Monday, September 5, 2022

Still Working on a Snowflake

"Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem."  ~ William Hamilton Gibson.

I have been working on a mixed media snowflake for several months now.  Like a delicate snowflake, ideas for it have come and gone, melting before I can turn them into reality. I can only presume that other designers have a clarity of focus - or a process - that enables them to progress more steadily, but this has always been mine.

Mixed Media Heart

I began with an article from the Online Tatting Class (founded by Georgia Seitz) that I had shared in August 2003 called Mixed Media Heart. It was a heart my mother found at a flea market in Florida in 2002. My parents had only just begun their 19-season-long winter treks to sunny North Florida. This heart was found after rummaging through a box of crocheted lace doilies. Haven't we all enjoyed a good rummage through the doilies, looking for tatting treasure? 

Carolyn Groves wrote a pattern for the heart from the photos I sent to Georgia. Thank you  again Carolyn for your excellent work! 

Georgia's original post begins with "There is an old saying that needleworkers should not mix their media."  I believe that old saying is wrong. Throughout history artists have excelled at combining mediums as suited their vision! The 2003 heart mixed tatting with thread crochet and I wanted to reshape it into a snowflake with my own creative vision. With any luck it would be a gem.

Round one combines six tatted rings, chains with decorative picots, and a crocheted chain across the top of the picots to add texture and dimension. 

The decorative picots in round two mirror the technique in round one. A single shuttle split ring bridges the gap nicely, but I needed two threads to tat the next chain. See the problem? Several faltering attempts later (see photo below for the most hopeful of the discarded attempts) I changed the plan again. 

Here is an Instagram photo of a pretty snowflake combining tatting with Turkish needle lace. It is my inspiration for round three, if I can recreate the needle lace. Wish me luck!

"I wish I could press snowflakes in a book like flowers." ~ James Schuyler.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Brownies in a Pie

 Brownie cravings are real. My sister gifted me this gorgeous, ceramic pie "plate" at Christmas. It is the deepest pie dish I have ever seen, which makes for X-treme crave-bustin' brownies.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Memorial Day Designing

Hellooooo!  May 30th is a holiday weekend in my little corner of Tat Land. A few years ago, I spent some time creatively and ended up with a tatting design doodle.

Let me say up front that designing does not come naturally to me.  I often look to nature or vector graphics or marketing labels or trash or anything I can find to get me started. (Even then I struggle, sweat, curse, cry and give up most of the time.)

Apps called Make-a-Flake and Snowflake Creator are two sources for inspiration. Here is an example of a snowflake I created with an app called Make-a-Flake:

The interesting part for me is whether to attempt tatting designs from the negative spaces or the positive ones? A question for all you accomplished tatting designers:  is it okay to switch back and forth between negative and positive space when you replicate a drawing?  Or should someone like me stick to one or the other?  I would love you hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

DORIS is Ready for Her Debut

Three years after Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was officially declared a pandemic and the world went on lockdown, me and mine choose to continue to wear masks and go about our daily routines as best we can.

 A model of coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2

Lockdown was a great time to dust off my old Tatters Across Time binder (2005) and begin improving my proficiency.  Alas, I continue to struggle with one assignment -- the old way of tatting dimpled rings -- and have put the project in "time out" until I tat a satisfactory sample.  This muddled mess is my latest attempt:

In January 2022, Jane Eborall resurrected her beloved T.I.A.S. (Tat It And See) and I joyously joined, albeit several weeks later than everyone else. If you have never taken part, the fun of T.I.A.S. is in not knowing what you are tatting. The pattern is split up into small bite-sized pieces and released every few days.

DORIS (the dragon formerly known as DURANTE)

You wind on some thread, tat a few rings/chains and wonder as the design emerges. This year's mystery did not disappoint. Right up until the end participants were uncertain what they were creating. Once I had gotten to the snout stage, I dubbed my "whatsit" a platagon (platypus-dragon) named Durante. Now I marvel at how close my guess actually was.  Isn't he darling?

For those who like to know, Durante is made with 20 Lizbeth® #716 Maple Syrup.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Plum Summer Snowflake

In February 2017 Robin Perfetti posted a bookmark pattern on her blog Tatting by the Bay.  I had been wanting to play with triangles to build a snowflake and her pattern was perfect inspiration.

