"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

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Has It Really Only Been a Year?

That's right, I've been blogging for exactly one year now. I had been thinking about starting a tatting blog for a while before I up and did it. The impetus for actually getting started, was, of all things, boredom. This time a year ago, I was recovering from a major illness, and having to be on oxygen was severely limiting my mobility. I was getting a LOT of tatting done, though!

A lot has happened this year. I made a full recovery and returned to work and to normal life. My sweet, affectionate cat Poly died, and I now have the vivacious, charming Squijum. I've learned a few new tatting techniques and created several original designs. Most of all, I've made lots of friends in the blog world.

The truth of the matter is, I tat more than I used to because of my online friends. If I don't tat, then I have nothing to blog about. If I don't blog, then my friends start worrying about me. Therefore, I have to tat.

So to celebrate my blogaversary and thank you all for reading, here's the giveaway:

A selection of 4 HDT's, each made by a friend of mine, in blues, greens, and purples because these are my favorite colors. Left to right we have the resplendent "Royalty" by LadyShuttleMaker, soothing "Sue's Blues" by Yarnplayer, vibrant "Coral Reef" by Tatskool, and jewel-toned "Sea Glass" by Krystledawne.

This giveaway is also meant as a challenge for some of you. It seems that some tatters are afraid to work with the smaller threads. In my opinion, though, the prettiest tatting is almost always made with the finer threads. So to help build your confidence in your ability to use the more delicate sizes, the two on the left are size 50, which is really a medium size; and the two on the right are size 80, which is truly small. Maybe the winner will be somebody who already uses these sizes regularly; but maybe it will be somebody who never has and can learn to appreciate their beauty and delicacy (and that they are really no harder to work with!).

There will also be something else in the box, but I haven't quite decided what yet.

To enter, just leave a comment on this post, and make sure that I have a way to contact you. Either include a working e-mail address (you can use the form "yourname at emailprovider dot com" to foil the spammers), or have a blog where I can leave a comment. I will use a random number generator to choose the winner in one week, at noon Mountain Daylight Time on March 19.

So, I've got another heart to show you, although this one was made for another friend, not Kay.

This is "My  Fluttering Heart" by Teri Dusenbury, from her book Tatting Hearts. The threads in the center are "Coral Rose" and "Helm's Deep", both by LadyShuttleMaker, and the outer threads are DMC solids (I don't have the numbers handy). And they are all size 80!

I did make a couple of minor changes to the pattern-- one of them hardly even counts as a change. Those clusters of three pale yellow rings, according to the pattern, would be made before the split ring to which they are attached, and then a third thread added to make the split ring, the SR being joined to the base of the middle ring of the cluster. Then the third thread is cut off and the split rings continue normally. "Ridiculous!" said I. Why on earth would you add an extra thread and have extra ends to hide when there's a much easier and tidier way? This pattern has quite enough ends without all that. I just made the 3-ring cluster with the second shuttle while the SR was in progress. I think it looks nicer, and it was certainly simpler.

The other thing I did differently is the one that I don't think is really a change to the pattern, just a different way of doing it, again in the spirit of "why do it the hard way if you don't have to". The pattern has you do the split rings using the outer (green) thread as the core; all the joins are therefore made with the second thread. I'm not afraid of making a join on the second half of a SR, but it is a bit fiddly to make it look right. So for all of the SR's except those two where I needed the yellow to be the second thread to make the rings, and the one immediately after the bottom clover where I needed to join with the green thread, I used the yellow as my core thread so that I could make normal joins on the first half of the SR. You should always feel free to question the way a pattern is written, and if you see an easier way to do it that will give the same result, go for it!

Oh, and here's how it looks in the picture in the book:

What a difference color makes! I think it's just as pretty in white, but a completely different look with colors.


  1. I love the colors and the sizes. Your tatting work it's fantastic. I hope to be the winner of your Give Away.

  2. Happy Blog-aversery!
    I am glad to have met you also (online)
    I think the more the tatters gather... the more our numbers grow!

    Wish you a happy happy day and many more to come!

    Your tatting is lovely too!

  3. Wow - what a post! Firstly, congrats - one year!

    Next, the heart is beautiful. Love the colours you have used. I have the book. I must try this one.

    Then there is the give-away - beautiful threads! Thanks for the opportunity!

    Then, there is another thanks due for all that I have learned since you started your wonderful blog - that, and for the friendship. Who knew!

    Happy Blogiversary. I look forward to many, many more of your interesting, informative and often very humorous posts.
    ♥ Fox : )

  4. I love Teri's patterns. Such a talented lady. I'm also a great fan of HDT!!! Finally after resisting it for a while!!! Please include me in the draw. lovetotat at gmail.com

  5. Love the heart!!! I think that I might need to get this book....boy I should stop reading blogs :)

    Glad that you started yours one year ago. Please include me in your draw.

