I haven’t finished anything yet. But I found a little bag at Hancock Fabrics, it was on sale for under $5 so I grabbed it. It fits my tatting perfectly! I went ahead and sewed along the edge (on the crappy bias tape) to strengthen it a little. You can see I have stuffed all my WIPs except the Epic Doily in there! Sweet! I’m having so much fun.

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And a quick look at a cool keychain/chatelaine I made for tatting. I’m going for an Wonderland theme. I’d love to find a dragon charm, or something similar, for the Jabberwocky. It needs a cheshire cat too! Maybe a picot gauge?

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Here’s what’s happening on the tatting front:
I did finish the third round on the Epic Doily! I estimate this thing is going to be at least 24 inches across when I’m done. I admit, I considered thoring in the towel since it is going to be so big, but meh, I don’t want to start over and it will be fun to see how big it gets, lol. B says we can use it as a lap blanket. I say table cloth for Special Occasions. Or a net to catch things maybe. I had to put it in a bigger bag instead of my usual box because it has outgrown it’s previous home. Oh, and I switched to both the Moollit and Aerlit shuttles because they have hooks on them and it makes the tatting a lot faster. I will have to buy more thread soon. What have I gotten myself into??

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I also started Tatted Mask from www.free-tatting.com. It’s another Russian pattern written and shown as a diagram/photo. I wrote out the pattern from the  notes and the pics, and printed out a copy of the pattern picture. It’s coming along nicely! I’m using Purpleberry LizBeth Twirlz size 10. I think the size 10 will be just right for an adult face. I’m already thinking how fun this mask would be if it was themed as Batman villains or something. :-)

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On another note, Taos Wool Festival is coming up in only 4 weeks!! SO excited! Penny and I are going again, and maybe some more friends. Sounds like she’s going to bring her new wheel. I’m already thinking about what to bring. I’ll bring my mask, doily, a pair of knit fingerless gloves (the cashmere stuff I bought at Taos last year) and maybe one more thing. Maybe not. I always bring too much then buy something new and ignore everything I brought, lol. I’m going to bring better coffee too (for the motel-I’m one of those people) and since I’m driving I’m thinking of fun on-the-go dinners to pack everyone for the car ride. Last year Penny made us bento dinners with rice and veggies. They were delicious! It’s my retreat, a familiar, comfortable place I get to visit once a year at the beginning of my favorite season with one of my favorite people. So excited!

Update #2:
:-) I tried it and it fits! So cool!
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I’m going to make the other side, and attach it at about the halfway mark, where I can see it on the picture. I like using the Twirlz for this because you can’t tell which is the front or back; it matches well.

I think I can finish this round today!! I have about 5 more rosettes/flower clusters to go, then I can take a break with a different color thread (love that variegated) and an easier round. It’s Sunday on Labor Day Weekend, we have NO plans for today, we’re still in our pjs, I can finish this fiddly round.

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It seems like I finish something every Labor Day. Once I read an entire book over three days (The Ruins), started and finished a doll for my son (a crocheted Mario), and one year I made a little activity cloth book for the boys. This year I want to finish round 3 of the Spring Doily 2014 and start round 4. I still have a day left, so I might even finish a book I started last week (The Lost Island) since I only have about 75 pages left. Oh! And our 8th wedding anniversary is in two days. Labor Day weekend rules!

Alright. I’m ready. I’ve seen a ton of pictures of it and by gum I’m ready to take it on too. I’m talking about the Renulek Doily. (or the Renulek Napkin) Here is the link to her site, which is in Polish, and I regret I don’t know her name or any other info besides the blog and “Renulek”. I’m trying the Spring Doily/Napkin 2014 because, well, I like it better than the summer one. I tried to figure out the summer one and my brain caught on fire.
http://renulek.blogspot.com/2014/02/serwetka-wiosna-2014-cz3.html
See, the site, as I may have mentioned, is in Polish. No worries there because a) google is nice enough to translate it for me to the best of it’s abilities, and b) holy snakes the tatting patterns from that part of the planet are…out of this world! I found the tatting rabbit hole on the webs and I swear on every single one is at least a reference if not a WIP picture of something she is working on. Renulek posts pictures of what she’s working on, plus a pattern, row by row. The doilies are pretty big (12+ rows!) and she’s making a collar now. I wish I could read Polish and get all the details…anyway, I found a picture on a new-to-me blog by Batty Tatter and I fell in love. You know how it is, you see something amazing and go “I could make that!”

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UGH!! I am in love with this freakin doily.

Ok. Way back at the beginning I mentioned brains catching fire and here’s why: there is no written pattern, nor are there diagrams. I’m spoiled, see. I learned to tat with the written patterns (ex: R 4-2-2-4) and seeing a beautifully rendered diagram is super helpful. Tatting. Is. Fiddly. But Renulek only posts a (admittedly gorgeous) picture of her WIP, then another with the pattern kind of written over it. I see how that works, and it’s not a bad idea, but it makes for some deep thinking for me to figure out where to start, what direction to go (typically clockwise if you were wondering), did she start with a ring or a chain?, how many shuttles?, how many colors could this take?, etc. So I stare at the picture with the numbers over the work and then I write down the pattern as I see it, plus any notes to myself like “clockwise”, which color to use on which row, and that sort of thing. Well, here, lemme show you:

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I only got to Round 3 because that’s when I saw the picture for Round 4 and smoke came out my ears. I think I heard a gear grind so I popped the old melon in neutral and decided to go as far as Round 3 and see how I fare. I am barely on the first round, using Mint (Lizbeth 689) and then I’ll use Confetti (Lizbeth 105) for the even rounds. It’s a solid plan.

