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Monday, November 30, 2015

Tatting with Beads

While perusing my blog list, I saw some lovely Holiday patterns using beads. I'm not too familiar with beads in tatting (not a big jewelry fan) so I brushed up on techniques by watching Karen Cabrera's tutorials. Here are a few pieces that I tatted:

The snowflake is Frivole's "Bentley" which can be found in her Etsy shop. I saw this on her blog a few weeks ago and thought it was very pretty, especially with the beads in the center. I suggested that we do a pattern swap (her latest snowflake for my latest snowflake) and luckily she obliged!

I've already hung it up on the tree. The Swarovski crystals are perfect for a snowflake. I can't help but wonder all of the possibilities for these crystals in snowflake design.

The next piece is Renulek's Advent Wreath. You can find the pattern notes on her blog post here.

There are a lot of beads in this one, and I think the ones I chose are too large and heavy for the thread. They cause the wreath to distort when held in an upright manner. Maybe I can tack the pattern down and display it on the top of a box or in a picture frame.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

"Winter Frost" tatting pattern

Thank you to everyone who test tatted my latest snowflake. I have received feedback from all of the testers and have just added the pattern to my Etsy shop. You can find the pattern by clicking here, or by using the Etsy widget on the right side bar of my blog.

There were no major changes to the pattern, only some small clarifications to the text. I am always amazed at how quickly people test tat a pattern. I think it's because it takes me several weeks to design and tinker with everything, and I like to let ideas "marinate" for a while before I'm done.

I have received some great feedback from testers, which has allowed me to see things from new perspectives and to continually improve upon my pattern writing. Thank you to all of the people who so readily volunteer, it is truly appreciated :)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Trying Frivole's Method

Joëlle from Le Blog de Frivole has been having such success with creating tatted snowflakes from photographs of real snowflakes, I thought I would give it a try. Well, let me tell you, it is NOT easy! I found it really difficult to make my tatting conform to the straight lines and sharp features of an actual snowflake. In the end, I sort of "fudged" it and let the tatting curve as it naturally does.

I'm pleased with the way the tatting turned out, though it does not resemble the real snowflakes I was looking at. Perhaps I just need more tricks in my bag to simulate the sharp geometrical features of an actual snowflake. Overall, it was fun to do, and I'll probably try this method again in the future.

With the Holidays coming up, I know people will be pretty busy, but would anyone be willing to test out this pattern (I'm thinking a soft deadline around December 7)? I can take up to 4 testers if there is interest. Aside from basic techniques there is one mock picot, some lock joins, floating rings, and simple directional changes. If you'd like to test it out let me know either in the comments below or by using the contact form on the right side bar of my blog. (If you leave a comment check back on this blog post to make sure I've got your email).

Update: Thanks everyone who volunteered to test the pattern for me. I'm going to cut off the list at Fox's comment, so that I don't have too many emails to keep track of. 

Test tatters can claim a few single patterns from my shop (or one pattern bundle), OR store credit for future patterns. Etsy doesn't technically have a way of setting up store credit so I will have to keep a record of that myself.

I ended up using iBooks Author to put this pattern together and I am very impressed with the program. It is much more streamlined than using Inkscape alone. Inkscape is still essential for creating the diagrams, which can then be imported into iBooks Author as image files. I will talk more about my experience with the program in a future post.