Monday, October 18, 2010

OH! OH! and lookee what I made :D

I invested in an Intuos4 tablet a while back to get back into drawing, only digital drawing now. Problem is i have to learn all over again how to draw with the thing.  So last night i found a nice tutorial on a basic technique and tried it:

lol, i had a little trouble controling where the color went so the light direction is all askew but, not bad huh?

My adventures in crocheting...

Ok this is a short one, I found I was running out of dishrags in the kitchen and being on the poor side decided my best action was to crochet some new ones out of all the #10 thread I got from the thrift shop. I started one with some of that #3 size i used on my finger tatting and then found a cool idea for using two colors of #10 to make one. So i set the first a aside and started on the second one. Here is the finished product:
I am not sure if the trapezoid shape is due to bad tension or dropped stitches, but either one is possible at this point. In fact, after I finished this one, I went back to the other one and ripped it out and started over again because I definitely dropped some stitches on that one and had a very pronounced trapezoid. Also, I used a single strand of a bigger thread to do that one and found it to be softer - soft enough to perhaps be a face cloth  instead of a dish rag. Maybe I should put a simple edge on it just for fun...
LOL, just noticed the cat hair in this one, its a fact of life here so you will probably see lots of it in my pictures. Anyway, what do you think? A tatted edge on this one? Maybe in a #10 thread? If any of my tatting friends know a simple patter that would work with this please feel free to share. It would save me the time of designing one myself, which, being as i am a novice, would be quite an undertaking at this point.

Please feel free to comment on any of my posts, I am always open to new ideas and suggestions as well as constructive criticism....

More Tatting Adventures...

Ok, here i am again. I have taken all the beginner classes with Georgia Seitz on I highly recommend these classes for anyone, especially if you are learning to tat. They have "meetings" on Chatzy twice a week and twice each day. The Monday class is for more advanced tatters but beginners are welcome if you crave a challenge. Georgia also has needles and shuttles, as well as some other tools of the trade, for sale to help support the web site. She makes shuttles also and they are very lovely and reasonably priced compared to other handmade shuttles i have run across.
Now i need to find a smallish project that i will be sure to finish to apply what i have learned and improve my technique. In the old days they called them "samplers." Maybe i should sit down and design something incorperating everything i have learned so far. I think I will get back to you on that one. I could then throw in tatting design on my crafting resume.  In the meantime, here is some stuff i have been working on. Here are pictures from Lesson two in Georgia's classes:

 This Pattern is called Hen & Chicks and there is a pattern and a more in-depth tutorial written for it in PDF format by Mimi Dillman. A link to both are provided on the lesson two page of Georgia's site. I have been working on this one since before the classes started and kept loosing track of where i was on the pattern. As a result i was joining to the wrong ring/picot or just making the wrong ring in the pattern. I kept starting over again and again before i finally won that battle, but i did it!!! :D
Next, Cynthia, one of the volunteer instructors on Georgia's class, sent me an ebook titled; Basic Tatting  Handbook by Sarah Kelley, to go through and evaluate for her. I found the book to be well written and instructions and illustrations were clear and informative. Once i got past the very first exercises i found a confusing formatting error and felt that there was information needed for finishing a motif (the final join...) but, otherwise a good book for a beginning tatter looking for basics. Here is the work i did on the exercises thus far from that book:
The two bottom medallions are the same pattern but i made a wrong join on the first (white) one. So i decided to attemt it again with two colors. There are several more rows to this one to make a small doily, which i intend to finish in time. I actually did these before i finally succeeded with the Hen and Chicks pattern, so it did prove to be a good source of exercises to practice on.

I finally found a doll needle with a small enough eye and long enough to try needle tatting with #10 thread and it worked out pretty good. Here are the results of that endeavor:

Once again, i messed up a join on the first (white) medallion so i redid it. Can you spot the bad join? I hope i can acquire a smaller needle (#5 and/or #7) somehow so i can work with the smaller threads. I prefer the shuttle, but am told that working with beads in tatting is a bit easier on the needle, which is why i got started in tatting to start with :)

My next exercise was to learn to do split rings, which i decided to try with finger tatting and a much heavier thread. I think it was a size 3 but i am not sure. The majority of my threads are thrift shop finds so some of the information on them was not available. I did go on to use some of the same thread to make a dish rag too.  Here are the results of my work on split rings:
 Now I need to learn to do split chains and how to them and split rings on the needle. The rings on the left are just rings that I practiced finger tatting on while i was showing my son, Patrick, how to tat. As you can see on the other two pieces, split rings have a lot of design potential making it possible to turn corners and "climb out" of a row instead of cutting thread to start the next one.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Ok, lets see.... i am going to try to keep this up on a regular basis, but regular is not me :p
I want to use this blog mostly to make a record of my crafting progress and achievements.  But, there will be personal notes thru-out as they affect my creative side one way or another. My latest endeavor is tatting, which i am finding to be a difficult activity to find materials for. Fortunately i have two Boye metal shuttles with extra bobbins and they work ok but i keep haning the thread up on the brackets that hold the hook on. :(  i would love to get a pair of Aero shuttles with a hook and extra bobbins and maybe a pair of Clover shuttles to see what they are like. I also need to get a set of tatting needles for thread since the main reason i started this is for my beading passion. I found a really neat beaded pattern for a tatted necklace with beads and decided to dig my shuttles back out and give it another shot. The last time i tried to learn it there was only one person i knew that did it and she was learning too. Unfortunately for me she didn't know any more than what she showed me and i was at a dead end. This time i have the internet and have found a rather large community of tatters there who have been very helpful. I also found an online class, for free, that has gotten me way past where i was the last time i tried this. I  think i like working with the shuttles the best but i haven't really had a chance to try the needles yet since i don't have any. I have been told that for working with beads the needle is much easier so i am thinking i should take the time to use the needle too.

Here are some pieces I made from the first lesson patterns. The little birds are done with #10 and #20 and i laid them out in the order that i did them in.