Dragons and Waiting Rooms

Chinese Dragon by Martha Ess in progress on wandasknottythoughts
Martha Ess’ Chinese Dragon in process

While at Tat Days in September I picked up ‘Flights of Fancy’ by Martha Ess. For my first project out of it I chose the Chinese Dragon.  I had thought to use a lighter color than the Lizbeth 674 Garnet Dark but decided a dark color fits my vision of a Chinese dragon – at least today.  I like it in this color until I have to take out stitches when a mistake it made.

Note to self: DON’T make mistakes!

I was working on this in a waiting room when the two ladies at the desk asked what I was doing.  I explained a bit and one of the ladies immediately Googled it.  She was quite impressed by all the tatting she found on-line.

About a week later I was tatting in another quite large waiting room that has plants strategically placed all around and in the middle. A lady on the other side of the room leans around a large plant and asks if I’m tatting.  When I admit I am she comes over to see how it’s done.  I show her a bit and answer a few questions.  Then a gentleman comes over to see what I’m doing.  When they leave the ladies at the desk also want to know what I’m doing, so I show them.  I actually enjoyed my wait that day 🙂

Unfortunately, I still haven’t finished my dragon. I’ve been working a lot of hours and even when I have a few minutes I’m so tired I don’t feel like tatting.  Even so, I’m hoping to finish it soon.  I’m at the ears, then the easy part going down the back.

Maybe I should find somewhere else I need to sit in a waiting room to finish it. Even if that meant I might get interrupted by questions about what I’m making.

I could handle that.

“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.” Joyce Meyer   brainyquote.com


Time well spent

Last month I spent a weekend with my daughter’s family.  One day my grandson had a fundraiser he had to work and wanted me to go, too.  I tagged along but forgot to bring a chair to sit on.  We did happen to bring a cooler, so I was able to sit down somewhat comfortably.  I did not have a particular tatting project to work on but I did have several shuttles I was going to empty making small butterflies and such.

Ashley, the mother of one of the other boys, came over to see what I was doing.  I demonstrated a bit using two shuttles to show the flip better.  As we were both going to be there a while, and she showed interest, I let her try.  She picked it up fast!  In a little over an hour she was able to chain and even do a couple of rings.

New tatter Ashley on wandasknottythoughts
New tatter Ashley

I was impressed with Ashley, she did such a great job!  What I thought would be a long two hours went by in a flash.  We both enjoyed ourselves sitting on the sidewalk outside of a Wal-mart. Best fundraiser I ever went to.

Between the wonderful time I spent with my daughter’s family and the time I spent with Ashley, it was a great weekend.


“Time is free, but it’s priceless.
You can’t own it, but you can use it.
You can’t keep it, but you can spend it.
Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”

Projects from Tat Days

I took Jane Eborall’s ‘New Moon’ class at Tat Days.  I always enjoy her patterns.  I put grey Lizbeth thread my shuttles and used size 11 clear seed beads.  For all that the class was a level one I enjoyed it.  The nose of the moon is the one tricky spot in the pattern.  I got just past that point when the class ended.

Jane Eborall's Quarter Moon Class on wandasknottythoughts.com
Jane Eborall’s Quarter Moon Class

I was finally able to finish it the week following Tat Days.

Jane Eborall's tatted New Moon
Jane Eborall’s tatted New Moon

I also took Mimi Dillman’s Cluny Improvement Motif.  I had never done clunies except as practice, and only in the previous few weeks.  I am so glad that I took the class.  Mimi showed a different way to hold your hand for the loom which made it soooo much easier than what I had been doing.

Mimi demonstrating clunies to some of her class on wandasknottythoughts
Mimi demonstrating clunies to some of her class

The improvement motif definitely made me work on improving clunies.  But Mimi was right – I think my best cluny was the first one, not the last.

Completed tatted Cluny Improvement Motif on wandasknottythoughts
Completed Cluny Improvement Motif

After I got home I started another cluny motif, not because I had finished the first but because I didn’t have it with me when I wanted to tat.  The second motif was made in two colors – the ones that were already on the shuttles. Both of them are now finished

Two color tatted Cluny Improvement Motif on wandasknottythoughts
Two color Cluny Improvement Motif

I have some work to do on making those color changes look better – and the clunies themselves.  But at least now I like making clunies.   Don’t be surprised if they end up in some of my future patterns.

I haven’t yet finished my other two Tat Days projects.  Both will need my full attention to get them right.   I’m hoping to have time – and energy – to finish them soon.

“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.” Friedrich Nietzsche                         brainy quote.com

Tat Days!

My first Palmetto Tat Days are over.  I’m home and back to work.  But, man, did I have fun! It was great!

