Monday, November 17, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Burgundy Tatted Handkerchief Edging

Here's my latest tatted edging added to a vintage handkerchief. The handkerchief appears to be nylon fabric. It still has a price tag attached with "The Bon Ton York, PA" printed on it. The original price is listed at 50 cents marked down to 25 cents. The thread is size 80 DMC tatting thread in color #917, a burgundy that matches the hemmed edge of the handkerchief.

The pattern is "Edging 11" from "  Embellishing with Edgings, edited by Barbara Foster (pgs.20-1).

Tatting Shuttle Embellished with Tatting

Here's my latest embellished shuttle. I decided to try adding tatting to an already decoupaged shuttle. The thread is size 80 DMC tatting thread. I attached it with a couple of coats of Mod Podge. I also brushed a final coat of Martha Stewart High Gloss Finish, a product designed for indoor/outdoor use which may make the thread on the surface more durable. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Shuttles Embellished with Marbleized Paper

A friend suggested I use marbled paper to decoupage shuttles. I love the look of marbleized papers but I'm not inclined to make my own. Turns out I had in my stash the Dover Publications book Ready-to-Use Marbleized Papers by Judith B. Saurman and Judith A. Pierce (1979). Nothing to do but choose a design, cut out the size to fit a shuttle, and get going with the Mod Podge. After several coats of Mod Podge, it would be hard to tell that these were only reproductions rather than the real thing. 

The lavender shuttle is embellished with origami paper and sparkle Mod Podge. 

The 2 containers in the photo are wooden needle holders that I embellished with origami paper. I'm storing quilting needles in them. I find these needles work great for sewing in the ends in my tatting. The holes are large enough to accommodate size 20 thread and the needles are short which gets them in and out of the tatting efficiently. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Tatted Edging on Embroidered Mat

I bought this mat several years ago because of the embroiderd holly berry and leaf design. It had an edging of coarse machine-made lace in ecru which I removed. For the replacement edging, I picked a burgundy thread whose color matches the embroidered berries on the mat.

The edging pattern is "No. 2" on page 32 in Tatting Doilies & Edgings edited by Rita Weiss (Dover Publications, 1980). The thread is DMC Cebelia, size 20, color #816.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Floral Tatted Edging

My latest handkerchief edging achieves a floral effect with green stems and multicolored petals. The green thread is size 20 Lizbeth in color #680 "Spring Green." The multicolored thread is size 20 Manuela in color #M202 that I bought several years ago. I believe that this thread is now discontinued. 

The vintage handkerchief is white linen with hemstitching from my stash. Although hemstitching provides holes that allow you to attach the edging directly onto the fabric as you tat, I always prefer to tat separately and then sew the tatting onto the hanky using sewing thread that matches the tatting thread.

The pattern is "Trees Edging" by Gosia Sokolowska. I bought it from her Etsy store. The original pattern didn't have corner motifs so, through some trial and error, I improvised a design that would work on the handkerchief corners without looking too unlike the rest of the design.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Tatted Edging for Valentine Handkerchief

This is my latest tatted edging + vintage handkerchief project. The pattern is a two-row pattern called "Colorful Lace" from Aunt Ellen's Treasury Tatting Patterns by the staff of Workbasket magazine (1990, p. 73). I bought this book new years ago for $6, but now this out-of-print tatting book is selling online for more than $40 a copy. If it can't be found in used book stores, I think this pattern is also in the August 1985 issue of Workbasket. An index of tatting patterns in Workbasket has an edging pattern with the same name listed in that issue.

The threads are size 80 DMC tatting thread in a solid red (# 666) for row 1 and the rings on row 2 and in a variegated red (# 57) for the row 2 chains.

In this closeup you can see how the edging's heart-like shape complements the hearts printed on the fabric.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Off the Needles: Scarf for Amy

One of the places my daughter Amy and I visited during our trip to New York City was the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. While there Amy bought black and grey skeins of "Gold Leaf"  yarn. This is a super bulky yarn that looks as if someone took silver paint and dabbed dashes of it on the yarn. 

I used size 10 knitting needles and cast on 16 stitches. I knit one row of knit stitches then changed to a k2, p2 pattern, ending with a row of knit stitches and then cast off. I used 4 skeins of yarn, 2 of each color since the skeins are only 49 yards (45 meters) long. I started with the grey yarn and knitted till I ran out, then changed to the black yarn. Since the point of the yarn is the silver spots, I wanted as much of these to show on the scarf and not be buried inside stitches. So occasionally I had to give a strand a little twist to bring the silver spot to the outside of the stitch. 

When folded and looped, the scarf looks as if she is wearing two scarves. As you can see from the photo, she's pleased with the results. And as this yarn knits up really fast, I am pleased to have it in and out of my stash in just a couple of days.

Friday, October 31, 2014

More Decoupaged Tatting Shuttles

Just finished decoupaging more shuttles from my stash. Had not realized I'd accumulated so many...and these are just the ones not attached to unfinished projects or shuttles that I want to keep in their original condition (such as, English Aeros, bone shuttle, wood shuttles). After embellishing several types of plastic shuttles, I've decided that the Sunlits are my favorite to decoupage because it's easier to cut around their pointy ends. The Clovers have a curved pointed end that is trickier to trim around neatly. And those with the metal hooks require a bit of finessing around where the plastic and the metal connect. I also decided that I prefer doing 4 coats of Mod Podge. I think it gives a really good seal around the edges to keep the paper from separating from the plastic. Of course, the real test will be as I use them over time. But it will be a snap to repair them if there are any problems.

