Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tablet or Card Weaving...again after decades absence

I attend a monthly meeting of the Twisted Threads Book Club in Raleigh, NC. Each month we pick a fiber-related book to discuss. This month's selection was Card Weaving by Candace Crockett. Over 30 years ago, I did some card weaving (aka tablet weaving) so I volunteered to provide a project for people to try their hands at. 

Well, it's NOT like riding a did not all come back to me as soon as I took it up again. In recent years, I've been knitting, tatting, and crocheting...all of which do not require you to measure and cut multiple pieces of yarn or thread. I'd forgotten how tedious preparing warp for weaving can be, even for a small project. I can't believe how tangled up I managed to get things. I wanted to have two projects for people to see, but finally settled on the simpler one that I could get going before the meeting. 

I set the piece up on the inkle loom that my sister built for me many, many years ago. I'm sorry to say that this is the first time I've actually used this beautiful piece of woodworking. Of course, an inkle loom is for weaving inkle bands, but it also works well for holding and tensioning warp for tablet weaving. There are other tools one can use, but I needed something I could carry to the meeting already assembled and ready to weave, and this worked very well.


The pattern is a simple 14-tablet pattern from Step by Step Table Weaving by Marjorie and William Snow, which is now out of print. The thread is size 10 crochet thread in white and green...not sure of the brand since the labels are missing from my stash.

The tension is a bit uneven and I made a few mistakes in turning the cards at the beginning of the band, but it has piqued my interest in resuming weaving if only in a small way. And I think everyone at the meeting enjoyed the chance to learn about a fiber craft that is very accessible. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

More Embellished Tatting Shuttles

Here is my latest batch of decoupaged tatting shuttles using origami papers. These are so addictive!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Embellished Tatting Shuttles

After playing with Mod Podge on the paper magnets last week, I decided to try using it to embellish tatting shuttles. I blinged a red Sunlit shuttle with the Mod Podge Sparkle to see if it would stick to a plastic surface. I've been tatting with the shuttle and having no problems. This week I moved on to adding decorative paper to Sunlit shuttles using origami and gift wrap papers. I haven't tatted yet with any of these so I don't know how well/long the paper will adhere with use. I put 4-5 coats of Mod Podge Gloss  on each. Will have to wait and see how successful this project was.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Paper Heart Magnets

Last April at the NC Regional Lacers' 2014 Spring Lace Day, I got carried away and volunteered to contribute something tatting-related to the goody bags for the 2015 Spring Lace Day.

For last year's meeting a fellow Tri-Tatters member and I made paperclip bookmarks with tatting attached so I couldn't use that idea again. Since my friend wisely did not volunteer again, I was on my own this time. Back in April, a year seemed a long time away, but an email in August reminding everyone of what they'd agreed to do got me concerned. Yes, I still had months to come up with something, but whatever I decided to make, I would have to make 80-100 of them.

I also wanted to be true to my blog name "Shopping My Stash"...what could I make with materials I already had on hand? Fortunately, my tendency to stockpile stuff in the event of future need provided almost all I needed...only had to buy a new bottle of glue at Staples.

My requirements were an item that (1) had tatting, but nothing fiddly or that took a lot of time, (2) was small since the goody bags are not very big, (3) would be something people might use, (4) would only require materials on hand, and (5) was cute.

Here's what I came up with: paper heart magnets

The paper is Strathmore 300 Series Watercolor paper, a heavy stock with a slight pebbly surface. I used a Martha Stewart punch to make the hearts. I had a package of magnets that are used to make business card magnets. They have a peel-and-stick backing and can be cut into smaller shapes with scissors. 

The tatting thread is odds and ends of size 80 thread from my vintage thread stash. Each motif is made up of 3 rings, each with 5 picots separated by 3 double stitches. These work up very fast and are small enough to fit on the hearts. 

After gluing the motifs onto the paper hearts I kept thinking they needed something more. A few months ago I had bought a Mod Podge sampler pack which included the sparkle Mod Podge. After trying it on one of the hearts, I decided to put it on all the hearts, I think it adds a nice finishing touch. I've already finished about 50 of the magnets so I should have no trouble meeting my goody bag commitment. And this has given me an idea for the next time I send out Valentine cards!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Yet Another Tatted Hanky Edging

Another tatted edging for a handkerchief from my (vast!) vintage hanky stash. The hanky is white linen. The edging is a simple ring and chain pattern (R=5-5-5-5, Ch=6-6). The grey is DMC size 8 perle cotton color #415. The variegated is Valdani perle cotton in colorway M32-Jewels. The heart applique is once again Rosemarie Peel's heart pattern, which I guess must be my favorite heart pattern based on how many times I've tatted it.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Pink & Blue Tatted Hearts

I whipped out these hearts to put on birthday cards for two friends who have birthdays this week. It's probably the tatting pattern that I've made most in my life since I've done dozens of these hearts for Valentine cards. The pattern is Rosemarie Peel's heart pattern and is available for free on the Ring of Tatters website. The pattern works up super fast. There are only four rings at the beginning and all the rest are chains so little thread is needed on the shuttle. The thread is a size 8 variegated Valdani perle cotton in colorway V108-Sparkling Stream. 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Off the Shuttle: A Banner for My Tatting Group

This is a project that I've been wanting to do for a long time. I belong to a local tatting group called Tri-Tatters. Our name comes from the area of NC that we live in. It's called the Research Triangle because of a research park surrounded by a triangle formed by Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, NC. Most of our members come from these and other surrounding towns. 

I've looked a long time for a tatted alphabet that would be suitable for a banner, but never found one that I was satisfied with. Then a fellow tatter brought Rozella Linden's new book Tatted Garden Alphabet to our July meeting. The letters looked large enough and defined enough to use on a banner. Linden's letters are all made up of a group of motifs of 6 or 8 rings joined in a circle. She also embellishes the letters with chains and cluny leaves to resemble vines, but to simplify things I omitted these. 

The thread is size 10 crochet thread in different colors from my stash. Rather than sew in any tails, I knotted the ends and used Fray Check to secure the knots. This should be fine since I don't anticipate throwing this piece into the wash. I used clear nylon thread to sew the letters on to a piece of black cotton twill fabric and added 3 plastic rings for hanging the piece.

I'm so excited to finish this before our next big demo day in October.