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... :)


  1. I don't know where to begin your work is lovely and all so nice congratulations on all the ribbons I think I will try this next year, I was too late to enter this year:( I was excited to hear about your teaching others on the long flights I have had other experiences similar and it's a good feeling. sounds like you had great fun and what a wonderful friend in Fox to give such a perfectly timed gift!

    1. Thank you very much! I really think you should try to enter...nothing ventured, nothing gained, and I have been very happy with my results every year...even the year I just got an honorable mention, at least it's something! :) And Fox is amazing, isn't she?!

  2. Congratulations, and well done, after your long flight and many hours of travel you must have been so pleased.

    1. Thank you Margaret! And yes, after all that travel the ribbons were a bit like sprinkles on the icing of the cake... :)

  3. What a fun post! I think your work merits BLues!! What's the matter with the judge and where was his/her work if yours wasn't the "best"? I chuckled over the encouragement to participate in the fair.

    Next time you make such a huge trip to the good ol' U.S., let us know. Happy Bluebird and I just might drive down to Iowa to meet you! It's a lot shorter trip for us!

    1. Thanks Michelle! After seeing the competition at our Fair I'm not sure they ALL deserved blues, but I sure was happy with the one I got! :) And I will be sure to let you know when I'll be in the States next, I'd love to meet up with you and Happy Bluebird! :)

  4. What a post! Most entertaining! I love the quip intended for Jane. : ))

    Congrats on all those fancy ribbons! That is quite an accomplishment.

    Keep tatting!
    Fox : )

    1. Fox Fox Fox, you are the best! You have inspired a whole blog post (coming soon) with your gift, so thanks for that, too :)

  5. Great job on all your ribbons! Your tatting is beautiful. I can see you had a wonderful vacation in Iowa.

    1. Thank you! :) Yes, it was a wonderful vacation...and if the flights to get home and back weren't so dang long I'd want to do it all again tomorrow! :) :)

  6. Congratulations on all those ribbons!! :)

    1. Thank you very much! It is always fun to get ribbons. :)

  7. Sorry I am late with cement this is wonderful so many Items so good so fun! I want to try it but I keep forgetting about it till its too late. Or I am too early oh well one day it will remember just in time!