"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

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What's in Your Tool Kit?

Warning: This is a very long-winded post!

One of the nice things about tatting as a craft is that you don't need that many supplies to do it. A shuttle with a hook, a pair of embroidery scissors, and a compact of needles for sewing in ends were all I had for a long time. Technically, this is all you need. Eventually, of course, I found the need to own a second shuttle, and soon after that discovered that it is preferable if your shuttles are not identical. At some point I started experimenting with different kinds of needles until I found what works best for me. Working at Jo-Ann Fabrics for five years, I would look at items that were intended for something totally different and think of how they could make tatting easier, faster, or more comfortable. Over time, I thus built up a collection of tatting tools, some of which were designed for tatters and some of which weren't. Some of them I've discarded and some I've kept for years.

Here is my tatting bag in its current state:

You can't see inside very well, but not to worry; there's a picture of the contents coming up. The bag itself is a tool, of course. It's made by Jane Eborall. I firmly believe that it takes a tatter to design the perfect tatting bag, and for me, this is it. The pockets keep everything in its place so that I can always find it; despite Jane's protestations to the contrary, I have never lost a crochet hook since investing in this bag. There's plenty of room in the bottom for a couple of balls of thread and a WIP (that's work-in-progress, which I think is a much happier term than UFO),  and the drawstring makes it quick and easy to open and close. Here are a couple more views:

The last I looked, Jane had one left in this style in her Etsy Shop.

And then there are the goodies inside the bag:

The shuttles are of course the most essential tatting tool. Here you see two by David Reed Smith and one by The Shuttle Shop. I love the feel of a wooden shuttle. Sure, I could get plastic ones cheaper, but the tactile experience wouldn't be nearly as enjoyable. I normally have four shuttles in my bag, but the other one was attached to a project at the time of this photo.

The scissors are Ginghers. I insist on nothing but the best tools; it's much better to buy one high-quality expensive item than five cheap frustrating ones. The Ginghers have been well worth the money. I've had them for 13 years, and they're still as sharp as the day I bought them.

The needles I finally settled on are quilting needles. I find that they have a big enough eye to take the tatting thread, yet they're fine enough to slip between the stitches relatively easily. I've had this compact for at least 10 years, and I will cry if I ever lose it. Even in this day of mass-production, no two needles are exactly identical; in this compact I've segregated two that work especially well for my purpose, one for large threads and one for small threads. I've never yet managed to make the magic thread trick work- even if I tat so loosely that the work is floppy and ugly, I can't pull the thread through. Thus, having the perfect needles is essential.

For most joins I use the hook on my shuttle because it's faster and easier. However, I need the crochet hooks for situations where the picot is too small for the shuttle hook, or the location of the join is too awkward. The crochet hooks give me a bit more dexterity for joining than the shuttle does. They are also useful for loading beads onto a long joining picot. These are sizes 0.4mm, 0.5mm, and 0.6mm. Crocheters look at them and start hyperventilating.

The leather quilter's thimble (that's the big white thing, in case you didn't know) is to protect my finger, but not in quite the way that a thimble normally does. I hold the pinch with my thumb and middle finger and wrap the thread over my index finger and around my pinky (sometimes called the crochet hold). I find this much more comfortable than holding the pinch with my index finger, but I do have a problem sometimes with the thread digging into my index finger. The larger the thread, the worse it hurts (another reason why I prefer small threads). However, sometimes a large thread really is necessary for a given project. Putting the quilter's thimble on my left index finger helps immensely.

I hardly ever use the picot guage. I keep it in the bag just so that I always know where it is if I do need it. I certainly don't use it for normal picots, but sometimes you have a project where the picots need to be exactly the right size in order for the proportions to work out. Here's an example:

I designed this snowflake for last spring's round robin exchange. The long joining picots must be long enough, or the subsequent round will be ruffled. They can't be too long, or they'll flop around. They have to all be the same length, or the snowflake will be lopsided. And the long decorative picots have to all be the same length, or the whole thing will just look silly. Hence the need for a picot guage. You can cut one yourself out of cardboard, but I can't cut a straight line to save my life, so I eventually decided to get a "real" one to be certain of accuracy.

Paper clips are necessary for making SCMR's. They are also useful for holding beads on a picot until you complete the join, beginning with a chain, or occasionally for marking a spot to which you will later join.

If you are tatting something to a certain size, you'll need to have a tape measure handy as you work. It's also good to have it in your bag for when a friend sees you working and asks if you can make her a bracelet or a choker and you need to be able to measure her wrist or neck.

