Saturday, September 24, 2011

sixth day of december

The sixth day of December.
Here's another pretty one! This one was, in a word ..... futzy! Ok, so you might be wondering what the heck that means?!? Futzy, at least for me, means fussy, fastidious.... hmm... a bit annoying!! It is, however, a snowflake that keeps you on your toes. Since I do right side/wrong side tatting (ie. I tat my chains and rings off chains with the double stitch in reverse order) I did need to pay more attention than usual to which direction the chains were going in and there were a couple times I lost count so don't look toooooo closely!!

But, I was pretty pleased with the result and the overall look of this one. Day seven is ahead!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

fifth day of december

Ok, here's a lesson on blocking... it's one I don't remember enough. Like I've said, I'm a pretty lazy blocker.¹ With that said .... here's the fifth day snowflake ..... before and after!

BEFORE: wow.... it's a mess!
Tell your friends you're experimenting
with "freeform" tatting!
If your tatting looks like this (see BEFORE pic) don't give up hope! It may not be you, it just may be that gremlin otherwise known as the twist of the thread. And, in all honestly, this is a pretty chainy motif and unless you tat extremely tight your chains might need to be straightened out a tad.

So have no fear... the power of water... it's like awesome! I wet it down and gently pulled and tugged things into position and voilà! It came out actually looking like something!

AFTER: it really IS a snowflake! the Fifth day of December

Onward to the sixth now! Woo woo!

¹[Note: Confidentially... I'm a somewhat lazy crafter in general. I mean, if I make a mistake (that happens only once or twice a year... oh yeah) I only untat, undo, rip out, etc if its presence will cause a major issue as I go forward with whatever project I'm doing .... yep, that's me. We all got bigger problems in life to fret over, so for me a missing picot or one or two more/less stitches isn't going to keep me up at night.]

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

fourth day of december

The fourth day snowflake is another one that I've made in the past and a fairly easy pattern to follow:

The Fourth Day of December snowflake, tatted with Olympus 40.
I decided to use two different variegated threads. What's nice about this one is that you can work the snowflake continuously because of how the second round starts with a chain coming up from the last chain of the first round... it's always good when you don't have to cut and hide threads!

Now to the fifth!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

third day of december

Here's a fuzzy favorite of mine! As I mentioned before, I've made several of these in the past... it's a lovely pattern and the layers of picoted chain add a bit of three dimensional flair.

Third Day of December snowflake in turquoise.

Just in case you're not familiar with the book these patterns come from, here's the reference:

Bjørn, Lene. 24 Snowflakes in Tatting. Akacia, 2002.

You can probably find it on Amazon or wherever you find tatting supplies and books. It's my kind of book... small (abt. 8" x 5" - easy to throw in a purse) and to the point! It's not for beginners. There are minimal written instructions, but each snowflake is diagrammed and at the beginning there are succinct instructions on how to do a lock stitch, false picot, work with beads, do ring on ring, chain on chain and false chain. I just realized that there is no explanation of how to do a split ring, and that does come in handy in some of the patterns. Although I say it's not for beginners, you're certainly able to pick and choose which snowflakes you do, some are easier than others and they are all lovely!

I'm really surprised I've managed to finish one every day since I started.... I assure you that won't be the norm as time goes on, but for now ... on to the fourth day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

second day of december

I had more time that I thought I might yesterday, so without further ado .... here's the second of the 24 Snowflakes:
Second Day of December, using Olympus thread, size 40.

For this one I used a shade of purple for the chains and a variegated for the rings. It could have been done in one round if you used a split chain, but since I wasn't using the same thread on both shuttles, it's done in two rounds.

Now.... I really should have taken a pic of this one before I blocked it! It was one wavy crumply looking snowflake and I was a bit worried that my tension was just not right for this pattern (this can, of course happen... I've had things turn out where I really needed an extra segment - or one fewer - to make something work right) but when I would flatten it out it did seem better, so I'll say this: Blocking is really worth it!!

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I hate the feel of starched things, but blocking can be the bomb! I'm a pretty lazy blocker too .... I simply dampen the whole motif and lay it out a towel, gently pulling it into shape to dry. I don't pin it all down and poke at every picot like I've seen shown in some books. I mean, I'm doing this for fun, not for the some state fair competition, so I don't see the point of getting all anal about it!

On to number three! Gotta say.... the next one is one I've made several times before just I think it's just too cute. More to come...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

first day of december

First Day of December snowflake, tatted in Olympus, size 40 thread.
Yay! I just finished the first snowflake in the 24 Snowflakes book. I'll need to hide the ends and block it. Don't know how you feel about starching, but I dislike greatly the feel of starched items, so I won't be starching it. I find my snowflakes hold well without it.

Having never worked this particular pattern before, I have to say that it was not particularly difficult. The hardest part (and I find this true of most one shuttle designs) is being consistent with the amount of thread to leave between rings, but being a nudge or so off on some didn't make a big difference while working this pattern for me.

Ok... on to number 2!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

snowflakes in September

My fall tatting project ... make all 24!
Since I've been devoting myself to other kinds of fiber projects lately I really haven't been tatting too much, and in all honesty I haven't been feeling much tatting mojo lately, but... I do miss having a small project to throw in my bag when I'm on the go and is easy to pull out and do anywhere.

So, I've decided to tat my way through the 24 Snowflakes book by Lene Bjorn. I decided that I'll be using my favorite tatting thread for all the snowflakes, Olympus, size 40. Each one will be in a different color, though.

I started number one today (the humble beginnings seen in the pic above) and I'm hoping to get all 24 done for my Christmas tree! I'll keep you posted on progress!

Monday, September 12, 2011

warm & cozy flutes

My bamboo flutes. Brrrr.... they look chilly!

For those of you who might not know already.... when I'm not tatting or crocheting I'm often playing some musical instrument, and usually something from the flute family. Needless to say I've been creating flute cases for some time now.

I recently bought some new bamboo flutes recently from Erik the flutemaker, and coming from Florida I thought they might get cold here during the New York winter to come, so .... I've gathered up some bright wool yarn to use to crochet a big flute bag to accommodate them all.

A couple of single sized flute bags (upper right) and the beginnings of my larger flute bag that I'll felt once the crocheting is done.

I plan on felting it when the crocheting is over. I'll let you know how that goes!