Friday, 30 January 2009

A flurry of flakes

I'm not sure if two flakes make a flurry, but that is what I have for you today - two more snowflakes for the 25 motif tatting challenge. These are my motifs 4 and 5. The first is the Harmony of Hearts snowflake from Samantha Melnychuk's A Veritable Tatted Blizzard. The second is the Teeny Snowflake from the same book. Both are tatted in number 20 Anchor thread. I'm making my way through this book pretty quickly and have been casting my eye around the web to find some more motifs I'd like to try.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Motif number 3

Here is motif number 3 - the Winter Crystal Snowflake from Samantha Melnychuk's A Veritable Tatted Blizzard. I finished this one yesterday and before starting another motif, I thought I'd learn a new technique.

I learned to tat as a teenager in the 1980s from a pamphlet called "Learn to Tat" that I found at the bottom of my mum's knitting basket. She'd had it since the 50s or 60s but had never got to grips with tatting. I taught myself from that book and have tatted on and off since then, but because I am self taught and have never met another soul who can tat, I had never seen anyone else tat - until yesterday. Yesterday, I decided to learn how to make split rings, and figured that the best place to find instruction would be the web. I came across a couple of great tutorials on YouTube and within 20 minutes I'd tatted my first split ring.

But the most remarkable thing for me was seeing someone else tat - watching their hands flash backwards and forwards and the stitches magically appear under their fingers. I tat nothing like this - I hold my shuttle in a different orientation, my hands certainly don't flash, and in comparison I think I must look awkward and jerky. After a couple of minutes of watching open-mouthed and feeling a bit inadequate, I've decided not to "correct" my technique. My finished tatting looks fine and I enjoy doing it. I also know that I look fairly slow and awkward when I knit - I've never got the hang of wrapping the yarn around the needle in one easy motion. Trying to get it right makes me feel stressed. So, with no-one watching me, I'm going to carry on as I am!

Friday, 23 January 2009

Still snowing!

Since I posted the last tatted snowflake, I have come across the 25 Motif Challenge where the challenge is to tat 25 motifs during the year, blogging each one as you go. To encourage myself to keep tatting I've signed up. So, here is motif number 2 - "Stella di Edda Schneider" that I found on the web. It measures about 6cm across.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Tiptoeing through the tulips

My sister has recently bought all the kit for making gocco prints, and this weekend we experimented with making screens for it using a product called StencilPro. It was great fun. Now that we understand the basics, she is planning on creating greetings cards for every occasion. I'm looking forward to receiving mine.

Another of this weekend's experiments involved making my first batch of silk paper. I'm really pleased with how it turned out. When it was all done, I looked up and realised that I must have been inspired by the tulips on the dining room table!

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Chip off the old block

My sister is visiting this weekend. She dresses a little old fashioned as you can see in the photo but can you see the family resemblance? OK, I admit it - we faked this photo of her. We used the iphone app Oldbooth where you can take any photo of a face you already have and superimpose it on one of their templates. A great way to see what you'd have looked like in the 60s, or perhaps as a member of the opposite sex in the 70s!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Let it snow (again)

And here's the snow that inspired the tatting - it makes our overgrown garden look more picturesque than it really is. Grant, my Australian husband (not that I'm implying that I have other husbands of various different nationalities - I don't - just the one, who happens to be Australian), loves snow. He gets very excited and the camera comes out so that we can send photos of the magical white stuff to the folks down under. It's cute. And to tell the truth, I'm a secret snow lover too.

Let it snow

Just before Christmas, I decorated the windows of our living room with tatted snowflakes that I made a few years ago. That, and the snow we had between Christmas and New Year, inspired me to pull out my shuttles and start tatting snowflakes again. Here's my first of the year - it's the Frosted Flower Snowflake from Samantha Melnychuk's A Veritable Tatted Blizzard.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Rosy glow

I was so embarrassed by the lack of posts last year that I have deleted them all and am starting over! So here is the first of (hopefully) many crafty posts of 2009.

At the weekend, I spent the day at my quilt group, Bottom Drawer Quilters, getting on with some of my own sewing. One of our members is unwell and we are putting together a quilt of 6 inch square flower blocks for her. I decided to get back into paper piecing with this little rose block. The pattern was from Piece By Number. It took a little while to piece but went together easily.