"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, July 31, 2013

Doily Identified!

Thanks to Mary McCarthy of the Here-Be-Tatters list, the doily from my last post has been identified.

The doily is from Coats and Clark Book No. 317: Laces to Knit, Crochet and Tat. Mary uploaded the back cover of the book, showing the doily, to the HBT photos section, accessible to list members.

The next question is where have I seen this doily before? I don't own the book myself, but I am certain I have seen it. Maybe it was on somebody else's blog. I'll probably never know for sure.

Now, having taken this from Klara and John's house, I'm going to tat something else for their new quarters in the assisted living facility. I know what colors I'm going to use, to match the upholstery on the loveseat they're taking with them. I haven't decided on a pattern yet. I know it will have to be smaller than this one, but I can't decide on what I want to make.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Name That Doily

This is the second time in a month that wretched woman has gone off and left me. If I sit on her suitcase, she'll never be able to leave town again.

It's true, and I must humbly apologize to my master, but I won't be going out of town again for a while. Last month, I had a fabulous vacation at Carlsbad Caverns, and I do highly recommend that everyone go there if you can.

This month's trip was more of a short-notice thing. I was in need of a new car, and my great-aunt Klara and great-uncle John are about to move into assisted living and will no longer need theirs, so Klara offered it to me and I gratefully accepted.

Klara and John live in a small town in northern Indiana. Here's the story of how I got there. Looking at various flight options, I found it was best to fly into South Bend, IN, with a connection in Chicago. If you look at a map, it seems silly to fly from Chicago to South Bend, it's so close, but the timing really worked out better that way. My flight was scheduled for Wed. July 24. As I tell this story, please bear in mind that I had worked the night before-- in fact, I had worked four nights in a row, and these are 12-hour shifts, which really leave you time for nothing but work and sleep, so I was already not at my best. Of course I didn't get to sleep that day, since I was getting ready to go out of town.

I arrived at the airport in plenty of time, and everything seemed to be going smoothly. The flight was scheduled to depart at 12:27, with boarding starting at 12:02. At about 12:12, the gate agent made an announcement that they had "just realized" the flight crew was delayed coming in from Denver, and the flight wouldn't be able to leave till at least 1:45. How, I ask you, did they fail to notice this more than fifteen minutes before the scheduled departure time?

Of course, they started calling people whose connecting flights would be affected by this delay, and I was one of them. They told me that my flight out of Chicago would be a really tight connection, but I might still be able to make it, so they were going to leave me on it; if I missed it, there was one later flight they could get me on that would have me in South Bend at 11:00pm (the original would have had me there at 7:00, and it's a little over an hour from South Bend to Klara and John's house, so I really didn't want to be that late). Needless to say, I was pretty anxious for the flight from Albuquerque to get going as soon as possible, and hopefully make up some time in the air. Just in case I missed the preferred flight, I asked if it would be possible to rent a car in Chicago at the airline's expense, since I could drive to South Bend much faster than the later flight would get me there. They said no, which I thought was pretty absurd since the delay was entirely their fault.

Well, the flight crew finally got there and the plane was ready to go, but by this time one of Albuquerque's traditional summer afternoon thunderstorms was brewing, so boarding was delayed for an additional hour. Once we finally got underway, the flight crew apologized profusely and explained that they were actually supposed to be in town the night before, but that flight had been cancelled; they were supposed to then stay in Denver, but there were a bunch of conventions and they couldn't get a room, so they had to go to Colorado Springs, and from there this was simply the earliest they were able to get to Albuquerque. So the airlines' ridiculous cancellations and delays affect their own employees, too.

I was able to get a brief nap on the plane, just enough to stave off hallucinations. And I turned out to be the luckiest person on that flight. It transpired that this plane was the same one that would be flying from Chicago to South Bend, so I wasn't going to miss my connection after all; I would just be arriving somewhat later than expected. Other people on the flight were missing international connections. If they would have started the process of getting people on other flights more than 15 minutes before the original departure time, they probably could have gotten some of these people where they needed to be on time.

