Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Seventh Day of December, Stuck on the Eighth

Well, due to a crazy amount of snowfall yesterday (the cold, slippery kind, not the nice tatted kind) the boxes are still sitting in our house, just tempting me to open them up and grab more tatting stuff...but I am holding strong!!

I finished The Seventh Day of December pattern from Lene Bjørn's "24 Snowflakes in Tatting" yesterday:
It was a tough pattern with all the onion rings, but very satisfying to tat. 

Shuttle or Needle? These rings are one of the many elements of these patterns that make me wonder how well a needle tatter could execute these patterns. I needle tatted for years and never attempted an onion ring. I'm notsayin it can't be done, but I am saying some of these patterns would be quite frustrating, especially for a beginner needle tatter. 

Speaking of frustrating...has anyone out there ever successfully made The Eighth Day of December?? This is the motif with all the beautiful blocks, and frankly the pattern that first drew me to this book, but for the life of me I can't figure out how tat it!

I have started this twice, once with two shuttles and then a second time with one (the pattern calls for one shuttle, but I prefer Jane Eborall's method of block tatting with two shuttles). After my first failure I figured the pattern had to be done with just the one shuttle, but this korning I made it to exactly the same place I had to stop yesterday:
It's hard to explain without showing the pattern, but according to the diagram, right how I am supposed to make a cloverleaf, then tat 4 more rows of blocked chains underneath the last 7 ds tatted above?! How do you tat chains underneath a chain? The picots will be going the wrong way, for starters, and it just doesn't make sense. 
Yesterday's mess is on the left--see the problem with the chains under the chains? Eventually that second block is supposed to attach to the first block's corner, opposite of the false picot from the ring. 

So, dear tatting friends, help me out. Take a peek at your copy of the pattern and let me know, how do I do this?! :)

In the meantime, I'm skipping it and going on to The Ninth Day of December. :) I have too much stress right now, I refuse to let tatting be part of it. :)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Fourth, Fifth and 6th of December...Finally Catching Up!

Packout is (almost) done, it's the weekend and I finally have time to tat!

I am still working my way through Lene Bjørn's "24 Snowflakes in Tatting"--after this weekend I am up to December 6!

The snowflake above is December 4, a nice flake that tatted up pretty quickly, which is good since I am so far behind!

The Fifth of December is another nice flake, but one that needs to be blocked out to lay nicely... And unfortunately all my blocking supplies are packed away in boxes like this:
So I improvised:
I finished the Sixth of December today:
This was a really fun one to tat, full of lock joins, shoelace tricks, false chains and switching shuttles. 

This is one of the reasons I would consider this book an intermediate tatting book, because it is assumed that you know how to so many of these skills without much explanation (lock joins and false chains aside--Bjørn includes an excellent "how-to tutorial on these, as well as how to do false picots, add beads (utilized only once in the book), ring on ring tatting (what I would call an SSSR + thrown ring), and chain on chain (block) tatting. Other inclusions are an explanation of symbols and list of materials needed (she suggests AIDA size 20 thread) with glass beads being one of the only suggested notions listed. 


Of course we are quickly winding down our time in Russia (less than a week?!) and last Friday was our goodbye party at the Consulate.

For my going away present, I was gifted this BEAUTIFUL Russian shawl:
And Chris received his very own Ded Moroz
Who very kindly offered to display some of this weekend's efforts:

On to the Seventh of December! :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bye Bye Tatting Books and Supplies

(Packout starts tomorrow)

Until we meet again, sometime in the distant future (3 months or so), "in a land Down Under" 

Sniff!! :'(

Moving is the worst!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Handkerchiefs, Towels and a Pony

A friend and I went on an "I'm leaving Russia in 2 weeks" shopping spree over the weekend, and boy do I think I found some good stuff for a tatter. :)

First of all, amazingly, I found this:

I guess it's a Pony shuttle? I had never heard of this brand before (but thought the shape looked familiar, and I have been told by OneMad Tatter Fiona that it's like an Aero or Susan Bates).

