Archive for the ‘Tatting’ category

Motif #11: The Return

December 21, 2006

Masquerade It’s been awhile. For the last six weeks, I’ve been struggling to keep my head above water at work, traveling, not even enough time to crack a book. But now the semester’s over. No more grading every night. No more assignments. Three weeks of Christmas, a few writing assignments to occupy the days, tatting — and maybe even other crafty projects — to occupy the night.

Let’s get this thing restarted with “Masquerade,” a stunning motif from Tatting With Visual Patterns that really shows its stuff in multiple combinations. The three-quarter flowers at the corners combine to form circles, and the linked clovers in the center form contrasting square patterns that seem to alterate rows, catty-corner, in the mat. I’ve long wanted to do this pattern, and I gave myself a treat to celebrate my triumphant return to tatting and did one motif over two nights. #10 Cebelia. It came out nicely, and I’m probably going to do several more before I go on to something else, just because I want to see the larger pattern come together.

I want to try “Windmills” again, too, with smaller picots and in a solid color, like some of the commenters suggested.

And … as if I really didn’t have enough to do, with an entire new syllabus to construct, a magazine assignment, and several encyclopedia entries, I really want to learn to knit. Several folks have recommended the Stitch and Bitch books to teach the beginning steps. A class would be fun, too, if I could get started before schools starts again. What do you all recommend?


#9 and #10: Familiarity breeds contempt

October 20, 2006

Three whirligigs


I was unhappy with how difficulty it was to see the overall pattern with the one “Whirligig” motif in the last post. So I made two more. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s any easier to see it now. I may have miscalculated by putting the tatting on the red background; I thought that the white part of the variegated thread might show up better on a dark color. But looking back at the original single motif, I think it shows up better on the yellow.


Looks like I’m going to have to keep making these in order to have any chance at creating the desired effect. Luckily I enjoy making them.

Motif #8, motif #9, and some thoughts on color

October 8, 2006

Thistle motifI’ve been without a computer for a week — the ol’ iBook G3 is unreliable — but now I’m the owner of a gorgeous new MacBook, and the challenge is back, baby!

I wanted to do a quick motif in a different thread. This is “Thistle,” from Tatting Patterns. I believe this was Konior’s first tatting book, and I’m not as inspired by it as her other books.

None of the threads in my stash were calling to me, but I pulled out this mauve that I’d never used — DMC Cebelia #20. When I took tatting back up about 10 years ago, after an on-and-off history with it since high school, my taste wasn’t toward bold colors and geometrics. I was a bit more of a shabby-chic person, although that term hadn’t been coined yet. Now this color isn’t appealing to me at all. But I’ve got a big ball of it, so I wanted to see if it looked better worked up. It isn’t bad, but I couldn’t wait to get away from the color, frankly.

Windmill motifSo I went back to the blue-white variegated Altin Basak #50, and I went back to my beloved Tatting With Visual Patterns, my favorite tatting book ever. This is “Windmill,” a chain-heavy motif designed to be combined with others in a mat. It’s hard to see the pattern with just one motif, actually. I snugged the chains up a bit too tight in the first few rounds after the center, and the motif cupped a little bit. I had to block it from the outside in to get all the chains to lie in their proper places.

Motif #7: Loopiness

September 30, 2006

Rose Garden motif This one came out better than I expected. It’s not usually my style — so curvy and puffy — but I was intrigued by the mass of chains at the center, and decided to try it.

Also from Tatting in Lace, this motif is called “Rose Garden.” There are only 7 rings in it — the center, and the center of the six half-flowers around the outside. The thread is the same as last time: Altin Basak #50, variegated white to blue.

I think what I like about this is the way the chains form the “petals.” Because they don’t close fully, making a traditional complete ring, they look more cartoony and appealing to me. The whole thing looks like it would be at home in a dorm room — funky, fun, loose.

Motif #6: Better in blue

September 25, 2006

Windmills motif Only one ring in this motif, called “Windmills,” from Tatting in Lace. I didn’t have too much trouble with it, except for the second arm and the last arm. You might be able to see that one of the arms is a bit anemic — that’s the second one — and I had to undo my first attempt at a rosette join for the last arm. But other than that, this one blocked very nicely (with a zillion pins, one for every one of those interior picots that keep the arms together). And I do like the effect of the variegated thread (Altin Basak #50) on the chains-only part of the design. My only problem with variegated thread is that going from rings to chains means an abrupt change in the part of the thread that’s showing, so it’s not a continuous color change — less troublesome in a more subtle variegation, but I’ve always coveted that “spectrum” look of a design that doesn’t switch back and forth. This is the closest I’ve come.

Up next: another chain-heavy motif in this same thread, from the same book!

Motif #5

September 22, 2006

Basket of eggs motif The first set of freshman papers are being graded, and my husband is back from his trip, so my tatting leisure time has been a bit more limited this week. Once I got done with two consecutive evenings of work Monday and Tuesday, I was able to finish and block my fifth motif last night.

This is “Basket of Eggs,” from A Pattern Book of Tatting, in DMC Cebelia #10. I made a mistake on the next to the last large interior ring, and didn’t attach it at both picots.

Time to make something a little less big and bold — a little more delicate. I’ve got an Altin Basak #50 blue-white variegated that I’m going to use for the next motif, which is going to be mostly chains — not my favorite kind, but I’m trying to expand my horizons.

Motif #4

September 16, 2006

Spinning Wheel motifAnd fast on the heels of motif #3 comes this effort, which looks a lot more like a motif than said motif #3 (which looks like what it is — 1/8 of a finished piece).

This is “Spinning Wheel” from (where else) A Pattern Book of Tatting. I promise I’ll get to some of the other Konior books soon. It’s such an embarassment of riches, though, that I just keep turning the page and wanting to make the next one.

DMC Cebelia #10, in bright red. I think this is what they bill as “Christmas Red”, though to my eyes it seems a little bright for that. (Although now that I’ve scanned it on this green background, doesn’t it look like a poinsettia?) I like this way this one blocked; it was pretty crumpled when I finished it (thanks once again to a TiVo orgy — oh, that season finale of The Office! oh, that first episode of the controversial ethnically-divided Survivor!). But upon pinning out the middle, I could immediately see those straight chains that were going to make the geometry work. I never really believe in straight chains while tatting, because I can’t bring myself to leave them loose — I pull them up nice and snug for that tight curve, and then when I join them to each other, it’s hard to envision that blocking can straighten them out. But it does. Yay blocking!