Monday, November 18, 2013

A Doily Story...trial of patience (long)

I love tatting.
It is probably the...I don't know, 4th most important thing to me...
My husband thinks that I overreact to things. That I have very little patience...To him I respond, When you deal with things...10...20...50...100 times before you blow kinda earn the right of blowing up... You had the patience to deal with those 10+times...the mistakes. I tell him, I have as much patience as a human can posses. He didn't believe me, until this doily. 
He watched me for 2 months try to decipher the pattern...and gain the balls to attempt it. He saw me test tat it. He saw me deal with life, trying to deal with this pattern. 

This was one of the MOST challenging tatting projects I have ever done. Even my table topper that took me two 1/2 YEARS PALES in comparison. This one took me about 4 months. From seeing the pattern. To deciphering it. To test tatting parts to see if the numbers would work. To actually starting it. To tatting it. To getting to the last round and cutting off HALF. To finishing. To cleaning. To pinning. And finally a light press.

What you see is the final process. 

The fact is, this is the most beautiful tatted anything (IMO). the center is 8 individual motifs. 
Then surrounded by 8 more individual motifs.
The next round is just rings...rings and split rings. 
Round 4 is just split rings, followed by a round of rings,split rings and a very short chain...which was almost missed, its so small. 
The last round...round 6. All chains and plenty of room for error. If the long picots are to small, then you get a squeezed look. If too long, you run out of space, thus rippling. With each chain there comes the added drama of tension...Which any tatter will tell you is very hard to control...let alone over the span of days and weeks. This was the row that cemented my patience with my husband.

He saw me test tat scallop after scallop, trying to get the tension right. Trying to get the picots the right size.
Halfway through...8 scallops in...I looked at the pattern again (for the literal millionth time) and gasped. I had been joining at the wrong place. My picot length was too long. I looked and looked, hoping that i was wrong about what i was going to have to do. In the end, I cut. It was very painful (emotionally) to do that. He saw me cut it. then pick out all those STUPID lock joins.
I test tatted some more...just to make sure...I wound up reducing the picot size...also decreasing some of the DS counts...moving around picots. 2 days later, I started again. 
Funny enough I found out that the joins were right. But I needed to cut anyway for the picot length, and double stitch count.
It took me a week and a half to get to the point of where I cut. Here I am...2 weeks and a day, Finished. 
So my story is about patience. About my husband not really believing that I don't blow up after however many mistakes...however many setbacks. But he does now. He understands just how much it takes to push me off my deep end...and I like to think he has a new respect for how patient I am...

But alas. I am very far from perfect. I was a lazy tatter... All those ends...the 2 from each motif (x8 for center, then x2 for 2nd round = 32), plus 2 ends for round 3,4,5 and 6, so 8...for a grand total of 40 ends to hide...they were all dealt with, with a square knot and super glue. I was a dirty tatter...after I was completely done, I saw MULTIPLE dark spots on my WHITE doily... tatting while out in the world with white is NOT recommended!!! I repeat NOT RECOMMENDED!
AND I have no idea who freaking came up with this doily! If anyone knows can you please tell, because they deserve credit!

So after everything. I will not do this one again. I will however mount this one and hang it in my home. And i was thinking of coloring it...What color do you think will compliment it... I was thinking pink....

Monday, August 26, 2013

In the beginning..

So a lot of people look at tatting and get discouraged....They see a TON of LITTLE KNOTS and they think I can NOT possibly do this. So I try to make it as small and do able as I can. Its one knot...over and over again. Its just a ring and a chain. Its completely doable. 

To the beginners, you can do this. It is just slightly difficult in the beginning. The only thing that is the biggest obstacle is the flip. 

For needle tatters its the twist that is the biggest obstacle. And for this I would say just drop the needle and let it spin how it wants. 

Actually that goes for both types of tatters...I do that in shuttle tatting too.

With needle tatting there is a bit more control. Which is good and bad. Good in the sense that you know your rings will usually be more even....bad as in more variables...

Say you want your work to look just use a smaller needle until you are happy with the is where swatches come into play...YES the dreaded swatch...its good to know what will be and the dimensions of your work. If you want your work, puffier...a larger needle. There is really NO standard when it comes to needle is all about what look you are going for.

