One of the things I love about tatting is the tatting community. While I’m a bit of a lurker really, I think the community is wonderful. They’re enthusiastic and kind, encouraging and patient with beginners and always up for sharing the new techniques they’ve learned. I think everything I know about tatting has come from reading tutorials and blogs, or watching the videos produced by different members of the community.
I read tatting blogs every day, just to see what things people are making and what they’ve discovered. I pick up tips and get inspiration and a little insight into other people’s lives. One of the blogs I read was Gina’s, and so I was shocked to see in January that she’d been battling cancer, but was so pleased to hear it was in remission. Yesterday I read that she’d lost that battle on Monday.
It’s such a shock to read news like this, and such a strange situation. I read her blog, and she was kind enough to comment here – compliments, encouragement and places I could look to find out more about the things I’d been thinking about. I wasn’t lucky enough to know her in real life, but the shock is still there, along with the sadness.
Reading through everyone’s blogs last night, I thought what a wonderful place the Internet is, and how brilliant people can be. The shared kindness of strangers who grow to feel like friends. A little light has gone out in the tatting community, and Gina will be sorely missed.
I’ve had a busy week in terms of train projects. I started the week with the above — it’s the middle part of a wreath. It’s the wreath at the bottom of this post, in fact. Once I’d finished it, it wasn’t in any way flat. It was like a 3d circle – rather than a flat ring – if that makes any sense? So I quickly blocked it before I raced in to work and hoped that it could be cured. Luckily, it could, so the Storm Trooper up there is providing not only a sense of scale, but acting as a security guard until I get a chance to do the next round. (I’m also hoping he’ll take it upon himself to sew in the ends, but I’m not holding my breath).
While the wreath-middle was blocking, I needed something else to do on the train. I’ve had this sitting about *forever*. It’s tatted in Valdini thread, and it was probably one of the first tatting threads I ever bought; it’s between size 80-100 I think. This is the Mary Konior pattern (again), but I only ever got round to tatting 3 squares, because I just wasn’t that sure about it. This thread is an odd one. I don’t like the way the colour variations work up, it’s a bit busy, and there are white patches occasionally which make it look really messy. I actually bought it because it looks like autumn leaves, and the weird thing is, it feels like them when it’s tatted up. It’s quite dull (no sheen, not boring!) and feels almost dry and papery – like leaves do.
So I forced myself to tat the last square on the train. I finished it on a Friday night on the way home from after-work drinks. I did question the idea of doing this with thin/breakable thread after several g&t’s but luckily it all worked out fine. Does need blocking though, as you can see.
And finally, there’s this. Do you ever get that thing where you have to make something IMMEDIATELY? I had that with this. I bought someone a cowl (from Accessorise) last weekend as a last minute birthday present. It was really nice, and I suddenly decided all I really need in life is a cowl. I had to have one, literally how on earth have a been living without one? HOW? I decided I should make the Calm Cowl – (a ravelry link) and I should use up the 4 balls of yarn I had left over from my mum’s scarf. Not sure how I overbought by 4, but my gain is… my gain. I have a feeling this might really need 5 balls, but I’m not concentrating on that right now…
PS – anyone know if there’s something up with Blogger? I’ve tried to comment on a few people’s blogs and it keeps saying the captcha word is incorrect. ie – the word you type in to validate the post. no matter how many words it gives me to type, they’re always incorrect… Just wondered)
A little while ago, the lovely Katy commented on a post saying that she wished she could finish a tatted motif. I blithely commented back that she should make Birgit Phelps’ ‘Lil Heart’ because it was small and wouldn’t take long. Then I realised I’d never even made it myself!
Feeling guilty, I got on with it. Luckily, I was right – it doesn’t take long! Also, it’s really pretty – as you can see up there. As ever, I wound too much thread on to the shuttle, and when I’d finished, I wasn’t sure it was enough to make another one – so I thought I’d try something out. I halved the stitch count on everything, and made a smaller one (below):
It worked a treat! I must say, I did sit on the train congratulating myself for my sheer brilliance. I do appreciate it would be a bit more brilliant if I’d actually made up the pattern myself, but you can’t expect miracles at that time in the morning.
That’s what they look like both together. It’s size 80 thread, and so it actually makes quite a dense heart when the sizes are halved. And just to provide you with an odd photo finish, this is how big it is really:
Fits on the end of your finger. I’m not 100% sure what to do with them now, if I gave them to my other half I think he’d think I’d lost my mind. But I really enjoyed making them, and so if you’re a tatter and haven’t tried this pattern yet, give it a go.