"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, October 21, 2010

A Little Break

I've been taking a bit of a break from tatting this week, so I don't have anything new to show, sorry. I'll show you an older piece, though. This is "Lucky Clover" from Tatting Patterns and Designs by Gun Blomqvist and Elwy Persson.

I've been thinking about this one lately because Diane is currently tatting it in blue. I used DMC 80; I don't remember the color numbers, but I remember being pretty excited to find that the dark shade on the variegated thread matches the solid thread exactly. I was going through a phase at the time where I wanted everything to be variegated, so I'm really glad that I chose to use the solid for most of this piece. Having the whole thing variegated would be overwhelming, although I do think it makes a nice accent on the outer round.

Being a fairly new tatter at the time, I was also not really confident about securing my ends, so I used to use Fray Check. If you click to enlarge this, you'll see why you're not supposed to do that. Fortunately, it only shows if you look very closely, and I've learned my lesson.

In other news, I've been invited to play at Weems Artfest, which is a pretty big deal around here. I really consider myself primarily a professional harpist just working another job to pay the bills. The reason I need that other job is because I'm completely useless at self-promotion and therefore hardly ever get gigs. I really have to thank my friend and fellow harpist Kathy Wimmer, whose recommendations have gotten me several gigs, including this one.

Next post will be number 100!


  1. When I bought that book that was the one pattern that sprung out at me. It was in the days when you rarely saw tatting without loads of picots. It's still one of my favourites and your colours really are a super match for each other. I wonder where my version of it is?!?!?

  2. I LOVE harp music! That was the intrument I wanted to learn in band back in grade school and since they didn't have one available, I didn't take band. Mistake....I could always learn the harp later after learning the basics of music...but so it goes. I love to listen to it though. I'm sure you are a marvelous harpist!

  3. This is absolutely beautiful! I have not yet used size 80 thread. I am fairly new to tatting and like to use size 20 and 30. I enlarged the picture but cannot not see what you mean about the fray check. I am afraid my ends look awful! I cannot seem to tackle that yet!
    Have a Blessed Day,

  4. Jane, I know that Sally has your Ice Crystal doily from the same book (great sense of color you had on that one by the way), so maybe she has an idea about this one?

    Gina, it's never too late to learn an instrument! I know lots of people who've taken up the harp as adults and done very well.

    Craftydiane, the Fray Check leaves a hard little crusty patch on your tatting, and over time it discolors. Glue and anti-fray products do the same thing. It's much better to sew your ends back into the tatting stitches. If you sew far enough back, the ends will be perfectly secure.

  5. Very pretty! I am so happy to have a preview of what Lucky Clover will look like in blue. Your tatting is wonderful!

  6. I, too, love the sound of a harp. I hope all went well at the gig. Your doily is beautiful. I love the effect of the variegated thread in the final round. Very nice! I started this doily years ago, but I had trouble with the long chains of the center. You make me think that now I've had more experience at tatting, I should reconsider this one.

  7. I so enjoy harp music! My SIL played for her state symphony until she married my brother and moved. She ended up buying the harp as the state no longer had a harpist. Your doily is lovely. Makes me want to get my book out and start it but there are so many other ideas floating around, too! Oh for more time and organization skills. Karen

  8. I'm not sure I've commented on your blog before, but if I haven't, please know I'm enjoying reading your posts, and am trying to catch up. Your tatting is wonderful!

    I LOVE this doily and got weak in the knees when I read you did it with size 80! Fabulous job!

    Also ENJOYED those vintage articles! I often think about my great-grandparents and their 'era', and their lives in New England.

    I'm sure glad I was born in more 'modern' times, but I do have an admiration for the 'look' of women's clothing back then. So elegant. Not to mention all the lace! However, I'm grateful for the comfort of our casual dress today - it's just that we're sometimes TOO casual!

    Music and band (clarinet) was my life in high school, and I finally learned the basics of piano at age 55 (never too late!), but I can't begin to fathom how to play the harp - a glorious instrument. Kudos to you for accomplishing this!

    Also love the photos and stories of your cats!

  9. Diane, what I've seen of yours looks great. I can't wait to see it finished.

    Eliz, I had trouble with the long chains, too, but I think the rest of it was pretty easy. The harp gig isn't for another three weeks, so I've got plenty of time to practice (which is just what I'll do as soon as I finish this).

    Karen, don't we all wish for more time to tat!

    Kathy, I like today's comfortable clothes too, but I do miss the days when people kept their rear ends covered in public! Pianists say that a harp is just a naked piano; harpists say that a piano is a harp in a coffin. ;) Point being, if you can learn one, you can learn the other.

  10. Oh, I've always wanted to do that pattern, but never have! I think I could quote Jane's comment and Gina's! LOL! (except for the "wanting to learn band" part, LOL!) I've had lots of friends who were in band, though and where would we be without a band...parades and highschool games would be so boring without them!
    Well, The doily is gorgeous and I'm drooling over it!

  11. absolutely beautiful, just beautiful!

  12. Very pretty! I have that book and I love so many of their designs.

    I have no musical skills at all. I made sure both of my daughters had the chance to take lessons!

  13. A beginner when you did it+ Wow, amazing work. It is really pretty.

    Congrats on the gig. As a former flutist, I can appreciate your excitement!
    Fox : )

  14. I did LUcky Clover doily too from the same book. I made mine out of Valdani Quilting thread called Lemons I think it was. It is a variegated green to a yellow green. But I Have to a say...I really like yours in blue. Wow.