Sunday, June 24, 2012

So, I caved... (also I finished motif #22!!)

 Yes, it's true. I couldn't stand the idea of being so short-supplied in thread, even though TOMORROW I will be flying back to the US (aka land of all the thread I want) I bought a little more. :)

 I actually caved a few days ago...I needed to go to the grocery store anyway, so it wasn't too much of a stretch to have the taxi (we sold the car!!!) stop by the mall and my favorite Honduran thread store for just one more thread fix...
This place is great! I have spent WAY too much money at this store! :)
 I didn't get too much more thread...but I did more than double my current stock...

 Really, I only went planning to get the big white roll and the small black rolls (and truly, I meant only to get two of the black), but get me into a thread store and the inspiration hits...I think of all the things I want to do and I go crazy and buy a lot of thread. Luckily Chris is "understanding" and didn't tease me too much about it all...

Plus, I've already put the new thread to good use:
(Yes, this should look's another crack at Marilee Rockley's Ripple Tatted Necklace, only this time with perle 8 thread and in a more girly shade...probably won't keep this one, either...
 One of the reasons I decided to get more thread (besides the fact that I used up quite a bit of the colored thread I had) was for this reason:

Look at that giant pile of waste...I am a thread waster!
 I don't try to waste thread; I simply think my waste problem is a combination of the facts that I just am something of a bad judge of how much thread I will actually need to complete a project AND that I really dislike trying to tat with too little thread. Either way, every time I finish a project I have leftover thread...and it does tend to pile up (All Over the Place).

 Sometimes I read other peoples' blogs and see them talking about using up thread ends...and I wonder, am I throwing away something that other, more experienced (or earth-friendly) taters could use? I often think that if I had my sewing machine here I think I would keep all my extra thread to stuff a teddy bear or doll or something. (I will have it in my next country, so I'm thinking I might have to actually try that out...)

 Wasteful or not, I did finish the project I was working on (the pile of ends above is from the final 5+ motifs in this project), but I still haven't given it to the person it's going to yet, so I can only show you motif #22, which is part of the whole...
It might be something that someone actually made up, but I didn't use a pattern, I just played around with the colors...
 Today is my VERY LAST day in Honduras (sniff) and I have spent it a) packing (well, packing the final things, we packed the big stuff earlier in the week) b) watching Downton Abbey (it never did air down here, so I've finally discovered it via download on good! I keep watching to see if I think any of the lace on any of the gowns is far, I think not.) and c) tatting the second round of something I hinted at here...

 I am heading to the airport early tomorrow morning to get my dog Pip set for his flight and will be back in the USA by bedtime tomorrow...yay!

 So, that's it. I leave Honduras with lots of tatting completed, more thread than I ever dreamed of, and many other memories...however, I can't wait to introduce tatting in the next place I live!

See you in Iowa!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Short Supplied (for 5+ months anyway) + Motifs #19-21

I am down to just 11 spools of thread.

 Well, ok, I am down to just 11 spools of thread available to me right now. That may sound like a lot to people who don't tat, but I'm sure that most of us have a bit of the thread hoarder in us (some of us have actually found a creative and beautiful way to display our thread, whereas my display method is somewhat messy and, you guessed it, All Over the Place)

 My current thread shortage "problem" is you may or may not know we are moving away from Honduras and had to pack all our stuff up to ship to storage for a few months...and since we are only allowed about 250 lbs of luggage on the plane when we fly away from here, and since we have about that much in clothing and golf clubs, pretty much everything had to be packed away today...including all my tatting thread!
So here it before it was all packed away...
And now it's in approximately three of those boxes...the movers didn't get the idea about packing like things in the same box
So now I'm down to slim pickins...

 You've probably noticed I'm fond of tatting in off-white, mostly because I LOVE my Perle 8 Madame Tricote thread (the one that's almost gone below), so I have that plus my two rolls of a similarly-colored and sized Altin Basak (I have to conserve the Madame Tricote!) and one more of the Madame Tricote in the darker caramel color. I also have 5 colored spools in size 8 because of a project I'm working on (more than that in a moment) and two spools of size 20 off-white thread just in case I decide to "work small." And that's it.
 As I was watching the baggies and basket being packed away today I kept telling myself that I am going to a place that sells thread (apparently there are more than a few places in the greater DC area), so I won't be starved for thread (oh and of course there's the Internet.)

 Plus I don't have to load all that thread in my suitcases, which is a good things since we're about full-up with clothing and gifts and stuff. :)

Speaking of gifts, I figured out how to finish the the ripple tatted necklace, and I got to practice a new tatting skill at the same time!