Gall bladder surgery in December, 2017 and a hernia repair in early 2018 required some time off to heal. Time slipped by (as it does) and before long it was Autumn, then end of year.

In 2019 I rededicated myself to tatting. This snowflake was started as a "triangle-a-day" project to make tatting a part of my daily life again.  It was fun determining the path this work would take to minimize hiding thread ends.

Here is my summer snowflake, tatted in size 20 Lizbeth® #625 Plum.  Thanks to Robin!

She wore white heirloom lace about her throat
And in her hair a bright golden feather
A pearl like a plum hung ripe from her neck
But her smile fetched ten gold together.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Double Core SSSR Success (and failure)

THIS POST was written in 2009 but it sat in my draft folder until today.  Now I am looking for the UFO and the Irish Crochet clovers that were made for this project.

The first bit of tatting I have done in over a week is this:

Boy did it feel good to get the half-hitches flowing again!

Note to the Occassional Tatter - Once you get into a daily tatting habit, it is surprising how much the tatting zen fulfills you. Try it. You'll be glad you did.

Even though my tatting "must do" list is overly long, I decided to try a technique that Martha Ess and TattingChic worked out in May 2009 -- Double Core SSSR with Two Colours

This technique is perfect for tatting Mindy Al-Aaraji's Clover Motif © 2003 in three colors. Either two or three, I'm still waffling. But probably three.

I even convinced my twin sister, whose lace crochet work has been published in magazines, to create the Irish Crochet clover centers for me. Big win!

If you have sisters you probably won't understand why this was a huge win. Your sisters (I'm betting) would grant your crafty requests without batting an eye. Mine refuses, so I took it as a green-lit SIGN from God, the Universe and Everything.

Naturally, she said I needed to make these myself "because they were so easy" to do. Heh, I haven't used a crochet hook to do anything besides hide knitted ends or join picots since 1977. My feeble attempts would derail this project and probably make a leprechaun angry.

Since I have one of those close by, I dared not risk it!

Here are her gorgeous clovers:

Remember to make tatting a part of your life every day!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Mattie the Battie and a Fall Flake

I discovered yesterday that Fox has stopped blogging.  It made me sad.  Of course I understand, because Instagram is a good deal faster for posting photos, but still, sitting down to the computer for a leisurely blog stroll is a guilty pleasure.  I will miss reading her blog.

So I am posting my most recent tats for those of you who (like me) still enjoy reading the tatting blogs.  My latest creation is a Fall Snowflake, designed by Robin Perfetti, called Solstice.  

Solstsice Snowflake © 2014 Robin Perfetti
Tatted by IsDihara

It is gloriously rich with blazing Autumn color.  The second round required three (3) shuttles to accomplish the color placement.  Overly complicated? Yes but the results speak for themselves.

Threads used are Flora 20 variegated yellow, Lizbeth 20 Harvest Orange Medium #694, Lizbeth 20 Autumn Spice #136 and Lizbeth 20 Christmas Red #671.

Free pattern available here:

Next is Mattie the Battie, designed by Erin Holloway-Moseley.  Erin shares a photo in her pattern of the real Mattie - her mother!  It is a free Halloween Tatting pattern shared on BellaOnline:

Mattie the Battie © 2013 Erin Holloway
Tatted by IsDihara

Georgia Seitz has this to say about Mattie the Battie:
Double Ten!!! In many cultures, the tenth day of the tenth month is considered a lucky day. And luckily for us, Erin Holloway-Moseley is sharing her tatted bat pattern. It is named "Mattie the Battie" in honor of her mother (see photo.) In Chinese, the word for good luck is pronounced "fu" and it sounds like the word for bat,"fu". Thus bats are lucky. Enjoy!
My bat is photographed before getting a block-and-steam "spa treatment" so eagle-eyed viewers will notice that the wings aren't even.  No worries!  It will all work out. Should I make Mattie into an Ice Drop bat?

Here she is with a red stone tucked into the approximate spot:

Mattie the Battie © 2013 Erin Holloway
Tatted by IsDihara

The gem is a bit small and would slide around once encased, so I don't think I will.  But I will be on the lookout for a larger red gem...

In these days leading up to Halloween, I wish you many happy tatting moments.  Trick or Treat!