Saturday, April 25, 2015

A Poppy for ANZAC Day

I've been reading all the chatter about tatted poppies over the past few months (and I know many of the Australian tatters contributed to this amazing!!! display highlighted by Fiona T) and noticed there was no one poppy pattern anyone has come up with...

So, in honor of ANZAC Day, I've come up with my own, very imperfect but meant in honor, Lest We Forget...

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Well, predictably after finishing that massive doily, I've had a hard time settling down to anything specific. 

My brains are turning towards the Fairs this summer, but also wandering around all the patterns I've been seeing while focusing almost solely on pineapples, so it's been rather odd here. 

Anyway, I've settled on a couple of tester patterns, neither of which are terribly pretty, but have been good practice for new or challenging skills. 

This is a very poor execution of Mark Myers (aka Tat-Man's) Pattern Edging #1, which includes a zig-zag chain in the middle.
I was playing around with the outside rounds, trying to figure out the appropriate combinations of rings, chains, joins and's not pretty, but it's something. 

I actually had another zig-zag chain all made, but it got a little weird...when I started making the outside rounds, the chain started slipping and spread out to unusable proportions...lest I go crazy (I have no patience today)I decided to move on to something else...

I have so many handkerchiefs I've got to start edging them. Georgia Seitz sent me a couple Ila Frost edgings that use block tatting, another challenging skill I want to work on. 
This motif was actually made by continuing "Block and Clover Edge" around for an extra clover and two extra blocks--again it's not perfect, but it did give me some insight into block tatting. 

Both of these skills need a lot more work, and neither of these smells are perfect, but not everything has to be exactly right as long as you learn something from the process.

Right? :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Reveal

So, are you ready to find out what I've been working on for the past months (almost exclusively, I might's been a labor of love, I tell you!)

I first referenced this project on February 7, a full 2 months ago, and at that point I'd been working on it for at least a week, so this has been a long time coming!!

The decision to make this doily came on an early morning train trip to Dulles Airport to meet my brother and sister-in-law when they came to visit us in DC. I wanted to start a project that would end up being over 12" wide, and I wanted to make something fun.

I Googled "big doily" and eventually found my way Georgia Seitz's wonderful BellaOnline site's listing of large doily patterns. After a couple clicks, I found my way to Pineapple Heaven by Dorthea Albee, and immediately fell in love, not entirely with Dorthea's small version, but with the large black and white picture next to it (pictured below) and here.

After perusal of the pattern, I realized that the large doily, the one with the lovely pineapple points, was not the pattern listed on the page, but that the old-looking black and white picture was nice enough (and could be enlarged enough) that I could figure out the stitch count on my own.

Sketchy, Kristen...

I know, I hear you thinking this...and you are right.

Let me be clear, I feel VERY strongly that copying online patterns by reading the stitch count is super-sketchy and NOT OK, but I promise you I began this exercise with an assumption that the black and white picture, which was not the pattern on the page, was an out of print photo which had obviously inspired Dorthea's pattern but had no extant pattern, and with full intentions of waiting to publish anything specific about the project until
     a) the doily was done, and
     b) I had verified with Georgia to make sure I wasn't infringing on anyone's copyright if I shared my worked out version of the pattern on my blog, because I also feel VERY strongly that selling out-of-copyright patterns is not cool, unless maybe you've done a significant amount of work to update the pattern or re-published it in a book or something, but even then...blah. Just copying and selling an antique pattern is lame, IMHO. (Bwahaha, just ask me and I'll tell you, I guess.)

Anyway, that is what I did. And Georgia did give me very kind permission to provide you with my version of the pattern, but also had a surprise for me...

Guess what, I did a whole bunch of guessing for nothing, because of course the big doily was also Dorthea's pattern, and Georgia has that pattern in her amazing library of pattern amazingness...of course!

Moral of the story, ask first, save yourself some work. Hahahahahahaha!!!

I compared what I worked out with Dorthea's original pattern, and to be very honest it would be silly for me to provide you with my pattern because it was so, so similar to hers, so if you want the pattern, chat with Georgia. I promise you, it's worth the time, and it will probably take you way less time than it did me, because you won't be working it out as you go along. :)

Not that I think this was a wasted effort, because I truly did learn a lot from making this doily, especially about adapting an older pattern with updated techniques (ie: climbing out from round to round) AND this is my first project tatted entirely in frontside/backside tatting...also I am just so in love with pineapple patterns. Beautiful.

But still. Don't assume something is without a pattern until you ask. :)

And don't copy patterns from the Internet. Or sell antique patterns.

ANYWAY...Diatribe over.


So, are you ready for this?

If you would please disregard the many loose threads, here is the finished product I have been working on for many, many weeks:

Isn't it BEAUTIFUL?!

I will admit, I got really sick of the project about 3/4 of the way through, mostly because of the color and because, while almost 30 of the rounds could be done by climbing out and up, the 20 points around the edge had to be done individually and I don't love doing many tiny motifs...I avoid them whenever possible.

However, now that it's done, I love it again, more than I loved it when I saw the original picture.

So, what should I do with it, now that it's done? (Besides cutting off all the threads--that will be done once I decide what to do with it, and re-block it to iron out the last issues.)

Right now, I'm thinking about mounting it on a pillow. Not either of the ones below, of course--these are just for sizing purposes.

The top pillow is 18x18 (inches), the bottom is 14x14. In the big picture above, the black part of the frame is 15x15, the wooden part of the frame is 16x16.

What do you think? Do you like the pillow idea? What size of pillow do you like best? What color background, dark or light?

Right now I'm thinking navy blue 18x18...

Anyway, there you have it. Mad props to Muskaan and mb duke for their guesses about it being either Teri Dusenbury's beautiful Forever Young or one of Camelia Lambert's amazing could have been either, but it's not, it's Dorthea Albee's Pineapple Heaven and it was lots and lots of fun (and work) to create!

Monday, April 6, 2015

A Teaser :)

Ah. Finally.

Life here in Canberra has finally become complete...all our "stuff" has arrived, including about half of my personal library (the rest is in storage) and ALL of my tatting books!

I have organized them a little differently here--the English-language are on the left and the foreign language (including Russian, Polish, Japanese, German, Dutch and Thai) on the right...lovely!

Also, I FINALLY finished the big project I was working on (finally!) but it's not quite done being blocked/finalized, but since you have all been so patient, I have for you a small teaser...

 I promise, the rest will be revealed, before the end of the week.

Kristen, over and out.