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Monday, August 27, 2007

Number 11. Seahorses

Haven't blogged for a while, been busy test tatting hearts for Martha Ess's new book...more about that later.
Next in line for the challenge treatment is the seahorse, such a classic and lovable creature that he just has to be tatted.

In life they are generally very understated colourwise, creamey, greeney, browney, they blend in with their environment and are hard to spot.
Shapewise it's hard to believe they are real and not just a product of someone's vivid imagination.

First up was Jane Eborall's pattern for Seahorse earrings. I never did get to make a pair just explored the pattern starting with a trial run in white (often do that just to see how much thread they take). Next tried out Flora 10 then Flora 20 and finally a few colour variations with beads in Flora 20 and Altin Basak/Oren Bayen 50. These are about 1.5inches, 4cm tall.

Methinks the orange fella has too many stitches on his head but he is rather cute.

Moving on to bigger seahorse and Jane's medium seahorse pattern
. This pattern was a treat to do, easy and cute. So easy to get carried away and try every thread and bead in my stash. He comes in two versions with his fin being either rings or long picots. Hard to say which I like best, think maybe the long interesting technique.

Beaded and non beaded versions using Flora 20 measure 3inches, 7.5cm.

Here are the two fin variations. I did come up with a tiny variation on the looped picot one that lifted the snout and gave him a more smiley face. Love these colours and this one too.

Bigger again was Debbie Arnold's pattern very elegant and realistic he took me a couple of goes to get right and even then I still made a mistake in his head. For all those comments as to if I ever make mistakes the answer is yes, very often. The first one of every pattern is a trial attempt, I usually get it right second time around.

First attempt was the green one in Oren Bayen 50. I had major problems getting the number of repeats right and joining to the right ring so he came out with a much longer snout and a shorter tail but on the basis that there is no such thing as a mistake only a new pattern he looks rather good. Debbie's pattern is excellent but for me it was much easier when I enlarged the drawing and numbered each ring on the drawing and pattern. Even then I still made a mistake on the head and joined to the wrong ring in one place. Thanks Debbie for a great pattern. I added an eye with a bead inside a ring.
The yellow one uses a thread I just got recently for the lovely animal earthy colour that it comes in. It is Coats Madura Red heart.. made in India. A thread labelled 20 but I think is more like a 15 and has a lot of twist in it. The seahorse worked out at 5.5inches 14cm.

Finally the largest seahorse that I found is another Jane Eborall pattern and is the most detailed and tricky one. Unlike the patterns Jane has designed recently this one is not made in one pass but has five separate section to be worked building up the animal. Lots of ends to hide some of which I ended up with tie, glue and cut and I just couldn't hide them but you'd never notice!!

He was fiddly and took a while to make but he was well worth the effort. I am sure it must be a male with a pouch full of babies ready to explode into the world!!
made in Oren Bayen 50 and Rainbow Ruby beads I love this colour combination. He measures almost 6 inches, 15cm.

Finally here is a collage of seahorses to give you an idea of the relative sizes. Debbie's would be much smaller in a similar size thread.