"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

Friday, August 21, 2015


As promised, today I'm showing more of the jewelry I made over the summer, not necessarily in the order made.

The first necklace is one I made for a friend at the belly dance studio. She was the first person to welcome me to the studio when I went for my first class, because she was really the studio's one-woman welcome wagon. She is retired, so belly dancing has become her life, and she came to class six days a week-- the studio owner said, "She's there more than I am!", and it was true. She recently had to move away, and it's going to feel for a while like there's a hole where she should be. I just hope she's able to find a good belly dance studio in her new town, and that they welcome her as she welcomed all of us.

She always admired the tatted pieces that I sometimes wear to class, so I knew I had to make her something as a going-away present. I chose the thread color first (Lizbeth 137 Berry Burst) because I knew she liked those colors, then went through Marilee's books to find a pattern that would look good in that colorway.

This is the "Carnival" pendant from Boutique Tatting. I have to admit, it's a little bit of an odd assortment of beads, because I was using whatever was in my stash, and it turns out this colorway is kind of tricky to match beads to. But in the end, I'm happy with it, and I'm calling the bead mix eclectic. And she was delighted when she opened it, and that's all that really matters.

I also made a few necklaces for myself. Yesterday I mentioned that I didn't have any size 10 thread. Well, after I finished making the Duchess necklace, I went ahead and ordered some Lizbeth size 10 in a few different colors because several of Marilee's patterns do call for it. Doubling the size 20 worked perfectly well in a pinch, but it's so much easier to just have the right thread size to begin with, isn't it?

The first thing I made with my new size 10 thread was the "Celeste" set from Marilee's book Tatted Jewelry. The name of this set caught my eye because it also happens to be my sister's middle name.

This was done in color 619 Baby Pink. I've never been a fan of working with larger threads-- I find them harder on my hands-- but for small pieces like this, it was all right.

I did the center part of the necklace differently from what the directions said. Instead of starting in the middle, I started at one end so I could tat the whole center in one pass. Perhaps if I had done it Marilee's way, the two ends of that middle chain would be a little more symmetrical. Or maybe not. I don't know, but I've decided not to let it bother me (which is hard, but a good exercise, I think).

The next two necklaces were not designed by Marilee, but by Victoria Clarke from her PDF book Tatting the Stone. There are several very interesting pendant designs in there.

The first one I made is called "Eyes Inward".

This is Olympus size 40 thread in color M14, with some large purple beads that are so dark they almost look black, but not quite. This one was super quick and easy to tat up, and didn't require any blocking.

The final piece for today, from the same book, is called "Double Drop".

This one was a little trickier for me, and I think my tension must be different from Victoria's. All the patterns in this book call for size 40 thread, but when I tried it with this pattern, it just didn't work, even though I had measured the beads very carefully to make sure they were the right size. Luckily, when I like a thread color I buy it in different sizes, so I simply switched to size 20, and the problem was solved. This is Lizbeth 637 Country Grape Medium.

It was actually a good thing I had to start over, because at first I hadn't noticed that the beads had moons on them, and I accidentally had one of them upside-down. I'm glad I got that fixed before I got too far along.

The seed beads are my own addition, because I like the sparkle. If I tat this pattern again, and add seed beads again, I will try to find some different way of placing that one right above the top large bead, though, because I'm not entirely happy with the way the chains go around it. Of course, if I had just stuck with the directions, that wouldn't have happened, but when was the last time I did that? Again, I've decided not to let it bother me. At least, not too much.

I really like the lines in this design. The way the chains layer and join each other (except for that one spot that was all me) is very pleasing to my eye. I will definitely be tatting more patterns from this book.

The next post will be earrings. :)

P.S.-- I wore the Duchess and Princess set today, because I couldn't just relegate it to costume wear, could I? I wore it with an ordinary t-shirt, which was fuchsia so the teal thread really stood out, and got lots of nice comments.


  1. You have done a great job with your tatting :) All the pieces look very neat and excellent work, great color choices too. nice to hear the story behind each one.

  2. Ohhhhhh! I LOVE it all. And in true Tatting Fool fashion, it is all superbly, fastidiously neat!

  3. What a wonderful collection of jewelry! I'm sure your belly dancing friend will treasure her necklace forever!

  4. The necklace look awesome! For the bead on the double drop: put a bead on the ball thread before you start. Do the first round, join back to the beginning then pull the bead up on the ball thread. Unwind the shuttle thread and pass it through the bead, rewind the shuttle then start the second round. This will give a more even look to that bead. You do this in the simple dimple pattern to get the outside round to look even.