Monday, February 28, 2011

A practical application for tatting?

As I mentioned earlier, I'm a member of the SCA ( ~or~  One of the things I love about the SCA is the "educational excuse" for playing dress-up.  Oh sure, it's a "historical re-enactment" and the clothing should strive to be "period appropriate"...  But I get to design and make my own clothing based on what ideas I've found and like.  Best part is, when I'm done making my masterpieces, I get to wear them amongst other people who can appreciate the work that goes into it.  And yes, I'll admit, I'm the type of person that will (and has) gotten all dressed up in a 14th century Venetian Courtesan gown, and traipsed through the aisles of JoAnn's just for kicks. :)

Anyway, I'm working on another Venetian dress, and this time, I've got a new idea for the trim.  Rather than spending my money on someone else's work, I'm going to put my own tatting on it.  My current idea is to put a large pattern on the kickplate of the skirt (done in black yarn, so each motif is approximately 3" tall and stands out well against the dark red), and use the same motif in smaller sizes of yarn and thread to trim the bodice, and make a matching choker.  So far- I'm liking the idea so much that sitting at my desk at work is driving me nuts- I want to be sewing or tatting!

One of my preferred motifs right now is the following:

Each of these little hexagons is about an inch tall.  Needless to say, I've got a lot of tatting ahead of me.  The bonus is that this pattern is all rings- no chains.  Why is that a bonus?  Because I have 4 cats.  And as they demonstrated to me this morning, there IS no safe place to hide a ball of string.  They WILL find it.  And drag it all over the house- around every table leg and chair leg, and even up and down multiple sets of stairs.  By not having any chains in this design, I don't NEED to have a ball of string out, it's all on the shuttle, and the cats are (for the time being) thwarted. So there. Nyah.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Getting Started...

My intents in setting up this blog were originally rather selfish- I wanted a way to document with pictures my tatting projects since I expect to give or sell most of them away.  That's still the case, but in doing so much internet research to find my own inspiration, I hope that maybe my selfish blog will inspire someone else to take up an art form of their own and (pardon the sappy notion...) make the world a prettier place.

Where to begin....

I took up tatting about 2 months ago.  I was invited to go to a masquerade ball for New Year's Eve, and I'm not the type of person to go with the traditional...  (Besides- masks purchased online, while pretty, tend to have an abundance of glitter.  I like glitter, I really do!  But not when the majority of it will probably end up in my eyes.)  So I did some searching for lace masks.  I'm not entirely sure what I had in mind, but when I saw the mask online by TotusMel (, I was hooked.  Armed with some questionable how-to videos, new shuttles, old thread, and a load of determination, I taught myself how to tat.  At least enough to make a passable mask in time for the Ball. 

At the time, I thought I'd just created the Mona Lisa.  Now.....  I see so much room for improvement.  But thankfully, I haven't given up on the learning process. :)  And yes, I know the camera on my phone sucks.  I'll have to take better pictures down the road...

I got the mask done with a whopping 2 hours to spare before the party started.  And in case you're curious, I used eyelash glue to hold it in place.  An odd sensation, but it beats getting glitter in your eyes!

Enter 2011, with all the possibilities a new year tends to bring.  And I've added NEW thread to my amory, plus piggy-backing on a neighbor's internet connection, so I spent much of January looking at more how-to vids, pictures, blogs, etc.  Here are some of the projects I started/completed during January:
 Sad news: toward the end of January, my grandpa passed away.  On the road to the funeral with my sister, I completed this little heart to be part of a memorial box to give to my mom along with the inserts from both my grandparents' funerals:
I also finished this little gem in the car ride and wore it to the funeral:
My best friend is also in the SCA, and she'd been came back from an event with a great idea for a new project for me:  tatted garters.  You know- those cute things that keep yer stockings up? Well, adapt that for SCA, and you have cute things that keep your stripey socks up.  And, as an added bonus, they can easily double for a favor, if you see a guy you fancy on the list field. :)  This first set is done in purple with gold ribbon (Calontir colors):
These turned out so well, I decided to try a few more sets for some other friends in various colors.  I haven't taken pictures of them all, but here's another set- red and black this time:

So, those are my completed projects so far.  I have one more set of garters to make, and a necklace I want to get started for a friend of mine at work.  Then, I got what might be a fantastic opportunity to go in on an etsy shop with my college roomate- the woman who has more artsy wiles in her little pinky than I do in my whole body.  So I'm trying to think creatively on what might be appealing to sell in an etsy shop that 18 million other people aren't already selling. :)