Needle Tatting Ups and Downs

I have been doing a lot of tatting recently because it is super portable and easy to do in cars and coffee shops. I haven’t been finding myself with tons of time recently.

I finished my red oval doily from my last post but…

Red Tatting

It isn’t sitting. Nothing I can do will make is sit. It is super frustrating. The issue is that my picolts are too short.

Here is a quick snapshot from the book it came from, Needle Tatting from the Heart by Tina Neurdof. Can you spot the difference between mine and theirs?

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Yep, the picots are all too short. Picots are the little loopy bits that serve as decorations and as links to other parts of the design. So… I started it again. I want to make this for someone in particular, so I really want it to work. If I can’t get it to work after the third time, then maybe I’ll move on to another design.

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Still, the red is quite pretty isn’t it?

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WIP Wednesday – Needle Tatted Doily

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What a difference a round makes! The mess on the left will look like the tidiness on the left as I progress with this latest round (a round is the term for a layer of tatting on top of a completed motif. I am currently working on the fourth round of five.).

This is the second time I get this far with this particular doily. There are a few mistakes, but none that are motif breaking, unlike the first time I tried to stitch this.

WIP Wednesday – Thread Parking in Needlepoint

WIP Needlepoint OwlI’ve been working on a new needlepoint project recently, using all sorts of different colours at the same time. I’m stitching the feathers randomly, which means having tons of threads on the go at the same time and trying not tot to get them tangled up (too much).

As I stitched, I figured out two tricks to making the quick change of colours work for me:

1. I used a needle with a larger eye. This meant that it was much, much easier to thread the colours. I didn’t even need a silly little piece of paper!

2. At first I was pulling the threads through to the front and leaving them there, but they kept getting in my way. I wanted to be able to pull them as far away as I could from the working area, but since the working area kept moving, I had to keep moving my parked threads.

WIP Needlepoint Owl parked threads

I ended up finding a solution: Clover clips! These little red clips are fabulous. I was able to pull all my threads up and away, but move them as I needed so they wouldn’t get in the way of my stitching.

The feathers were finally done, and I’m super pleased with them! The stitch is called Fern Stitch, but I have done it upside down so they look like feathers. It was much easier to stitch the lower feathers after the higher ones, so I worked from the top down, mostly. It was quite tricky to fill in the top and get the top of the feather tucked under the long stitches of the base.

This is a quick guide to the stitch, upside down (this screenshot is taken from a program called The Plastic Canvas Design Studio, which I will write about later because it rocks!):

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Furry Stitching Class Completed!

Finished Furry Stitching Polar Bear by Kim Dallaire

I recently took a stitching class with Nicole from Follow The White Bunny. It was a blast! We stitched up this adorable little polar bear! Love it!

Nicole’s instructions were super clear and not too overwhelming. She also hosted a group on flickr for everyone to share their little bears, ask questions and see how everyone else was doing. It is really nice to be able to see all the other bears coming together, stitch by stitch! Nicole was also super helpful with little hints (the dark stitches in the top part of the scarf and in the ears were her idea) on the flickr group.

All in all, if you are interested in embroidery and learning new techniques, I would definitely check out the class when it comes up again in the fall!

Check out my work in progresses below!

Missing his scarf  Missing the dark in the ears and the top of the scarf

Yarn Beetle

261Dung beetles are pretty cool, for tiny beasts that clean up poop. Yarn beetles are cooler, picking up the little bits of thread and fiber that you drop during furious crafting sessions and felting them into a beautiful, twirly mess.

038The ball is made with spider or woven wheel stitch, which I originally screwed up but managed to fix by re-watching the excellent video on Mary Corbet’s Needlenthread. (I have such a crafty crush on her!) Turns out that you need an odd number of spokes to your wheel, in order to get the look right. I decided to make the spacing on the spokes irregular to add to the look.

257The yarn and bits used in the wheel are as follows: DMC thread for the spokes, ridiculously adorable fuzzy brown/pink/beige yarn from a local yarn store called Wabi Sabi, a rough brown bamboo thread that is really hard to see but adds a really nice texture when you are touching the piece, and finally a bit of Anchor yarn from my needlepoint yarn stash.

The beetle itself is stitched in grey sewing machine thread.

WIP Wednesday – Floral Fabric Find

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If you’re anything like me, you have a fabric stash. You may also have a thread stash, a glitter stash, a bead stash, a notion stash, a hoop stash, a craft book stash… It just depends how much of a hoarder you are when it comes to craft supplies.

My favourite thing is rediscovering a piece of fabric or notion, and finally, a year after purchasing it, finding a perfect use for it.

024I purchased this piece of fabric at Darrell Thomas Textiles, a fabulous Ottawa shop that carries gorgeous gorgeous fabric and about half a million different types of buttons. A few times a year, they have remnant and sample sales, and I always make a point to go. I don’t think I’ve ever left empty handed!

I tried to use this fabric for hand embroidery a few times, but nothing ever worked. It’s a bit too busy and a bit too loosely woven.

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It’s perfect for cross stitch over two threads. I’m not sure why I never saw it, but as soon as it did, I knew I wanted to do something black and bold on there. I dug around the Tantes Zolder patterns and found this pretty one with a bee. Perfect!

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Do you ever “lose” something in your stash only to find it again when it’s the perfect time to use it?