Friday, December 30, 2011

Life Line

I'm still about - on earth that is, not so much in cyberspace.  Thank you for checking on me.  Sorry that I haven't responded to emails.  It has been busy... and that won't be changing any time soon.  We began homeschooling one of the kids this year.  BIG adjustment for me.  It's going well and I am happy that we are doing it, but my creative pursuits have definitely taken a hit...

There hasn't been much time for tatting - my brain can't keep up with language arts and social studies etc, AS WELL AS, ds, -, --, and RW.  All I have to show is what I WAS working on before I came to care about prepositions, pronouns and the American Revolution...

Above is progress I had made on testing a tatting pattern I am attempting to write up.  And below is an unfinished motif - I BELIEVE it is part of a vintage pattern, but I wouldn't swear to it.  If I ever find the pattern, maybe it will be finished...
Knitting has been my friend lately.  I still have a bee in my bonnet to make some socks for my dad and the pattern is simple enough that I am able to work on it as I wait... and prod... and wait some more... for homeschool work to be completed.

Unfortunately, not so simple that I didn't make a mistake while shaping the heel.  I'm such a newbie at knitting that I can't immediately tell where my mistakes occur and things started to careen out of control as I began ripping back.  I thought all might well be lost and reminisced lovingly about how hard it is to retro-tat and how apparent a mistake can be in a tatted piece (SOMETIMES, that is...).  You're never going to see a piece of tatting unravel and return to a pile of crinkly thread before your eyes as you attempt to fix an error and figure out WHERE you are in the pattern!

I put the ever shortening sock aside and scoured the internet for help.  That's when I found JL Yarnworks' post about lifelines.  THANK GOODNESS!
I'm happy to say that adding a lifeline has put me back on track and I didn't lose anymore sock than the heel flap.  I'm going to take Jackie's advice and keep my lifeline in as I continue knitting in case I find myself in water over my head again...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dweams and Dwums

I tatted the first couple rounds
of this motif after Baby Doll
had woken me up
several nights in a row,
frightened of her "dweams."

That accounts for the 
(in my mind)
lumps where I hid the thread ends.
Cheaters, a magnifying glass
and squinting were
not enough for these tired eyes to see.

Baby Doll began running a tempie (fever)
about the time I was debating
whether to chuck the motif
or keep tatting.

A (fairly) quick trip to the doctor
explained those "dweams."
Baby Doll had an ear infection
a virus - she likes to multitask.

So the last two rounds were tatted
over several nights, sitting on the floor by the sofa
(which is apparently the BEST sick bed in the house),
while Baby Doll fell asleep
watching Little Bear,
after being assured
that there would be no more

And now...
the "dwums" are healed,
the "dweams" are done,
but there's STILL a baby on my sofa
when bedtime comes.
But that's not ALL bad...

The motif is No. 15 - Rosette of Tatting, from Old-Fashioned Tatting Patterns, Book 1, edited by Barbara Foster.  It was another enjoyable tat, and the perfect relaxation for a worried mind.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Baby Doll's "Spa Day" & Tat Time for Mama

This is No. 52 - A Tatted Edging from
Edited by Barbara Foster.
LOTS of pretty patterns in this book!

I was using up some thread left over on a shuttle
while waiting for Baby Doll at the
manicurist dentist.
She LOVES the dentist,
but I was afraid the honeymoon would be over
after yesterday's appointment
because she needed a filling.
She was happy as a lark after her appointment though,
with painted nails, a bouncy ball and a balloon bird, 
and her "special cleaning" went very well.
On the sock front,
we have a HEEL!
Erm, and a couple little holes,
and it is kinda tight
the good news is that I think I know
where I made my mistakes
like I said, we have a HEEL!
So we're still in the game...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bee in My Bonnet or Sloth in My Socks?

learned the basics of knitting,
I got a bee in my bonnet
to make some socks for my Dad.
I thought,
I had found a hobby
which I could share with him.

But in an effort to be
I decided to make socks for
Baby Doll first.

Little Feet = Little Commitment

Good thing because
I tat slowly,
I sew slowly,
I do whatever I am doing slowly,
and it appears that knitting is no different.

I figure that at least by knitting little socks
I will reach the point of messing up
and learning lessons from it more quickly
and perhaps
I will then be able to begin
knitting Dad's big ol' size 12 socks...
I'm making socks from Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes.  I am a total rookie knitter and have been amazed that I have made it this far.  This book has a great method and very effective instructions.

Monday, June 27, 2011

We Did

and all these years later, 
we still do...

This is a botched attempt at a well known heart (which I will add the link for as quickly as I find my copy of the pattern) and the beginning round of a larger doily (hopefully) to come.
Update:  The heart is actually Li'l Heart by Birgit Phelps (

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tatting With Ease

Tatting With Ease
(to the tune of  “Down in the Valley”, lyrics by Ann)

Take up a shuttle,
Wind it with thread,
Soak in the color,
Blue, yellow, red,
Follow the pattern,
Tat where you’re led,
Rings, chains and picots,
Filling your head.

