Monday, April 28, 2014

Opinions, please!

I posted this in the Tatting group on Facebook, but I'd be interested to know your viewpoints as well...

I'd love an opinion from you fine tatting people...

I'm finishing my latest full-sized version of the Spiderweb doily from "The Tatter's Treasure Chest" and trying to decide whether to add beads or not...

To jog your memory, here is the first full-sized version that I made late last year:
 And what the ends look like without beads:

Here is the mini-version I made, to which I added beads:

I like the beads, but I don't have beads in the center. Would it look weird to have beads on the outside but not in the inside, especially because the beads are so far away from the center?

So what do you think, to bead or not to bead, that is the question... 

Thank you for your thoughts!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Something :) (Motif 14)

First of all, just in case there is someone out there that reads my blog but for some reason hasn't discovered Fox's amazing Tat-ology (or hasn't seen the news) her blog has moved to a new domain:
(and fyi, when I went to add it to my blogroll I had to change the .ca to .com--not sure if that is a weird I-live-in-Russia thing or a weird blogger thing, but anyway, if the .ca doesn't work for you, try .com instead.)

Well, thanks for bearing with grumpy Kristen last week...most people find spring to be a happy time, I think I actually get "S.A.D." when the snow melts, not when it falls!

Anyway, I put on my big girl panties, a smile on my face, and got to work...

And made this horrible monstrosity:
With apologies to Lyn Morton, whose Trefoil pattern I totally butchered when I ran out of thread and didn't want to tat with size 3 anymore! :) This does not count as a motif, it is just too horrible,
Oops. :) It's currently lying on the floor upstairs and every time I see it I start to giggle, and my husband keeps looking at me like I'm crazy...tatting humor, he doesn't understand. :)

 I had better luck with Jon Yusoff's fabulous and fun "Quantiesque" snowflake:

Motif 14! Thanks again for the great pattern, Jon!

The (tatting-related) hard-to-please husband (he just doesn't get tatting) really liked this pattern, so it's a double-win for me...properly finished and husband approved, who could ask for anything more?

Both the mignonette and Spring doilies are waiting patiently to be picked up again...I'd go get them now, but I have a snuggly puppy on my lap and I don't want to bother him by moving... so I'll just blog troll for a while instead. :)

Thanks for sticking with me, more soon (I hope!) :)

Sunday, April 20, 2014


I've never met Grace Tyler in real life, but I'm pretty sure if I ever did, we would be friends.

She has such nice ways of popping in and reminding me that somebody else is out there and interested in what I'm doing...

...or not doing, as the case may be.

My last post was, a couple weeks ago, and yesterday Grace popped by the blog and asked:

Honestly, Grace? Nothing.

Ok, so maybe not nothing, nothing, but compared to the amazing things everybody else is producing these days, it's nothing. (Seriously, if you are not a member of the Tatting group on Facebook, and you want to get a complex about all the amazing tatting going on out there, ask them to's amazing. It's inspiring. And humbling. Mostly humbling.)

Excuses about as to my tatting, volunteer teaching, presentations at a local college, dog, husband, cooking, laundry, yoga (seriously, a major culprit--Ashtanga yoga is awesome, but amazingly physical, and practicing 2-3 times a week leaves me tired and SORE, especially in my shoulders, which just gets worse when I sit and tat for a long time...), even just going to bed is getting in my way. (One cannot sleep and tat at the same time, sadly.)

Mostly I just can't seem to get started...and then when I start, I have issues (like three rings in it's time to go to bed) or just don't like what I'm doing, or what I'm doing doesn't work.

For example:
This is half of a Lyn Morton patten, done in size 3 Lizbeth. I made two trefoils and have no desire to make any more. Size 3 is not for me, that's for sure.

So then last night I started this:
 Someday, if I keep on, this will be the inner motif to Jon Yusoff's 'Quantiesque' Snowflake, a pattern I really like and want to tat...but maybe not in size 10 Lizbeth... (so why the heck did I load the shuttle all the way full of size 10 Lizbeth?!)

I've also started on another of the mignonette doilies that I keep making and giving away because they look so nice but they are are SUCH A PAIN IN THE BUTT to make when your rings won't close properly so you have to pull really hard hoping the thing will budge just a bit and instead the thread breaks...GAH!
 I am, however, quite proud that the first 4 rows were all started and/or completed with split chains and single shuttle split rings, and I defy you to find them...I'm not sure I could even find them. Small victory.

And really, that's it. Pathetic, right?

Oh, and after successfully tatting around one bead, I haven't been able to do it again, and especially not around smaller beads. Bah.