Once we arrived in Chicago, the crew did probably the fasted plane turn-around of their careers. I was only off the plane for about 5 minutes before they started boarding for the South Bend flight. But they still had to go through the safety checklist-- and there was a screw missing in the cockpit. They said this was a very minor thing that normally could be deferred (I assume that's what they did with it in Albuquerque), but they couldn't find the deferment form, so they would have to find the screw. Apparently, it is a highly specialized screw that isn't lying around just anywhere. So we sat at the gate. Finally, after about 45 minutes, the pilot announced that they had indeed managed to find the proper screw somewhere on airport property, and it had been put on a truck to be brought to the plane. Fifteen minutes later, the screw arrived and was quickly installed, and we were finally able to take off for the 18-minute flight from Chicago to South Bend. Ultimately, I arrived in South Bend 2 1/2 hours later than expected, but it wasn't so bad compared to what some people went through. My mom, having driven up from Atlanta to help with the packing and move, picked me up at the airport and we drove to Klara and John's house.

I have to say, I felt pretty sorry for the flight crew, too. One of the flight attendants and the cockpit crew were the same for both flights. This must have been one of the worst days they've ever had at work, and none of it was their fault, but they had to do the best they could to deal with a lot of angry passengers.

I was able to spend Thursday visiting with Klara (John is currently in a rehab facility following surgery and we just didn't have time to get there that day) and getting all the paperwork completed for transferring the car to my name. Then I had to leave bright and early Friday morning for the two day drive back to Albuquerque, because I have to go back to work tonight. I'm just doing a load of laundry right now before I take a nap.

In addition to the car, Klara gave me this lovely framed doily, tatted by a friend of hers. The hand-carved frame was made by John.

I am convinced that I have seen this pattern somewhere before. It looks like an Anne Orr design to me, but I can't find it in either of her books, so I must be wrong about that. I know you can't really see the details in this photo, but does anyone recognize it?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Three Motifs

Here's the third of the three motifs I made for my mom.

This is from the same reprinted vintage book as the second motif; in fact, they're on the same page. This one is Square Motif No. 8915. I really like how the round center is changed into an overall square motif. I decided to make this one bluer than the others.

Here are all three motifs together.

The three motifs are sort of unified by each having a grouping of large red rings in the center. The first one I made (bottom left) has very short chains between these rings, with an open space in the center. The second round motif has a simple 6-ring cluster in the center. The square has a wheel (or wheel-like structure-- I'm not sure if it counts as a true wheel if you cut between the center ring and the surrounding rings) in the center. Thus each is unique, yet they each have some kind of center based on red rings.

I'll be seeing my mom this week when we both go to visit my great aunt. I'll have to remember to pack these. I was hoping to also make something for my great aunt, but I won't have time; I have to work every day between now and when I leave. But she is giving me a rather large gift, so I'll tat something after I get home and send it to her.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I could have sworn I had mentioned it...

I really thought I had done a post on this book when I got it a few months ago, but now I can't find it.

It's a reprint of a vintage book, and I think it's kind of funny that they put sewing notions on the cover. Here's the original cover from inside the book.

Unfortunately, there is no information listed on the author or the original publication date. You can buy this reprint at Barnes & Noble.

The next of the motifs for my mom comes from this book

This is Round Motif No. 8917. All the patterns in the book have 4-digit numbers, which I think is funny because there are only 36 of them, and the numbers aren't even in order. I would guess they were culled from some larger publication, but I'll probably never know. The threads are the same as yesterday's.

