Thursday, February 27, 2014

Oversized Tatted Wall Flowers Pattern

Flowers, flowers everywhere!  My studio walls are in full bloom as I have spent the last two weeks designing and tatting flowers.  Now I am happy to announce the next oversized tatting pattern.  Introducing the Oversized Tatted Wall Flowers Pattern.  There are 7 designs in all ranging in size from 3 to 6 inches.  I've used a few new techniques in making these flowers, so I have also created a companion video for anyone who may be a little new to tatting.  


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How to Make Your Own Packaging Tube

Today I was looking for some long skinny tubes to package my Oversized Tatting Needles. I basically just want something to protect them in a bubble mailer and make them a bit more resistant to being bent by reckless mail handling.  I actually found some nice Kraft crimp tubes, but to have them sent to my house was more than the cost of the tubes themselves.  This is how I came to be sitting on the floor of my studio making tubes today.  They turned out much cuter than a plain old brown tube and they are strong enough to offer some protection in the mail.  Here's what I did...

I gathered the following materials: 
pretty wrapping paper (nothing too flimsy), scissors, tape, cover stock, paper cutter, a dowel or something the size you want your finished tube to be, and a stapler which I forgot to put in the photo.  

I'm making tubes to hold 12" by 3/16" needles, so in other words, long and skinny.  I'm using 8 1/2" by 11" cover stock, but you might need larger paper for a larger tube.  

 I cut my paper in half lengthwise.  Have enough paper so that when you roll it up, it will be two or three layers thick.  The thicker the tube, the stronger the tube, so consider what you want and need in a finished product.  I'm rolling mine up around a half inch dowel, so 4 inches is plenty.

Then I tape the edge of my cover stock to the edge of my decorative wrapping paper.  I've cut the wrapping paper with a two inch allowance on either end  to give me the extra room I need for my needles (they're 12" and my paper is 11 1/2") and for closing up the tube. 

 I cut the wrapping paper half an inch to an inch beyond the opposite edge of my cover stock.  If you are making a thick tube and do not wish to waste wrapping paper, you may want to wait until after you have rolled your tube and then over it with the wrap.  Since I'm making a small tube,  I'm rolling the papers together.  I'm also happy for the extra bit of thickness that the wrapping paper provides.  

Now you can roll up your tube starting at the taped edge.  Do your best to avoid rolling at an angle so that all of your edges are straight.  It's nice to have a little piece of tape affixed to the opposite edge.  Then you can roll right over it and have your tube held in place while you finish taping. 

Tape down the rest of your long edge.  You may need a pencil  or something skinnier than your tube to push out what ever you have used to gauge the size of your tube.  

Flatten your tube about 1" from one end and fold over about half an inch.

Staple the end closed and leave the other end open for now.  When it comes time to use your tube, you can fill it and then close the other end in the same way.


There you have it; tubular packaging.

It's pretty and it gets the job done!

Oversized Tatting Needles - A Closer Look

Hi to all.  Today I thought I'd share a little more about the Oversized Tatting Needles I'm making.  By now you may or may not have seen my Oversized Tatted Necklace Pattern.  I knew when I was writing it, that in addition to the pattern, I would need to provide the Oversized Tatting Needle.  

I must also share, that my special ability to come up with ideas which only a handful of people might find interesting, is not lost on me.  Even as I'm putting in hours of work writing and woodworking, I am laughing at myself for thinking anyone might like what I'm doing.  Then, because the world is a wonderful place where even the obscure can gain a foothold, a kindred spirit or two will come along and give my offering a try.  And, much to the chagrin of my husband, who has hopefully excepted by now that his wife will never earn riches, that's all I need.  If just a couple of people find something I have designed enjoyable, I'm content.

Okay, that was a long side note, but it would just kill me if you thought I took myself too seriously. 

One of the main reasons I wanted to write this post, is simply to share that the Oversized Needle is quite sturdy.  When I sold my first one and I was showing it to my husband (who actually is very supportive) he wondered if it would hold up to much use.  It is a relatively large hole I am drilling into a fairly thin dowel.  You can see in this close-up that there is not a lot of wood left on either side of the hole.  This same needle is the one I made for myself over three years ago.  It has done countless projects for me and seems capable of countless more.  It has come through the test of performing the task for which it was designed with flying colors. 

I'm using a good hardwood dowel which I think makes all the difference.  What I have noticed is that it feels even better with time.  Although I sand the wood smooth from the start, with use it becomes even more smooth and the natural oil it receives just from being handled regularly gives it almost a polished look. 

In short, even though I am new to the needle making business, I feel good about these quirky Oversized Tatting Needles.  What I really love about them is the length.  12" might seem crazy, but as you get into making long chains, you find those inches very necessessary.  Well, I have a few needles laying in a felt hat, waiting to be sanded.  Off I go until next time. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Oversized Needle Tatting Basics on Video

I just finished one more video on Oversized Needle Tatting.  This one covers a few more of the basics.  If you are brand new to tatting, this video will get you started.  Even though I am using a very large tatting needle and super bulky yarn, the same techniques apply for thread and small needles.  Whether you're tatting on a traditional scale or giving my Oversized Needle Tatting a try, this video takes you carefully through how to make a double stitch, how to deal with a knot in your yarn and more.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Oversized Tatting - Are You Ready to Try Something New?

The Oversized Tatted Necklace pattern is here!  This one is for the lovers of all things fiber.  Have you ever been curious about tatting?  Well, I was and a couple of years ago, I sat down with some shuttles and thread and taught myself how.  I went from shuttles to needle tatting which felt more natural to me as a crocheter.  Then one day I thought about tatting with yarn.  

It's not hard to find larger tatting needles for yarn, but I had this idea in my head that I wanted to go bigger.  I wanted to tat on a grand scale, so I made myself a really big tatting needle and started to play.  The Oversized Tatted Necklace isn't the only thing I've designed, but it's a nice place to start.
I wanted to write a tatting pattern for people who love to tat and for people who have never tatted before.  I liked the idea of presenting people with something new to try.  I know I'm keen to try just about anything involving yarn, so I wanted to make a pattern for people who feel the same way.  This idea felt like a puzzle to me at first.  How to you write a tatting pattern for people who don't tat?  Imagine writing a crochet or knit pattern for people who have never crocheted or knitted.  Daunting.

Adding to my disconcertion was the fact that I had never written a tatting pattern before.  In my study I quickly found that there are quite a few was to express the same thing in the world of tatting.  That made me feel more comfortable taking a few liberties of my own.  My tatting pattern is written in a less traditional way, but can still be easily followed by a seasoned tatter.  My goal was to respect the craft while making it appeal to the newcomer. 

That is my hope.  I hope that the next time you are shopping for that knitter/crocheter in your life and you want to surprise them with something different, you'll find my Oversized Needle Tatting and think, "Why not?"

I have more designs I want to share.  Each time I write a new pattern, I want to introduce a few new techniques.  The Oversized Tatted Necklace pattern is a great foundation on which to build, so build I must!  I've also started making Oversized Tatting Needles just like the one I made for myself.  I plan to make sure you have plenty of projects to entertain that needle and I hope you will be entertained as well!