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. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Off the Needles: Moonlight Sonata Shawlette

I finished knitting this piece last night and did the picot bind off this morning. I used most of the 4 balls of yarn I had so the result is a short shawl rather than the scarf described in the pattern. This is a project that I'd abandoned a couple of years ago, and after knitting it again, I remembered why. The abundance of yarn overs that could be overlooked caused the stitch count to get off frequently. I can't count the number of rows that I had to unknit and do over. Fortunately, as I neared the end I got better at spotting my errors and could fix most of them without undoing an entire row. 

Here's the shawl as it came off the needles.

Wet and pinned to the blocking boards:

Closeup of the pattern motif. It's based on a pattern called "Sunspots" from Barbara Walker's A Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

The free pattern is Shui Kuen Kozinski's "Moonlight Sonata Scarf" from and the yarn is Elann's Peruvian Baby Cashmere which is a fingering weight made up of 60% baby alpaca, 30% merino wool, and 10% cashmere. The colorway is #1417 "Peacock." A listing on Ravelry says it's been discontinued.

I have two more UFO lace pieces to tackle, but for now I think I'll take a break and knit something less challenging like mittens.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Off the Needles: Felted Fish

This week I worked through some knitting UFOs. A few years ago I was at Kill Devil Hills, NC, with my sister and brother-in-law shopping at Knitting Addiction and bought a kit to make two  knitted/felted fish from a Fiber Space pattern. I pulled what I'd done from the unfinished box and saw that I only needed to knit the fins to finish one fish. Did that and then knitted the second fish. The below photo is one of the fish before felting (technically, it's really fulling, but it's usually called felting). One of the things I love about felting is how it fixes so much. You can knitted more sloppily than usual and the results are still great. 

Here are the "after" photos of the two fish. Now that I see how quickly they knit up and how nice they finish up, maybe I'll put more of my wool yarn stash to use. The great thing about the pattern is that it's a way to use up odds and ends of yarn that are too small for bigger projects.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Still on the Needles: Moonlight Sonata Scarf

This is another UFO pulled out of the stash. I actually bought the yarn specified in the pattern and got through part of the first of 12 repeats when frustration set in and I set it aside a couple of years ago. This week I picked it up again and remembered why I have a love/hate relationship with lace knitting. I love the results, but the knitting is slow slogging at times and the missing yarn-overs are killing me. Every time I think I've finished a row perfectly, I find that the count on the next row doesn't come out right and I have to frog back and figure out what went wrong. Almost always it's because of a missing yarn over.

As of today, I've finished 4 repeats (just 8 more to go!) and it looks as if I actually will finish it this time. But I'm starting to take more time to do a stitch count after every increase row to at least minimize the time spent ripping back. 

The free pattern is Shui Kuen Kozinski's "Moonlight Sonata Scarf" from and the yarn is Elann's Peruvian Baby Cashmere which is a fingering weight made up of 60% baby alpaca, 30% merino wool, and 10% cashmere. The colorway is #1417 "Peacock." A listing on Ravelry says it's been discontinued.