"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, November 26, 2013

Hat Finished-- With Tatting!

There's nothing classier than taking a picture of yourself in the mirror and posting it online, right? It was the best way I could come up with to show off the hat, though; putting it over a kitchen canister just wasn't going to work.

The pattern is the Barrymore Slouch Hat by Lisa Shroyer. The yarn is Mirasol Sulka in colors 211 Black Pepper and 242 Blackberry, and it feels fabulous!

One thing I really like about the pattern is it has hidden internal ear flaps. These are a bit challenging for a beginner to make, but who hasn't wished for an extra layer over the ears on a windy day? I did deviate from the pattern this time around by not making the button band, but that was only because I didn't have enough of the black yarn left.

And of course, instead of a decorative button, I made a tatted flower.

It looks a little bit messy here because I didn't trim the stamens till after I had it sewn onto the hat. The pattern is Jane Eborall's Lotus on a Button. This was a fun pattern to make, but I'd say definitely for experienced tatters. The tatting itself is easy, just rings and chains, but the way it joins to the button is kind of tricky.

I made the flower using a silk thread from the local yarn store. This thread is intended for needlepoint, and is in fact not that nice for tatting. It's more like a raw silk, not the nice shiny smooth stuff; it's a very loosely twisted, slightly fuzzy 2-ply, similar to a perle cotton. But of course I could see all that before I bought it, and actually I wanted that slightly looser, coarser look for this particular piece, to go better with the yarn. The brand is called Vineyard Silk; the colors are C-101 Chalk Violet (inner petals), C-001 Petal (outer petals), T-811 Landscape (leaves), and S-535 Tinsel (stamens).

The button I used was a purply-gray mother-of-pearl button that happens to go nicely with the colors of the hat and the flower; I used it because it was what I had in my stash that was the right size and shape for the pattern, but really a plastic button would have done just as well since you can't see it by the time all the tatting is attached.

Because the thread is so coarse, ordinary seed beads as per the pattern didn't work. Instead, I used 3mm beads pre-strung on the thread and 2mm beads on the joining picots. Since I had to use larger beads, I also used fewer of them than the pattern called for.

Here it is up close on the hat. I love the way it turned out!

Much to Squijum's delight, I recently invested in a swift and ball winder. I haven't had a chance to try the ball winder yet, but I used the swift to wind the skeins of silk thread onto floss bobbins. It is way easier than looping the thread over the back of a chair, once you get the cat out of the room! Yes, I do have the audacity to think this is a tool for me instead of a toy for His Lordship. I don't know where such thoughts come from.

And I don't need to hear about the dust on my bookshelves, or my unmade bed, thank you.

Besides, this is what His Lordship does when I try to make the bed.


  1. Sorry hadn't noticed the dust until you brought it up. Whatever were you thinking? he he
    I was more interested in the swift then the rest of the room.
    The hat looks lovely and warm. and very pretty with the tatted button embellishment.

  2. Love the hat! Excellent color, and a wonderful addition of the tatted embellishment! Marvelous and ingenious flower motif with that thread and the beads! Look how far you have come with your knitting!!! You'll be designing your own patterns in no time! I don't have a swift, but I do have the ball winder, which I love. (Could Squijum really climb up there? I imagine Gian will have something to say! ) Love the 'tunnel'! Is that a handmade quilt? It's gorgeous!

    I don't dare take photos of my craft room right now! I can barely get into it - but to be fair, it also doubles as our file room and gift wrap room and Christmas gift storage room, etc. Need I say more?

    1. Oh yes, Squijum goes exactly where he wants without difficulty. Now that I've gotten one cute photo, I will have to shut him out of the room every time I set up the swift, or he will have his way with it.

      No, the bedspread is from Sears-- as you'd be able to tell if you could see the stitching up close. I do like the quilted designs on it, though, as well as the color. I wouldn't dare put anything handmade on my bed, as it would soon be clawed to shreds. Can't get mad at him for being a cat, and he really is so sweet.

  3. Lordy girl, love the back of that hat! Is the pattern formed by the decreases? Smashing!!

    1. I think the "pattern" you're seeing is just the way the hat is crumpled a bit at the top; being a slouch style hat, it sits very loosely on my head instead of getting stretched taut. It's actually just even stripes all the way up.

  4. I am actually laughing out loud! No, not at your photo, but at theBED! That is exactly what Mr. G. does every day. : ))

    The hat is smashing and great idea to add that tatting. It all works beautifully.

    What is dust?

    1. Ha! You're so tidy, your apartment has probably never seen a speck of dust!

      I had just been putting an extra blanket on the bed-- fleece, his favorite material. So naturally, he had to lie down on it immediately, while I was still tucking it in. After that, there was nothing to do but just put the bedspread right over him.

  5. Lovely flower for your hat, trust an animal to decide what makes a good toy, and of course beds are more comfortable when you get in them and play.
    I did not see any dust looked a nice tidy bookcase.

  6. Love the hat with a touch of tatting!! Nice job. What a wonderful play toy for Kitty!!