The pencil, of course, if for marking clarifications or corrections on a pattern.

Then there are a few tools that are essential but don't get carried around in the bag. These include the blocking board- I use foamcore because it holds the pins firmly and doesn't disintegrate in water; the blocking pins- stainless steel so as not to rust on the tatting; and floss bobbins for holding HDT's.

If you've managed to read this far, I'd love to know what you have in your tool kit! I'm not talking about things that will end up as part of a finished piece, like thread, beads, stiffener, etc. I'm talking about the behind-the-scenes stuff that the end viewer will likely not even know about. Leave a comment, or better yet, talk about them on your own blog so we can see pictures. A lot of our tools will be similar, but it's likely that many of us have a tool for a specific purpose that other people haven't thought of using. Maybe you'll give another tatter an idea for an easier way to do something.

And don't forget that tomorrow is International Tatting Day, so get your shuttles and chocolates ready!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Next Bookmark

After my last post, several people were drooling over these colors:

They are pretty luscious, aren't they? Lizbeth size 20 again. The variegated is color 131 Vineyard Harvest, and the solid is 644 Boysenberry Dark. I love how these colors make this very simple, traditional pattern look so bold and jazzy.

The pattern is by Nancy Tracy and can be found here. If you're a new tatter looking for a practice pattern, this is a good one. It's just straightforward rings and chains, with no tricky joins; and as I've shown, you can make it look as traditional or as modern as you want just by the colors you choose. I've added a tail (lock-stitch chain) with a little motif on the end. The motif is made of the same rings and chains as the first round of the bookmark, with the joins in different places to make it round.

When I saw the Vineyard Harvest on the ball I said, "Hmm, that's very, um, different, isn't it?" But I had seen it tatted up on a couple of other people's blogs, so I definitely wanted to try it. These are the colors I like for fall, rather than the oranges and browns, but no way was I going to wait till then.

One more bookmark, and then I move on.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Tatting Smoothie Saturday

Oh, dear, that loses the alliteration. Stitching Smoothie Saturday? Still doesn't have quite the same ring as Tatting Tea Tuesday, but it will have to do.

Yes, I'm still doing bookmarks. I've just got one more after this one, and then I'll move on to the test tat that I promised Vinnie. I've already given out all the bookmarks to my co-workers, and they were duly appreciated. They've all seen me tatting at least a little bit, so they have some idea of what goes into it. This one is for the neighbor who took care of my cat while I was in the hospital.

The smoothie? Strawberry-mango, made with a banana (for texture rather than flavor), vanilla yogurt, apple juice, and a sprinkling of ground cloves and nutmeg. Mmmmmmm.

The first day back at work was a little rough. I had gotten used to sleeping like a normal human being, so going back to night shift was harder than I expected. Plus, I had forgotten how long a 12-hour shift really is. By the second night, it felt just like normal. And I still remember how to do my job!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yet Another Bookmark

This is Jane's Double-Sided SCMR Bookmark. I used Lizbeth size 20 in Christmas Green (#638) and Black. This is a very cool pattern. It's complicated enough to hold your interest, and yet the repeat is very short and the stitch count is always the same, so you can let your mind wander a bit. It's a nice pattern to make while you're Thinking About Things.

I really like the way Jane did the tail, with alternating sets of flipped and unflipped stitches. However, this one is for a man, and one who likes to think he's pretty macho, so I thought the picots created by this technique might be too frilly. I was sick of lock-stitch chains, so I went with split rings.

I go back to work tonight, so I won't be blogging as much. I work 12-hour shifts, so the days I work I generally don't have time for much else. I'll definitely keep up with comments but won't be able to post for a few days.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Look What Flew in Today!

These are two of Jane Eborall's original butterflies, purchased from her Etsy shop. She does such beautiful work! I'm going to hang them in an east-facing window so the beads will sparkle in the morning sun.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oops! What Would You Do?

Hey, look, it's a bookmark! I haven't posted one of those in a while!

This one is from Jon Yusoff's Sweetheart Set. Visit her blog to buy the pattern; it's in the sidebar. The threads are Lizbeth colors 655, Light Wedgewood, and 656, Dark Wedgewood, size 20. I love the dark one especially; the scan doesn't do it justice, but it's a very rich, vibrant color.

This is a very enjoyable pattern to make (I swear Jon doesn't pay me, I just love her patterns). The josephine rings are such a nice touch.

