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Wednesday, August 31, 2016


I decided to make a bookmark using the same triangles from my previous posts, this time in Lizbeth size 80 Rainbow Taffy.

Here's another photo of it in The Complete DMC Encyclopedia of Needlework, which I found for a few dollars at a local used book store:

I'm making a few more patterns (repeatable squares), and after that I will be finished with my triangle experiments. I'll make a post showing all of the triangle patterns together when I'm done.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Small Mat

I've been seeing fewer complaints on the Etsy forums about payment processing issues, so I think it's mostly been fixed (though the occasional issue pops up now and again).

A few days ago, I finished this small mat in DMC size 80 thread. This is a continuation of the triangles theme that I have been blogging about (see my previous post for more). This mat could be made much larger, but I just wanted a sample to place into my tatting binder. Here it is with an antique rubber tatting shuttle for scale:

Before I begin designing, I always need a visual reference. For this mat, I needed to find a pathway that would allow me to complete it in one pass and maintain symmetry on both sides. Using my iPad, I began by taking a photo of the small strip of triangles from my previous blog post:

I used an app called PhotoGrid to make a rough "collage" of the tatting, and another app called You Doodle to draw around the edges and polish up the shape of the mat. Here is the resulting image:

From here I continued using the You Doodle app to draw a path through the maze of triangles:

This maze was a little more tricky than normal, as I wanted to maintain symmetry on both sides of the mat and complete it in one pass. If I didn't care about symmetry, I could have simply snaked back and forth, back and forth.

I experimented more with the above pathway, and found that it can be repeated indefinitely. So, if you have a lot of patience, you could make an entire tablecloth this way, only stopping to reload your shuttles when you run out of thread:

On another note, for those who remember the stray cat from my previous post, here is Mama Cat with her four kittens:

They are getting a lot bigger now. Right after I snapped this photo, the black kitten saw me and got really spooked. So I've been trying to leave them alone :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Issues with Etsy's payment processing, and more triangles

In the month of July, I received several emails from Etsy letting me know of problems they were having with their Direct Checkout system. Well, it looks like similar issues are now effecting PayPal's integration with Etsy (though PayPal itself is just fine and will work on other websites). Despite many concerned sellers on the forums, I have yet to see a resolution to this problem.

One workaround suggested by a few sellers is to set up "Other" as a payment option. I have just enabled that in my shop, which allows me to email PayPal invoices to those who wish to make a purchase. For PayPal users, this means that you would complete the checkout process as usual, but click on "Other" when it asks how you want to pay. Apparently, this method of checkout is unaffected by whatever issues are currently plaguing Etsy.

I know that this is much more tedious than it should be, and I'm hoping that there will be a fix soon. If problems continue, I may look into opening a Craftsy store to offer a more stress free option of purchasing patterns.

On the tatting front, I have been continuing my experimentations with triangles. Kathy left a comment on one of my previous posts directing me to experiments that she and Sue had done with triangles before. ::Click here for Sue's post::   ::Click here for Kathy's post::

I've been working on making a small mat using DMC size 80 thread. At this point, it could be used as a bookmark (or continued further in length for a choker or headband):

The pattern is done in one pass, using split rings to travel from one triangle to the next. I've exited at the top so that I can continue creating more rows for a mat.

Like Sue, I also made a hexagon. I think it would look better with a few more rounds, and perhaps in a solid color.

The small "braid" in the upper right corner was a test piece to make sure that the triangles fit together. Mary Konior made a lot of these braids throughout her books (Corn and Chaff is a good example). I've often wondered how Mary came up with all of her braid patterns. I'm starting to think that maybe she just experimented with a lot of different ring sizes and ways to connect them. Perhaps with more practice, I can come up with patterns like hers :)

As I was taking photos for this blog post, one of our local stray cats made an appearance on the porch. I call her "Mama Cat" because she has four little kittens that usually accompany her. (Apologies for the filthy sliding glass door...I've got to go clean that!)

Mama Cat has been wandering around for at least a year, and I always thought that she was someone's pet. However, when we saw the kittens, I realized that she was a stray. There's also another mama cat that is the same color as her, but with two kittens. We've had both cat families come over (never at the same time) to eat and drink. They are sneaky little things and sometimes the only sign that they've been here are the empty cat bowls in the morning.