Joy’s Heart Cross Bookmark

Joy's Heart cross bookmark wandasknottythoughts January 2016
Joy’s Heart Cross Bookmark © Wanda Salmans 2016
The center of this cross is Joy’s Heart (pattern found on My Patterns tab) with arms added. It’s done in one pass with shuttle and ball only, no fancy or difficult techniques. Made with Lizbeth #670 Victorian Red thread in size 20.
This was made in memory of my sister-in-law who loved anything hearts who lost her battle with cancer this last week.  We were the same age and though we didn’t see each other often we always enjoyed each other’s company.  She will be greatly missed.
I had almost a week to make a bookmark for my brother-in-law but I had a hard time getting started – maybe denial?  I finished the last arm and hid the ends a few minutes after the funeral.  The picture was taken in the foyer on a table there.  I should have found a better background but there were other things to do.
Funerals are hard to attend but can help so much with dealing with loss.  Besides all of the memories shared you also reconnect with extended family that unfortunately doesn’t get together often enough.  I also find myself reviewing my own life and wonder if I’m doing things I might regret or what things I might regret if I don’t do them.
As family and friends mingled, shared memories and tears, many of us kept saying “we have to stop meeting just at funerals.”  Someone decided to do something about that – plans have been started to have a family reunion later this year.  I’ve added it to our calendar and we’ve made plans to go.  We not waiting until the next funeral.
 There is a wonderful poem by Linda Ellis called “The Dash”. It really makes you think.

Emma pattern is posted

I finally finished the pattern for Emma!
It has taken me longer than expected, mostly because I kept trying different stitch counts in a few places.  I think I’m happy with it now.
The one place I did change the stitch count was the chains going up to and down from the top clover. Originally – and how I tatted the edging in the picture – the stitch count was 4 ds on each chain.  But, though it looked good when done, it had to be straightened by blocking or it twisted, so I changed them to 6 ds.  I also changed the two rings before and after those chains, making them 3-3 instead of 4-4.  Now when done it lays nice before any blocking.
It looks like I need to change the pictures I used on the patterns.  On screen it looks okay, but when I printed it the colors are so similar it’s a little hard to distinguish.  Maybe it’s just my printer?
So, for those who have expressed interest in tatting Emma, the pattern has been added to the patterns tab.
I have another edging done.  I haven’t even started writing out the pattern yet, but it is an easier one so shouldn’t take long.  Key word: shouldn’t.  We’ll see – if I think I need to make any changes on this one.
“All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.”
Bruce Lee

Thoughts on edgings

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I’m working on table runners and edgings for them.  I have trouble doing the same edging over and over so keep looking for or coming up with different ones.  Mostly I find I just have to do something different, even if it’s only small differences.  I looked through some old ones I’ve done over the years and decided to attempt to use a few of those.  Could I use them without making changes?

‘Mandy’ Edging © Wanda Salmans 2015

 Lizbeth #694 Harvest Orange Medium and #692 Mocha Brown Dark size 10
This one was actually made the same as last time – shocking!   I’m not sure how long ago I did it originally, 2005 maybe?  Back then I made it in completely in ecru, which gives it a different look than when done in two colors.  This is not hard though it does use the second shuttle a lot.  It will definitely have to be blocked when complete.

I used to work a lot with DMC Cebelia thread because I could get it in quite a few colors and sizes, though I still had a tendency to work in only one color at a time or only in ecru.  Recently I’ve been working almost exclusively in Lizbeth as there are so many colors and sizes available.  I’m trying to use more colors in my projects, like the edgings I’m working on.  I admire those of you that work in so many colors at the same time.  The tat-a-long doilies like Renulek’s Wionsa 2015 that I’ve seen lately are good examples (Fox’s and Diane’s are great examples) of using lots of color.

I don’t have any of the material for the edgings cut yet.  I’ve decided it would be better to make the edgings then cut the material to fit.  I usually try to make an edging about 12 inches and most of the time they are close, but not always.   And I try to make edgings that I feel go with the material, not just by color but by pattern.  That has a lot to do with what mood I’m in at the time…

I have added this pattern to my Patterns tab.  I’m not exactly happy with how I diagrammed it but the way I usually do the count just wasn’t working with this pattern.

Now, on to the next edging.  What color will it be?

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.”
Allen Klein

Queen’s Crown Edging

Queen’s Crown Edging © Wanda Salmans 2015
I’m going to be adding edgings to several table runners soon.  As usual, I seem to need to make up new patterns instead of using already existing ones.  I started this one day on the way to work (as the passenger!) with something else entirely in mind, but it just came off the shuttles like it was meant to be.  I had very few places I even had to change stitch counts to make it work.  I had one edging done in a couple of days. Made in size 10 Lizbeth #693 Linen Medium five repeats are about 11 1/2 inches long.  I asked my daughters for suggestions on the name; Queen’s Crown was quickly agreed upon by both of them and my husband, so there you have it.

