Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Metallic thread experiment 1

I recently gave this Beadsmith metallic thread a try. It's a 2 ply with a thickness is similar to DMC size 30 crochet cotton. It worked okay to tat both rings and chains in a simple pattern (my "Dazzling Debut" earring design).

However, something more complex, such as my "Atom" with a split ring around a bead, didn't work, though. The Beadsmith thread isn't smooth enough for such a tricky maneuver!

Rita Richmond of "Shuttle By Design" sells a different brand of metallic thread that is 3 ply. I've placed an order for some! When it arrives, I'll test tat it!

In the meantime, I decided to tat an atom of Lizbeth thread (River Blue medium) and get more scientific (using the term VERY loosely) with particle theory by adding "neutrinos" and "quarks" simply by adding tiny beads :-D

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Pod

A tatted pod, inspired by milkweed pods. I'm surprised this attempt at pod design actually worked!

I started with a center row of split rings. After that, I add each side separately. No pattern yet, but I plan on writing it up.

More split rings around the edges, and a pod shape starts to form. I used 2 shades of color so that I could remember what I did where. A final row of chains with joins produces the 3 dimensional shape.
Tatting friends posted lots of great ideas for filling the pod on my Facebook Page. For myself, though, I am taking on the challenge of mimicking the seeds. I don't have a picture of a newly opened pod with most of the seeds still inside, but that's what my plan is to try to do. All will be written and diagrammed out, eventually.
I've been busy with music (playing cello with WIO and at church) so that is taking up much of my time lately. Housework will have to wait! I will, however, be hand dyeing another batch of thread in a week or so.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Spooky

A new batch of the orange, yellow, green, purple and black colorway "Spooky" has been dyed, dried, and listed in my Etsy shop.

On Saturday, October 21st, the Tollway Tatters will be gathering at the Hinsdale Oasis on the Illinois Tollway. Looking forward to it!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Sugar Maple

New batch of "Sugar Maple" hand dyed is now listed in my Etsy shop!

I managed to get outside for a walk in the woods today; Havenwoods State Forest to be specific. It really did wonders to calm my spirit. While there, I spied this milkweed. Something about the design intrigues me. The color, not so much. I'll think about it, until something else grabs my attention.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Mad scientist mode!

 Here I am all decked out in my "mad scientist" gear, mwahaha! 😉
I only wear the mask when working with the dye in powder form to avoid breathing it in. When the dry dye is put away and I'm working with the liquid dye solution, I take the mask off. But, the rubber gloves stay on!
 Not much variation to see in the picture showing the skeins of thread being painted with the dye. That's because the batch is "Grayscale" (only shades of gray) and the dye looks darker when wet.
The hand dyed thread all finished! The flower is in the picture to show that it's a color photo.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Hard and soft combined

 What started as an experiment to see "what if I put tatting inside wire weaving" seems to have gathered a following. So, I'll share what I've learned from doing this piece:

I used Parawire in 2 colors, "Army Green" for the three base wires in 20 gauge, and "Vintaj Natural Brass" in 28 gauge.

I had to start twice, because the first time I wasn't sure about the weave structure and made mistakes. Probably only another wire weaver would have noticed, but I did, so I started over to do it right!

When adding the tatting (see this previous post on that technique) I attempted to keep the wire weaving pattern as undisturbed as possible. In my earlier pieces my weaving tended to be messy at that area but it doesn't need to be. The tatting only needs to be caught with wire now and then, as if one were adding a bead.

Parawire, or any coated wire can be marred or scratched easily with tools such as pliers, so I did most of the shaping by hand. Serious jewelry artists usually avoid coated wires but since I'm breaking the rules already, why not have fun with the color choices? And, obviously, I'm not going to do any oxidizing or any other processes that would harm the tatting.













I do have some solid wires in my stash as well, such as solid natural brass which I used in the frame findings and jump rings on the earrings below. The solid brass will naturally patina or get darker over time, but that is okay.

Monday, August 28, 2017

New pattern: Heart Aglow


New pattern in my Etsy shop called "Heart Aglow".

The idea started as a motif or pendant that would be easy enough for new tatters. Then, I thought that the same pattern in smaller thread and beads would be good for earrings. My test tatter, Sue Anna suggested the bracelet idea, and so now there's a set of matching jewelry.

It's really a simple, one shuttle and ball pattern that grew into an 8 page tutorial! Easy level for tatters that know how to tat rings, chains, and joins, and good practice for tatting with beads. 

The instruction for tatting the basic motif without beads is also included. I didn't repeat the entire written directions since they're the same except without beads, but while designing it I wondered how to make the top more decorative without the bead there. After watching Usha Shah's video for Dot Picots string her innovative technique seemed like a very pretty way to finish off the top of the no beads version of the heart.

I also put this new pattern in my Craftsy pattern store. I think it's a fun heart to make, and I hope others will like it too!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Eclipse sale!

 Sale! 17% off all items in my Etsy shop with coupon code ECLIPSE until August 25, 2017. Or, just follow this link:
https://www.etsy.com/shop/yarnplayer?coupon=ECLIPSE 

Why 17% ? Because in my area the eclipse will cover all but 17% of the sun. Also, it's the year 2017 and I've had my Etsy shop for ten years! 

And, here's a picture of the fun last Saturday at Tollway Tatters!