Hands dance a ballet,
Thread sings a song,
Lace is appearing,
Delicate, strong,
Shuttle moves surely,
Doing no wrong,
This perfect moment,
Tatting along.

Tatting with ease, you’re
Tatting with ease,
Smooth, gliding shuttle,
Does what you please,
Mind sheds its worry,
Heart is at peace,
Joy resurrected,
Sorrows release.

Tatting with ease, you’re
Tatting with ease,
Smooth, gliding shuttle,
Does what you please.

(A little ditty for your humming pleasure)

The tatted piece is a pattern  from "Let's Tat" which I was fortunate enough to borrow from  Fox.  It's been done for a few months... who knew hiding the ends could take so long?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

That's My Boy!

I was "minding my business like a good girl should"
several weeks ago
when Boy approached me with a
He had been trying to learn to knit
for a project for his 3D Art Class
for a couple weeks
and decided it was time to 
wave the white flag
and ask Mom for help.
Now there's a whole 'nother 
I've always been a FAIL at knitting.
But that night was magic,
sitting with Boy on the sofa
looking at "Knitting for Dummies" together...
I caught the bug and he learned to knit passably
(so long as I hovered and cautioned).

Since then I have been caught in a knitting vortex,
and as you can see, I have been making swatches
and trying to figure this thing out,
determined to make at least
before I give the needles a rest.
I'll keep you posted...
Not much later, after our knitting night,
Boy asked me if I would help him learn to sew.
For his next art class project, he wanted to make a quilt.
Of COURSE I would!
But Boy tends to dream big
and as he sat down at the computer to research quilts,
I felt bud nipping was in order
and suggested the simple pattern you see here.

He worked VERY hard on this.
Did it ALL himself - Cutting, Piecing and Quilting...
and I have the video to prove it...

this was supposed to be an "in class project".
Several kids knitted scarves while others made "quilts."
I say "quilts" because knotting fleece together
doesn't fit my uppity definition of a quilt.

Boy took the hard road and drug me down it with him
by making this quilt,
and although I fussed and complained at times
(mostly because of having to video it all)
I'm glad to have had the opportunity
to guide him through it.
It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, I'm sure.
And now I have the memory of working with Boy
and video of his silly little sisters
prancing through the kitchen as he sewed.

Since this post has become an
Ode to Boy,
I will finish by sharing his true, current passion,

Boy loves working with hammer and nails.
This bird house was his first project.
With no previous experience, a hand saw and a hammer,
he constructed this abode for birds.
Dad and his drill completed the job.
Boy cut bamboo from the yard for the perch.

this little bird is as big a dreamer as Boy.
They will get along just fine...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

I Feel Honored

that my blogging friend, Martha,
used an edging I tatted for her
a while back,
on the ring bearer's pillow
she created for her daughter's wedding.

The preparations for Emily's wedding
JOYOUS and colorful!

Martha has been busy working on
napkins for the guests,
and, most recently, the pillow.
It is DARLING - and you can see it HERE.

She and Emily are gathering
Depression glass table settings
for the reception.
How funny that I photographed
the edging with a couple of the pieces
Mom gave me years ago.
Colorwise, I think my set would work,
but since it is a childrens' tea set
I'm afraid some guests would be
disappointed with their portion size...

Needless to say, I am THRILLED
that something I created
will be part of such a
Oh, and I'm back.  I haven't been far.
Just a case of life interrupting art.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


My Grandma (Mom's mom) tatted.
Her fingers flew!
She never used a printed pattern because she knew
how to make her tatted crosses by heart.
I don't remember her even pausing to count stitches.
She passed away when I was still too young to teach.
Over the years Mom and I talked many times
about Grandma's tatting and how her fingers flew.
I grew up and moved away from home.
Then on one visit, Mom brought me
Grandma's shuttles and her tatting.
I was so happy to have them!
More years passed.
Occasionally I would take out Grandma's tatting
to admire it and hold the shuttles
and just wonder,
"How in the world..."

Enter Carol Duvall.
Mom and I both watched her show.
One day there was a segment on needle tatting.
We were on the phone right after it aired, so EXCITED!
I got needles and thread and was ready to try...
but then I thought to do an internet search
and found instructions for
SHUTTLE TATTING just like Grandma!
(anyone need some brand new needles?)

In fact, I found SEVERAL tutorials on shuttle tatting,
but still was getting nowhere until one day I found yet ANOTHER and gave it a try...
I do not know who posted these instructions to the internet, but
On March 23, 2001, I FLIPPED for tatting!

I happily tatted away, making a few "Lacy Bookmarks."
I placed my first order from Handy Hands.
I made small motifs.
Mom was very proud and I was very happy...
but there was a problem.
After tatting for HOURS on some pretty little motifs,
I kept reading the instructions in my new tatting book,
but to no avail.
I found myself limited to certain patterns.
I was frustrated.
I gave up.