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I love this little box! Kind of sorry about another night pic, it's hard to see the bright colors of the thread but it's after the kiddo's bedtime, hence time to blog!

You may be thinking, “WHYYY would you pick something so fussy and hard? You already have like 15 hobbies and around 6 projects going on shuttles alone!” with work (I picked up a ton more to do from home which is simultaneously wonderful and nerve-wracking), little kids (did I mention the smaller one is potty training? No? Probably for the best), and life in general. Crafting and reading are my favorite ways to wind down, to go somewhere else for awhile (hello Tal Verrar!) or think about something else for a change…
but…I don’t want to think about all that stuff right now…
Thinking about how to attach a ring to that last row of chains, and watching something beautiful and intricate bloom in front of me that came from my own fingers is a very very nice way to recharge my thoughts.
So, off I go! I’m thinking of Emmet’s voice in my head now (from The Lego Movie) “Alright guys. LET’S DO THIS.”

P.S. I couldn’t find a way to contact the ladies I mentioned in this post for expressed permission to link to them. I hope they don’t mind me referring to them since I have nothing but respect for their work, patterns, and property. Tatting-bloggin Ladies, please drop me a line anytime if you feel otherwise!

Penny, Mike, and I went to the Pride parade last weekend (as in early June) and had lots of great mini adventures (the mini ones are the best). We found the Boiler Monkey, a very cool steampunk/cowboy bebop-esque food truck where we ate delicious eggs benedict and cheesy polenta with eggs and andouille sausage. (two of my favorite words are “hollandaise” and “andouille”).

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Note the red lipstick!

Then we saw the parade of course, and it was awesome as usual. Lots of cheering and dancing and rainbows and happy people. :-) Next year I’ll bring the kiddos. I wanted to this year, but the little one is a bit too little still, and I can’t bring one without the other. Ugh, mom guilt.
Anyway, it wasn’t as hot as last year and we sat around our friend’s salon for awhile. It was nice and cool in there, with nice cool people and mimosas. At 12 on the dot, businesses opened and we went exploring. We visited an apothecary (like with candles and crystals, the high school me was squeeing uncontrollably) and two antique shops. Nob Hill is riddled with them, and it was super fun to finally get to go in some of them. We only had time for two: the first was Barrymore’s,  it was small but jam-packed with amazing stuff. I found a shuttle there and a sweet little ring. Penny found two big jars of spools of thread, most of which were still on wooden spools! Then the second store (ugh, forgot the name…Sole Art & Antiques? Maybe I dunno) was huge. Room after room and even an upstairs. I found another shuttle there too, after embarrassing myself by asking for shutting tattles instead of tatting shuttles. lol I got it right on the third try and admitted I was too excited to speak. This was my first shot at antiquing in years. I usually look at jewelry, since I know a little about it, but this time I looked for clothes and sewing implements as well. Turns out I still have excellent radar for sterling silver and asking for things (like shuttles) gives me a chance to chat with employees. I could get into antiquing…
ANYWAY, here are the shuttles I found and what I think of them:
(you know, my fingers hovered over the keyboard just then, trying to type “tutting” again)
Barrymore’s had two shuttles. One might have been a bobbin, but it was sterling and quite old. It was gorgeous but I couldn’t bring myself to get it. I got this one instead, it’s a JustRite shuttle that says “Justrite” at the top and “pat applied for” on the bottom. It is metal, possibly aluminum-plated or nickel plated. It’s light weight. I looked a bit online and determined that it is not any younger than 1940 because JustRite stopped making them in that year. They are reproduced by a company called Lacis now, and bear the Lacis name on the newer ones. This doesn’t have that, so I’m guessing 30s. Pattern is Blue Edging (nope, I’m a rebel, Dottie, using purple/grey variegated) from New Twist on Tatting : More Than 100 Glorious Designs by Catherine Austin . This shuttle might not get much more use after this edging because it feels too delicate for my taste. I don’t want to bend it on accident! The hook is a little wide and blunt too, so it’s tough to do the joins without splitting the thread. I still love using it though, just because it’s old and I want to add my own little experience to it’s story.

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I found this one at the huge store, a Boye shuttle. I clucked and cooed over the familiar name and told the shopkeeper (who confessed he didn’t know about them) that Boye is a big manufacturer of crafty things like knitting needles. It has a little hook on the end (always helpful) and is unique in that it has a bobbin, and the thread doesn’t click on the ends like my other shuttles. The piece is mainly one piece of metal bent into shape with the bobbin kind of clipped in the middle. I didn’t think I’d like it, bobbins I mean, but you can see I dove right into another book mark. This one is Clover Bookmark by Kelly Luljak.

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The basket is from a sewing expo Penny and I went to the weekend before. We found sashiko (!) there too. She got a huge striped basket and I found an octopus sashiko pattern. More on that later. :-)

P.S. I don’t know why I didn’t post this sooner. It’s a month old! Here is a picture of all my shuttles to compensate. I may have a serious tatting issue now, up there with knitting and crochet….but hopefully it won’t get as overboard as cross stitch…

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Soon I’ll try split rings, and I needed those two plastic Clover shuttles for that so I finished up another bookmark. Onward!! Tatt on!!