Thursday, February 20, 2014

Off the hook: Cotton Baby Blanket

This is a crocheted baby blanket I started last year and finished in January of this year. The yarn is a green cotton from an AC Moore bargain's similar to Sugar & Cream cotton yarn. The pattern is one I've used before because it works up fast and looks more complicated than it really is. I've had other fiber crafters say that they wouldn't sew all those squares together, and I tell them that it's all done in one piece even if it doesn't look like it. The pattern is "Simplicity" from the book Comfort Knitting & Crochet Afghans.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Off the Shuttle: Paper Hearts with Tatted Edging

I'm getting obsessed with tatting on paper. It started when I saw a posting in a tatting FB site where the tatter had cut a circle out of a Christmas card, punched holes around the edges, and then tatted an edging that was attached to the holes. I've done quite a few of these with my stash of years and years of saved cards, but I haven't posted photos of these yet.

My fellow tatter Alix saw and posted a photo in the Tri-Tatters FB site of some paper hearts with crocheted edgings using vintage tatting thread. I had to do these and it became a little quest to locate similar paper hearts. It turns out that the hearts were made using a Martha Stewart punch that has been discontinued and that is practically impossible to find (and if you do find one, expect to pay >$60 for it). However, there appear to be quite a few people who own this punch and sell ready-made hearts. I bought 2 dozen in three colors for a couple of dollars. Some sellers will even provide whatever colors you need for your project.

I already had lots of size 70 and 80 threads in pinks and reds, so the next step was to figure out a pattern that would look nice and lie flat. (I first had tried a simple crochet edging which started to curl up so I knew lying flat was an essential requirement.) After several tries, this is what works for me:

Ring of 8 ds, attach to hole, 8 ds, cls ring
Chain of 4 ds, p, 4 ds
Continue around the heart ending with a final ring
Knot the threads together to make a loop for hanging the heart

I leave the hole in the top center empty. The one time I didn't I found that the rings get a bit bunched up there...too much tatting in too little space. So now I just leave that hole empty. It could be used to attach another thread for hanging the heart. In that case, I'd hide the tails from the tatting. But all that seems to be more work than I care to do. I'm going to use these in Valentine's cards and so my plan is to make them as quickly as I can in time for mailing out before the 14th.