I made one for my sister for Christmas using Lizbeth's Red Burst, a variegated red like none I've seen anywhere else, with black. I wish I had remembered to scan it before I gave it to her; it was a very striking color combination. This one actually looks nicer though. I think this is one of those patterns that look best in solid colors.

So now for the oops. As I was blocking it, I noticed that I made one chain too short. Click on the top picture to enlarge it; you'll see it about a third of the way down on the left side. If it were just for me, I would definitely leave it alone. But since it's for a gift, should I leave it, or try to fix it? Fixing it would require a lot of ends to be hidden and might end up being more noticeable, but I hate to leave a mistake when it's for someone else. What would you do?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Camera Advice Please?

The more photos I take of my tatting, the more disgusted I get with my camera. The flash washes out the colors (my apartment is kind of dark, so I have to have the flash), the autofocus doesn't do well in close-up shots, it's only 5 megapixels, which was pretty decent when it was new but is now pathetic, and the LCD screen is tiny and hard to see. Can anyone recommend a good point-and-shoot camera for someone who  doesn't know much about photography, that takes decent pictures and has a good macro feature, and can be afforded by a normal person? I've done some online searches, but there are so many cameras out there it's hard to even know where to start. Thanks!

Spring Bookmark

I love living in New Mexico because it's so warm and sunny.

Seriously, what kind of weather is this for the first day of spring? That's OK, it's melting already, and in the meantime, at least I have a nice springy-looking bookmark.

The pattern is Daisy Bookmark by Lenore English. She made it all in one pass, but of course I can never be that simple, can I? Since I was using two colors, I did the inner row of daisies first and finished it off, then the outer round with the green thread. When I got back to the beginning, I cut off the ball thread, kept the green shuttle, and added a second shuttle with the variegated thread to make the split rings. I did SLT's between the SR's, and started the end daisy with a single-shuttle split ring.

On the outer round, I had to increase the stitch count on the chains. When I tried to do it as written, the bookmark curved considerably. I thought it might straighten out when I did the other side, but after about the third repeat I realized that straightening it out would only lead to a ruffled mess. So I cut it off and started over with longer chains.

It's Lizbeth size 20 (you already knew that, didn't you?), colors 106, Spring Fling, and 685, Dark Evergreen.

With the leftover thread, I made this:

I suspect it may be the start of something bigger, but I don't know what yet. Flower? Easter egg? We'll see.

Handy Hands sent out an e-mail the other day. In case you missed it, they say that the size 80 Lizbeth will be available in June. Just in time for my birthday! I'm sure they planned it that way. I am saving up for this. I love tatting with smaller threads-- it's so much more delicate-looking-- but I love color even more, and I've been absolutely disgusted with DMC the last few years for discontinuing all their good colors. It will be so awesome to have another high-quality tatting thread in this size in so many colors.

Friday, March 19, 2010

New Book

I received my latest order from Handy Hands yesterday. Several new colors of Lizbeth, because if you've been reading my blog, you'll know that I don't have *nearly* enough Lizbeth! Actually, I really did need some of these colors to coordinate with other colors that I already had. Others were just for fun, and you'll see them all in time.

And I also got this:

I wish I could show you the inside of it; there are all kinds of pretty things in here. I'm looking forward to getting started on some of these.

I wanted to show the latest bookmark too, but it took longer than I expected because I had to make an adjustment to the pattern; I had already gotten pretty far when I realized it wasn't going to work, so that was a lot of wasted work. Oh well, it's finished now and on the blocking board, so I'll show it tomorrow.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bookmarks, Part 3, and a Cute Photo

Here's the latest bookmark.

Anniversary, by Mary Konior, from the book Tatting with Visual Patterns. The thread is Lizbeth (of course) size 20 (of course). The ball thread is color 117 Countryside, and the shuttle thread is 651 Medium Blue (which is really light blue).

I've done this pattern a couple of times before, but this is the first time I've used a variegated thread. I like the effect; the colors look sort of braided. Serendipitously, the colors worked out so that at the end, the color on the ball thread was the same as the solid on the shuttle, so that I could do a split chain without it looking out of place. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to join the split chain without a little color spot from the picot I was joining to showing through. Does anyone know a good way to do this?

I was looking through old photos the other day and came across this:

Awww, my little prodigy. OK, I admit I set it up. I tilted the harp back into playing position and got her curious.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Holy HDT's, Batman!

Hello, my name is Miranda, and I am an addict.

