Friday, November 13, 2009

Jazzy Slippers, Front-Side Tatting - and Visiting Replicas of the Nina and Pinta!

Jazzing up my slippers with Valdani Thread, Size 12
I was watching TV one evening, with my feet up on the hassock, and I noticed that my comfy slippers needed some pizzazz!

Of course, I immediately thought of the 1872 edging that I’ve been ‘obsessed’ with lately

I also remembered the Valdani thread I purchased recently at a cozy cross-stitch shop in our area.

Sadly, many cross-stitch shops have disappeared around here, so I’m happy this one is still in business.

Although I don’t do that much cross-stitching anymore, I do like to see what threads are in the shop apropos for tatting, and I found some Valdani. Somehow I’ve lost the label (can’t imagine how!), but I know it’s size 12, as I have another ball in another color. I see this thread is made in Romania.

I’m very pleased that the tatting looks quite natural on my slippers. I like the way it blends with the ribbon’s design that was on there. And yes, I did finish the second slipper!

1872 Edging in Valdani Thread
Here’s the thread and the colorway.

I was so accustomed to the ease of working with Lizbeth thread that when I first started working with Valdani, it seemed ‘difficult’ to close rings, and to retro-tat. But then I relaxed my tension and it worked just fine, although I do try to avoid making mistakes, especially on rings!

It does have a nice, soft feel to it. However, it must be carefully ‘picked out’ to avoid fraying.

I’ve almost completed the Lizbeth Caribbean edging shown on in a recent post, and will unveil it soon, on a long-sleeve black jersey pullover.

Speaking of ‘Caribbean’ (notice the segue), here are two ships that plied the Caribbean sea back in 1492!

Replicas of Nina and Pinta visit Pittsburgh, PA

One of the joys of being retired is being able to visit attractions in the area on an off-day when parking is easy and lines are short!

These two replicas are on tour around the world, and they happen to be in Pittsburgh from Nov. 7-15.

This was a really fun day for us! For the first time ever, we were able to take a walking tour of the revitalized North Shore of Pittsburgh, which has seen major changes during the past 20 years.

The replica ships are floating on the Allegheny River, but are very near the Ohio River, which is formed by the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers, called “The Point” – the site of Ft. Pitt back in 1758..

In the vicinity are two major stadiums: Heinz Field, where the Super Bowl Steelers (and Pitt Panthers) play; and PNC Park (magnificent modern ball field of the Pirates). The recent Stanley Cup winners - the Penguins - play in an arena in the City itself, near the buildings in the distance. (I had to throw that in! Sports is BIG in Pittsburgh!) The yellow bridge is the Ft. Duquesne Bridge.

The Carnegie Science Center is also nearby, plus several new restaurants and office buildings. There are new bicycle and walking trails and beautiful landscaping along the river. We worked downtown for 25 years (1962-1987) and saw a lot of changes during that time; but it’s amazing to see how many more changes have taken place since then!
There are lots of memories for us in the City. In fact, my husband learned to fly a seaplane near this spot in the late '60s. Sadly, the seaplane base was damaged in the floods caused by Hurricane Agnes in 1972, and it is just a memory. He did obtain a land rating, but he missed the fun of landing on the rivers! The heritage of the city, however, will always be steel, even though most of the mills have shut down

Thoughts on Front-side Tatting
I'll end this post with thoughts about front-side tatting. I admit that I would have found the ‘front-side’ tatting concept difficult to have learned as a beginner. I had enough trouble as a new tatter (and even today!) remembering which direction I was heading on certain patterns, let alone the sequence of the stitches. And I wasn’t even aware until recently that there was such a concept as ‘down’ joins (another subject!) Tatting all looked fine to me, and I wasn't aware of a front or back side.

However, with the enlargements of photos on blogs, I can see how attractive tatting can look with all the knots facing forward.

One of the reasons I’ve been concentrating on the above 1872 pattern is to practice ‘right-side’ tatting on an easy ring-and-chain pattern, but which has enough variety to keep it interesting. I now can comfortably tat this pattern while riding in the car - not that I haven’t made mistakes! Occasionally, I forget to start the chain with the 2nd stitch (out of habit), but it’s becoming much more 'natural' now for me to reverse the stitch sequence (2nd stitch first) on chains.

