Sunday, August 25, 2013

Aaaaaand, I'm back! [+ Motif #24!!]

Well hello there. Greetings from sunny Vladivostok...August went pretty quickly, didn't it? :)

It's funny how I never seem to have time to blog when I'm home on vacation...

I really was busy. If you want to read the details you can pop over to the other blog and read about it...or you can skip all that stuff and just read about the tatting parts here. :)

So, when last you heard from me I was sitting in the Incheon Airport outside of Seoul, South Korea, on my way back to Iowa. I decided to pass the 5+ hour layover practicing my shuttle tatting skills, and managed to make a couple small circle-y motifs practicing rings, chains and joins.

I need to pause and say that I was really excited to be tatting in Seoul because I had a whole bunch of goodies from that awesome Fox that had arrived the day before I left and were PERFECT for traveling with tatting:
Thank you thank you thank you thank you THANK YOU FOX!! :)
Beings that I had a 5+ hour layover I was, naturally, one of the first to arrive at the departure gate, but after a few hours some fellow travelers started filling in the seats around me. Most of the seats were taken about an hour before departure when I realized that someone was approaching me. It was a small Korean woman, looking interested in what I was doing.

She came over and started making inquiring sounds...I say sounds because, of course, she was speaking Korean, and I didn't understand a word she was saying! I knew what she was asking, though, because she was pointing at the tatting. So, I pulled out my handy on-phone translator and showed her the word for tatting in Korean (태팅) and then showed her some of the hand movements.

She wrote it down and then pulled out a camera, miming that she wanted to take a picture of me in action...which was fine with me. She watched me for a little longer, then thanked me and went back to sit down. But every time I looked up she was I hope she went home, did some research, and is now a tatter! :)

But that is not my only tatting story of the indeed. When I got on the plane I looked across the aisle and saw a woman hand-hemming some white cloths that looked a lot like they might be handkerchiefs. So, being the friendly (nosy) Midwesterner that I am, I asked her if she was making handkerchiefs. The answer was no (they were linen cloths for her Altar Guild).

I explained that I'd asked because I wondered if they had been handkerchiefs if she was going to attach any lace to them, and she said that she did know how to tat...which was a great conversation starter for a tatting-based discussion that lasted for a good part of the following 13.5 hour flight! Good times! :) Amazing to find a fellow tatter across the aisle of a plane! :)

Anyway, I made it home needles and shuttles in tow, and having had time to make motif #24, Jon's Two By Two Bookmark:
 Actually, I made this a bit differently than the pattern called for, mostly because I stink at pre-reading and following directions...the pattern calls to use two shuttles for the inner rings, but I didn't read that part and just did lots of reverse working and came up with pretty much the same thing. I re-did the inner part later with two shuttles and really didn't see much of a difference...

 After three flights totaling over 17 hours in the air I made it back to the good old USA just in time for the Iowa State Fair...and this year I made it early enough to be able to attend the Fabrics and Threads preview the night before the fair opens. There is no real benefit to attending this event except to see how you did 12 or so hours earlier than anyone my mom and I went to check out how it all came down... (spoiler: I won my first Iowa State Fair blue ribbon!!!!) :)
Tatted Bookmark: First place!!!! :)
Home Accessory over 12": Second Place!
Tatted Trim: Third Place! (Finally! A picture of the pillowcase trim!)
Needle Tatting: Fourth Place!
Tatted Accessory: Fourth Place!
 I also had two entries that didn't have a ribbon:
 Needless to say, I was pretty thrilled!!
 But the next day when I took my brother and sister-in-law up (the Fabrics and Threads are located on the second floor of the Varied Industries) to see my ribbons, there was something new to see:
Surprise! Tatted Jewelry: Second Place!
Even more random, the next time I want up to show my dad the ribbons, I noticed this sign:
 I won the Sweepstakes, too!
(Winning the sweepstakes basically means I won the most of all the people who entered tatting at the Fair!) So I got another surprise ribbon, this one big and maroon:
 What fun!! :)
A good year for ribbons! :)
 One of the things I really like about how the judging is done at the Iowa State Fair is that they seem to award strictly on merit--by which I mean that if they look at your work and think it's the best example in the class, but isn't blue ribbon worthy, they won't give you a blue, they will give you a red, even if it means that nobody gets a blue in that class.

Actually that happened to me a lot this year, if you look at the competition results...for example, if you look at my big doily, I earned the 2nd place red ribbon, but no blue was awarded in that category. It was the same with the tatted jewelry category, I earned 2nd place but no blue ribbon was given. In the tatted trim category a blue was given, but no red, and my pillowcase earned third (white). In the tatted accessory category there were only first and second awarded, and I got fourth place...

Which is all fine, I don't want to get a ribbon I don't earn, but it does make me wonder what I can do to improve enough to be good enough to get the "better" ribbon...and after discussions with some of the F&T leadership, I think I pains me to say this, but...I think it's the needle tatting. I was mentioning to someone that all my tatting was needle tatting, and that I didn't think anyone could tell the difference. Her comment was, "Well, the judge can." (Are you smiling, Jane?)

SO. I'm going to keep working on that shuttle tatting thing and we'll see how next years' Fair goes. :)

Another thing I like about the Iowa State Fair judging (I think I may have mentioned this before, as well) is that they make comments on each piece, both positive and things to work on for next time. I really love getting that feedback, since nobody but me in my immediate world knows anything about tatting...

Also, I was surprised and amused to find this note stapled to the back of one of my Southern Iowa Fair entry tags when I got home...
Go figure, it was attached to the bookmark that ended up getting a blue ribbon! :) But really, what a great way to promote Fair participation! :)
Incidentally, after seeing all my entries and requesting and receiving a duplicate of the blue-ribbon bookmark, my newest sister-in-law Katie was interested enough in tatting that she agreed to a tatting lesson...and after trying both the needle and shuttle really picked up well on the shuttle tatting! We practiced all through the Cowgirl Queen contest and while resting by the camper, and I sent her home with a couple shuttles and links to some of my favorite blogs and tutorials for practice. It was really fun to share tatting with her, and I hope she is able to keep it up now that she is back home in Tennessee. It will be awesome to have someone to "chat tatting" with around home. :)

 I also got in a little bit of sewing practice on one of the last days of the Fair when my mom and took a needlework class (similar to the shuttle tatting class I took last year) where we learned to make a "Pillowcase in a Flash." Oh how I wish I'd taken this class before I made that pillowcase for the tatted trim! It would have been so much less frustrating! :)
My beautiful and awesome mommy making her "Pillowcase in a Flash"!
Finally, I will leave you with a picture of the mobile, finished and floating in the air:
 It turned out to be its last float, because shortly afterwards I dismantled the thing. I liked it, and it balanced well, but it would have been WAY too much trouble to bring back to Russia in good condition! It remains to be seen if it will be re-created now that all the pieces are here... :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tatting in Transit

I'm off on a short trip back to Iowa, and using my layover time in Seoul to pick up another place I've tatted! This is new foreign country #3 for me this year! Fun!
More soon, from the States! :)