Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Round Robin

I am participating in a round robin doily on Craftree. Each of us are designing the center of a doily then sending it on to another tatter to design each consecutive round until each person in the round robin has done a round on every doily then it is sent back to the original tatter.  In the end there will be five unique doilies. 

I've started three times on my center for this.  The first two weren't bad just not what I have in mind for this project. I'm finally happy enough with the third try to send it to someone else to see what they will do for the next rounds. 

Okay, I'm happy with the pattern but I have to actually finish tatting it to send it on :-)

Round Robin start 2015

I looked for a thread color that will set off this doll-sized tea set that I found in an antique store on the way to Colorado earlier this month.  It has six tea cups, tea pot, creamer and sugar bowl, all like new.  
With that in mind I've decided to make this doily in Lizbeth size 20 in a shade of pink.  The label in the center of the ball says it's #617 Magenta Med, but it looks a lot closer to #608 Coral Pink Med on the computer monitor.  I wonder if sometime when using this thread I got the labels mixed up???  I'm going to have to have a ball of thread to go with the center of the doily when I send it so I was going to order thread anyway, but now I'm going to have to order both colors so I get the right shade.

Someone twist my arm.
Like I'll only order one ball of thread at a time anyway.

Except for this doily there hasn't been much tatting done lately.  I've been distracted.  I found a book series that I just couldn't put down.  There are five books in the series and I read all of them in less than a week and a half.  If you like fantasy stories I recommend The Legend of Eli Monpress series by Rachel Aaron.  It is a lot of fun to read.
(I was not compensated in any way for reading or mentioning these books.  I just enjoyed them a immensely!) (She also wrote Nice Dragons Finish Last, which is also a fun read.  I'm waiting on the next book of that series which is due out soon! I wasn't compensated in any way for reading or mentioning this book, either!!)

Now that I've read the entire series I can focus more on tatting again. I'm sure the other members of the round robin would appreciate it :-)

"The sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference."
Audre Lorde

Friday, July 24, 2015

The opposite of small

I had several ladies recently ask me about teaching them to tat. **happy dance** We set up a date and I started organizing things that I use to teach with.  

I still have a lot of the Boye shuttles from the bag of seconds I bought a while ago.  While watching TV over the course of a few days I sanded three down then decorated them a bit.  They weren't very elaborate or really all that pretty but each was unique.  I also wrapped cardboard pieces with two colors of size 5 thread for the students.  I like my students to be able to really see what they are doing before going to smaller thread.  I had the thread already so I didn't have to buy a large thread though I rarely work in this size.

One of my teaching tools is a large example of tatting to make it easy to see the construction of the knots.  Somehow since the last time I had a class I lost my piece of tatted cord.  Even the balls of cord are missing.  I found some 3/16 inch twisted poly rope at Wal-mart in pretty colors that I thought would work. 

It worked out well - other than being nylon and hard to keep the knots in place as they were made.

Working with such large 'thread' creates several issues, the foremost is how you can manipulate the shuttle around the thread.  My usual working space between first and second fingers is a bit small for the 'shuttles' carrying the cord so an alternative had to be devised.  In the past I've asked my husband for a bit of help but he wasn't available at the right time so I had to make do with something else. 

My foot worked.

It was kind of awkward but got easier as I worked.

The first class was this last Wednesday.  All three ladies were doing well making the double stitch.  It will be a couple of weeks before we have the second class due to vacation schedules (not mine this time!) but all of us are looking forward to it.

Now back to using thread that's a little smaller...

"Aim high. You may still miss your target but at least you won't shoot your foot off."
Lois McMaster Bujold

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Vacations this year were a lot different than usual.  We try to take a long weekend with our daughters and their families sometime during the year, usually early summer, then a week in September for us.  This year, due to scheduling done by others than ourselves, we had two week-long vacations almost back-to-back.   We went to Alaska with extended family at the end of May, then to Colorado with our daughters the beginning of July.

We had a lot of fun in Colorado and did a lot of things.