I had decided to rent a car to get from Atlanta to Taccoa, which is about two hours away.  As I would have plenty of room – and would appreciate a navigator! – I volunteered to give a ride to anyone that was arriving at about the same time.  That’s how I met Linda Barnes.  Her plane came in a little before mine.  We didn’t know each other, so I sent her a picture from the plane.  We connected with no problems.

Meeting Linda Barnes at the Atlanta airport on wandasknottythoughts.com
Meeting Linda Barnes at the Atlanta airport

Another tatter that needed a ride was Linda Patron.  Her plane came in a short while after mine.  I sent her a picture of Linda B. and me and we still had a little trouble finding her. We were at baggage claim one and so was she – we were at the north baggage claim and she was at the south.  Once we figured that out we found each other easily.  Once in the car we visited together the whole way to the conference center.

Meeting Linda Patron at the airport on wandasknottythoughts.com
Meeting Linda Patron

This was my first Tat Days but I knew one person that was there.  Karen, aka IsDihara, and I had met several years ago. I was so excited to see her!  I had heard that she wasn’t going to be able to go, but she made it!

Karen, aka IsDahara, was able to come to Tat Days on wandasknottythoughts.com
Karen, aka IsDahara, was able to come to Tat Days!

I didn’t know who my room mate was going to be.  I found out when I went to the room for bed about 10:00 p.m.  I opened the door and look who I found!

Diane, Lace-Lovin'-Librarian is my room mate! on wandasknottythoughts.com
Diane, Lace-Lovin’-Librarian is my room mate!

Yep, Diane, Lace-Lovin’-Librarian was my room mate!  I recognized her right away.  It was so cool!  We got along right from the start.  I couldn’t have asked for a better room mate.

Thursday night arrivals at Tat Days 2016 on wandasknottythoughts.com
Thursday night arrivals at Tat Days 2016

This is the general room on the lower floor of the conference center.  There seemed to always be people here.

I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I usually do when I’m someplace special – I was too busy meeting people and experiencing everything that is Tat Days.  I also did a little tatting 🙂  I didn’t get any of my projects done while there, but I learned a lot and had a great experience.  I hope to make it back next year.

Palmetto Tat Days, September 8-9, 2017 in Toccoa, Georgia.  The theme is “Tat a Con – All Things Tatted”

I will be sharing more of the pictures I took in the next few weeks – be warned!

“What we learn with pleasure we never forget” Alfred Mercier

p.s. I’ve been trying to post this since Tuesday but life keeps getting in the way. With any luck things will get back to normal soon and so will my posting.

2016 Kansas State Fair entries

It’s that time of year, time for the Kansas State Fair.  I’ve been very busy this year with things other than tatting but I wanted to enter something in the fair. It’s my attempt to keep them from dropping the category.  Last year there were only a few entries, which has me worried about the category disappearing.  I’m not all that confident in my entries, but they will be out there, showing the general public that tatting is not “a lost art.”

I took my doily with “Harper” edging that I had entered in the county fair.  It was already made, might as well take it, right?

Only one item per person can be entered in the only tatting category they have so I always look for other types of category/classes that will work for tatting.  There are several holiday classes that don’t specify media type that fit the bill.  I entered a Christmas decoration and a holiday, non-Christmas decoration.

Tatted Christmas decoration State Fair angel
Tatted Christmas decoration State Fair angel 1

I had several ideas for the Christmas decoration.  First thought was covering a satin ball.  I have several balls, and even downloaded a few patterns.  And changed my mind.  Then I was going to do a 3-D bell.  And changed my mind.  It ended up being a 3-D angel instead.

Tatted Christmas decoration State Fair angel
Tatted Christmas decoration State Fair angel

The main body developed with only a few changes, other than it started as a bell and ended up the angel body.  The wings came out great the first try.  As I hadn’t planned on it being an angel I didn’t plan how to attach the wings while tatting.  They were sewn on after both body and wings were complete.  The hard part was the halo.  Yes, the halo.  I made something like six different ones before I was happy with the result.  These pictures do not show the halo that finished off the angel right before taking it to the fair.  I forgot to take a picture.

The third item was the non-Christmas decoration.  I had a terrible time even coming up with an idea of what to take.  I’ve done Halloween and Thanksgiving in the past, maybe I should choose another holiday?  Nope, it came down to Halloween again.  It was down to the wire on whether it would even make it to the fair or not.  I started multiple ideas and messed up all of them.  The final touches were added just before leaving the house.

Halloween State Fair entry
Tatted Halloween State Fair entry

I downloaded the ‘Pearl Tatted Skeleton’ by Martha Ess to start with.  It did not turn out well, so I tried a couple of other things, which ended badly as well.  Then I perused Lindsay Rogers’ book ‘Tatting Collage’, hoping for inspiration.  The outcome was a combination of things, using parts of the skeleton and a few ideas from the book.  I don’t feel this is quite done, but I ran out of time.  It’s not my best work, and I have no idea what the judges will think, but I took it to the fair anyway.

