Do you remember when you were in school as a child? Did you ever ask why you had to learn a certain skill/subject? Back then, you could never see how you would ever use it and homework could be a real pain. And then you're older and taking classes, through a school or because of your work, on subjects that you are interested in. Then the homework isn't quite the drudgery because you can see the where, why and when you'll use the knowledge. It doesn't mean it will be easy, though.I'm taking Sharon's Design-Tat class, learning how to design tatting and then how to share it by writing out the pattern. One lesson was to design a motif, with part of it given to all, and a part of it we each were to come up with ourselves. That wasn't too hard, and was fun. But then the next lesson was to write it out - not as much fun. But after a bit of stress and several starts (and re-starts) I finished that, too.

So, what do you do with a motif? I've done lots of them over the years, but when they're done, just what is their purpose? Some I've done in white and hung on my Christmas tree, though they may not be a snowflake, and a few I've put in frames. Quite a few are tucked away, hidden from sight, because I didn't have anything planned for them. I think the main thing done with motifs is to join them together to make mats or runners or tablecloths - something bigger anyway.

Okay, I have a motif: let me try to make something bigger.

I played around with my motif a little and soon realized that it, at least to me, did not lend itself to be joined together, not as it was anyway. The edges are very frilly, and when two are joined together as designed end up with overlapping picots. Not very aesthetic. So I made a few modifications, which helped a little, though I still wasn't happy with them. I played around with them a little more and came up with adding corner pieces. Much better. This design leaves the finished piece a little floppy as there aren't many joins to the center. I found that a bit of hair spray after blocking does a great job of stiffening it enough to fix that without being too messy or taking too long to dry (hair dryers are a wonderful tool)

Both the single motif and the mat are made in Lizbeth size 20 in white. I'm going to call the single motif #15 of my second 25 Motif Challenge and the mat #16. I'm hoping someone in the class will be kind enough to test-tat the motif. It really does a help a lot to have someone else read over a pattern and try it. I always see what I know should be there, not necessarily what's really there. I haven't written out the changes and additions to the mat pattern yet - I'm waiting on the proofing of the other pattern first.

And now, on this pretty Tatting Tea Tuesday as I sip my "Constant Comment" tea ("tea flavored with rind of oranges and sweet spice") - which was a gift from my Advent swap partner - I'm going to share what my wonderful husband did for me this weekend.

He made me another shuttle!

It was hard to take pictures of this; I had a hard time getting the camera to focus. Finally I got the right setting on the camera and was able to take some clear pictures but not as good as I'd like.

This shuttle is made with, we think, Japanese walnut; he actually got the wood from one of our neighbors. In the pictures it looks like the sides are rough but they are actually smooth. In person it looks the same, you touch it expecting it to be rough. It's also very light weight. The color was much lighter before the hand rub polyurethane was applied. The tips don't, and aren't supposed to, meet, but when dangled the thread doesn't unwind because of the way the slots are cut. I will have to keep a crochet hook with me when I use this shuttle because it doesn't have a sharp point, but that's okay, I have several hooks:) It's a little longer than the Clover shuttles I usually use, but not bad. I think it will hold a bit more thread than a Clover, too. It might be a good shuttle for when I use beads.

Can you tell I'm a little excited about this shuttle??

May this be the start of wonderful new year
May you have enough thread for all your projects
May your shuttle always hold just enough thread
And may there always be a little tea with your tatting on Tuesdays: )

Happy New Year!

Labels: , , , ,