Do you remember when you were in school as a child? Did you ever ask why you had to learn a certain skill/subject? Back then, you could never see how you would ever use it and homework could be a real pain. And then you’re older and taking classes, through a school or because of your work, on subjects that you are interested in. Then the homework isn’t quite the drudgery because you can see the where, why and when you’ll use the knowledge. It doesn’t mean it will be easy, though.I’m taking Sharon’s Design-Tat class, learning how to design tatting and then how to share it by writing out the pattern. One lesson was to design a motif, with part of it given to all, and a part of it we each were to come up with ourselves. That wasn’t too hard, and was fun. But then the next lesson was to write it out – not as much fun. But after a bit of stress and several starts (and re-starts) I finished that, too.

So, what do you do with a motif? I’ve done lots of them over the years, but when they’re done, just what is their purpose? Some I’ve done in white and hung on my Christmas tree, though they may not be a snowflake, and a few I’ve put in frames. Quite a few are tucked away, hidden from sight, because I didn’t have anything planned for them. I think the main thing done with motifs is to join them together to make mats or runners or tablecloths – something bigger anyway.

Okay, I have a motif: let me try to make something bigger.

I played around with my motif a little and soon realized that it, at least to me, did not lend itself to be joined together, not as it was anyway. The edges are very frilly, and when two are joined together as designed end up with overlapping picots. Not very aesthetic. So I made a few modifications, which helped a little, though I still wasn’t happy with them. I played around with them a little more and came up with adding corner pieces. Much better. This design leaves the finished piece a little floppy as there aren’t many joins to the center. I found that a bit of hair spray after blocking does a great job of stiffening it enough to fix that without being too messy or taking too long to dry (hair dryers are a wonderful tool)

Both the single motif and the mat are made in Lizbeth size 20 in white. I’m going to call the single motif #15 of my second 25 Motif Challenge and the mat #16. I’m hoping someone in the class will be kind enough to test-tat the motif. It really does a help a lot to have someone else read over a pattern and try it. I always see what I know should be there, not necessarily what’s really there. I haven’t written out the changes and additions to the mat pattern yet – I’m waiting on the proofing of the other pattern first.

And now, on this pretty Tatting Tea Tuesday as I sip my “Constant Comment” tea (“tea flavored with rind of oranges and sweet spice”) – which was a gift from my Advent swap partner – I’m going to share what my wonderful husband did for me this weekend.

He made me another shuttle!

It was hard to take pictures of this; I had a hard time getting the camera to focus. Finally I got the right setting on the camera and was able to take some clear pictures but not as good as I’d like.

This shuttle is made with, we think, Japanese walnut; he actually got the wood from one of our neighbors. In the pictures it looks like the sides are rough but they are actually smooth. In person it looks the same, you touch it expecting it to be rough. It’s also very light weight. The color was much lighter before the hand rub polyurethane was applied. The tips don’t, and aren’t supposed to, meet, but when dangled the thread doesn’t unwind because of the way the slots are cut. I will have to keep a crochet hook with me when I use this shuttle because it doesn’t have a sharp point, but that’s okay, I have several hooks:) It’s a little longer than the Clover shuttles I usually use, but not bad. I think it will hold a bit more thread than a Clover, too. It might be a good shuttle for when I use beads.

Can you tell I’m a little excited about this shuttle??

May this be the start of wonderful new year
May you have enough thread for all your projects
May your shuttle always hold just enough thread
And may there always be a little tea with your tatting on Tuesdays: )

Happy New Year!

22 thoughts on “Homework”

  1. I love your motif. You have such a wonderful sense of proportion, and your designs are always very elegant. It was also very ingenious of you to add that ring to be able to join the corners; it makes for a beautiful mat.

    What a great husband, too!

  2. Oh. My. Gosh. Your motif is great, and your mat is gorgeous! You definitely have an eye for design – my motif in that class was pretty boring.

    And the shuttle. Looks like a great design and a really good size. Lucky you!

    Great start to a new year 🙂

  3. I love this design especially the mat as you can see the design it makes with the negative space. Bravo!! I joined Sharon's last class and I must say I am not good at it. I will have a look at it and perhaps test tat it for you this weekend.

  4. I think you did a great job with your design (both the motif and the mat). Very pleasing to the eye and good negative space.

    The shuttle your husband made for you is wonderful. I like the idea of the slit being on an angle. You can tell a lot of thought went into it's design.

    You are both creative people!

  5. Your Design_Tat motif and mat are magnificent! You should have seen my stumbling, bumbling attempts from the previous session. Such a mind-expanding learning process, eh? But you, my dear, are a natural. Your effort has an Iris Niebach sensibility and grace to it. Very elegant!

    And what a lovely shuttle your husband has crafted for you! My fingers kept reaching toward the monitor. I wanted to touch, to feel the figured wood. You are one lucky lady!

    Best wishes for a Gotatsic 2011!

  6. Thank you all for your kind comments! They are greatly appreciated. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy:)

    Yes, I have a wonderful, loving, creative husband!!: D The shuttle is great! He's even talking about making another one;)

    umintsuru & Isdihara, I would love if you would tat it. I think I've already found a couple of mistakes:( but making sure all of those little pesky things are found would be great! Isdihara, I'll email it to you.

    Thanks,Fox! And I'm half done with yours: ) I didn't have time to finish it yesterday but I'm hoping I will today. It sure is pretty!

    Once all the bugs have been found and corrected I plan to write out the mat directions, also, and then I would be glad to share them both.

    I've had a lot of fun so far with Sharon's class, and learned a lot. Learning how to diagram patterns is next – oh, boy!

  7. The motif is excellent, and the mat is the kind of design I love in tatting. The addition of the ring in the center brings the four motifs together and creates a stunning and eye-appealing 'pattern' of its own! You definitely have a talent for design – and so many other things in your life.

    And the shuttle is beautiful! What a sweet surprise! Better watch out or you'll be taking orders!!!

    I hope you're able to relax a little now that the holidays are over!

  8. How nice to envision you working on your blog post while sipping Constant Comment tea! We're so glad you like it, and that your gift-swap partner gave you such a thoughtful gift! 🙂
    -Deb for Bigelow Tea

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