"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mmmm, Gingerbread!

Not the edible variety, but still pretty tasty looking. This is another for the hospital craft sale. Isn't it the cutest tatting design ever?

The pattern is by Gina Brummett, the Tatting Goddess. You can get it in the sidebar of her blog. I also have to thank Jeff for introducing me to this pattern. I found Gina's directions very easy to follow, though I did change the joins on a few rings for symmetry. There were also a couple of other things I did differently, but these are just a matter of personal preference. I used Jane's alternate method for adding beads to the center of a ring. For the head and body I decided it was faster to finger tat the three stitches of split ring than to wind a second shuttle; this meant changing the center ring of the body to a regular ring instead of a split ring. I did Catherine wheel joins on the outer chain for a smoother line; the only lock joins are at the boy's joints. Unfortunately, some of my chains got a little too long so he looked a bit puffy on one side, but I was able to make this better with blocking.

The threads are Lizbeth color 691 Mocha Brown Medium and Lizbeth White, both size 20. The beads are called druk beads in 6mm for the buttons and 4mm for the eyes; I got them from Artbeads. I chose these red beads because they look kind of like those Red Hot candies that are so often used to decorate gingerbread cookies, but they come in lots of pretty colors. I got a few other colors as well for future gingerbread boys; after all, you can make the eyes in any color frosting you want!

This one went a little bit faster because I was used to how to add the beads and where to make the joins. I also counted the stitches on the outer chain so that it came out the same on both sides. I used the same brown thread and also color 638 Christmas Green. The beads didn't photograph very well, but they are silver, like those little silver sugar balls used for cookie decorations.

A word on Lizbeth thread. I've seen a couple of people lately say they were disappointed in the quality of Lizbeth. I was very surprised to read these comments, because I've always loved it. This time around, though, I got a bad ball. The brown thread was extremely frustrating to work with; I had problems with breaking, fraying, and untwisting. I e-mailed Handy Hands, and they are going to replace it for me. Barbara also told me that the factory is getting a new machine that should help with any problems in spinning. Handy Hands has really excellent customer service, and they are committed to selling quality products, so if you've had problems with your Lizbeth, I suggest you tell them about it. They will do what they can to make it right for you, and they can't fix a problem they don't know about.


  1. I really like this pattern. I haven't made it yet primarily because I'm too lazy to download it. You did a great job! Vicki

  2. What a darling gingerman! Well-tatted.

  3. Oh, I can smell it now! Is it Christmastime already? Christmas in April! I ♥ it! :)
    ~TattingChic ♥