OK, I know I've got one or two readers who are new to the online tatting world, so if you don't know, HDT stands for hand-dyed thread. A few months ago, IsDihara asked people to show off their collections of HDT. I couldn't do it at the time since I didn't have a blog yet. Now that I've joined the 21st century, here we go. Here are all the HDT's that I own, that I'm aware of. Of course, it's entirely possible that I've missed a few, or that some of them have been breeding secretly.

You'll notice that I like to buy the same color in multiple sizes, and also that I like blues and purples a lot. Now I'll show them separated by dyer. First up is Tatskool:

And now for Yarnplayer:

Last but certainly not least, LadyShuttleMaker:

Taking these photos has been good for me. It forced me to get my HDT's organized, or at least all in one place. And just to prove that I do use them, here are some samples:

A couple of motifs from the Design-Tat class.
On the left, Marie's motif in Tatskool's Coral Reef; on the right, IsDihara's motif in Yarnplayer's Vibrato.

Hummingbird earrings designed by Heather Johnston, from her book Tatted Earrings and Things, in LadyShuttleMaker's Rainforest. Treble clef earrings by LadyShuttleMaker in her Wildflowers thread.

Fleur-de-Lis Edging by Mark Myers, aka Tatman, and Butterfly by Jane Eborall, in Tatskool's Vanilla Sky.

Oh, and the tree in my banner is done in Treebeard and Icicle, both by LadyShuttleMaker. It's inspired by the book Tatting Collage by Lindsay Rogers.

I wanted to show the completed Anniversary bookmark today, but I was tired last night and kept miscounting, so I decided to quit before I did any serious damage. Why am I not doing any of these bookmarks in  HDT? Well, most bookmark patterns need size 20 thread to end up the right size. Believe it or not, I have no size 20 HDT's. Whenever I'm buying HDT, I ask myself, "Should I get a skein of size 20?" And I answer myself, "Don't be silly. I've got a whole box litarally overflowing with Lizbeth. Why on earth would I need any more size 20?" And now that I'm doing bookmarks, I wish I had some size 20 HDT.

I'll close with an Irish blessing for St. Pat's Day:
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Bookmarks, Part 2

I finished the Overlapping Chains Bookmark and took it off the blocking board this morning.

It's Lizbeth size 20, colors 129 (Purple Splendor), 632 (which is called Medium Purple, but is really lavender), and 633 (Dark Purple). The pattern is by Jon Yusoff.

This bookmark was much easier to make than it looks. You just tat normally, and at the end of round 1, twist the chains around each other before you join the end back to the beginning. The proportions of the thing make the chains want to twist around each other anyway. Then the rings of round 2 join in between the rings of round 1 to stabilize it, and round 3 is just an outline. I am of the opinion that a bookmark needs some kind of tail to stick out of the book, so I added a row of split rings the same size as the rings in the pattern, and finished it off with a little doo-bob (that's a technical term) at the end.

I absolutely love Jon's patterns. They are always unique and fresh-looking, the proportions are perfect, and her diagrams are clear and easy to follow.

With the leftover thread, I made another of Lady Shuttle Maker's treble clefs.

It went much faster this time, partly because I had enough thread to use shuttles, and partly because I knew what to expect.

And finally, I've started the next bookmark.

See that knot I've got coming up in the ball thread? Since the ball thread is always the ball thread in this pattern, it will be easy enough to work around. It's not just an accidental tangle, it's actually two ends of thread tied together. I guess it happens from time to time. This is, of course, Anniversary from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior and will serve as my tribute to her.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beauty for Its Own Sake

First the good news: I went to the doctor this morning, and I no longer need to be on oxygen. Alas, this also means I can go back to work.

People sometimes ask me what I do with all my tatting. The question of what to do with motifs also comes up on the tatting lists from time to time. My reaction is always the same: "Do? It's pretty. Isn't that enough? Why does it also have to do something?" But I guess some people can't see displaying motifs in the same way as you would, say, a doily. Here are a couple of my tatting display areas:

Sorry about the lighting; I should have taken these pictures in the morning. As you can see, I was on a butterfly kick for a while. Most of them are from the Palmetto Tatters' book Butterflies Migrating. In the photo on the bottom, you can see a couple of the snowflakes I received in last year's round robin. The purple one was tatted by Abby Carlson and is one of Jon's patterns. The light-colored one (which is much prettier in real life) was tatted by Bob Shotten and is from the book Tatted Snowflakes by Vida Sunderman. The round blue one is one of the cluny medallions from Christmas Angels and other Tatting Patterns by Monica Hahn. This was my first and last project using clunies. They came out OK, but only with multiple attempts and much shocking language. In the back right corner is one of the motifs that IsDihara came up with for the Design-Tat class; just to prove that I do actually use some of my HDT's, it's done in Yarnplayer's Vibrato.

