Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Waste not, want not

So whenever I complete a project I try to save all extra thread, even if the length is in itself too miniscule to actually tat with. I tie all the odds and ends together and roll them into a ball. Then, when I want to just tat something without worrying about patterns or colors, I pick a color for my shuttle thread, tat a starting ring, then add in the ball of excess thread.
After this point, I either stick to a certain number of stitches, or just tat whatever looks right at the moment. Thus far, I have done two of these excess thread projects in size 10 thread.

The first ended up becoming a pencil holder.

Duckie felt a sudden craving for burritos
When flipped upside down, the sombrero becomes a flower

Size 10 thread, various colors

While the second became a sombrero for this rubber ducky!

So the next time you finish a project and see only a little bit of thread left on the shuttle, pause for a moment and think about what you might be able to use it for.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lion hats

So a couple weeks ago some of my friends and I went out on a group date. The theme of the date was Disney. While the others made t-shirts, I decided to do hats based off of The Lion King.The first idea I had for the hats was to tat the ears.

 I liked the idea. Who else would have a hat with tatted ears? It would be a unique touch. Before figuring out the what else I would need to do to make the hats, I began tatting the ears.

After getting the hats, fleece in colors that would mostly match the color thread I had used for the ears and some frilly yarn for the Simba hat mane, I got to work putting it all together.
Now I'm not much of a sewer. I hadn't thought about how much sewing would be necessary to make these hats. I was focused on the tatting! But I was determined to make the hats. I did not want to decorate a t-shirt.
It took a few days without reading or working on other tatting projects, but I finished the hats before the day of the date.

Left: Simba's hat.                          Right: Nala's hat.

Despite some mistakes and mishaps, I'm happy with how they turned out. My date didn't seem too embarrassed by his hat, which was a plus.
I'd like to tat an entire hat, but that's a project I'm not quite ready to begin. So until then, I can at least add a unique touch to the hats I have through tatting.

Monday, February 25, 2013

What is tatting?

So a friend of mine suggested I write a post explaining what tatting is. So here is a basic explanation.
Tatting is a type of knotted lace. It is made by making double stitches over and over in either a ring or a chain. The double stitch is comprised of two parts and is basically a half hitch knot. There are a variety of styles used to tat, with the most common being shuttle tatting and needle tatting. The style I use is shuttle tatting.
A bobbin shuttle, tatting a size 30 white butterfly

To make a chain, you use two threads: the shuttle thread and a ball thread. While to make a ring, you only use the shuttle thread.
Purple thread is a ring, while blue is a chain

I won't go into detailed instructions on how to tat, as other tatting blogs have already posted clear, easy to follow written instructions and videos. One such blog is Tatted Treasures, so if you are interested in learning to tat I would suggest looking there at her Absolute Beginner series.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Let's begin with a dragon

When I was first learning how to tat, I came across a pattern by Anne Bruvold called Minor Norwegian Dragons. Before I found that pattern, I had a slight interest in tatting, but was doubtful if I would actually be able to learn how to tat. You see, my teacher had never taught a lefty before, and I was determined that if I was to learn tatting, I would hold the shuttle in my left hand.
I returned home from the activity where I began to learn tatting with a borrowed shuttle and went to the computer to look at videos about tatting. I found some helpful ones, and slowly began to learn more about how to make chains and rings. I even found a tatting blog that was in the process of making a absolute beginners series! But the Minor Norwegian Dragons pattern was what made me really desire to learn the craft.
I thought that dragons were really cool, and that making my own would be amazing. I wasn't even worried about split rings, since I didn't know what they were.
I put effort into learning how to tat. I came to love it.
At one tatting class after I had learned the basics of tatting, I asked my teacher how to make split rings. She didn't know, but found instructions in one of the tatting books she had brought. I practiced split rings and came to enjoy making them.
The borrowed shuttle became mine. My teacher was happy that I had been able to learn how to tat.
That was in 2011. I wouldn't actually tat a dragon until late in 2012.
For a cousin's birthday, I decided to pull out the pattern and give it a try.

Done in Lizbeth size 20: Falling Leaves

It was made. The pattern that fueled my desire to learn how to tat. I was ecstatic.
But my tatting journey would not end there, for there were so many other patterns I wanted to try!
In the beginning, I did not think that tatting would be a craft I would come to love. But at that first class, I decided to try tatting instead of crocheting.
That simple decision changed my perception of crafts.
So try new things. You might find something you love.