Rings-only patterns, such as Hens and Chicks, are a little trickier, as you have to remember which ring is facing the 'front' side. And it's not easy for me to remember to start a ring using the 2nd stitch first.

Right-side tatting IS an admirable goal, and I will work toward trying to achieve it whenever I feel the pattern isn't too complicated.

Hope you all have a good weekend! I'm glad Thanksgiving is still two weeks away (here in the U.S.) I can't believe it's November already.


❦TattingChic said...

Those slippers look pretty awesome with your tatting added to them! You do such a lovely job of coordinating colors and textures! I like how you used the bigger thread with the coarser texture of your slippers! The colors coordinate nicely, too!

Krystle said...

Absolutely love the slippers!

And good job with the frontside tatting. It comes more naturally after time.

Jane Eborall said...

I'm never sure about front side/back side tatting. I'm writing my patterns to help people achieve this nowadays but am still not sure it's important. Fine IF you know that the piece is only ever going to be seen on one side (ie if you sew it to something) but what if it's a mobile or a doily where the recipient doesn't 'know' there's a right and wrong way to put it on the table? Food for thought. Love your edging.

Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane said...

I love the way your slippers look! I have a similar pair, so maybe I'll doozy them up over Christmas break!

I've never been to see a ship... what fun! I always imagined myself married to a naval officer... too many John Wayne/WWII movies when I was growing up I guess!

I've tried frontside/backside tatting, but I always get mixed up. I count myself lucky that I've incorporated down joins into my work and that my tension seems to get better with time!

Rayanna said...

I love your slippers. Very nice! Thank you commenting on my choker I made for April. She loves it. I have to finish it up with a clasp. I will let you know what thread I used when I get home today. God Bless You.

Carol Lawecki said...

Hi Kathy, Love the slippers!! The Valdini color you used looks fantastic on the slippers. SUch a pretty edging too!!

We visitted the Nina years ago with our kids. It was exciting seeing the Nina and to walk around on the replica. It is not a very big ship, I thought it would be bigger.

I have not done any front side, back side tatting. I think I would get confused on what stitch comes first. LOL!!

M said...

I'm very impressed by your jazzed up slippers, what a good idea.

Katie said...

Kathy, the slippers look great! The color works really well. Kudos to you for using the Valdani. I tried some & gave up on it.

I need to think more about where I can use my tatting!

Thelma said...

I love the edging on your slippers! Such beautiful colors!
Thank you so much for the awesome compliment you left on my blog. I've got to get to tatting again, so much going on not enough hours in the day.

Marty said...

Hi, backatcha, Kathy!

I LOVE the slippers! As for frontside/backside tatting, I never do it. I like the thought that my tatting can be turned over and over and it's still on the right side!

In response to your comment on my blog:

The thumb is fine now, but you've given me a swelled head -- I'm not certain I'm going to be able to get through the door!

The Annalisa does need to be blocked -- or at least steam pressed (Tatting Chic is so right about that). I need to spread it out a bit with my hands and straighten some of the chains so the picots are all on the correct side! I made a mistake in one set of chains by using one too many picots, so I did it all the way through the whole doily. That's why I have to stretch it a bit.

As for the covered rings: Yes, I cover the rings afterwards, catching the picots. I use the method Jon Yusoff shows on her blog at this address:
I think she's a genious with plastic rings!
The patterns I used for the rings were all slightly altered, shortened chains, or and extra row or whatnot to make them fit into the rings I already had!

I did order my Oren Bayan threads on line from Sunny's Ebay Store:
She's wonderful to deal with, and everything comes just as advertised.

Wow, thanks for the compliment on my knitting. I compare myself to my sister who makes thing up as she goes along then enters them in their local fair (she lives in Maryland) and gets first prizes on everything.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving -- and thanks for the comment, you've made my day!

tattrldy said...

The slippers look great! Now I want some! : )
Front side/back side tatting - that's all I do. Since I learned it I just like the look of it and now I have trouble NOT doing it. Nothing wrong with not doing it if you like the results. But at least one of my patterns look very weird if not done front/back (I tried it). Good luck with it.