Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Last year, I challenged Tatting Times readers to see how many shuttles they could empty (by tatting the small ends. Of course, I was, as usual, trying to pack too many things into too short a time to take the dare myself, though several people discovered several hundred shuttles occupied with forgotten bits of thread. Knowing I, too, had to do something about this situation, in the August Tatting Times, I offered this small and easy pattern - which quickly went viral! I almost think we need a support group of people working on it. Yes, it does leave you with a lot of ends – but sewing them in truly doesn’t take long, and it’s a wonderful take-along meditative experience. Here’s how far I’ve gotten. Pam Freck made hers a bit more organized – she groups her flowers into sevens and tats a border of solid-colored flowers around each group.
Here’s the pattern – the center ring is R: 5-5-5-5-5-5 (five picots, plus the start and end of the ring; then CH around: 6-6+ (six times). You need a little more than a meter of thread per flower. You can keep going forever… Or stop whenever you’ve reached something of a recognizable shape.
When the big purple tractor was finished clearing scrub and trees, this lovely maple was revealed in its fall splendor… it was almost worth all the trouble and expense of having the junk hauled away to see this beauty!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

It’s impossible to pick up and summarize everything that’s happened since I last blogged. Life moved on, of course. These socks (right) got finished – so did a few others. Other projects got started and finished.
These socks, (above, really blurry, but really, they are socks) for instance, were dyed in the same dye-lot as sock yarn I special-dyed for my friend Phyllis. I dyed mine using sport-weight sock yarn, which struck me as a great idea. A lot of Seneca Santa hat and mitten sets, for which I made a lot of hats (I think I’ve done more than 50 this year) and also a batch of mittens. More will happen later this year. I made this bag (below)
for an exchange and got even more into the idea of combining tatting and crazy quilting, something I later taught at the International Old Lacer’s gathering in Portland, Oregon this past summer. I did a batch of traveling, all of it fun. One of the nicest results of a trip – one to the Palmetto Tatters Guild conference in late August, was that Sue Hanson came to visit for a week. Unfortunately, it was a really busy week in September, including the work season in full bloom, a primary election and Rosh Hashonah, but we did manage to have a get together with a larger group of tatters. It was our third informal tatting gathering this year and a whole lot of fun. Here are Sue Hanson (on the left) and Sherry Townsend, in front of one of our smaller flower gardens, wearing each others’ hats. I tried Sue's hat on too, and liked it so much, I decided to keep it - at least, in my photo! Also a lot of people, not seen, sitting on the porch egging them on and applauding. Also not imaged at this moment is the tremendous job Sue did of organizing my studio. She claimed it was fun for her, and it was amazing, I learned a lot. I've still got a distance to go... when things calm down a bit around here. Which is not yet. Just to make life more interesting, we’ve been having a lot of work done around the house and the shop – a lot of trees cut and brush removed from the edge of the woods so we could get more sunshine and more lawn to mow (which always sounds like fun in the fall when lawn-mowing season is over) and as I write on Sunday morning, a drainage ditch is being cut to one side of the shop entry, to pull water away from the foundation of the house on that side. The person who's doing it is absolutely wonderful - smart and logical, and I expect it will make a great difference. And, in the “What was I thinking?” department, a few years ago I signed up to do a solo quilt show - so when my nose hasn’t been to the grindstone, it’s been pressed up against the sewing machine. I’m stopping now to work on finishing yet another quilt… more later!