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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Number 25. Tatting a Christmas Camel and a Snowflake for you.

Well here I am at Number 25 the end of my challenge and in just under a year. There were times when I thought that I would never finish it. I finally did have to admit that I just didn't have time to tat all the patterns from different, and even the same designer for each animal, but maybe some of them will be revisited later.

I have enjoyed this so much, it has focused my tatting time to a great degree, tho' I have managed to tat a wealth of other things too. The challenge has also made me look more closely at patterns and developed my ability to change them a little. It was so nice that Jane liked my changes to her, flamingo, meercat and pig so much that she even published them as variations to her patterns. Who knows one day I may even design an animal of my own....only please don't hold your breath.
I hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog half as much as I have enjoyed writing it and that my sometimes zany humour added to it!

My final animal is a Camel, dressed up in all his finery for Christmas.
He brings with him my Christmas wishes for all my tatting friends whose number is growing by the minute.

This is the most fabulous pattern and was designed by Dolly Hollander, downloaded from the net a few years ago I am not sure where you can find it now. I blocked the middle red/green section to come out in a 3D like bowl shape and it looks fab in the deep frame.

My one was tatted in size 10 thread Flora, he stands about 11cm tall and 14cm wide. I did start tatting him in Flora 20 but he is now a UFO!!

Did I say something about a snowflake?!?!?!?
Well my brain has begun to work at last and I have designed a snowflake, my Christmas gift to you all, to give back just a tiny fraction what the tatting community has given to me. Hope you will like it.

A couple of years ago I bought a selection of large sequins so that I could tat Jane Eborall's Sequin mobile. Large sequins were very hard to find and still are. Thinking about what I could do for Christmas this year I remembered these sequins and dug them out, I also remembered that I had seen in Karey Solomon's 'Tatting Times' that Sue Hanson had made a mini flake on a sequin. Mmmm that looked way to hard to start with, but she did say that it was possible to punch a bigger hole in a sequin. She had used a 10mm sequin and I had a packet of those in a gorgeous gold holographic material and so off I went to design something simple, really simple. I have since seen Jennifer Williams's Christmas bauble on a sequin but this had not influenced me and I don't think it is all that similar to my design being that all simple designs by their very nature are bound to be similar to many others. All this preamble is to say that I believe that this is truly my own design but if I have trodden on anyones toes it was unintentional.

I have called it Scintillating Snowflake 'cos that's just what it does.

You will need a 10mm sequin...holographic if possible.
I tried using a punch to enlarge the hole but my punches were too blunt. The best way that I found was to use a round needle file, amazing how tools from another craft come in useful. I used to use these small files as part of enamelling on copper.

Just keep twisting the file in the hole in the sequin until it is the right size. Turn the sequin over from time to time to get a fairly clean hole. Could have made a much larger hole if necessary with this method.

It should now look like the second image.

The thread used was Coats Mercer Anchor size 20.
You need 2 shuttles wound continuous thread. I am giving the amounts of thread that I needed. Bear in mind that your thread may be thicker than mine and that I am a tight tatter. I really like to know how much thread to use so this will give you a fair idea.
Shuttle 1 needs about 85cm and 6 beads
Shuttle 2 needs about 1.25m and 18 beads.

Bead up Bead down...bring a bead from the back of the hand and another from the shuttle.
DNRW...Do not reverse work
Join into sequin....join into the sequin by pulling the thread round your hand through the hole from the back to the front and down past the edge of the sequin. Pass the shuttle through and tighten until the core thread lies at the edge of the sequin, when tatting the next stitch make sure that the core thread still lies neatly at the edge of the sequin.

*R 3 - join into sequin - 3 Cl and RW.

Bring a bead from Sh 2 to lie at the base of the ring then

Throw off a ring using Sh2, place a bead round the hand.
R 3 - B up B down - 3 Cl DNRW

Bring a bead from Sh1
Ch 6 RW *

Repeat from* to* 5 times

Cut leaving a few inches to make the hanger. Tie into the base of the first chain making sure that the bead lies between the first and last chain. Tie a knot to make the hanger at the desired length. I personally prefer to thread a fine thread through on the the beads so that it hangs from a point. I tie the ends from the tatting in a reef knot, applying the tiniest drop of PVA glue after the first part of the knot. Pull it really tight and cut very close and the knot is hardly visible.

I also have one variation which looks pretty too.

This one uses the same amount on shuttle and ball(or sh2 if you prefer) 85cm I used.
You will need 6 beads on the shuttle and 24 on the ball thread.

The only difference in the pattern is that instead of throwing a ring off the chain you make a beaded picot with 3 beads from the ball and one from the shuttle (3B up 1B down).

Last year I showed you my antique tree filled with tatting(click on the link to Christmas). This year it is the turn of my tiny tree. This also is quite old and belonged to my parents.

Only 17 inches high it is trimmed with mini snowflakes and tiny, tiny glass baubles.


Oh and I think that I will have to continue this challenge....50 animals here I come!!!

STOP PRESS.....21st December....If you have been reading the comments you will be delighted to know that Riet Surtel and Tami Drader have come up with the url to the Camel pattern complete with it is.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Number 24. Tatting pests strike again!!

I've been SLUGGED!!
Yesterday when I went to get out some lettuce for my lunch what did I find??
It was crawling, yes crawling with slugs....yuk! Slime trails all over it and a big group of them munching away!! Click on the photo if you want to see all the little blighters!

Now you all know that slugs feed by rasping away with their mouthparts...on MY I can see why these slugs are green.....just like my lettuce!

Here they are in action!

Looked for something else to eat and found they were also trying to eat my come on slugs..... the skin is much too tough for you!! and in any case you are the wrong colour..that proves you dont eat mangos!

Put me right off my lunch I can tell you.

You know who is to blame don't you....yes Jane Eborall AGAIN! Her fleas escaped from Palmettos and drove my Meercats bananas and now she goes spreading slugs all over everyone at Palmettos again and the little blighters end up in Ireland again.

I know we are all going green but she should be stopped!

Time to have a closer look at a slug. Sid the scintilating slug she calls him. Scintillate he does with his aurora borealis beads and that dreadful slime he leaves behind everywhere he goes. He was tatted in Altin Basak 50 thread and his body is about 2cm long. I have to say it is a cracking little pattern (available on the Palmettos 2007 CD).

Gets me thinking as to what eats slugs........well frogs, toads, hedgehogs for a start.

Slugs you had better watch out!!!!