Anyway, it's a shuttle and I got it in Vladivostok! Hooray! [I'm not going to mention that I usually really dislike shuttles with bobbins...oh wait, oops. :)] Before this all I had found were some tiny white shuttles that I actually think are meant for kumihimo, but work well for Celtic tatting, if nothing else.

Additionally, I picked up these beauties at an outdoor market next to the mall where I found the shuttle:
 Russian handkerchiefs for about 20 rubles (USD $0.37 each...the exchange rate is crazy right now)

I had to laugh, because these were also in the pile of handkerchiefs:

 Naturally I had to buy a bunch of these!! Hopefully I will be seeing all of these birds in just a few short months, maybe while I tat a border for one of these hankies?!

And then there are the towels...

The red, green and yellow one on the left is a traditional Russian pattern, the two in front have matryoshka dolls on them, the orange towel has a winter scene and snowflakes, and the towel with the green border says "Happy New Year" and shows Ded Moroz (something like the Western Santa Claus) with his granddaughter/helper Snegurochka (the Snow Maiden) giving a present to a sheep, which I believe has something to do with the Chinese New Year, something that is very popular in Rusia (2015 is the year of the Goat or Sheep, depending on what source you look at (it's about 75-25 Sheep to Goats represented in the New Year swag around here, in case you were wondering!!)

So, I have all this great stuff, now to decide what to add to it...

I am historically very bad at adding any tatting to anything I have bought to add tatting to, and I will admit that I am downright terrified to add an edging to a handkerchief...maybe 2015 will be the year of the edgings for me...maybe. :)

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Third Day of December...Better Late than Never

I like this pattern.

In truth, I think everybody likes this pattern.

I think Lene Bjørn likes this pattern, because she made it the center of the cover of her book.
Illustrations: The book is filled with black and white illustrations, exactly as you see on the front cover--white snowflakes on a black background. Fortunately, each snowflake is pictured. Unfortunately, the book is half-sized, so the pictures of the snowflakes are only about 2 in x 2 in (6 cm x 6 cm). Thankfully the diagrams are really good, and the photos are for the most part unnecessary.

It's just so pretty!!!

The pattern is "The Third Day of December" and it is beautiful to look at and fun to tat!

It is also the third pattern in the book, which I am slowly moving through and enjoying every minute.

And, for the record, I did finish The Second Day of December, too. :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

The Second Day of December...kind of

So. Yeah. It's not really the second day of December!

When I decided to do daily posts this month I totally discounted the fact that I am packing all my stuff up to move to Australia in 1 week and have no time for anything, least of all tatting. :(

So, here it is, the 4th of December, and I am hopelessly behind on this monthlong book review...

Here is what I have done so far of the second pattern of Lene Bjørn's 24 Snowflakes in Tatting:
"The Second Day of December"

So close, yet so far!!

Number of Patterns: There are 24 patterns in this book (amazing, right?!) and (Types of Patterns) all are snowflakes (obvs...see the title!). 

Type of Pattern Notation: The patterns are all diagrammed in black and white line drawings, and also have some short explanations of what to do to correctly implement the pattern. (Ex: The snowflake is made in 5 rounds according to the diagram...there are 6 ds between each picot). These explanations are very helpful, but not 100% necessary unless you are very unfamiliar with diagrams. 

Hopefully tomorrow I will have time to tat...we'll see! :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The First of December (ish)

Well ok, technically it's the second of December, but I was away over the weekend and am only now able to post the first of what I hope will be 20+ straight posts, one per day, in a month-long book review of "24 Snowflakes in Tatting" by Lene Bjørn.

Each day I (hope I) will provide a tatted example of a pattern from the book as well as some pertinent information. (Like today I gave you the Title ("24 Snowflakes in Tatting") and Author (Lene Bjørn)!)

  The First of December, shuttle tatted in 30 Cebelia. 

Until tomorrow then... :)