See, you can display motifs just as they are without having to "do" anything with them.

Of course, I'm not opposed to putting tatting to practical use. I enjoy making bookmarks, and here's a fridge magnet featuring a Celtic motif by Rosemarie Peel:

Overall, though, I see tatting as a decorative craft that can and should be enjoyed purely for its own sake, without any need to force it to do anything else.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bookmarks, Part 1

Here's the finished Chinese Coin Bookmark, designed by the lovely and talented Jon Yusoff.

It's done in Lizbeth color 122, Caribbean. I love this thread- it's got all my favorite colors in it. The main body of the bookmark is size 20; the lock-stitch chain and single motif are in size 40. I've never understood why, if you make the same motif in a thread half the size, the motif is not half the size. In this case, the single motif is 3cm across, and each section of the bookmark is 3.5cm. Curious.

I think I need to borrow Jane's brain cell #3. She, of course, uses it to create her ingenious patterns and invent new tatting techniques. I need it just to follow a pattern. I kept having to re-open rings because I apparently can't count to 4. And remember where I left off last time I showed this bookmark? I worked two more sections of it, and then had to cut ALL THE WAY BACK TO WHERE I WAS BEFORE because I had forgotten to join every single one of the chains. Can you see where I joined on the new threads? Jon's diagram is perfectly clear and easy to read. I just didn't pay attention.

Using a leftover scrap of thread, I made Lady Shuttle Maker's Treble Clef. And when I say leftover scrap, I mean that I had to finger-tat the whole thing, and I had to convert the final ring to a split ring or I wouldn't have had enough thread to finish the ends. This was my first folded ring ever.

A couple of notes for anyone who wants to try this pattern. After you make ring C, in addition to switching shuttles you also need to bring both threads around to the bottom of the preceding chain. I found it worked well to bring one thread in front and the other behind, like an alligator join. Also, if you do front side/ back side tatting you will need to start the first ring on the back side in order to end up with a forward-facing treble clef. Once I figured all that out, this turned out to be a fun little pattern to make. I'll definitely be doing more. I think maybe I see a pair of earrings in the future.

And finally, you may remember I said I'm planning to make bookmarks for some of the people who've helped me out since I got sick.

This is the start of the next one. It's another of Jon's patterns, Bookmark With Overlapping Chains.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Just a reminder...

Don't forget to set your clocks ahead tonight! (At least, in most of the US.)

Some Random Thoughts on Harping, Thread, and My Feline Overlord

This morning I taught my first harp lesson since The Incident. My student's posture and hand position haven't lapsed nearly as much as they used to do after going such a long time without my incessant nagging. I suppose this means one or the other of us has done something right.

Here's what arrived in the mail yesterday:

My latest order from Yarnplayer, Stardate and Leafy in various sizes. I wish I had had some size 80 Leafy on hand when I made the picture in my banner; it would have made much prettier grass, don't you think? I have no particular plans for these; they are just to have when I need them.

Sometime soon I'll show my whole collection of HDT's. I can't do it now because I first have to go buy batteries for my camera. Yesterday I had to steal the batteries from my toothbrush to take those pictures; then I wanted to brush my teeth.... At least I'm feeling hale enough to walk to Walgreen's today.

Finally, my Master has requested that the Earth please stop rotating so that her sunny spot doesn't move. I told her I'd work on it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tatting Tea Friday?... and I've Got AWESOME Friends!!!

Wow! I've got comments and followers already! Cool!

I'll just state up front that I will not be a regular participant in Tatting Tea Tuesday. Once I go back to work, I'll be working most Tuesdays, and it's 12-hour shifts, which leaves time for pretty much nothing else. On the upside, it's only three days a week.

However, I love to tat and drink tea any day of the week, so here's the Friday edition.

This is the start of Jon's Chinese Coin Bookmark. I also started this one before I got sick, and this is how far I got. I'm excited to finish it now. I was originally planning to make it for myself, but now it's going to be a gift. I've decided to make bookmarks for the people who have done awesome things for me during my illness and recovery.

The thread is Lizbeth color 122, Caribbean. My shuttles are by David Reed Smith, and I love them. You can also see my tatting bag, handmade by Jane Eborall. It holds EVERYTHING!