You are never going to learn anything new, unless you practice...nothing in the world is learned without practice...I still agonize over my tatting not being perfect...
I have been tatting for years now, and i have only had 1 piece that was PERFECT... Not one off sized ring. not one miscounted anything. The tension is perfect all over... only one. Out of HUNDREDS of motifs, edgings, earrings, bracelets....out of piece. I think every tatter wants perfect work. But the reality is, its the mistakes that make life wonderful...even in the worst times. So practice. If you find you are pounding your head against the wall with frustration...set it down. come back to it another day...because one day, something will come out perfect...and you realize that all that time spent on perfecting it was worth it.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Size 80 thread!!!

When I think of size 80 thread, I get scared. It's so thin. It breaks so easily. IT'S SO TWISTY. Well. I have come to speak about it. I thought that it would be cool to have a single pattern, in different thread i did one in size 10...then I jumped to 80....that is a huge difference. The pattern is two rounds. By the second ring I was in panic mode. My fingers want to tat with size 10...they were use to size 10. So from that I thought that I would write a few tips...

Tip 1: Muscle memory. Before starting any project in size 80 you need to acclimate your finger a small motif that doesn't matter. 6 rings 6 chains...also this would be a good time to check your picot sizes. After doing this you should be ready to go...

Tip 2: Wash your hands very frequently...even if all you have done is tat...wash them still. And make sure your hands are COMPLETELY dry...this is very important.. If you have ever tried to close a ring with semi-damp fingers, you know what a pain it is. So I have gotten tips from baby powder to hand sanitizer to keep them dry... i find regular paper towels do just fine. Dry your hands before any element.

Tip 3: Before you start ANY ring, let your shuttle hang. This seems really lame, but there is a huge difference between trying to close a ring after you have dropped your shuttle and when you haven't. When you are tatting chains there isn't much of a difference...but with rings its vital...If you do not drop your shuttle then you wind up with a small twist wont be able to close it without some heavy coaxing..
AND if you didn't drop your shuttle AND you have the twisty ball, this is how you close it...

You gently put your shuttle through the ring, and try to roll the twist out. Place it on your finger as you would normally close it...doing this forces it into a ring shape. It might take a couple tries to close the ring, but take deep breaths, stay calm, YOU CAN DO THIS!

Tip 4: DON'T NOT be angry, frustrated, sad...pretty much any extreme negative emotion when working with size will know...and it will further exacerbate your frustration. Truly! You know the saying "If you really want to know a person, sit them down in front of an old computer with a dial-up" this is like that. Size 80 will test your patience...Be zen. Relax. Take a step from reality for a little bit. 

So I hope that this gives you a bit of spark that tells you that you can tat with size 80. Good luck.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

How to hide ends without sewing

UPDATE: It was brought to my attention that the video didn't embed here is the link..Thank you Michelle!!!
I made another video...One I have been trying to do for quite some time. I was lazy. I really couldn't find a good time to do it. BUT today was that day! 

The video is about HIDING ENDS! A very sore spot for a lot of tatters. As tatters we have a couple choices open to us...We could either knot our thread together and then sew in the ends, or we could just not do it...But as a tatter that wants to show the public tatting, I need to know how to make the ends nice. So awhile back some GENIUS tatter figured how to do this...So now whether I finish on a chain or ring, I can finish nicely. This particular video addresses finishing with a chain. 

As you practice it, you get better...SO PRACTICE!!! I started with small motifs...the one in the video is three rings of 5-2-5 and the chains are 20...I wanted to make sure I had enough room to hide my ends...but I have used this with as little as 5ds...its a little tricky though...So here it is...

Also...bragging... I dont know if i posted a picture of my ribbon or not but here is was actually pretty heavy. I thought it would have been lighter! Anyway, there were these cute picture cutouts all over the fair, and i thought that this wold be a good opportunity to be goofy...Goal Achieved!
 This was where my tatting was proud and happy!
 AND up close!
SO until later...Adios!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Well month. Firstly. my two oldest fish died. Cookie and kids named them, don't judge. But cookie, i knew he was going to go...but lolly...i had no idea. I guess it was a companion sort of deal. So that one crapped my week from the start.

I have been reading these awesome books. They are called The Undead day ___ (insert 1-12). I LOVE LOVE LOVE them. If you are into zombie books, pick these up...the author is R.R. Haywood.

I also read a book named Strangeville. It was a pretty good book, until the end...only one part was just god awful. Worth the read though.