  6. Happy 1 year Anniversary! What a difference color makes. Love the way you put them to use in the heart pattern.

    So glad you come up with such different things for us to read and learn from. Looking forward to even more exciting learning experiences. Wonder what your 2nd year will teach us all?

    Thanks for the chance to win such lovely threads. They are all BEAUTIFUL!

  7. Wow! A whole year already? Congratulations! I understand how you feel... blogging and tatting go hand-in-hand, and it seems you can't have one without the other, nor can you drop one without dropping the other. It's all a state of mind, I suppose. However, I do know that I'm encouraged to keep on tatting because of comments on my blog and inspiration on other blogs.

    I would love to be entered in your drawing! I love HDT, and I love the smaller threads. Thanks for the opportunity!

  8. Congratulations on your blogaversery. I love reading blogs and keeping intouch with the latest happenings in the tatting world. It is very generous of you to share some of your thread stash.
    happy tatting
    josie dot passell at btinternet dot com

  9. Happy Blog-aversery!
    Since I started working tatting, I follow the work done by you.
    I work with are thin and thicker wire but I've never had so brightly colored yarn. lenutapp at yahoo dot com

  10. Thanks for allowing me to enter your give-away. Glad to hear that you've been blogging for a year - keep it up for many more years. Robert, in northern Iowa.

  11. I really love the heart! The threads are beautiful but you can count me as one of those that is afraid to try the smaller sizes . . .
    Congrats on a year - I love reading tatting blogs and being inspired by the pretties posted on them. Now I'm ready to go tat a heart!

  12. Happy Blogaversary! I'd love to win some of that gorgeous thread! How nice of you to share!
    I think tatting the heart in colours really made the butterflies and flower more visible. Lovely!

  13. What a gorgeous heart!!! :)
    Congratulations on the blogiversary!!! :)
    I love the colors of the HDT's you are giving away.
    Have an awesome day!

  14. Congratulations on a year of blogging!!
    I'm glad you explained the technique changes to the heart- it will help me when I do that heart myself-- but it also nudges me to look for the easier ways of doing other patterns.

    (I'm at beadymom at gmail dot com)

  15. I was going to say Happy Anniversary....but now that I know there's a give-away....


    Happy tatting!

  16. Happy One Year Blog-iversary!!! You have beautiful work. That heart is beautiful. Thank you for such a wonderful give-away. Keep blogging, I'll keep watching. ^_^

    AzaleaKit at gmail dot com

  17. Congrats to you!!! Please enter me in your draw!! I love HDT but I do not use many small threads, yet!!

  18. Happy 1 Year! It goes by so fast, but it's fun to look back and see how much you've accomplished in one year. I would love to try out some of those beautiful threads - I have been hesitant to try the smaller sizes, but it would be impossible to avoid using these!

    Your hearts are all beautiful - I have to take another look at that book :)

    Thanks & Congrats!

  19. Happy One Year:) I love reading your blog. I enjoyed tatting the "Angels" snowflake. I've made several. I'm up for a challenge using smaller thread. Put me in the drawing.
    P.S. The heart is beautiful.

  20. Congratulations on your Blogaversary. I enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for the tips for the heart pattern. Your heart is lovely.

  21. Congrats on the blogaversary! You do lovely work and this heart is no exception. I've only used size 80 on one project...which I forced myself to finish even though I kept breaking the thread :p
    I currently have a little doily going in sz40 that's been surprisingly easy to work with! I just need to remember to let the thread "unwind" itself before I start a ring.

  22. Big, back-slapping congratulations on reaching your first " blog-iversary!"

    Wow, I have learned so much from you over the past year. Thank you for joining this crazy-good tatting community and sharing your talents. Thank you also for being so gracious and kind. It has been a pleasure following your tatting journey, one I hope to continue for years to come.

    As for the giveaway -- size 50 is my fave-o-rite size (squee!) so yes, please, may I enter for a chance to win? IsDihara (at) verizon (dot) net.or leave a comment on my blog.

  23. Happy Blogaversary! Has it only been a year? I definitely enjoy your blog posts and the patterns you've shared with us. I look forward to another years worth of posts from you. I'd love to be entered in your draw.


  24. The heart is done so well! I don't even remember seeing that particular one and I think it's because the color makes it stand out more. Lovely work!

  25. Congratulations on your one year of blogging! More tatters than we'll ever know are glad you're here. You've created "Angels in the Snow" and more and taught us so much in what you share with us. Your heart is lovely. I bought Terry's book back in the 70's and got scared as I didn't know what Split Ring meant. So much has changed since so I better get out that book with those lovely heart patterns. I'd love to be a winner. Karen in OR, knitnride (at) yahoo (dot) com

  26. And not only are they friendly, but very generous like you.

    Happy blog-anniversary.

    concerningzarina at gmail dot com

  27. Happy anniversary, I also started a year ago and I have made lots of friends in a tatting world I never knew existed. The colours of the thread are beautiful and could you please count me in please.
    Your heart is beautiful much better than in plain white.
    There is a link on my blog to e-mail me if I am lucky.

