Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It's not tatting, but I did something...

I got my new thread in the mail! I'm always impressed by how quick Handy Hands is with their shipping. I'm also impressed with their customer service. The ball of Lizbeth in Autumn Spice that I got had white spots in it. I emailed them, and within the hour they got back to me and offered to send a new ball. This is why I prefer to buy directly from them, rather than through a retailer.

Alas, I have no tatting to show with this new thread though. I spend most of my weekend and the week sewing. It's something I'm still very novice at, but I enjoy doing it. Here's what I made:


This is my bf, showing off his jedi skills in the new costume I made him. He's been waiting two years for me to [start] finish this, so I surprised him with it on Valentine's Day. And yes, we are total gamer geeks. And we dress up in costumes. And like it.

Then today I made this:



It's my first attempt at sewing a stuffed toy. I made this for my son, who needed something to snuggle with. He really, really likes balls. A lot. The ears give him something to hold onto.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Messing Around

When two hobbies combine (in this case tatting and vector art), you get stuff like this.


This is just a little doodle I did in Adobe Illustrator, the same program I used to do the illustrations for the basic book. Vectors are fun. :)

Now Comes the Waiting

Well, it's on it's way! The proof copy for my first book, that is! I've been going through the process of uploading, reviewing, and re-uploading all week, and I finally got to the proof ordering stage. After all the hard work that's gone into it, it hardly seems real. I probably won't actually believe it until I'm holding the proof in my hands. Still, my excitement is barely contained!

And of course, I'm already plotting my next book. This one will be a pattern book, and I put in an order to Handy Hands for thread yesterday. Cause, you know, I needed the right colors. And if I happened to order a few... extra, so what? You can never have to much thread, right? I can't wait to get it so I can get started.

Seems like that's all I'm doing this week. Waiting. Impatiently. Maybe I'll go make up a little pattern just to keep my mind busy.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sneak Peak


Here's a quick look at the tentative cover of the book I'm writing. Actually the writing part is done. Now I'm (impatiently) waiting for a friend to review it before I begin the process of getting it ready for publishing. So close to finishing!

This is not a pattern book but rather a guide for the absolute beginner. It started as a collection of notes I would hand out while teaching classes. But it just kept growing, and now it's going to be a fully fledged book, with ISBN number and all! Very excited!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

And In Other News

You'll notice that I changed the layout of this blog yet again. I had been trying to keep this blog mostly centered around my adventures in tatting, but it's become clear that sticking so strictly to one topic really isn't working for me. I am a multi-crafter. It is what I do. Why I ever thought I could convince anyone otherwise, I will never know.

So from now on you, dear reader, will be subject to an onslaught of all my follies and frolicking. Hang on tight, because it's sure to get messy. Somewhere amidst all the string and glue my life, and the very essence of who I am, is inextricably tangled.

And one of the things I like to do is graphic design work. Hence the new look. What else am I supposed to do at eight o'clock in the evening, when both my boys are asleep? Craft? *snort*... oh... wait...

Because Someone Said I Couldn't...

Well, they didn't exactly say it wasn't possible. Only that it would be difficult and undesirable. So of course, I had to prove them wrong. And here's my proof. It is entirely possible to tat with 100% wool yarn!


I find the results of this little experiment quite pleasing. One of the key factors in felting wool is agitation. Now making all those little knots causes a bit of agitation on it's own, and so the yarn becomes ever so slightly felted while working with it. That, coupled with the fuzziness of the wool, means that stitch definition is somewhat lost. However, rather than seeing this as a negative occurrence, I rather like it. Now, instead of seeing all that texture and individual rings and chains, the eye sees rather a solid (well, not solid, as it's lace, but you get my point) piece of fabric.

For anyone who is considering trying this themselves, I've used 100% wool laceweight yarn. And yes, it's shuttle tatted. The biggest key in working with this yarn was tension. Working with regular tatting thread (which is more of a cord, really) you get used to being able to pull your tension very tightly. Yarn is so much loftier than thread (or cord), so pulling your tension too tightly makes it very difficult to close rings. Not to mention it puts even more stress and agitation on the yarn, which will cause more felting.

So there, more proof that you really can tat with anything even resembling thread! Now I'm thinking up all sorts of other oddball materials that could be tatted with...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Other Obsessions

There's about a million reasons I could give for being so absent here. The holidays, winter, the baby (who is now a toddler), bouts with illness, etc. But the truth is... I've been neglecting my shuttles. It's shameful, I know. But I haven't picked up my shuttles since last November. Eek! I haven't entirely abandoned my crafty ways, though. I've been seriously attached to my knitting needles all winter.

I managed to complete my first sweater, immediately followed by my second (which fits much better than the first.) Though I haven't managed to get decent pictures of it yet. Here are a few things I can show you though. First up, I subject you to random cuteness, wearing a hat I knit him of course.


Next up, a truly awful picture of an awesome sweater.


And finally, a cute little cozy for my new toy! (Have I mentioned how absolutely wonderfully awesome my bf is for getting me a Kindle?)


The pattern for this cozy is available on Ravelry. It's my first knitting pattern up there, and I'm very excited about it! Quick Knit Kindle Cozy on Ravelry

I'm sure I'll get back to tatting soon. In the meantime, these meager offerings will have to satiate your craft curiosity. :)