Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Celtic Tatting - Motifs 16 and 17

St. Patrick’s Day !

Below are some “Irish” patterns in commemoration of St. Patrick’s Day

I’m proud to be part Irish, and was named for my maternal grandmother, Katherine (“Kate”) Flanagan. Can’t get much more Irish than that! She was born in America after her parents immigrated to New England around 1870. Sadly, I never knew her, as she died in 1944, the year I was born; but I understand she had a wonderful sense of humor and an infectious laugh, which my wonderful mother also inherited! My grandfather’s ancestors, although having an English name, lived in Ireland for generations, and his parents also immigrated to New England before he was born. My grandfather had tailoring skills and made a christening gown in 1899 that is still in the family!

Motif #16 consists of two parts, both associated with Rosemarie Peel’s Celtic Motif

Motif #16-A: Lenore English, Celtic Bookmark Motif
(based on Motif by Rosemarie Peel)

I love this Celtic tatted motif, which is only one section of an outstanding bookmark by Lenore English, found

It’s based on Rosemarie Peel’s Celtic motif, which apparently was on the internet at one time, but I can’t seem to find it. (Rosemarie’s motif is beautifully interpreted by Elizabeth Zipay in a delicate pair of earrings on her Jan. 21, 2008 post.)

On this motif I used two different DMC perle cotton threads, size 8. The label is missing on the lighter green ball of thread, but the dark green is #3346. In this instance, I think the two colors enhance the woven effect

Since I was doing only a single motif, I didn’t need to do a split ring in part 1 (lighter green thread), and therefore I used only one shuttle. I used the darker green for part 2, and back to the lighter green for part 3

The full bookmark is beautifully designed and executed by Lenore, but she admits it’s difficult to do, and after looking over the instructions, I’d have to agree. It will be awhile before I attempt it!

I’ll be wearing the pin on my hand-knit ‘Aran’ sweater, made in 1991, during my tatting-knitting-quilting-frenzy years.

I’m not so ‘driven’ these days, and I’m amused when I read how everyone has three or four projects going at once, and I can very much relate to it

My husband (not exactly Irish!) will also wear the fisherman-knit sweater I made for him way back in 1973 – different pattern (still fits, because I made it a little bigger!), which won a blue ribbon at the Allegheny County Fair back then. The pictured sweater won a blue at the Canfield Fair in Ohio. (Just a little bragging!). I find fisherman sweaters easier to knit than sweaters with color changes, although I’ve made many of those. As with all needle arts, we have our preferences, from types of knitting needles, yarns and patterns, to tatting shuttles, threads and patterns

Motif #16 –B: LaRae Mikulecky’s Celtic Bookmark
also based on Rosemarie Peel’s Celtic Motif
Lenore’s bookmark was inspired by LaRae Mikulecky’s famous Celtic bookmark from 1997 (below), which also was based on Rosemarie Peel’s Celtic motif

I tatted this bookmark sometime in the early 2000s, and was quite pleased with myself when I finished it

When “surfing the net” back in 1999 or 2000 at the library, I remember being stunned when I came across LaRae Mikulecky’s Celtic bookmark.

It was the first time I had ever seen ‘Celtic’ tatting, and I was mesmerized by all that weaving in and out. I just HAD to tat it! It has a wonderful texture and definitely has a “Wow” factor when seen in person. Fortunately, it was relatively easy to tat, thanks to LaRae’s excellent instructions, which she so generously shared. 

Update 2017: The pattern can still be found, but  I'm having difficulty getting a 'one-click'  link to it in this post.   You have to highlight the red url below,  then right click to bring up a box, then move the cursor down to  'go to http' , and left click it.  That will take you to the pattern.   

I experimented with tatting the first layer (split rings) in dark green, but I think I’d prefer to do all four layers of the bookmark in one color, to add to its ‘mystery’, although it’s helpful here to see how the split rings are the foundation

Both Lenore’s and LaRue’s bookmarks are outstanding and attractive, but the Celtic motif is more clearly seen on Lenore’s three-step bookmark, and very much appeals to me

Motif #17 – Iris Niebach’s “Cactus” Motif

Even though this motif doesn’t involve ‘Celtic tatting’, the design sure looks Celtic to me, and was designed by world-famous Iris Niebach, from Italy!

Believe it or not, it’s made in one pass, and I’m delighted that it’s my first Iris Niebach pattern. Of course, this is one of her easier designs!

I’m displaying it here on a candle-wicked pillow I made long, long ago, in a galaxy far away

The candlewick knots were fun to do, but at the time I didn’t know yet how to quilt a ‘running stitch’. I just sort of ‘stab stitched’ the ‘quilted’ areas

As mentioned above, Iris’s motif is an amazing one-pass pattern (without any special tricks) which is very easy to follow, and measures about 5” across.

I must give credit to Marty of Tat’s All She Wrote - where I first saw this pattern. It is beautifully tatted and was her 20th motif, posted April 23, 2008. I was excited that the pattern was offered free from Iris Niebach, and Marty provides an easy link to it. You must visit Marty’s blog to see all her beautiful tatting! Marty has skillfully tatted many of Iris’s patterns!