 EDIT: I meant to mention this before, but I forgot, being too eager to get to my much-delayed supper. As you can see, it is a very simple 3-round motif that is quick and easy to tat. However, there is one design feature I'd like to call your attention to, one which you don't even see till you look very closely. Each of the floating rings in the outer round has an extra DS at the beginning and end, with very small picots by which the ring is joined to the chain. This makes the floating rings much more stable and helps them to sit evenly on the chains (assuming you make all those vsp's uniform, of course). It might not have occurred to me to do this, but now that I have encountered it in this pattern, I might start incorporating this technique in other patterns that feature floating rings.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

First of Three

As mentioned in my previous post, my parents have been fixing up my grandparents' former house, and my mom has asked for some tatted motifs to frame. Let me tell you, filling a request for someone who always has very definite ideas about what she wants (not that that trait runs in the family or anything) is not easy, but I think this will work.

She described the colors in the room as "cranberry, burgundy, navy, & country blue". She sent me photos of the small frames she has; they have small flowers all over them in multiple shades of blue. She also said that LadyShuttleMaker's "Helm's Deep" HDT (identified by sending me a photo of some items I had already tatted) would be the right colors. However, she also said that everything in the room is a little different, on purpose, so an exact match is not important.

Judging from the photos, the "Helm's Deep" thread is indeed exactly the same colors that are in the frame-- and that's why I decided not to use it. The print on the frame is a little on the busy side, and I think if I use a shaded thread in the same colors, the tatting will get lost in the frame. Actually, I think the best choice for these frames would have been white tatting mounted on a navy background, but she specifically said she's planning to use a white background, so I shouldn't use anything too light. I therefore decided to go with solid colors, the cranberry and the navy.

Then I had to choose the patterns. She specified two round and one square, each about 2 1/2 to 3 inches. Everything in the house is used, and a few items are actually genuine antiques, so I decided to use older patterns. I also wanted simple patterns that would tat up quickly.

And so I present the first of the three motifs.

This is from the DMC book Tatting for Today by Marion T. Leyds. It was published in 1983, so the patterns aren't quite vintage (as far as I'm concerned, if it was within my lifetime, it cannot yet be considered vintage), but they are definitely intended to look old-fashioned. This is Motif # 2. The threads are Lizbeth size 20, colors 670 Victorian Red and 654 Navy. It measures about 2 3/4 inches in diameter.

I'm almost done with the second round motif and will post it probably tomorrow.

A couple of people asked about Squijum. Yes, he's still the ruler of the house.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Resurrecting My Blog

I don't know if anyone is even still looking at this blog, it's been so long since I've posted. I simply haven't had the tatting bug lately, and have been more focused on my harp music. Sadly, I only seem to have time for one or two creative pursuits at once, so I have rotate them. I have a feeling tatting will be making an upsurge in my life for a while, so hopefully I'll get back into more regular blog posts.

Several months ago, I started a bookmark and then set it aside. I had been planning to keep it for myself. Now I have a friend in severe need of a pick-me-up, so I have finished the bookmark and will give it to her along with a good book.

This is "Flowering Quatrain", designed by Joelle Paulson. The beautiful HDT is Tatilicious's "Grackle Mess" in size 20. For the tail, I simply substituted a small SR for the final JK on the main body of the bookmark, then made a lock-stitch chain and finished it off with a motif just like the corners of the bookmark.

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while will know that I love blues, greens, and purples, so of course I had to have this colorway as soon as Jess posted it. Her "messy" dyeing technique results (at least in this case) in fairly short color changes, making it ideal for a small piece like a bookmark. I think that Jon's "Chinese Coin" bookmark would also look incredible in this colorway, and I'll probably do that sometime soon.

A secondary motivation for getting this bookmark done was to empty the shuttles for a new project. My parents have spent the last couple of years upgrading and redecorating my grandparents' former house for use as a vacation getaway. It's just about done, but a few months ago my mom requested some small tatted motifs for framing, and I haven't done them yet. Well, I'm going to be seeing my parents in a couple of weeks, so it's time to get on it. The shuttles are now ready, the patterns and threads selected, and I have started the first of the motifs. Since there's no surprise about it, I will be posting these motifs as I finish them, so I will see you soon.