So, grumpy Kristen doesn't have much to show for herself, except for amazing blog followers like Grace who remind me that even though I don't have much to show for myself, I do have people interested in not seeing what I haven't accomplished.



Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Won! I Can't Believe I Won! :)


I won OneMadTatter's 200 Facebook Likes Giveaway this weekend!!

Crazy! (Of course, I was one of just four entrants, so...)

I often enter these online giveaways, but I never win...except I did win this time!!

Fiona had a fun twist to enter her giveaway...instead of just a general comment, she wanted something specific; a favorite antique pattern AND a favorite pattern from the etsy store of lacemakermom.

For my answer, I picked the pattern for The Big Blue and White Doily I made last year as my favorite antique pattern, and the Tatted Accent Doily from lacemakermom.

And, thanks to the random number generator, I won a copy of the Tatted Accent Doily! :) Hooray!

So, I know what I'm doing this weekend! :-D

Thanks, Fiona and Lori B. at Lacemakermom! I really, really appreciate it! :)

Sunday, April 6, 2014

A "Ring" Around a Bead and Motifs 12 and 13...

 Well, I figured it out...kind of:
This is irrefutable proof that I was able to put a "ring" around a bead, something that had not made sense to me before viewing Marilee Rockley's excellent tutorial over this past weekend (and thanks to Jane's TIAS I already understood the concept of an SCMR, or this would have been MUCH harder!).

Now if I could just figure out how to do two in a row without leaving a bunch of space (gaposis, I hear it's called) in between, that would be great...I found another tutorial from Sharren that addresses that issue, so hopefully I can get it all figured out sooner rather than later...

Meanwhile, I decided to use yesterday afternoon as a "shuttle cleaning" day and made two small motifs:
Motif 12: Antique Pattern "Plain Square Medallion" from Tatting by Adeline Cordet -- Book 5
Motif 13: A shuttle-sized version of "Bookmark" adapted by Kendra Goodnow (I would have made it longer, but this was all the thread I had left on my shuttle!)
 I now have six (6!!) empty shuttles! Amazing. I haven't had that much free real estate for quite some time...I guess I'd better get back to work filling them again! :)

I'll leave you with a look at last night's beautiful sunset from our new view of the bridge.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

"Mastering" Split Chains and Single Shuttle Split Rings (SSSRs) and Motif #11!

Well, happy April :)

It's been a crazy last couple of weeks...since the last time I blogged:
-Chris got back from his training trip to the USA
-We moved (just within Vlad, not to a new country or anything)
-My sinuses exploded (or at least it felt like it for a couple days! Yikes!)

So you will forgive me for not having posted anything (or having had time to tat all that much) for the past few weeks. (Please.)

Progress on Reneluk's Spring Doily has been (temporarily) set aside in favor of learning and practicing new techniques as suggested by Ladytats and Grace Tyler (thank you!) and demonstrated by Linda Davies on her Toptattyhead YouTube page (thank you!).

After I posted this picture:
in my last blog post (it's the first few rounds of Karey Solomon's Plain and Fancy) Grace correctly pointed out that I had a lot of hanging threads and very diplomatically suggested that I could save myself a lot of bother, hassle and brain cells if I would learn how to do a split chain. Ladytats next gave an exceptionally good description of how to do said chain, and then Grace provided me with the knowledge of how to find Linda's YouTube video about split chains and SSSRs.

Oh Internet tatting people, how I love you and your helpful, giving ways!

So, thanks to this amazing combined effort, I give you my first split chain:
Followed shortly thereafter by my first ever Single Shuttle Split Ring:
The Hallelujah Chorus (as sung by the Simpson College Chorus in a 2011 flash mob at the Jordan Creek Towncenter) was loudly playing in the background when this was achieved, I assure you. :)


I was going to blog about this the very next day, but then we moved, a multi-day affair from which we are still recovering...
But Pip likes his backyard
And my comfy tatting chair has finally made it to the (4th floor!! of the) townhouse, so we're back in tatting business.

We moved a week ago Wednesday and Thursday, spent Friday, Saturday and Sunday at work and unpacking, and then on Monday my head exploded and I spent the rest of the week recovering from the worst sinus headache EVER. Yikes.

Anyway, with brain and nasal function fully restored I decided to finish up Plain and Fancy (with split chains abounding):
Can you spot the split chains??

 Here's a hint:
Motif 11!
Whoohoo!!! :)

Split chains, check. Single shuttle split rings, check.

Next up is tatting around a bead. Oh, and that spring doily. :)