The tea is Celestial Seasonings Honey Vanilla Chamomile, to which I've added milk and a bit more honey. I've been drinking a lot of herbal teas since The Incident. My heart got really stressed trying to pump against those clots, so I'm trying to (temporarily) decrease my caffeine intake. I do miss my eight or twelve cups of Earl Gray a day (OK, so I'm prone to hyperbole), but this is pretty tasty too. You like what I drink my tea out of? No wussy dainty little teacups for me!

You want to hear about The Incident? Too bad, I'm going to tell you anyway. It all started with being "sick" in the normal way. I couldn't get out of bed except to the bathroom, and I was throwing up for a week and thus got very dehydrated. Dehydration and immobility are a bad combination, especially when you also happen to be on birth control and over 30. I knew this and tried to keep my legs moving and drink as much water as I could keep down, but it wasn't enough, as you'll see.

On my second day out of bed, I decided to go back to work. I knew that I was a bit weak and my lung capacity wasn't quite what it normally is, but I figured it was just because I had been lying in bed for a week and I needed to get up and do stuff. It's a good thing I did! I work in a hospital, so thankfully I was already there when The Incident occurred. I was having a little bit of pain in my right lower chest/ upper abdomen off and on all night long. Then, around 1:00am, it suddenly started hurting so bad I couldn't move, could barely breathe, and they tell me I was turning funny colors. A couple of the nurses threw me in a wheelchair and ran me down to the ER, where I got to jump the line of 50 or so people. It helps to have connections, but given the condition I was in, it was actually legitimate for me to jump the line anyway. A CT scan showed multiple blood clots in both lungs. I was admitted to the ICU (not the one I work on) and stayed in the hospital for a week.

I'm still on oxygen at home; I see the doctor on Monday and hopefully she'll tell me I don't need it anymore. The best part is, the pain is completely gone now. The pain was actually worse than the not being able to breathe. Of course, I wasn't that worried about not breathing; being used to the ICU environment, I knew that they could take care of that for me if necessary. (Working in healthcare gives you a really twisted perspective sometimes. Breathing? Ah, it's overrated, there's a machine that can do it for me. LOL) And I get to take Coumadin for a year. Fun fact: Coumadin is the same thing as rat poison.

I would like to say that the people I work with are AMAZING. We always have a great teamwork environment at work, and now I'm finding that it extends outside of work as well. They took up a collection, which will go a long way towards paying my hospital bill. More importantly, they know that I normally walk everywhere, and that I can't do that so well right now. So they have collaborated to make sure that I have a ride to all my medical appointments, the grocery store, or anywhere else I need to go. All I have to do is call and let them know when I need to go somewhere, and somebody shows up. And they call me regularly to make sure I'm OK and ask if I need anything. I will never go work anywhere else, because I can't leave these people. They're like family, only without the irritating qualities!

Hello and Welcome!

So, this is my first post. Most of the people who are likely to read this blog probably already know me, at least in the virtual world, so I won't bother with a super long introduction at this point. This blog will be mostly about tatting, so here's what I've been doing lately:

I actually started these about a month ago, but I got sidetracked by the minor inconvenience of being hospitalized with blood clots in my lungs. Someday maybe I'll bore you with that story. Anyway, the story of these motifs is this. I e-mailed Tatskool to ask if she could do a pastel version of her awesome Rainbow Bright HDT. As followers of her blog will know, she did, and it's gorgeous. She very kindly sent me a couple of skeins, so I decided to make several identical motifs in both Rainbow Bright and Rainbow Light for comparison. I got halfway through the project and then got sick. I've been out of the hospital for a while, but I've just recently gotten to the point where I can sit down without falling asleep, so I finished these up tonight. As you can see, they are not blocked yet. The fact that I would even consider showing unblocked work proves that I am not fully recovered yet.

From top to bottom, they are: Button Cover, from the book Tatting for Pleasure by Rosemarie Peel; Small Motif by the amazing Jane Eborall; and motif number 42, from the book The Tatted Artistry of Teiko Fujito. They are all done in size 60, with Rainbow Bright on the left and Rainbow Light on the right. Aren't they pretty?

This blog will evolve over the next few days as I figure out ways to make it look better. For now, it's late, so I will leave you with a picture of My Lord and Master:

This is Miss Polyester Organza (I can't help it, I was working in a fabric store when she acquired me as her servant). She exercises total control over when I am or am not permitted to tat.