So. I had the state fair demo Wednesday. OMG! What an experience...I have been tatting for like 5 years now...maybe a bit more. Up until a couple months ago, i had never met another tatter...i now have met like 6. I got SO many stories about my grandma use to... I have my gramas... i use to see... TONS. I had no idea that SO MANY people had been exposed to tatting, and never picked it up! I have no one in my family that do any of the crafts that i do. I am the black sheep. But i love it. SOOO...

this is what i had. I have never done anything like this in my life. I was so scared and nervous. So. Onto the stats...this took place from 11 am to 5pm...6 hours
temporary shuttles - 20-30
truly interested people (took time to try to learn a bit)-  10
somewhat interested (looked and asked) 30
not really interested ( "oh that's pretty" and walks away) 30
KIDS interested - 5 !!!! five that were genuinely interested in learning...i was really amazed
people who got the flip - 2! two women got the flip nearly right off the bat! i was so amazed that someone could learn the flip like that. I actually came up with a sing song....

Pinch the stitch
under, over through the loop
left hand loose
right line tight
Snug it up
over, up
left hand loose 
right line tight
snug it up

I don't know.
So make sure you have plenty of shuttles, and info cards. PEOPLE LOVED looking through my inspiration books. they especially liked the large tatting...i included it to show you could damn near tat with anything.
I had a needle tatter who thought that she was doing her tatting wrong...and she wasn't. She was just doing sets...1st half, 1st half, 2nd half, 2nd half...
Now...very important....GET ENOUGH SLEEP! I was so nervous that i didn't get to sleep until 2am then turned around and woke up at 730am. Definitely not enough sleep. So i was tired by...oh lets see, 1130! tired tired tired. I think i might do this again...except with someone else...Now i know what to expect, the next time i do it, it will be better. But i started...i started spreading the joy of tatting, the beauty. And even only a couple remember it, it will have been worth it. Tatting is NOT a LOST art. Not at all. and we are here to stay, and pass it on to others.

I have been to the fair twice this year. Exhausting stuff. So that's my week. ooo, and i cleaned my kids carpet fun.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Continuing with the domination...VERY LONG AND WORDY

Do you remember this post????

Well this is an update. Last Saturday I turned it in...FINALLY. Wednesday it was judged. I liked them on facebook to find out when we would find out how we did...As i had no idea, having never done this before. So....I waited............and waited.....and thus more waiting. Driving my kids and husband crazy. Then people started posting that they got their results....Now i was really freaking out. i was thinking that maybe the people who got really bad scores, didn't get a scorecard, like your entry was so bad we didn't even want to waste paper telling you so.
So i was so heartbroken.
My poor people, constantly reassuring me that i was going to be ok, that my tatting was good. that they weren't that cruel. be patient. breathe. here's a drink, calm down...ok you've had enough STOP! ok, that last part wasn't true, but it really was how i was feeling. So i checked the page, then facebook...that was my dance. for 8 days. just nervous. My husband checks the mail, its a small joy that i refuse to take from i had to wait. and wait some more. He checked the mail this morning after i picked him up from letter was in the box. He shoved his hand up in the air like Judd nelson (one of my MANY celeb crushes, lucky for me, my husband is very much like him) at the end of breakfast club,
 and he starts waving it around....
Heartbroken again. 
I just knew that was telling me to come pick up my tatting. That i sucky sucked sucked. I opened it. This is what i saw...
I have been staring at this ALL day. I am very much in shock. I am so surprised. Now here is where some stuff comes up...1st. Exclamation mark after beautiful in every way. That's awesome. 2nd. the post noted at the top...well there are a couple photos of the entry. i want to note, that i just got it wet, patted most of the water out and then placed on a bobbin lace "pillow" and pinned a bit. not a lot, but i wanted to point this out to all the tatters.
Sometimes if a tatted piece is all weird, sometimes it just needs to be wet down. Some tatters swear by pinning out and starching, but i really like the simplicity (and results) of water blocking. 
So really i just wanted to say, you are going to be nervous. You are going to doubt yourself and your beautiful work. But you should still try. Its SO intimidating when you first start, but now that i know what to do, I am totally going to do it again.
I live in California. Last year, i was inspired my another tatter. Marty. She took many pictures of her work with her ribbons, I thought that i could do that. So i started looking into entering...only to find out that i was like 2 days after the deadline...2 DAYS. So i started thinking. Marking my calender. I waited. I looked hard for the pattern that i thought was very me. Something i would enjoy tatting. I found it. The tatting itself was not hard. Trying to be flawless was hard. And it doesn't need to be flawless. I think i made a total of three mistakes. When i got done with my work, i felt it, that this would be the very first fair piece. Because we all got to start somewhere.
SO I waited. The first day that registration was open, i hopped on it, like a trampoline. It was a $10 fee. I had the choices of shipping or hand delivering. Obviously if i put in the work, i am going to hand deliver. That day comes, I go in, and i actually meet 2 other tatters. They were both needle tatters and one of them even did cro-tatting. I was so happy. I only caught one of their names...Wilma. So much was happening...BTW never do a thing like this with three kids...they distract from such a big moment. I know that is somewhat horrible, but i literally had my attention split in 9 different ways, headache central. One of those ways was talking to a very cute woman named Stephanie. She is the creative arts director. 
See. at the time of me registering, i saw a link...demo at the fair...When you are excited, you are propelled by the moment. this particular moment, i decided to demo at the fair. 
I love tatting so much, and i want so badly to share it with people. But i was part of a lace guild, but never went to any of the meetings. SO i never actually met another tatter. So i started getting scared. but this was my first time, So i went from two days down to is manageable, since i have no idea what to expect. So I am making shuttles. and i am going to have a tatting display. History, types, just information. 
I met 2 tatters. I am going to be demoing. And i am just on a roll. When you try something you put yourself out there...I would never have THOUGHT of demoing, let alone actually doing it. So i am expanding my tatting horizons...and if you could let yourself out there once, good things can happen. So find out what the deadlines are. Try. Even if you don't feel like its good enough...try, because you could find yourself shocked....and now i get to wait again. Wait until July 17th (demo day)...i can't wait to see my work proudly displayed for all to see. That thought is just so crazy. But that's my fair story.
BTW this was the very first post that got me interested...
and the one that cemented it was...
So i think thats all. Wow, that's a lot of words. Sorry.