Whew! I’m glad I have the fair items taken care of.  Becky, one of the Tuesday Tatters, took me with her to drop things off yesterday.  She entered a beautiful quilt and a quilt block but no tatting (we talked about that 🙂 ).  She is going to the fair on Friday, opening day, and will text me the results.  I hope to make it on Monday.

Now that is done I can make sure I’m all ready for Palmetto Tat Days.  It’s this week!!  I’m so excited! This is my first time going.  It’s gonna be great!  Hope to see a few of you there!

“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn”


Bits and Butterflies

I’ve been doing a lot of practice on different techniques lately.  Some of it is for Tat Days in September and some is just because.  I haven’t gotten all of them right yet, but I’ve had fun working on them.

Tatted bits of technique practice on wandasknottythoughts 'Bits and Butterflies'
Tatted bits of practice

The Clunies on the right I’m working on because there are a couple of classes I’m taking that call for them.  After a lot of practice they are getting easier.  I’m looking forward to learning hints and tricks about making them while at Tat Days.

Those funny looking flowers in the center?  I was trying my hand at Daisy Picots and Dandelion Picots.  Jane Eborall has instructions on her tips and techniques page.   Of course I rushed into making them before I looked them up.  My flowers came out okay and I had fun making them, but they aren’t made per Jane’s instructions.

I also played around a bit with pearl tatting – to remind myself how it’s done – and with using fancy embroidery floss.  I’m not too happy with the results with the floss.  If I really needed to use it for a project I’d work with it more and do better.

Tatted butterflies for Tat Days on wandasknottythoughts 'Bits and Butterflies'
Tatted butterflies for Tat Days

Part of my getting ready for Tat Days is emptying the thread from a bunch of shuttles.  I’m going to be needing them for new projects!  What better way than to make butterflies and donate them at Tat Days?  They give them away at their State Fair – isn’t that a great idea?  I’m sure I’ll have a few more for them before I get there.

I’ll be taking my entries in to our State Fair next week.  They are not what I would like them to be but I’m taking them anyway.  Over the last several years there have been fewer and fewer entries at the fair and I don’t want the category to disappear.  I’ll be taking pictures of them soon (I hope) and sharing them later.

I’m getting ready for the Kansas State Fair and Tat Days.  What are you getting ready for?

“Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.” Henry Ford

Denim and tatting

Back in May I made a couple of denim wrist cuffs for my daughters for Mother’s Day.  I was so delighted by how they came out that I decided to make one for myself.

Of course, it had to be a little different.  Instead of tatting around buttons I edged a small piece of material instead.  I planned the material to be white with white tatting.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my white thread.  (Can you believe I couldn’t find white thread???)  My solution was using Lizbeth #602 Natural in size 20, sewed to a corner of an old tea towel, then stained in coffee.  The lace bits I had were different shades of white/off white which worked well with the material piece.

Denum cuff with tatting, lace, and buttons on wandasknottythoughts
Denim cuff with buttons and tatting

I have a jar of old buttons that I sorted through to find accents for the cuff.  I tried newer buttons as well, trying to find just the right ones for the look I was after.  It’s amazing how hard it is to find just the right buttons and just the right places to put them.  I also added randomly placed seed beads over the whole thing.

You might notice that the ends don’t have the obvious stitching like my daughter’s had.  I used invisible thread this time.  It gives a nicer, finished look to the cuff, but it’s a lot harder to use than regular thread.  Instead of using a hair band for the closure I braided thread to make the loop.

Wearing the denum cuff with tatting, lace, and buttons on wandasknottythoughts
Wearing my denim cuff

I’m tickled pink at how it came out. I probably won’t wear it much until the weather cools off, but I’m already planning what I’ll wear it with this fall.

I’m still working on my clunies, but also a few other techniques that I don’t use often, like split chains.  I’ve done split chains before though only rarely.  I had to go on-line and refresh my memory.  I have a very strange-looking piece of tatting where I practiced this over and over.  Maybe, maybe, I have this down a little better.

My biggest concern right now is not what I need to know at Tat Days but what tatting should I take with me to do on the plane?  Something not too complicated, without beads, and easy to put down and pick up.   Hmmm.

What do you take with you to do when you fly?