 For a while now I've been avoiding patterns that call for josephine anything, because they have never made sense to me. I got the "just the first half of the stich part", but every time I tried it it just curled up and looked awful, nothing like the beautiful pictures in the books.

 The other day at school I decided to do a little Internet research when a pattern that I REALLY wanted to make called for josephine knots (something I still don't feel I have mastered). I was searching for the josephine knot, but came across this video on youtube:

Thank you very much TotusMel! Not only does it explain a perfect technique for the josephine, it shows it! On the needle!! YAY!!!

So, as I looked at my poor chainless (but grinning) necklace, it suddenly occurred to me...josephine!
Remember this?
I did it! :)
I actually used both of the techniques on the video, and although I already had split rings down, it was nice to practice.
So there it is, in its finished glory.
You'll notice I finally cut the strings off...I never cut strings off a project until it's done...kind of like with new clothes, I don't remove the tags until I wear it the first time. Yes, I am weird!
I actually kind of liked it, so I thought I'd model it for you. Chris cut off my head.
And here I am tatting away after finishing the necklace...I was making three more motifs!
 Now, if you don't believe me about the Tatting All Over the Place, check out that couch! I can really fill a seat made for two with all my tatting paraphernalia.

 Actually, I had a bit of a scare about this time last night...Chris had lost his phone earlier in the night, and in the middle of looking for it, I LOST one my tatting needles! I mean, it was just gone! I'd obviously had it while I was putting the chains on the necklace, but I could not find it. I moved furniture, I swept the floor, I did everything I could think of, but to no avail. In 3 years of tatting I'd never actually lost a needle until last night...

 Luckily, as you can just barely see on the bottom of the picture above, I had my jeans rolled up...and when I took them off and un-rolled them, my missing #3 needle rolled out. Hallelujah! My no lost needle record is still intact. ;)

Anyway, in-between the phone and needle searches I did manage to make three tiny motifs:
These two (#s 19-20) were already attached when I got around to taking their picture...they are both riffs off of some of the small flower motifs in Lyn Morton's Tatting Patterns
And #21, although not in a very pretty color on its own, does stand alone (for now anyway!)
 You've probably noticed the white border the three motifs are attached's part of another gift, one of those that I started a few months ago and am now finally getting around to finishing. I'll put up pictures when a) it's finished, and b) I've given it to the person I'm giving it to...don't worry, you'll only have to wait a week+! We're on the home stretch for going home! :)


Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Bookmark and a Necklace...almost

I seem to have a little bit of tatting ADHD recently...I can't seem to just stick to one thing for very long without bouncing to another.

I often do this when I'm tatting and reading both...I stop in the middle of a book or a project and start another, often very similar to what I've already begun (although sometimes totally opposite)...I always know when I'm doing it, and I can tell you the reason why if you's either because I'm really enjoying it, and I don't want it to end, or because I'm really not enjoying it, and I want to move on to something I enjoy more, but feel guilty about stopping in the middle. I almost always come back around to wanting to finish it, but sometimes it takes a lo-o-o-ong time. This time wasn't so bad, just a month.

The same day I finished the aforementioned two-day project I started a pretty bookmark using some pretty Lizbeth thread I picked up last fall...
I like long bookmarks that stick out both ends of the book...then you can actually see them!
Just a little perspective, on size, if you want it.
The pattern is Jon at Tat-A-Renda's Bookmark with Overlapping Chains

I really like projects with overlapping chains (see the big doily at the top of the has some twisted overlapping chains) because they add a challenge to a basic tatting skill. Also they're pretty.

Anyway, that half-finished bookmark sat half-finished for over a month because I felt like I should work on some motifs and probably more truthfully, the third round had the dreaded (for me) chain-chain-chain-chain-chain to eternity see, I never feel like I do well without putting even a tiny ring between chains. They don't lay well, and they want to go the wrong direction, and it's just annoying sometimes.

There you go. It doesn't look too bad from afar...
But put on the marco lens and you can see the twisted chains...sigh.
Clearly this is a candidate to practice blocking on. Also, for anyone who was wondering, I decided to hold off trying my hand at blocking for a few weeks until I'm back in the doesn't seem to make much sense to try to stiffen something that's just going to get thrown into a bag, box, or suitcase within a week...

Besides finishing the bookmark, I've been working on the black "thing" from the last post...which has turned into this:
Sorry the picture is a little blurry...the focus must not have been quite right
If you can't tell (and I won't feel bad if you can't) it's the beginnings of Marilee Rockley's Ripple Tatted Necklace pattern from her Yarnplayer blog. Hers is (not surprisingly) much nicer as pictured on her blog, but I really wanted to use the only black thread I have, which happens to be in gargantuan size 5. (I usually prefer Perle 8 myself).

