Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sure 'n It's St. Paddy's Day !

Sharren's Shamrock - Motif #23, Second Round

Thanks to Sharren (see link below) I now have  a sweet Shamrock to wear on my 1991 hand-knit Aran sweater!  

This shamrock is a very clever design, and - I know this may shock you - it's my first attempt at an SCMR!  All of these techniques open up design possibilities!

Here's a close-up of the shamrock on a scalloped black velvet paper disc. (These little discs are a great way for me to 'wear' small tatted motifs.) Of course, I couldn't resist adding some 'bling'. I did a simple chain 'stem' (and not too neatly!) as I was tatting this around Midnight and didn't have time to figure out how to do Sharren's very impressive lock stitch chain. I don't think I've ever seen that before. Always something new to learn!

I used DMC Perle Cotton Size 8, Color 909, and I have no idea where or when I bought it - probably at a cross-stitch store, as back in the 1990s there were several shops in the area, and had a good range of colors in the Perle Cotton. It has a nice sheen to it.

Here is the link to Sharren's blog:
The green ball of thread is not new, and I recall using it for some cloverleaf and chain patterns, but don't know what I did with them! Possibly they'll show up in some 'safe' hiding place !

Irish Roots

It's that special day when I honor my Irish ancestors, especially my maternal grandmother, Katherine Flanagan (born in the 1870s), for whom I am named, but sadly never got to know, as she died only four months after I was born. But I have photos and have heard all the stories from my older cousins about what a special and cheerful lady she was! Interestingly she did not do any needlework, and neither did my mother(!), so I possibly acquired that skill from my father's Polish mother, who had worked alongside her husband in the textile mills in New England, and did a lot of sewing and crocheting. My father's sister also did a lot of knitting, and later on, we shared patterns by mail.

I always enjoy visiting Tatskool's blog (, where she often takes us on tours of Ireland complete with wonderful history lessons!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Miranda's Cardinal

MOTIF #22, Second Round

I have a small collection of cardinal items, and I certainly love seeing the real ones flitting around the yard!

When Miranda ("Tatting Fool"), generously offered this free pattern a few weeks ago, I e-mailed her immediately.

Click here to see how to obtain the pattern:

As soon as I printed out the pattern, I did a rough sketch and numbered the rings (there are 19), as that's what I need to do to figure out where I am going. Her instructions are very clear and easy to follow, not to mention the pattern itself being so cool! I kept wondering how she thought of it.   Mr. Cardinal is adorable, and I know he'll get a lot of attention at the Maple Festival, coming up in April.

This is my second cardinal, as I did a 'practice' run with burgundy thread. I intend to do a third one, as this one still isn't perfect and I'm embarrassed to say that I miscounted the stitches on the rings in the easiest part - the main body. Also, I didn't quite get the sharp turn in the feathered crest, which I hope to improve on the next one.

I think Miranda's design is brilliant, and I simply love it. Thank you so much Miranda for sharing this with us! He definitely can be a year-round decoration!!!

I used "Christmas" by Lizbeth, size 20. The frame is 4" high and 3" across.

This frame could hang on a wall, but the stand shown above is a nice showcase for him

The frame
The frame is similar to a 'locket' and is hinged - creating a clear glass 'sandwich'. which means the tatting (and the paper background, from a notecard) is 'pressed' between two pieces of clear glass and 'locked' into place. No gluing necessary!

This clever frame was made by a fellow in Texas and was discovered by Carol Lawecki's mom, Peg, (who's a member of our tatting group) during a trip there. He makes (made?) different sizes of these, from pendants to frames, and in all shapes. I will see Peg soon at the Maple Festival, so can get more details. I have no idea if the fellow is still in business!

For Mr. Cardinal, I happened to have a green note card that provided a kind of Spring-like background, with white 'flowers' printed in the corner of the card, and I added my usual bow with curly spirals, and a silk flower.!

The stand
The stand is similar to the one I used for my white 3-D bell (posted Oct. 19, 2010).  I now remember where I bought these stands - at a local store, which, unfortunately, is no longer in business.  They carried unusual items from Europe and actually traveled there to find them.

Gina's Blogaversary Giveaway
I am a recent happy winner of Gina's generous giveaway, and I'll be posting soon about the many items I received from her!