I'm happy with it.  I think it's proof of the enriching potential of tatting.

Start with some cheap beads.

Add some knotted thread, and get pearly flower buds!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Motif 15: Someday magnolia

I first saw Nancy Tracy's tatted magnolia on Umi & Tsuru's blog.  It's impressively cute, so I saved the pattern and planned to do it someday.  I can see from Umi and Tsuru's post that this was over a year ago.

Oh well, today is someday, so here's my version, in bud, and in bloom.

After tatting the pattern, I'm even more impressed.  It's clever as well as cute.  The way the base supports the center, the ruffly middle bits, the overlapping petals, all of it clever.  The only tricky part is getting the chains between petals going the right way.  I'm putting this picture here for reference.

See, the chain comes out the front of the first petal and wraps round to the back of the next petal (Many apologies to Nancy Tracy if I got that wrong).  I have a feeling I'm going to need this picture in future.  I'm planning to make a whole bouquet of magnolias someday...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Motif 14: Flying SCMRs

I had a sudden itch to tat self closing mock rings, so I went straight to the GR-8 page and tatted some butterflies.

In the spirit of fairness, I won't point out which ones are THE butterfly and which are 'Da Udder' ones.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Motif 13: Peaceful snowflake

The beaded tatting was making me beady eyed, squinting to get the thread through those tiny holes.  So I took a break and made another of Hajjah Jon's elegant snowflakes.

This is the Adan snowflake from Elegant Tatting Gems, done in heavenly blue Cebelia thread.  There's something peaceful about the changes of direction in this design.  Ahh, so restful.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Motif 12: Double edged butterfly

This is Jane Eborall's Large Fancy Butterfly done in DMC Cebelia along with a rather alarming number of beads.

The fancy edging is unusual and makes for a striking motif.  To be honest, I'm not sure I got the edging completely right, so I just tried to be consistently wrong so the wings would match.  The edging is not that hard to do, but it does require more equipment than usual.

Here's what it looked like in progress.  There are:-
  • three (3!) shuttles
  • a little string of beads on a floss threader, ready to go on the picots
  • paperclips, paperclips and more paperclips to hold the beads in place
  • print out and pencil so I could keep track without losing all my brain cells (Jane Eborall functions magnificently with brain cell #3, but I definitely need all of mine)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Motif 11: Light on bracelet

The little lady seems to know that the best way to get me to make her more stuff is to use the stuff I've already made.  She's been wearing her blue beaded bracelet lately, so I started a new one for her.

This is the 'Bloomer' bracelet from Marilee Rockley's 'Boutique Tatting' book.  The yarnplayer does two things I like very much.  First, she sells PDF versions (great for avoiding shipping costs) and second, she gives people a way to sell things made from her designs.  I admire the work that designers do, but being able to execute a design is also a skill.  The sort of license the yarnplayer uses lets the designer and the design-user interact in new ways.

The yellow seems awfully bright to me, so I think of it as a 'lit up' bracelet.  That's my hand modelling it, but the little lady takes possession later.  I probably should have reduced the number of repeats to fit her little hand, but she's been doing a lot of growing lately.  I'm reluctant to shorten anything for her.  All her dresses are midis now.  I could have sworn I bought them full length a few months ago.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Motif 10: Interesting?

This motif is number 26 in 'Beads and Beads Tatting 1' by Mituko Ikuta.  The book is great, in that it has some nice techniques and some usual bead uses, but some of the designs look a bit dated.  So for me, this particular design is more interesting than attractive.  I'd love to get a look at book 2 and 3 in the series.

There are some mistakes there; some miscounted chains and stitches the 'wrong' way around.  Still, split rings makes me happy, so I'll leave it as it is and chase perfection some other day.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Motif 9: Green beauty

I got Jon's new book, Elegant Tatting Gems, last month and made this snowflake.  It's been done for a while, but apparently weaving in ends and taking photos takes weeks and weeks.

The book is very inviting, so I grabbed the first thread that caught my eye and did the first pattern in the book.  This is the Adiratna pattern done with Oren Bayan metallic. Jon gives the meanings of the names here.  So, loosely translated, this is the 'Green Beauty' snowflake.  In hindsight, I should have started from the back.  The last pattern is named 'Zamrud' or Emerald.  A green emerald would have been more poetic.