I am not actually a huge fan of wearing tatted jewelry myself. I think it looks nice on other people, but I feel weird when I wear it. The above stumble is actually being made as a gift, if I can finish it to my satisfaction. Probably the reason I don't like to wear my own tatted jewelry is because I can see the flaws in it.

I very rarely give away my tatting (I figure I don't know what to do with it, how would anyone else know?) unless someone asks for it...and go figure, what most people ask for is the jewelry. Case in point: I entered a pair of earrings in the fair last year and one of my teaching colleagues saw the picture on my computer. She loved them so much I decided I'd give them to her, since I clearly wasn't doing anything with them.

My sister's family-in-law does hand-made gifts for Christmas each year, and she was practicing making beaded necklaces to see if that could be her gift. She decided to practice with me, and here is the result:
Pretty neat, right?!
 I decided that I'd better make her a necklace in tatting in return, so I did, as part of her Christmas gift last year.

It was kind of a disaster. I don't even have a picture I thought it was so bad.

I think she said she wears it as a headband, but I'm pretty sure she hid it so she'd never have to see it again, it was that bad. I decided to try again, same pattern, same thread, and I left out the part that had bugged me with her necklace. I liked it much better, but again, didn't have the chance to take a picture because, lo and behold, I wore it once and my best friend liked it so well I gave it to her just to be rid of the thing.

Why am I telling you this story? Because my friend actually wears that necklace sometimes, and when she was wearing it the other day it was seen by another colleague who has now been badgering me for weeks to make her a necklace! Sigh.

So here I am again, making tatted jewelry that I don't think is very good. I'm still on the fence as to whether I'll give it to her, or try again with something else...of course, I'd better decide quickly, as the last time I will see her will be Friday, and the mail from the US to Honduras is rather tricky. If I do decide to give it to her I'll have to figure out how to make the Cheshire Cat grin above into a necklace...the original pattern calls for o-rings but I don't have any here, and am not sure how I'll get them before the end of the week...oh well, I'm sure I'll get creative somehow! :)

No motifs this week...I've been pretty busy running around getting everything settled for the big move...hopefully once everything is packed out on Monday I'll have a little more tatting time...but who knows. :)


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Welcome to my little bit of very own tatting blog

Hello everyone!

For those of you who are finding me for the very first time, welcome!

For those of you who found this via redirection from TeguciWhat, welcome back!

After deciding to make our "big move" (both career-wise and country-wise) I thought I might as well ride the "everything's changing" bus and move my tatting posts off our shared travel site and onto my own little bit of Internet-based turf...and into something a bit more stable and within my control...

You see, 95.5% of the things in my life are changing right now:
-New job for Chris and (temporary) unemployment for me
-New apartment (for 5+ months, just long enough to get used to it before we move again)
-New country (well, ok, back to the old country for a while, then off to the wild blue yonder/vast unknown)
-Blog (we can't very well talk about living in Honduras if we're no longer here, now can we?!)
And here's the 4.5% that's staying the same:
-Husband (thank goodness for this one!)
I decided to call the blog Tatting All over the Place for two reasons...
  1. I literally have Tatting All Over the Place at my house! My poor husband is so nice to put up with it, but at any given time you can find half-completed or completed doilies, motifs, needles, spools of thread, beads, tatting books or random bits of string or mess-ups in basically any part of the house you visit. My dog had a piece of tatting thread stuck in his beard this morning. When I get involved in a project, I tend to spread out a bit...sorry Chris.
  2. Since I began tatting in earnest (I learned during the summer of 2005 and picked it back up in the fall of 2009) I have had the opportunity to tat in: The US (Iowa, Missouri and Illinois), Honduras (Tegucigalpa, Los Encinitos and Copán) and Guatemala (Antigua), as well as in the air over the Gulf of Mexico and Cuba (closest I'll ever get to that country!) and will be taking the craft to Washington DC next month and to our next country after that...the goal is to get photos of me tatting in all these fun places, as well as post what I'm tatting and why along the far I've kind of failed at this, as I have literally zero pictures of me tatting, exotic locations or I'm going to make it my mission to catalogue where I take tatting, and where it takes me. For this traveler I guarantee it will be All Over the Place
So this is the reason for the new blog! If you're nostalgic for the old posts, click right HERE

If you're ready for what's coming in the future, check back often...remember, I'm entering a 5+ month period of virtually expect a lot more tatting to come! (I'm already working on my first new-blog project...check out the sneak peek below :-D)

Can you guess what this will be? (And no, it has nothing to do with the envelope!)