The thread I used above has a unique history. itself, as it dates back at least 30 or more years!
It was made by American Thread Company at Fall River, Massachusetts, called “Silkateen” (100 yards) on wood spools (collectors’ items) and feels like size 8 perle cotton.

Amazingly, a few boxes of this thread sat on a shelf for who knows how many years in a hardware / general merchandise store owned by a relative of my sister-in-law. The store was being sold, so my sweet SIL gave the thread to me! I had to unwind it a bit to get past the more ‘brittle’ outside yardage; then it became stronger and darker as I removed the outer layers of thread

In researching the company, I haven’t been able to find a reference to the Fall River mill in Massachusetts. There is information about a Connecticut mill, and a nice photo of the ‘headquarters’ building in New York. The American Thread Company apparently began operations in 1899 here in America and had several mill sites in New England. Apparently the mills closed around the 1970s. I’d have to do more in-depth research to track down the story of the production of this thread. I made a few Christmas wreath pins out of this thread for my SIL and her daughters, as a memento of the store owned by their relative.

Have a great St. Patty’s Day!


yarnplayer said...

Exquisite work! The pin is perfect with the 2 shades of green and the gold accents. Looks so good with that Aran sweater! Beautiful gold tassel really sets off the bookmark as well. All your things are lovely.

LadyShuttleMaker aka MadMadPotter said...

Oh my goodness, I don't know where to start...this post is full of wonderful stuff.
Your pendant is great! I LOVE the aran sweater and do you have any pictures of that christening gown?

Elizabeth said...

WOW! I love that pin - I never thought to do that celtic motif in two different colors, but the effect is fabulous! I will have to try that for sure.

Your knitting is wonderful as well - that sweater is beautiful. I can see why it won a blue ribbon.

And you shared some of that thread with me when you came to visit me in VA - I haven't had a chance to try it yet but I love the colors. Thanks!

TattingChic said...

That pin is lovely! You always have the most fascinating posts! Your tatting is just beautiful and you are so creative and I mean that in a very GOOD way!

Keep the posts coming! I'm so glad you started a blog! :)

Carol Lawecki said...

Hi Kathy, I agree with everyone else, this pattern makes a great St.Patrick's day pin. It looks great in the two colors of green. I'll have to go pull out this book and make one for myself now. Your Aran sweater is beautifull too. Nice job! You are very talented and crafty, and candlewicking too. Iris motif would look great sewed down on this pillow.

I enjoyed your posts, you always have so many interesting things to say. (I have an e-mail from you in my inbox that I'll try to get to today to answer).

Have a great day!

Ais said...

Hi Cathy, your tating is really beautiful. And the spools..really collector's items!

TattingChic said...

Hi Kathy! I ran back over to invite you to my party!

Hope you stop on by for my 1st Blogoversary/100th post celebration! I'm even having a giveaway! Do come on over! Everyone is invited!!! :)

TattingChic said...

Kathy, I am such a DORK! I had 23 comments on my blog to moderate and like a dork I accidentally clicked on "REJECT" instead of PUBLISH! SO SORRY!!!
Your comment was one of those. I so want to count you in as part of the giveaway!!! Would you kindly comment again? I copied and pasted your comment from the email alert that was sent:

"First of all – a big CONGRATULATIONS!
And what a yummy-looking and beautifully decorated CAKE!
I’m seeing a tatting pattern there – very creative!

Your incredible blog is SO MUCH MORE than ‘just’ a blog! Your sidebar is an electronic TATTING ENCYCLOPEDIA – all in one convenient location! It’s literally a ONE-STOP TATTING WEBSITE, which includes possibly every tatting BLOG, an incredible number of quickly accessible tatting PATTERNS, tatting TUTORIALS, and tatting SHOPS! And – oh yes – YOUR OWN TATTING is spectacular, too!!! And if that’s not enough, you’ve added an amazing number of OTHER creative blog sites, whose writers then also learn about tatting, and we learn about their wonderful crafts.

Also, the CONTENT of your blog is so informative and creatively (and humorously) written, accompanied by wonderful photos. (I’ll never forget your scary Halloween story!)

I honestly don’t know how you find time to do all that you do, including commenting on EVERYONE’S blogs! I remember being thrilled and honored when you first commented on my blog – and then regularly began doing so!

Gosh, I’ve got to sign off now, but I could go on and on! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!"

Isdihara said...

Wow, all I can say is WOW! Your tatting is just so lovely. Having recently purchased two Celtic tatting shuttles, I am shyly venturing into this realm of lace-making. Your post really inspires me to jump in with both feet!

I've added your to my list of must-see tatting blogs. Now to scroll through more of your witty and informative posts. Wheeeeee!

Gina said...

I must not have known about your blog when you posted this. It's funny - I was mesmerized by LaRae's bookmark too. I had just started tatting and I tatted mine in the very same colors! However,mine was in perle cotton #5 as I had a very limited amount of threads back then. I'm posting today about tatting it again. It was through your reference here that I found Lenore's version, another I must have overlooked at the time.