Monday, January 21, 2013

My TIAS guess

I don't actually know where all my tatting photos went! I haven't told anyone, but I am also joining in Tat it and See... It is really a very fun part of the year. The BEST way to start... So now its DAY 4... and its starting to look like something...last year Jane had us guessing up to the final posting!!!! But this is my guess...a flower pot with flowers...although i know its not really Janes style...
I was actually thinking about this...Every tatting designer has a very distinct style! Jane... She often has small rings, short chains and lots of techniques thrown in. Criss crossing and turning... I could honestly pick hers out easiest... then There is Nina Libin, tons and tons of happy that i am able to test tat for her...i have plans for tonight...and thats it. my ideal evening truly! Then totusmel...even though she is doing her tat it and see in different colors you can still tell it was done from her hand... nice and tight and very neat...precise! Then Frivole, she does a lot of SCMR, smooth lines, those are just a few that i think of on a nearly daily basis.

The necklace below was out of a Japanese book i believe... I really like the intertwining hearts. This was really simple to do...I love love love Japanese tatting patterns, Their books are eye candy galore! I love this necklace very much, but sadly it makes my neck look WIDE!!! So i don"t wear it often...

Speaking of Jane... I have been trying to branch out and do more of her more ambitious tatting patterns. I tried her pattern "Snowsettia" It is done with four shuttles and very challenging!!!! you must try! I am going to dig it out of my tatting box and snap another picture...Its done all green...dark green thread, light green thread and green beads! oK, so that's all for right now!

Friday, January 4, 2013

My plan for world domination..kinda.

So. Haven't blogged in a bit. Right now this is what i am working on.
A SHUTTLE BAG. I was kinda hesitant to tat this because it looks very intimidating. In reality it just rings and beads. I figured I should post a size comparison. I am leaving very little room between rings and I also increased the rings per round to 16 instead of 14. so. The clover fits nice and roomy, and the sewmate is snug.. i think i might increase a couple more rings.
 Last year I made a decision. I was going to enter tatting into the California State Fair. I have actually been thinking about it for a couple years now. I choose this pattern for its elegance. My husband (still feels weird saying that after almost a year..crazy) helped me pick the color. I was going with a grey silver color...I wanted to break up the color, but i really liked the grey. I asked my husband...Black or dark grey...
He said the black would make it pop...He was right. In real life its so.....You know i don't even know which word to use.

 I had to do a little blocking...
BTW that's how i judge a pattern...If it needs ton of blocking or not...A good pattern is accurate. it shows that the artist (yes, getting it right is definitely art) is mindful, and meticulous. I am looking at the picture right now and i see 1 mistake...the center the base they are not joined...I believe that i only made 2 mistakes in all...that's pretty good.

