Words from the Knot House

Archive for the ‘Tatting Tips’ Category

Wednesday Highlight

Since my mind is still completely on another tatting project, instead of a Wednesday challenge, I am going to highlight another tatting site. Georgia Seitz has an amazing tatting site with an amazing amount of how-to, patterns, and challenging ideas. While taking a break today, I made the Cluny Loom for leaves found here. Luckily, I had the plastic canvas star already* so it was easy peasy. I found it difficult to work with my Aerlit shuttle but when I switched it out for my neutered version, this started going faster and easier. Now I am going to try and make the passes in varying widths so it actually looks like leaves.in the picture below you can see my leaf in progress (and tongue depresses, my shuttle case, stylus,and the kiddos mind craft sticker)
Once you have explored Georgia’s site, you are going to want to meet her in person, and you can. Georgia is one of the many talented teachers at this years Shuttlebird’s Workshop. All the information can be found on out website.

Happy Tatting

*No statements made are to be used to defend my husbands position that I have turned this house into a hoarders version of Joann Micheal’s Hobby Lobby.


Good Patterns for Auction Piece

Every year, at the Wing Christmas Party, Family Support has a silent auction to benefit several programs they provide throughout the year. For the past several years, I have donated a creation, with the funds going to the summer camp they provide for military youth every summer. I have been thinking for weeks about what I should do this year and now, two weeks out, I need to make a decision while I still have time to make it.
I have been thinking about making Marilee Rockley’s Beguiled necklace from her “Up and Tat ‘Em” book. It is available on her Etsy.
Last year, I made the Bedazzled Butterfly from her book, “Boutique Tatting” see the picture down below.
However, before I buy a new pattern book, I figured I would ask all you out there if you have any tried and true patterns for fundraisers. I don’t mind spending the next 2 weeks making something for the cause but feel like I have failed them if it doesn’t go for very much.
So what ya got for me?


Owie Wowie

We have all done it, jammed the nail, pulled something the wrong way, and started a tear in our nail down below the edge of the nail bed. I use my nails as tweezers so I get this more than I should. I have found that a partially torn nail will catch a thread every time I start to tat. Usually, not that big of deal. Usually, I just cut off that part of the nail and go along my merry way. But what about when it is too deep? No one wants to rip that off, and we sure don’t want to stop tatting. What’s a girl to do?
Years ago in beauty school (stop your laughing, I was good) my instructor showed us a great tip. This isn’t a permanent fix, but it will hold the nail together a few extra days so it can grow out. Mine lasts about 2 days but I also loose fake nails within a week so your milage may vary.
You are going to need:
Alcohol or nail polish remover
Runny superglue
Piece of napkin or tissue or even thin fabric

Clean your nail real good. DO NOT do this if there is any chance there is an infection or foreign material under the nail. If you have a nail file you can rough up the surface of the nail a little to help the patch stick. Now wipe the nail with the alcohol or polish remover and let dry.
Cut a small piece of the tissue (I used a large piece in the pic so it is obvious) and place it over the tear in your nail. Cover the tissue with a few drops of glue. It does not take much, and will spread as the tissue absorbs it. The tissue should remain flat. If it starts to curl, quickly press it down. Once the glue gets tacky it will stick. If it gets on you, gentle clean up with alcohol and cotton balls.
That’s it. Patch can be removed with non-acetone nail polish remover after the nail grows our or anytime you need to change it.
WARNING: if you start to feel pain, or swelling, or anything wrong, TAKE THE PATCH OFF! I have done this countless times without problems but better safe than sorry.

Hope this helps you keep tatting




Oh What a Tangled Thread We Weave….

When we toss Egyptian cotton with ease.

WARNING: This post contains graphic pictures of mishandled thread. Not for the faint of heart.20130610-155739.jpg

I admit, I have issues. Those who know be can attest that I have more than my fair share. Luckily for you, since this blog is about tatting, we can skip over 95% of them. I have already shared my obsession with Aerlit shuttles and my quest to get one of each color. After shuttles, my OCD moves on to threads. Since I am bearing my soul here, I must confess that there is a part of me that wants a collection that includes every color of Lizbeth size 20 available. That is over 179 different colors. (Color Chart)  The reasonable part of my brain tells me how ridiculous that is, the creative artistic side is screaming “NEED! WANT! NEED! WANT! NEED! WANT!” I was lucky though, when I started putting together my collection, a local craft store was closing out all their Lizbeth so I was able to buy a bunch of variegated colors cheap. Another national craft chain has a 40% off coupon every week. For awhile, I just stopped in there whenever I was going buy and picked up a ball. If I was to count, which I wont, I would estimate I have about 50 different colors. When you have that much, you need a way to organize it, or chaos will abound.