“Denim has always been an everyday symbol for style” Ritu Kumar

Practice and the fair

Tatted earrings based on Lanyard pattern on wandasknottythoughts
Earrings based on Lanyard pattern

I have been enjoying the Lanyard pattern so much I tried making earrings with it. I know there are other earring patterns that are very similar to this but I made these the same as the ends on the lanyard.  Each of these have a couple of mistakes but I will wear them any way.  The next pair will be better.  Unlike with the bigger beads and bigger thread I had to use a floss threader to get the beads on the picots.  It takes so much longer than using a crochet hook!  These were made with Lizbeth #646 Purple Iris Lt in size 20, which is a very similar color to the DMC I used for the lanyard and the bracelet.

Speaking of which, I entered the bracelet in the county fair.

Tatted bracelet made with Lanyard 2016 pattern on wandasknottythoughts
Bracelet made with Lanyard 2016 pattern

My bracelet was the only entry in its class.  It’s great to see a blue ribbon on it as they do not have to give ribbons or top place to any entries even if they have no competition.

Doily with 'Harper' tatted edging at the fair on wandasknottythoughts
Doily with ‘Harper’ tatted edging at the fair

Doilies have to be mounted on cardboard to enter the fair.  My ‘Harper’ Edging looks good on the black background, doesn’t it?   It, too, was the only item in its class.  I’m glad I decided to enter both bracelet and doily so they don’t eliminate the classes.

Now I’m back to practicing cluny tatting.  I am taking one of Mimi Dillman’s classes at Tat Days in September and need to be a bit more comfortable with them.  I’m not trying to be perfect yet, just able to do them well enough that I can understand and learn any tips she teaches in the class.  Then I’ll practice what I learned 🙂

“To practice any art, no matter how well or how badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” Kurt Vonnegut

Lanyard 2016 Pattern as a Bracelet

When I made the lanyard a few weeks ago I was too impatient to add beads, as well as tatting it in the car.  I had thought beads would be nice if I would make the effort.  Sandra (Crazy Mom) commented it would look good with beads, too. I happened to stop in at Hobby Lobby last week and found some pretty beads.  I was trying to think what I could use them for when my husband told me to just get them.  He’s a wonderful enabler!  When I got home and saw the lanyard I realized that the purple thread would work well with the beads.

I noticed right away that the picots would have to be longer to accommodate the 6/0 beads.  Which also meant that the stitch count would need to be adjusted also.  I actually did a little planning before I started, so the beads would end up where I wanted them.  Putting two beads on the top picot it changes the look of the pattern, too, from concentric rings to leaves.  It came out well.

Tatted bracelet based on the Lanyard 2016 pattern
Tatted bracelet based on the Lanyard 2016 pattern

Before starting I went hunting through my stash of findings for the ends.  Because I was looking for gold findings all I located were silver or antique bronze findings.  This was frustrating as I didn’t want to add them after, I wanted to incorporate them from the beginning.  Luckily, the local Wal-Mart carried gold lobster claws.  Finally I could get started!

Tatted bracelet with beads
Tatted bracelet with beads

I added a little extra piece on one end.  This helps to keep the bracelet closure on the bottom of the wrist instead of moving to the top.  Don’t you just hate it when your bracelet shows off the closure instead of the pretty parts?

Tatted bracelet with clasp assist
Tatted bracelet with clasp assist

This little piece helps when you put the bracelet on by yourself, too.  Hang on to this little dangle and it will hold the end in place while you clip it with the lobster claw.  I can put it on by myself without fighting with it!

The bracelet was made with DMC Cebelia Lavender size 10 thread and Bead Treasures 6/0 glass beads Metallic Turquoise.

The county fair is coming up soon. I’m debating if I should enter something, and, if so, what.  It is fun entering items in the fair but you have to enter them in a certain time frame and pick them up at a certain time.  I need to check my schedule.

“Let’s do what we love and do a lot of it.”    Marc Jacobs

Lanyard 2016

I’ve had several people ask how I made the Lanyard from last week.

Tat Days Lanyard
Tat Days Lanyard

I hadn’t planned on writing it out but changed my mind.  This is my version of a simple idea that tats up quickly.

Lanyard, Wanda's version
Lanyard, Wanda’s version

I’ve added the drawing with text to my Patterns page.

It has been a busy week.  We’ve had a lot going on around the house as well as putting in a lot of overtime at work.  The only tatting I’ve done is not worth sharing; it’s not pretty.  I’ve been practicing cluny tatting.  One of the classes I’m taking at Tat Days in September is a cluny pattern.  Yes, I’ve made them before but only enough to say I know how to do them.  Now I would like them to look good as well.  I can’t say they look good yet but it doesn’t take me as long now to make them.

I have a lot of ideas of things I would like to tat.  Now I’m trying to make the time to do them.  Hopefully when I have the energy to do them and not just think about them.

“A woman’s mind is cleaner than a man’s: She changes it more often.”

Oliver Herford