Tatted Lace Confection

Tatted Lace Confection
Happy Tatter's Doily

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Front and Back Side of Tatting & How To Tell The Difference

The front side of a double stitch is recognized by the bump at the top of the double stitch, including the base of each picot. The back side of tatting is recognized by the lack of the bump.

How can one make all the bumps show up on the front side of your work? An example: 2 ds p 2 ds cl rw. Since you have reversed your work you simply reverse the order of the double stitches and the bumps will come out on the front of your work.

Have you noticed that with needle tatting the tatting stitches are actually the same as knit and purl in knitting?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Starching & Care of Tatted Projects

Tat a lovely doily for that special friend or your own table. Now what? How do you starch it or store it when you are not using it. What is the recipient of the doily supposed to do when she needs to rewash and starch it again or store it? The answers are surprisingly easy. Cut a piece of cardboard of styrofoam that is a few inches larger than the doily or other tatted item. Between two clean and dry towels (large enough to hold the doily) lay the doily out, coaxing the chains and rings into shape. Steam press (no moving iron around, just press and lift to next section and press again) over the top layer of towel over the entire doily. Allow it and the doily to cool. Remove top layer of toweling. Gently lift the doily off the towel. Center doily on piece of styrofoam or cardboard (covered with plastic wrap that is taped onto the opposite side of the cardboard). Place rustproof sewing pins in center of chains and at the top of each ring and in picots. In a clean squirt bottle mix Even-flo Starch (liquid) 2/3rds starch 1/3rd water and shake vigorously several times. Over a sink or tub tilt plastic covered cardboard or styrofoam at an angle. Completely soak doily with starch. Allow to dry approximately 12 hours. Lay on clean, flat surface, remove pins. Clean tub or sink to remove starch. Use a pin to remove excess starch in picots, etc. To wrap as a gift: If you used cardboard wash off plastic with warm soap and water and dry or replace it with a clean piece. Place doily back onto cardboard or styrofoam replacing pins in the same holes made the first time, except push them until they almost push through the back of cardboard or styrofoam. Wrap with wrapping paper and add bow. Now when the recipient is ready to wash and restarch her doily all she has to do is wash it by hand with a Woolite type product, rinse, place back on the styrofoam or cardboard base and put the pins in their original holes, starching as before and let dry. After spraying starch on the doily remove sprayer and swish in warm soapy water, squirting the sprayer several times to remove starch residue which keeps it from being clogged when you are ready to use it again. No more calls asking you to wash and starch your gifts again. Also, storing the doily is easy. Just put it back on the base, cover with plastic wrap and place flat or upright where nothing can be piled on it or against it until it is time to enjoy it again. So that's the basics of caring for tatted lace. Next time we will discuss the front and back side of tatting and how to tell the difference and how to get all your double stitches with all the rings and chains facing upside right. So easy!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Angel in Progress

My angel is finished except her wings. She is a brand new endeavor working with some new  materials that I have had no experience using. The size and angle of each wing has to be just right. Oh, and the starching. Hmmmm. Then there is her height which can be adjusted if I want. It took me weeks to find just the right thread, Finally I found a lovely Red Lion creme #10 thread. One of the wing designs from another angel seems a good fit. Writing down the pattern as I go is tedious but the alternative is going back and doing it after I've forgotten the pattern which is harder. That's why it took me 5 years to finish Tatted Angels & More - 26 Tatting Patterns. I let the angels flow from my fingers as fast as they came. Not once did I write out the pattern as I went so........ I spent almost 3 years recreating each pattern, re-tatting each one without the benefit of the photos to see if the instructions were right. It's been a learning curve that both pleased and challenged me. I was doing all of this with grandsons surrounding me each day, being my husbands secretary for his business, co-chairing our church's prayer chain, creating enough tatted cards to keep up the inventory for a local gift and art store and to supply my needs for  a lovely craft show that I look forward to doing each fall. My granddaughter comes along (14 this year) and we have a great time sharing our crafts with the buyers and browsers. One of the favorite items at our display was the greeting cards with angels starched and sewn to the front of them, either all occasion or Christmas. I also had some cards with starched and tatted snowflakes sewn on card fronts in the same manner. They are a card and gift in one, perfect for loved ones that live far away and are on your gift list. For wedding showers I love to give a Christmas tin full of tatted snowflakes and angels, starched and ready to hang in windows, on wreaths or the tree. One of our pastor's wives asked me to make a chain for her angel so that she could wear it as jewelry. I love autumn with the lengthening evenings and chill in the air. After a long walk by the river, curling up with tatting in hand makes the end of a great day.
If you aren't a tatter, consider learning. One ball of thread, a tatting needle and some sharp scissors can save you lots of money spent on gifts. Pillowcases with tatted edges, lovely hand or kitchen towels beautifully finished with a pretty tatted fringe, a tatted heart framed for hanging or delightful little Christmas stockings topped with tatted lace. These are most likely the only tatted gifts a person will ever receive. Teach a few tatting classes and you'll be able to pay for your supplies for quite a while. Try needle tatting, which is easier to master than shuttle tatting and for those with arthritis or other disabilities is less trying on the joints. Next time I will give you tips for starching your tatting projects. Have a great autumn!.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Tatted Angels & More ~ 26 Tatting Patterns is finally finished. Five years of tatting and praying, editing and listening to those wiser than I to get directions for seeing my dream become reality finally gave me the harvest I wanted (1) to add to the bounty of beautiful tatting patterns that came before me (2) to become a published author and (3) to preserve the patterns that I'd received from the Lord before they went the way of the neglected. Fourteen angels were only the beginning of the angel patterns that I have created but yet to publish

.But there was a glitch in the road (diabetes). Working hard on my book, taking care of the business of life and neglecting to care of  me caused diabetic ketoacidosis to rear its ugly head. My corneas swelled (blurry double vision) and vertigo meant no tatting, no driving, reading, or working on the computer. Sitting, longing to create another pattern for my next book. Dizzy, tired to the bone, weak and impatient, that was my state. My doc said it will take a long time to recover, "a marathon," he said,"not a sprint."

Within one month I figured out how to overcome insulin resistance and get back my strength and energy. Low carbs, meeting daily protein needs, low fat, and  low calorie choices and 90 minutes on my recumbent bile plummeted my weight in spite of insulin resistance. The ER doctor and my doctor failed to tell me that diabetic ketoacidosis leads to electrolyte depletion, thus the weakness and low energy. One cup of Gatorade and my energy was flowing again. More Gatorade the next day and I was fit to conquer the challenges that lay ahead.

Next week I address the vision issues and enjoy the fast slide of my blood sugars into the bottom range of normal instead of the 500 blood sugar that I faced in the ER last month.

Last week I picked up my tatting and almost sang with happiness as the lace flowed into my lap. I worked on wings for my latest angel, made a tatted card with some Cricut design work thrown in for good measure. Last night I sat and read a book without double vision but with the aid of magnifying glasses. I am back on the computer again using another stronger pair of magnifying glasses.

One of  the most terrifying moments for me in all of this was that the leisurely evenings and Sunday afternoons filled with creating something beautiful things with a single strand of thread could have been gone forever, my future a blur. Happily, because of the mercy of God, I have another chance. Here's to staying on track and to more tatting!