Saturday, February 13, 2010

"We Are Not Amused."

Do you have Prince Albert in a can?

Well, you'd better let him out!

This is Queen of Hearts by Mary Konior from "Tatting with Visual Patterns."  It was done in Lizbeth size 20 thread, #147 (the photos don't really do the color justice).  

I learned a bit while making this pattern.  After a false start, heading out in the wrong direction with my chains, I learned that the curve of the chain would follow the curve of my knuckles as I made the chain.  Pretty simple, I know, but I usually get caught up in the written directions of a pattern and refer to the diagram only to confirm that my understanding of them is correct.  With just the diagram to follow, I became more aware of what the thread was doing to form a ring or a chain.  It was a very good lesson for me.

I was really cruising as I got to the end of the pattern.  I kept marveling at how natural it felt to tat, even graceful (that word is NEVER applied to me, even in my dreams).  So, of course, caught up in my musings, I tatted the last three chains and ring without making my final joins (but I must say my hands moved BEAUTIFULLY as I made my mistakes).  That is when I made ANOTHER discovery!  For me, it is easier to open a ring and unpick the stitches with a tapestry needle than with the tip of the shuttle or a tiny crochet hook.  My tapestry needle was a size 24.  It is a nice thick needle with a fairly blunt tip and slid between threads more easily than the hook and I had less problem with the thread fraying.

Happy Valentines!


Fox said...

Wonderful heart! Really, really pretty. Your photograph is well done as well.

Yes, the pin - I wrote about my 'very best friend', the pin here:

Mine is pointy and works well.
Fox : ))

Gina said...

This is a beautiful heart! I can see where a tapestry needle might open a ring easily. One student pointed out to me when I was showing how to open a ring with my hook that what I actually do is slide the core thread up the shaft of the hook to a wider place and then I have more thread on my hook to lift up, pulling the ring open. The idea is to open up a space enough that you can grasp that core thread and pull it so I think that's what you've discovered with the tapestry needle.

sewmuchfun4 said...

How funny Fox!
I didn't even have to go look at your post because as soon as you mentioned it, I thought, "Oh yeah, I remember THAT!" Thought I had discovered something, but I probably just remembered your post. Just call me Christopher to your Leif. :))))

❦TattingChic said...

Happy Valentine's day! The ♥ is lovely! The photos are really cool!

TypsTatting said...

I also use a thick needle and it works really well. Love the heart and the colour as well!!!!!

sewmuchfun4 said...

Hi Gina!
You are right, although I couldn't have explained it that well! I still feel like I am going on a fishing expedition for the core thread, so I am more confident with the needle because I know it will be easy to pull back out.

Thanks, Tatting Chic!

Hi TypsTatting!
Thank you! Yes, the needle has advantages. That is the least amount of fussing and fuming I have done while opening a ring!

:) Ann

Cindy (Happy Bluebird) said...

I love the heart! I see so many great motifs from that Mary Konior book - I may have to invest in that one.

I love when I have those "Aha!" moments as I'm learning - and then get feeling smug as I'm erring along . . . I use a tapestry needle too - more often than I care to admit.

Happy Heart Day :)

sewmuchfun4 said...

Hi Cindy!
If you are looking for new things to tat, Tatting with Visual Patterns is a great way to go. I've made a couple things from it and really enjoyed tatting them. Plus, I flat out just enjoy looking at this book!

This makes 4 for tapestry needles! I'm enjoying this. It is fun to delve into the minutia of how we each solve tatting problems.

:) Ann

Martha said...

Love your heart -- your selections of thread color and design are always so pretty. You are really getting good at tatting. I think even the skeptical Ann is realizing this -- fingers are beginning to fly like the admired grandmother.

No wonder you noticed the Prince Albert can in the photo of my old apartment.

Happy Valentine's Day, Ann!

sewmuchfun4 said...

Thank you so much, Martha! Tatting is getting easier and the shuttle flutters (not quite to flies) at times.

Yes, now you know why I noticed! I walk by a can just like the one you had about a million times a day. I thought you might get a kick out of that!
:) Ann

Kathy Niklewicz said...

VERY pretty heart, and nicely done! I love the thread color!

I'm glad you mentioned tapestry needles, as I've always used them to unpick stitches, especially in finer threads, when the shuttle's hook is too large.

I also use one to sew the ends in. I especially like the elongated 'eye' because I can use a flat metal needle threader which makes it very easy to thread the needle.

I've also recently overcome the problem of 'losing' the needle (and causing a panic), and I plan to discuss this in my blog.

I'm trying to catch up on all your blog posts! You're quite a busy gal!

sewmuchfun4 said...

Hi Kathy!
Thank you so much for dropping by! I will be VERY interested in your solution to the lost needle problem. I experience that panic on a regular basis and don't enjoy it ONE BIT!
:) Ann

Fox said...

LOL!!! No Leif here! I'm sure I didn't "invent" that one! Reading your comment pricked my conscience, so to speak, and I cannot take credit for the pin - I was just .. mmm....lucky to think of it!
LOL!Fox : )

Shirl said...

Your work is wonderful. I had a great time exploring your blog. I linked you mine.
Happy Creating

Steph's (tat) Stuff said...

Pretty, pretty! That's such a pretty variegated red.

I missed a few joins on this one, too, which means opening rings. For me, it's easiest to use a tapestry needle just like you do. From the backside of the tatting, I slide it under the second half of the stitch and it pops right loose. Then I use a pair of tweezers to grab the core thread and pull gently to get that sucker open! I've become quite the pro at it.

Lelia said...

What a beautiful heart - it is a shame the books by M.Konior are so hard to locate, and when I do find them are very expensive!