  28. I can't believe you've only been blogging a year! You are so well established. I always enjoy your blog. Congratulations! And yes, I'd love to enter your giveaway.

  29. Beautiful threads buy some awesome Dyers!! The heart is beautiful with the colors and I love Teri Dusenbury's patterns. They are for advanced tatters and some are a challenge.
    Very nice Give A Way!!!
    Linda M in NM

  30. Happy Blogoversary! I have started a tatting blog too, largely because there are so many others tatting and blogging. It is so inspiring and constantly makes me want to tat more!

  31. Thank you for the chance at the giveaway. I'm a newer tatter (started in June), and the smallest I have tatted with is 30. I'm tempted to try the smaller, more delicate stuff...

  32. You've packed a lot of stuff into just one year of blogging. Congratulations! Oooo, and a giveaway -- how fun. I'd like to be included, please. marty1066 at yahoo dot com

  33. Doesn't it look different in colours?! The heart motif is pretty for sure. I just bought a copy of Teri's book so I should try to tat this too. Alas, I haven't tried really fine threads in tatting. My norm has always been #20 or #40 (hardly).

    Pls count me in for your giveaway. Could be a start to new tatting adventures.

    Congrats on your first Blog Anniversary.

  34. Please enter my name. The HDT is beautiful. I really like your hearts to. Happy Blog Anniversary.
    LeVert92 at aol.com

  35. Hey!!

    Congrats on the Anniversary! It sounds like you've had quite the ride!!

    I haven't been a follower for very long (haven't been blogging long myself), but I'm SO very glad to get to be a part of your tatting world.

    Was going to leave a comment last night, but was having some internet troubles so couldn't.

    Anywho, I really like that heart pattern and it DOES look different when done in colors. BUT I have to say, isn't it wonderful when we can find ways to make the techniques of a pattern work out a little easier?

    Thanks for the hosting a gift-away. I've been fortunate to try some of Lady Shuttle Maker's thread (in size 50 and it's divine), but would LOVE to get to try the others! They look lovely.. I haven't challenged myself to use size 80, yet.

    Anyway, thanks for all the tips and advice for tatting techniques!

  36. Happy anniversary! I enjoy reading your blog and can't believe it's been a year already. I'd love to be entered in for your very generous giveaway too. Those hand-dyed threads are gorgeous.

    The heart is gorgeous too -- the colors are so pretty, and I really like that you adapted the original pattern to make more sense for yourself.

    janers41 at yahoo dot com

  37. Congratulations on your blog-aversary! Also, Congratulations on your full recovery!

    As for the colors,,,are there anymore PERFECT colors than your favs there LOL!!!

    I can't say I have tried size 50, but have tried and used size 80, besides quilting thread. I usually use 30 and 40 presently. So Please enter me in your drawing.

    Love your tatted hearts and what you did with Teri's pattern. I have yet to do a ring off a split ring. I must try that.

    Again Congratulations!!!
    wildmtnrose at gmail dot com

  38. Such gorgeous threads. And, I love your heart too! I guess I should say that I love both of your hearts because it's a kind heart that offers gifts to those they love and those they don't even know.

    Congrats on the one year too!

  39. Can't resist a HDT giveaway LOL - please count me in.
    Thanks & congratulations

  40. Gratz on your blogversary :) I have learned a lot in the past 5 months, pretty soon I'm going to try the split rings and such. Never could turn down a giveaway :) count me in for the giveaway and again gratz :)
    jennifer g
    will send email if I am lucky enough to win, couldn't figure out how to comment except for anonymous :P

  41. Congratulations on your one year of blogging. Your tatting is lovely. I have Teri Dusenbury's Tatting Hearts book, seeing your piece I need to get it back out. I'm fairly certain I won't be doing it in size 80 thread though :-)

  42. This is the first time I've read your blog (I'm new to the tatting community) - Happy Blog-iversary! :-)

    I'd love to be included in the drawing for your giveaway (I'm a sucker for free stuff :-P), but since this was my first time reading, I'd completely understand if you didn't. :-) The threads look beautiful, you're very generous!

  43. Love the blog! I haven't tried any of the HDT's yet but these are beautiful. The size 80 thread scares me...LOL!

    libby dot hall @ caremark dot com

  44. I very much agree with you about changing the way a pattern is tatted to make it easier to do. I have tatted that exact same heart several times, but many years before I was blogging. I did the exact same changes you did, joining on the first side of the split ring and tatting the cluster of rings off the second side of the split ring. Color really makes this design stand out. Terry has some very pretty patterns.