I thought drawing out the pattern would be harder than it turned out.  It was a little more difficult writing out the directions than drawing it. At least I think so. Most of it isn’t that hard but there is a lot of switching shuttles involved.  The one tricky part is a picot that is on a turn where you change directions and shuttles at the same time.  It seems to work best with a lock stitch, and it comes out looking like the other side where there is a join to an existing picot.

Test tatting my pattern I used two shades of blue, Lizbeth #658 Ocean Turquoise Light and #657 Ocean Turquoise Dark (I think, I lost the label) in size 20.

Queen’s Crown Edging © Wanda Salmans 2015
I really like how this turned out!  For any that are interested, I’ve added it to my patterns page.
Here the two edgings are together for a comparison of the two sizes of threads.

Queen’s Crown Edging © Wanda Salmans 2015
Now I just need to buckle down and get a few more edgings done.  And then the hard part – attaching them to the material!
Today is Fat Tuesday (mardi gras), or Shrove Tuesday, which is the last day before the Lenten season begins.  Traditionally some people celebrate it by eating pancakes before restraining from eating rich foods for Lent.  I even remembered to make pancakes today!  I had to improvise a little bit – the recipe called for milk and I don’t have any.  I used more butter, an extra egg and water instead and they came out mighty tasty.
I just realized that today is a fitting day to introduce the Queen’s Crown Edging as there are many places that choose Mardi Gras royalty.  And they wear some fancy crowns!  
“A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.”
Frederick the Great


Let it snow!
I’ve been doing a lot of snowflakes lately.  I did quite a few that I knew I was taking to the craft show a couple of weeks ago, but now the show is over I’ve started making them for family and friends.  
A few of the snowflakes I made for the craft show
Some of these are patterns from previous years but seven (?) were made up this year, usually while
watching TV. Sometimes there was a plan when I started tatting, other times the shuttle went where it wanted.  Some started out going one way but took off on a tangent and ended up differently than planned (the one with four points, lower left corner, as an example). There are some that are not, strictly speaking, snowflakes, as they do not have six points, but done in white and hanging from a tree they give the impression of snowflakes.  Or at least look pretty.  
Every year I try to make one snowflake that will go in the Christmas cards.  This year there are a couple of versions of the same basic pattern.
The original version of this year’s snowflake, Sydney

The second version, with a slightly different pattern and different center
It’s amazing how small changes can make such a difference, isn’t it?
I’ve added the pattern for Sydney on my patterns page.
Snowflakes sold well at the craft show; I had quite a few and they were displayed well on the tree.  I didn’t put out any of my tatted earrings.  I didn’t have very many made up even though most are pretty simple patterns.  As there weren’t many and I was running out of setup time I didn’t worry about putting them out.  But I did wear a pair.  One lady was at our booth early without buying anything but came back later to talk tatting and other things.  She had noticed my earrings and asked if I had any for sale so I pulled out what I had and she found a pair she liked.  It’s not often I sell something I don’t even have out at a show!
Snowflakes and earrings: sometimes things unplanned turn out well ☺
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” Jimmy Dean

Earring patterns added

I’ve added the patterns for Small DragonFly Earrings and Leaf with DragonFly Earrings to my Patterns tab.
Thank you Stephanie for test tatting the for me.

Edited: 10/18/14 6:40 PM CST Made a slight correction in the pattern. I think it’s right now!  🙂

It’s a Plane!

I’ve been trying to post about this airplane for the last several weeks.
First I had trouble with my computer so I couldn’t work on the pattern.  
Then I thought I was ready and lost the tatted airplane without a picture of it.  So I tatted another one and in the process found I hadn’t saved the most recent changes of the pattern (I think the computer ate it).  
Today I finally get a picture of the new airplane – and the computer won’t let me download it.
After a bit of fussing and worrying I tried out a feature of our camera that we hadn’t attempted before – transferring the picture from the camera to my phone.  Have you seen the commercials for the Samsung Galaxy phones where two people hold their phones close together and the picture/file is transferred?  Just like that, except from our Samsung camera to my Samsung Galaxy III phone.  Then from my phone to my Google+ and the picture is accessible from anywhere I can get to the Internet.  Pretty cool!
Airplane @ Wanda Salmans 2014
This airplane is made of Lizbeth thread # 605 Silver in size 20.  Unfortunately the pattern isn’t up yet.  I still have to go back and fix a few things.  If things go a bit smoother tomorrow it will be up in the afternoon (I hope) but if not, then in a few days I will try to put it on my Pattern tab.
Triangle update
I’ve gotten a little bit done on the triangles.  All the white center motifs are done and I’ve started adding them to the middles.  The one on the left below has tatted chains instead of the bare thread.  The center was added last just like before except this time I went all the way around with the bare thread and caught all the picots of the triangle as well as the long stitches in the corners, then went around a second time using the needle as my shuttle and doing direct tatting (un-flipped stitches) on the bare thread.  I don’t like this very much: it wasn’t fun to make and it didn’t end up very round.