Last week, I purchased 3 new balls of thread and it is time to add them to my Snap-Ware storage containers. I could just toss them in together and let them party all night but I have control issues so that doesn’t work for me. I know some people leave them in the nice plastic bag they come in, drawing the thread thru the hole right below the seal. I tried that but the krinkling sound of the bag annoyed me. Instead, after spying on other tatters, and adding some ideas of my own, I came up with the following check list for each ball of thread I buy.

20130610-170836.jpgStep One: Clip it up!
The first thing I do once I take a ball of thread out of its protective baggie, is add a little girls hair clip to hold the end of the thread in place. These clips can be purchased anywhere, in many different designs. My co-blogger Natalie, who I stole this idea from, has little heart shaped clips that are adorable. The average cost is less than 10 cents each.
Step Two: List it!
I have an excel file that lists every color of thread I have so I don’t buy doubles. It includes the color name and number, amount, and a way to mark the color if I need to buy more. I can then export the data into a PDF that I can send to my mobile device and take with me to the store or guild meetings.
Step Three: Label it!20130610-170748.jpg
I know this seems redundant since Lizbeth labels each ball but it has been my experience that the Lizbeth label falls off once you get about halfway thru the ball. To prepare for that eventuality, I add a secondary label to the inside of the cardboard tube holding the ball in shape. You can use any labels you want, but you need to make sure they are NOT reposition-able. If you can move the label around, there is a good chance that over time and use, the label will fall off. Avery Mailing labels cut in half work great.
I use the following key on my labels: Thread size/ Thread Color number. I use both in case I ever start collecting other thread sizes (my husbands worst nightmare) I will know what is what without having to guess.

Once all that is done, the thread is ready to play nicely with the others. Now, you don’t have to follow these steps but you must tame your threads and show them who is boss. We all know what happens when thread is left to its own devices…….


Quilting Tools for Your Tatting Pleasure.

I love finding tatting supplies in other areas of the craft stores, especially if it is something I lose ALLOT! I love my Handy Hands Picot gauge but I have trouble finding it when I drop it. If they would redesign it so it was day-glo pink or orange so I can see it under my couch I would be a happy little tatter. Now I have a back up I found in the quilting department at JoAnns. The measuring gauges are traditionally used by quilters to check seam allowances and sewing lines, they are handy for making uniform picots from 1/4 to 2 inches. The Dritz aluminum gauge had a rough edge on it when I bought it but that was quickly rectified with a couple of swipes of a fine emery board.20130610-173333.jpg

Right next to the gauges, was the Clover Soft Touch Thread Pic. Approximately the same size as a 16 crochet hook, the thread pic has a slightly different shape at it’s head that, in my opinion, helps to get it into tight spaces. I generally use it to split the threads and use the hooks on the ends of my shuttles to make the joins. It is my go to tool for retro tatting and when I am using the higher numbered threads.

The Kitten pictured was made using Lizbeth 2o Carousel #112 and the Dritz Gauge. All picots are 1/4 inch except the Ears that were 5/8.

Pattern for the Kitty was our Wednesday Weekly Challenge #5.

You can purchase the Handy Hands Picot Gauge from DS9Designs here. All other items can be found at a big box craft store near you.

gauge gauge2 pic

Handy Hands Picot Guage

Baby, Booties, and Ooops.

Lexi 8 hours old

Lexi 8 hours old

tattingfingers Welcome my little Lexi! There seems to be some confusion, my eldest who gave birth to her last Saturday is under the delusion that since she carried her for 9 months, Lexi belongs to her. But we all know she will love Grandma the most. The fun details are as follows:

Born 5/25/2013, 9:50 am
Name: Alexandria Isabella
Weight 6.08
Length 19
Labor: Couldn’t have been easier.

As you can see in the picture, she has the longest, thinnest fingers I have ever seen. Her hands are just perfect for tatting. I can not wait to but her that first shuttle.

Now, lets talk booties. I made the pair in the picture following the Mrs. Platt pattern from 1916. You can read more about it and get the pattern Here. My daughter packed them in her hospital bag so Lexi could wear them right after she was born. It took over 5 minutes to get her tiny little feet squeezed into the booties just long enough to snap a photo. Even as tiny as she is, the booties were too small. I think most of the issue was with the length but it was hard to judge while she was squirming. I think the situation can be solved by adding more length when making the sole at the bottom of each. I am going to work on making her a larger set and will update the pattern when I get some good measurements.