 I love the picture up top...and below. I think this doily measures 9 to 10 inches across. Maybe a foot...i have no idea. But I was thinking of entering more tatting.
My husband likes to work at the fair during the summer. He went to the lace exhibits, for me. Took some pictures... He said that there was only like 5 things of lace entered...Even more disturbing is the face that NONE of it was tatting... it was all knit... Now i know that there are more tatters in the Sacramento area, because every time i go to Joann's they are low on shuttles...if not low...then OUT... and someone is buying them...
My goal this year is the enter the hell out of tatting...any and every competition that i can...then people will see tatting and be inspired to enter their tatting, 
then next year they will enter tatting and then more tatters will be like oh, more tatters....i want to enter more tatting in...
Then the world is mine.......(insert evil laugh.....) 
OK. maybe not the world... but spreading the word of tatting.
Well enough of that...Have fun tatting

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

FINALLY some tatting

 Well well well. I'm back. I have two general tatting photos...some heart earrings i made my daughter Anavay...i love the way they came out. The pattern is

Tiny Heart pattern 
CWJ = cathrine wheel join.
TOR = thrown off ring (thank you for spotting rsme ;) )
R : 4-3-3-3-4
CH : 12 CWJ 3 CWJ 1 TOR (1-1) 1 CWJ 3 CWL 12 join to base and sew in ends. 
I tat earrings really tight so they hold their shape under kid circumstances. Showers, sleep, and play. These go great with all that....AND still looks like they did when i first tatted them.

 The cross is from Fun with split ring tatting. THIS is an awesome book. I got it by saving up my SWAGBUCKS... so technically it was free. Now comes my ring...

I still couldn't get inkscape to co-operate with i desired to just post the directions here...sorry i don't have a PDF. i will keep plugging on trying to find a solution...but i am not going to promise something i can't.

gosh darn blogger is giving me trouble...i hate it! Anyway here's the text
Diamond Ring by Shannon Campos-Hatfield

This pattern is a bit advanced... you will be joining into a ring shape, throwing off rings and a split ring.
Also the basic pattern is for fat little fingers. There can be variations in size and they will be added at the end...but originally this ring will come out large.
Also all picots are small-ish...except for the ones that say otherwise.

LP = Long picot-just under 1/4 inch

SPR = split ring
TOR = thrown off ring

Clover 1: R1 6-3-6-3
                R2 3+23-3
                R3 3+6-3-6

CLOVER 2: R1 6-3-6-3
                     R2 3+9-5-9-3
                     R3 3+6-3-6
Chain 1:ch 7 TOR (4-4-4-4) 7
CHAIN 2: ch 7 + (to TOR) 7

Start with CTM...
Clover 1
Clover 2
Chain 2
Clover 1
Chain 2
Clover 2
Chain 2
Tie to the base of the 1st clover. Hide ends by sewing the end through 3 ds caps.

R1 3 LP 9 +(to clover 2) 5 +(to clover 2) 9 LP 3
SPR 3+11 LP 3/ 3+11 LP 3
R3 3 +(to LP) 9 +(to clover 2) 5 +(to clover 2) 9 +(to LP) 3

If you get lost i can help...but the pattern is pretty straight forward.

also it could have three other sizes...i actually have that pdf...Ring Part 2 (sizes) (insert evil laugh here...muah haha haha muah haha) at least i have SOME part organized.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


So tonight i tatted a ring...a very nice ring...Then began the problems...
My camera ran out of juice...the very minute i went to take a photo of it....
Then, I figured that i would do out the pattern...all nice like in know... have a nice visual...but then inkscape REFUSED to save it...i eventually closed it...I had copied it and pasted it into paint...but it didn't have very nice results... So after spending 2 and a half hours on this frustrating project... I am WAY calling quits
I will try to fix the picture visual tomorrow... but until then..I'm going to try to relax.

In other two boys are in first grade...YAY!!! It is so much better than kindergarten...Ana is still in preschool until next year...then kindergarten here we come. 

I am being pushed lately by my husband to get my tatting up for a craft fair or something...everyone has such faith in me, but i have very little in myself...even though i know i am awesome...i am just super shy about my tatting. Like i said... camera i haven't got a whole bunch of tatting later :)

But the whole point of this post was to tell you that i am going to have a new free pattern up...soon-ish :)