For several years
 I only picked up a shuttle 
to see if I could still make a ring.

About a year after Mom died,
I found myself revisiting things we both enjoyed or admired.
I began wanting to tat and turned once again to the Internet.
There I found Gina, Sherry, Jane, Fox, Jon and Tatting Chic.
I stalked them SHAMELESSLY!
And the more I stalked,
the more determined I became to tat again and better.
This time I felt as if I had a community of tatters cheering me on.

My AHA moment came on June 22, 2009.
With the help of my OTT magnifying lens,
I SAW how to make that dreaded final join
and there was MUCH rejoicing!
My fingers STILL don't fly - maybe they never will -
but I find that if I tat slowly and steadily, 
I ENJOY being in the race!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Winter Froze My Toes, But Tatters Warmed My Heart

never heard of it...
until yesterday.

We had a few hours of it, at the end of which
the kids were  DELIGHTED
to find themselves with a free day,
but the little ones were DISAPPOINTED
to learn that there would be no snow play.
Today the ice remains, 
as do bitter cold temperatures,
the kids,
"ordered" rolling blackouts
have been added to the mix (for fun).
Still, watching the news, I know

But I must say as 
(in a "when will this go away" kind of way)
as the weather has been,
I have been
about emails from tatters in my inbox...

In the last 48 hours, there has been a 
FLURRYof activity
regarding my Tatting Press Pattern!
and it WARMS MY HEART because
I posted it hoping to contribute
to the tatting community
which has been so kind to me.

First came an email from
saying she had made her tatting press
and sharing
to the LOVELY blog
she has begun with her mom and sister.
Check out her cheery, Country French press!
She even posted WIP pictures of the press being made!

Next came an email from
to say she had also finished her press!!!
With her permission, here is a picture,
Serene also comes to mind.
The perfect press for tackling clunies!
Check out Maria's blog
and has recently taken up tatting.

THEN I read Fox's post
which showed a
LOVELY motif she tatted
and a picture of it in progress
on her Tatting Press
at the coffee shop!

because Maria sent information about the press pattern
to ANOTHER tatter,
the pattern may show up in new places online
so, HOPEFULLY, more tatters
will be able to make one of their own!

All this has added up to one VERY HAPPY...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Norm and Dunno

Since he pecked his way out of
last year,
I thought
would certainly be able to
give me a clue
as to what this year's

He took one look and said,
before sauntering away
to crow out
his greetings to the day.

Thank you, Norm!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Should I Feel Guilty?

Should I feel
because I am so far behind
on my
that I began retatting it
at the playground
on a
sunshiny day
while Baby Doll
built her sand castle?

No, I don't think I should feel guilty about THOSE THINGS...
but I PROBABLY should feel badly about
recounting it here so gleefully...
I really should.  :)


Wednesday, January 19, 2011


This Tatting Press
is for a tatter
who lives
(but by my understanding)
(this time of year)
Washington State.
Because she brings
into Tatland,
I felt this situation
needed to be remedied
and determined that her press
should be
Hope you enjoy
your sunny, scrappy press, 
Does the Doctor need one as well...
or can you two share?  :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Joining the Fun With Jane and Janet

SPOILER ALERT: Don't read background text
if you EVER plan to read this book OR see the movie!
I've joined the fun
(Tat It And See).
Here are my Days 1 & 2.

that Jane takes the time
to do this every winter.
It is a day brightener
on these otherwise
gray days.

Another lady brightened my day
yesterday as I worked on the TIAS.
Janet Gaynor,
in Small Town Girl.
LOVE her smile and her voice.

So WHY the photo of a page from
Leave Her to Heaven?
A rather murderous book...
Ben Ames Williams
Small Town Girl
Leave Her to Heaven.

I have several books in my 
(or shelf if you prefer)
on which movies are based.
Since I have
Leave Her to Heaven
I thought I might also enjoy
Small Town Girl,
but at prices starting around $200,
per one site,
I think I'll wait until
I make my first million.

It'll be a while...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Opportunity from Emerging Designer, FOX

Of course, I said,
when emerging designer,
asked me to test tat
one of her new patterns.

Fox has been taking the latest
Online Tatting Design Class
taught by
and is doing a
job of flexing
her creative muscle.

was a 
relaxing and rewarding
motif to tat.
Thank you for the opportunity, Fox!
It was a pleasure!
My color selection for Maeve
was inspired by nature,
more particularly,
a flower that bloomed
five years ago
in the garden
at Groovy Girl's preschool.

The threads are #20 Lizbeth.
Maeve is #9 for my

I'm a bit behind on my challenge,
but have several pieces to post
in order to begin to catch up.
I am known for tackling tasks
and am often asked by 
members of my family
to translate time frames
from "Ann Time."

They are a clever bunch.  :)