Independence Day is this Friday and I actually get the whole weekend off!  This doesn’t mean I’ll have a lot of time for tatting but I plan to get a little in one way or the other. 
“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”
Henry Ford


I have a confession to make.
I hate cleaning. 
I would rather watch tatting dry than clean the house.
And I’m not a neat person, making my house somewhat cluttered.  
So when I do clean house it takes a lot of time.  (I keep telling myself I’m going to do better, pick up things more often – but it hasn’t happened yet.) We don’t have people over often  – we would probably keep the house up better if we did – so when we plan to have company we have a lot to do.  Then it comes down to the wire and I start putting my clutter in boxes so I can stash them out of the way in a hurry, thinking, of course, that I’ll go back soon and take care of all of it when the company is gone.  
What usually happens is most of it stays in the boxes and I start the clutter all over again.  Those things I thought I was using/needing are replaced by other things.
Yesterday I was going through a box of such things when I came across a couple of pattern books I knew I had but couldn’t find.  Yea!
The “Tatted Animals” book by Inga Madsen I had purposely purchased to have patterns suitable for boys – what boy doesn’t like animals of some sort?  I have already started a project out of it, though it’s not for one of the boys, it’s for a niece ☺
Also in the box were these note cards I made probably twenty years ago, possibly more.  They are large, unlined index cards – 5″ by 8″? – folded in half.  The thread used is DMC size 8 in various colors, the only thread I could find at the time that came in so many colors.  I wasn’t much of an artist with these, but I was guaranteed that the recipient wouldn’t be getting cards like these from anyone else.  And they would know who it was from.

There were a lot of other things in the box that I had been looking for.  I kick myself sometimes for how unorganized I am.  I really, really need to start putting things away better.
I also need to start spending less time on social media and the Internet in general.  I get sucked in and spend more time there than I plan to.  But, the other day while on Facebook there was a suggested article, you know, one of those that pops in that are chosen for you based on what you’ve read or searched for, from, which I found interesting. And it mentions tatting by name!
Celina Anzalone, 2264 First Ave. making lace for Cappallino's factory near by. (Library of Congress)
Picture from
That’s only 10 skills for us tatters!
For myself, better housekeeping should probably be on this list of skills I don’t have.
“Housekeeping is like being caught in a revolving door.”
Marcelene Cox

Mother’s Day Tatting

Did everyone have a nice Mother’s Day?
I did. We visited with my mother, my husband’s mother and a couple of special aunts. They were very nice visits.  We gave my MIL and aunts flowers but my mother got a hat pin.
This is made with a large button, Lizbeth #670 Victorian Red thread size 20, and gold beads.  It measures almost three inches across. 
For all this is just simple chains I had quite the time with it, making mistakes in counts, cutting a picot, getting the shuttle threads tangled.  You can see at the bottom where things just didn’t go quite right.  But overall it didn’t turn out too bad.  In person, stepping back a bit, the boo boo isn’t all that noticeable.  I also had such trouble with it I didn’t want to chance trying to fix it :-p.  I thought about trying to put a ribbon or flower or something over it to hide it but decided it was just going to have to be good enough. 
Mom liked it, so all is good.
After all the visits we went home and I spent most the afternoon and evening tatting *smile*. 
I had recently come across the bookmark I had made when I was in Branson, Missouri a few years ago and was inspired to tat it again. 
This is made with Lizbeth Twirlz #404 Mermaid Lagoon size 20.
This is the first time I’ve tried the Twirlz thread.  It tatted up very nicely and held up well when I was retro tatting.  I hadn’t been sure I was going to like it, and I might not like it for every pattern, but I do like it for this. 
I’ve added this pattern to My Patterns tab as Branson Bookmark.
The weatherman predicted there would be severe weather Sunday night and there was, but it missed us by a few miles.  We spent a lot of the evening keeping an eye on the weather and worrying about family and people we know in areas that were getting it worse than we did. We did get over an inch of rain out the storms, so it wasn’t all bad.
It was a good day, imperfections and all.
“Yes, Mother.  I can see you are flawed.  You have not hidden it.  That is your greatest gift to me.”
Alice Walker