"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

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pretending and Remembering

I'm tired of winter-- hence the new background. As part of my effort to pretend it's summer, I tatted Karey Solomon's hummingbird, from her book Make Many Merrily.


The thread is LadyShuttleMaker's "Marina" in size 80. I'm not sure if she's still making this colorway-- I hope so, because I don't have much of it left.

This is a fun pattern to make, what with the floating chain beak and block tatted wing. As you're tatting it, that block tatting looks alarmingly straight, but it develops this nice graceful curve as you add the feathery chains at the back.

This is not the first time I've tatted this pattern. I first made it several years ago for my grandparents. Now that they have both died, it has been given back to me.


In this version, I used rayon machine embroidery threads in turquoise and green doubled with metallic threads in silver and gold, and let me tell you, that was NOT a fun combination to work with! The rayon by itself was no problem-- the flowers in this picture are the same type of thread, and they were easy-- but combine the rayon with another thread with completely different characteristics, and it becomes a nightmare.

Moreover, when I made this one, as you can see, I made alterations around the beak in order to change colors. I made the beak in advance, in plain black cotton, and set it aside. I started the bird using two shuttles in the turquoise/ silver threads, and when I got to the beak, tied it on-- sorry, I can't remember exactly how-- then cut off the second turquoise/ silver shuttle and replaced it with the green/ gold shuttle. In the block tatting section, you can see that one turquoise/ silver shuttle is still there. The bead used for the eye is sewn on later, when I sewed the bird to the fabric.

If I hadn't been so determined to make it in these colors, I probably would have given up; it was much easier making it the second time around, not only because I was using ordinary cotton thread, but also because I used the same thread throughout-- an advantage of tatting this particular pattern in a variegated thread.

And as an example of the difference thread size can make, here are the two birds together:


I'm planning to put the new bird on one of those little organza bags, but I need to tat a few other things to go with it, so it could be a while.

11 comments:

  1. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. I love that bottom picture.

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  2. Blogger's fantastic new "Reply" feature still isn't working for me, so I'll have to do it the old-fashioned way!

    Jane, yes, after I saw the bottom picture (I didn't even notice as I was taking it, I was so focused on just getting the shot), I realized how great this looks with the two hummingbirds together. However, I'm going to leave the picture as it is, with just the large bird, because that's how I made it for my grandparents. At some point, though, I probably will do something else with two different sizes of the same hummingbird.

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    1. Oh, what a wonderful spring motif, congrat, lovely!

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  3. Wonderful arrangement, Miranda.
    Fox : )

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  4. Now that's a book I know I don't have, and it looks like one I should have! I love hummingbirds, and yours are beautiful!

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  5. Beautiful job on both hummingbirds. Another pattern I'm putting on my to-do list. I'm not sure where I would use it but I'm sure I'd think of something :-)

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  6. Lovely work with lovely colours.

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  7. Great hummingbirds!!! And flowers too! :)

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  8. I love Sherry's Marina HDT. I have three skeins in silk but have not yet used them.

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  9. I have just seen your hummingbird .... absolutely beautiful!!
    Where can I get the pattern? (its a simply MUST to make)
    Brenda 10.15 May 3 2012

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    1. Brenda, the pattern is in Karey Solomon's book Make Many Merrily. You can get it from Handy Hands (www.hhtatting.com) or from Karey's website (www.gracefulartsfiberstudio.com).

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