I think this will be it for decoupaging shuttles for a while. Now I need to find other stuff to cover with origami paper and Mod Podge...

Monday, October 27, 2014

2014 NC State Fair Ribbons Awarded

For the first time ever, I entered handwork (all tatting) in the North Carolina State Fair. Of the three items I entered two won second-place red ribbons.

I entered a pillowcase edging in the Home Furnishings category:

More details at "Off the Shuttle: Tatted Edging for Pillowcase." 

I entered a handkerchief edging in the Clothing category:

More details at "Off the Shuttle: Tatted Floral Edging on Vintage Handkerchief."

This experience was so exciting that I have already started planning projects to enter in the 2015 fair.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

NYC finds

My daughter and I celebrated my birthday this year with a trip to New York City. One of the joys of shopping there is the garment district with its incredible selection of notions and trims. Before I got sensorially-overloaded, I settled on these two trims at M&J Trimming. Not sure yet what I will do with them, but I couldn't resist taking them home.

One of my favorite shopping stops was at Kinokuniya, a Japanese bookstore. I went there primarily to look for Japanese tatting books, but also picked up a couple of other things.

The hedgehog is the mascot of lacemakers, primarily of bobbin lacers because of all the pins they use in their pattern prickings. But tatters should be able to adopt the cute little animals for their use, too. So I had to buy this little rubber stamp.

As if I didn't have enough origami papers for shuttle decoupaging, I bought this little pack anyway. The size is 60 cm x 60 cm, a bit more than what I'd need to do a shuttle or two.

And I added four Japanese tatting books to my library at great savings over what online tatting book sellers are charging. 

優しいタティングレ-ス - シャトルと糸で誰でも楽しめるはじめてのレ-ス編みタティングレ-スのアクセサリ- Asahi original

小さくてかわいいタティングレ-スのアクセサリ- レディブティックシリ-ズ暮らしの中のタティングレ-ス

We also went to the Strand bookstore where I found this book of clothing designs. Translated from Japanese into English, it includes a packet of patterns. Can you tell that I love Japanese designs? 

All in all, a very satisfying stash enhancing experience!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Blue Tatted Handkerchief Edging

Another tatted edging for a white cotton handkerchief from my stash. The pattern is "Edging 13" from Embellishing with Edgings, edited by Barbara Foster. The thread is Lizbeth size 80 in color #662, Light Turquoise.


Off the Needles: 3 Baby Sweaters

Knit Night is a charity knitting group that meets once a month at the Cameron Village Regional Library in Raleigh, NC. Tomorrow is the night we collect everything we've made over the year and bag it up for distribution to several local groups. While gathering up what I have ready to donate, I realized that some of the sweaters didn't get posted on my blog.

This little sweater pattern, "Vest with Garter-stitch Yoke," is a 1934 pattern reprinted in Knitting in Vogue: Patterns from the 1930s to the 1980s for Men, Women & Children, by Christina Probert (1985, pp. 94-5). The photograph below is actually the back side of the original pattern, but the updated photograph in the book shows it as the front side so that it is worn as a cardigan. 

While I like the yoke detail shown below, I agree with Probert that it makes more sense to wear it back to front, and it's easier to tie the ribbon on the open side if it's on the front of the baby.

The yarn is Phentex "Fingering Tricot Fin," an acrylic fiber in color Waterfall #52 Niagara. I bought this yarn decades ago so I'm sure it has been discontinued long ago.


This second sweater is what results when you have a nice yarn, but not very much of it. The blue is a fuzzy microfiber that is very soft. It was a partial ball leftover from a friend's stash so I only had enough to do the yoke on this sweater. I finished it off with a white acrylic. No clue as to the manufacturer of either yarn. The pattern is one I've used lots of time. It's from the Leisure Arts leaflet "Knit Lace & Leaves for Baby." One of the things I love about this pattern is that the only sewing up needed is under the arms.


The photograph below is the back side of a sweater (what's with these sweaters for babies that open in the back?), but I think it works better being buttoned in the front.

This little vest is another example of making do with small amounts of yarn. The pattern is "Ribbed Jacket" from Baby Love Cuddly Knits for Wee Ones, by Catherine Bouquerel ( 2009, pp. 26-7). The pattern called for long sleeves, but I changed to ribbed armhole cuffs because of not having enough yarn. At this point, I'm not sure what brand the yarn is other than it's an acrylic with a nice chunky feel.

Here's a view of the sweater front which I now designate as the sweater's back.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Aqua Tatted Handkerchief Edging

A vintage handkerchief with hibiscus flowers from my stash. The thread is size 80 Lizbeth thread in light seagreen, color 686, which is a close match to the aqua background on the handkerchief.

The pattern is "Edging 6" in Embellishing with Edgings (pg. 13), edited by Barbara Foster.

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. 

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.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Off the Needles: Simple Ribbed Scarf

The Ten Thousand Villages store in Raleigh where I volunteer once a week has started selling Manos del Uruguay yarn. To show off the yarn to customers I knitted this scarf for our store display. It's pretty simple and knits up very quickly; I wanted to show what could be done with just one skein. The yarn is Maxima, a soft worsted-weight, in colorway "Chrysanthemum." The pattern is a K2P2 rib on size 9 needles.