 We visited the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument and saw the petrified giant redwoods. Yes, like the ones now in California, except petrified.  This one is called the Big Stump. 

We were so busy this is the only picture we took of me tatting on this trip.

If you are interested in this sort of thing I recommend you stop in and see it if you are in the area.

We took a drive one day and visited the Downtown Denver Aquarium.
The kids loved it!  It is a pretty cool place to visit.

While in Denver we also visited the Butterfly Pavilion. You can go into a room with a 1000 butterflies flying around. There are some very exotic ones there.

And what is a visit to Colorado Springs without going up Pike's Peak? We drove up instead of taking the Cog Railway.  The elevation at the top is 14,114 ft.

We visited Cave of the Winds, too.  They have a ride there called Terror-Dactyl.  My oldest daughter and I were brave and rode it. What a thrill!

We also went fishing a couple of days, took the kids to The North Pole on the slope of Pike's Peak and did a little shopping in Manitou Springs. We were busy every day of the week we were there.

I got very little tatting done this week.  With all the places we went and four grandchildren there just wasn't time or energy.  There were a couple of evenings I had time but was so tired from the day I didn't feel up to tatting.  I did take it with me everywhere.  On one of our outings my 'spare' thread got wet (thread I had along just in case I needed it).  Good thing I didn't need it!

The project I took with me I started while we drove out there.  As it was the 4th of July weekend I thought I'd tat in patriotic colors so wound a red, white and blue Flora size 20 thread on my shuttles. I can't tell you the name of the color because they marked the label in a bad way.  I had brought white thread along to use as the ball (or ring) thread, but the white in the Flora was not the same white; it would have looked really odd if I'd used it.  I wish I would have found time to find a plain thread that would have worked.  I do not like how this came out at all.  It's hard to even make out the pattern!  I suppose I'll have to try again with different thread.

This was going to be a trial for a doily center for a Round Robin I joined in Craftree.  I think I need to start again.

Though I wasn't that happy with the tatting project I was very happy with the rest of the trip.  Everyone had a good time and are talking about what we are going to do next year.

I'm ready!

"Are we there yet?" Hunter, age 6 (one of my grandsons)
"Have we reached our destination?" Mercutio, age 6, (the other of my grandsons)

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A little delay

We had a little delay on our way home from our cruise.  Our flight had a stop over in Denver that was only supposed to be a few hours.  It turned into more than 24 hours due to no flight crew for our plane.  They said the crew was delayed due to some issue on the east coast.  Great!  The airline did put us up at a really nice hotel and gave us some vouchers for food.  I would have preferred staying at a Comfort in or something instead.  Absolutely nothing was free - neither the wi-fi nor the breakfast.  And the vouchers they gave us only covered not quite two meals and we needed three.  

They did have lovely lounge areas, which was nice as we had to check out of our room by 11:00 a.m. and we didn't want to take the shuttle back to the airport until 1:00 p.m. 

Hotel tatting

During the wait at both the hotel and the airport I was able to get a lot of tatting done (surprise, right?)

Lattice bookmark © Wanda Salmans 2015

This one I mostly like though I'm not too sure of the tail end.  I didn't get a picture of this until just before I gave it away to our church organist for her retirement. 

Lattice bookmark © Wanda Salmans 2015

I made it again with both ends the same and no tail.  I think I like this better.  I think this pattern in a plain thread will really show the pattern better than the Lizbeth Caribbean I made it in, but this was the thread I had with me. 

The delay was a good thing in that I got a lot of tatting done.  I would rather have been home and tatting.

"You may delay, but time will not."
Benjamin Franklin

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A little red, white and blue

In honor of the 4th of July I thought I'd tat something in red, white and blue.  This started out to be a bracelet with three white buttons, each decorated with a different color thread.  The red and blue threads worked great but the white thread kept breaking.  I finally gave up on trying to tat around the button and went around the other two buttons instead.  I'm still deciding how to make a bracelet out of this.

I'm not giving up, just changing the plan a bit :-)

Enjoy a safe, happy and red, white and blue Independence Day!

William Faulkner: “We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”