In all the excitement, I lost my tatting bag. Luckily, all it had in it was a single project and 2 shuttles but I didn’t want to have to start the medallion again. When it was found in the laundry I was excited, until I realized it had gone through the washer. The piece that is completed is so soft and loose, I don’t know if I should continue or just trash it for a new one. Have any of you ever had something like this happen? Any suggestions? Please leave your advice in the comments below.


Mrs. Platts Baby Booties Revisited

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

And for my family, this is a very special Mother’s Day indeed; my eldest daughter is about to become a Mother for the first time which means I am about to become a GRANDMOTHER! I wanted to make her something very special to mark the day and I decided to tat her a pair of baby booties that she could keep and hand down to her daughter when the time came. I wanted something simple and elegant. Thankfully, my co-blogger Natalie had the perfect public domain pattern by Mrs. C.B. Platt, originally published in 1916. It is a great pattern but I had a hard time following parts of it. It was a week of tatting, untatting, cutting sections off, retatting, more cutting off, until I was just about ready to let the baby go barefoot forever. Instead, I tatted thru and decided to share my edit of the pattern. You can get a PDF copy by clicking here. Platt Baby Booties Edited

Hope you enjoy and again, Happy Mothers Day!



Edited 5/31/2013.  These were made in size 20 Lizbeth thread. When little Lexi was born, her Daddy tried to put them on her right away. Even though she was a teeni tiny thing, they barely fit. You should either make them in a larger thread or add some length to the sole. You can see that post Here.

Time to Visit the Hardware Store

Shopping List: 9/16in OD X 3/8in ID Vinyl Tubing (One foot)
5/16in OD X 3/16in ID Vinyl Tubing (One foot)
3/16 wooden dowel

I am in love with Aerlit Shuttles. i love the ability to pop out bobbin of one color and pop in another without missing a stitch. My inner miser also loves the fact that I can save up all those little bits of thread to use in later projects. I quickly got tired of making butterflies in order to clear out the left overs. What do people do with those butterflies anyways? Bueller? Bueller?
As tatters know, if you put more than 2 pieces of thread within a foot of each other, they will tangle themselves just to give you the joy of separating them. Now imagine 20-25 wound bobbins mingling in my carrier. More often than not, the resulting chaos would resemble the bottom of a teenagers closet more than a proper ladies tatting basket.
First thing I wanted to get under control was the bobbins unraveling. I looked for commercial solutions but the cheapest I could find was $.50 cents a bobbin. Not happening on my budget! That is money better spent on thread and more bobbins. So, I needed a solution that would cost me less than a nickel a bobbin. Challenge accepted!
While looking at the commercial solutions, I saw a couple of hints mentioning rubber tubing. It didn’t seem right so I just clicked right past. But now that I had decided the other ideas were to spendy, I figured I might as well give it a try. It works like a dream. I had to try a few different tubing sizes to get the right one but the whole test cost me less than a dollar. My local hardware store carries the tubing at$.29 a foot, and i still have some left. You will need a nice pair of scissors. Just cut it parallel to the cut end so you have 1/4 inch rings then cut the ring open. Wrap that around the bobbin. No more tangles.
Now that all my bobbins were under control, I wanted to an easy way to see what colors I had on the bobbins. So back to the hardware store I went. I picked up a smaller piece of tubing and a piece of doweling. I cut the doweling so it was about 1/2 inch smaller than my tatting carrier. Don’t worry, you don’t need power tools. The doweling it easily cut with a steak knife or a pair of punning shears. Then use a pencil sharpener to angle one end.
For each piece of doweling, cut 2 pieces of tubing, 1/4 inch long and 3/4 inch long. it should be a tight fit, but the 1/4 inch piece goes on the flat end as a stopper. This piece will remain in place so you can glue it so you want to. Now load on some bobbins and hold them in place with the longer piece of tubing. push the tubing down past the angled portion till it fit snug.
Make as many as you need to hold all your bobbins.
I will try to put together a photo tutorial on both these tips in the next few weeks but if you have any questions, let me know in the comments.
Thank you



Helpful Hint for April 24

As some of you know, last weekend was the Shuttlebird’s annual tatting workshop. There will be several post about all I learned there but one of the best tips I learned came from Aloma B, of the Bonneville Tatters.

I am very rarely without a tatting project with me. I have tatted just about everywhere. Usually, I just grab a small project and shove it in a pocket on my way out the door. Occasionally, i find myself spending valuable tatting time trying to pull the hook of my Aerlit shuttle back thru the pocket lining. Even more often, I find myself poking myself with the hook as I move around. Aloma solved this problem by covering the hook with a set of petit point protectors usually used for covering the ends of knitting needles. I could not get myself to the store fast enough. $5 well spent to save my shuttle, my pocket and my upper thighs.



Such a Simple Solution

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