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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Small Mat

I've been seeing fewer complaints on the Etsy forums about payment processing issues, so I think it's mostly been fixed (though the occasional issue pops up now and again).

A few days ago, I finished this small mat in DMC size 80 thread. This is a continuation of the triangles theme that I have been blogging about (see my previous post for more). This mat could be made much larger, but I just wanted a sample to place into my tatting binder. Here it is with an antique rubber tatting shuttle for scale:


Before I begin designing, I always need a visual reference. For this mat, I needed to find a pathway that would allow me to complete it in one pass and maintain symmetry on both sides. Using my iPad, I began by taking a photo of the small strip of triangles from my previous blog post:


I used an app called PhotoGrid to make a rough "collage" of the tatting, and another app called You Doodle to draw around the edges and polish up the shape of the mat. Here is the resulting image:


From here I continued using the You Doodle app to draw a path through the maze of triangles:


This maze was a little more tricky than normal, as I wanted to maintain symmetry on both sides of the mat and complete it in one pass. If I didn't care about symmetry, I could have simply snaked back and forth, back and forth.

I experimented more with the above pathway, and found that it can be repeated indefinitely. So, if you have a lot of patience, you could make an entire tablecloth this way, only stopping to reload your shuttles when you run out of thread:


On another note, for those who remember the stray cat from my previous post, here is Mama Cat with her four kittens:


They are getting a lot bigger now. Right after I snapped this photo, the black kitten saw me and got really spooked. So I've been trying to leave them alone :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Issues with Etsy's payment processing, and more triangles

In the month of July, I received several emails from Etsy letting me know of problems they were having with their Direct Checkout system. Well, it looks like similar issues are now effecting PayPal's integration with Etsy (though PayPal itself is just fine and will work on other websites). Despite many concerned sellers on the forums, I have yet to see a resolution to this problem.

One workaround suggested by a few sellers is to set up "Other" as a payment option. I have just enabled that in my shop, which allows me to email PayPal invoices to those who wish to make a purchase. For PayPal users, this means that you would complete the checkout process as usual, but click on "Other" when it asks how you want to pay. Apparently, this method of checkout is unaffected by whatever issues are currently plaguing Etsy.

I know that this is much more tedious than it should be, and I'm hoping that there will be a fix soon. If problems continue, I may look into opening a Craftsy store to offer a more stress free option of purchasing patterns.

On the tatting front, I have been continuing my experimentations with triangles. Kathy left a comment on one of my previous posts directing me to experiments that she and Sue had done with triangles before. ::Click here for Sue's post::   ::Click here for Kathy's post::

I've been working on making a small mat using DMC size 80 thread. At this point, it could be used as a bookmark (or continued further in length for a choker or headband):


The pattern is done in one pass, using split rings to travel from one triangle to the next. I've exited at the top so that I can continue creating more rows for a mat.

Like Sue, I also made a hexagon. I think it would look better with a few more rounds, and perhaps in a solid color.


The small "braid" in the upper right corner was a test piece to make sure that the triangles fit together. Mary Konior made a lot of these braids throughout her books (Corn and Chaff is a good example). I've often wondered how Mary came up with all of her braid patterns. I'm starting to think that maybe she just experimented with a lot of different ring sizes and ways to connect them. Perhaps with more practice, I can come up with patterns like hers :)

As I was taking photos for this blog post, one of our local stray cats made an appearance on the porch. I call her "Mama Cat" because she has four little kittens that usually accompany her. (Apologies for the filthy sliding glass door...I've got to go clean that!)


Mama Cat has been wandering around for at least a year, and I always thought that she was someone's pet. However, when we saw the kittens, I realized that she was a stray. There's also another mama cat that is the same color as her, but with two kittens. We've had both cat families come over (never at the same time) to eat and drink. They are sneaky little things and sometimes the only sign that they've been here are the empty cat bowls in the morning.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sunflower

After seeing Joëlle tatting Blomqvist and Persson's Ice Crystal, I just had to revisit my copy of the book and join in. I've tatted a few of the smaller snowflakes from this book before, but this time I decided to try one of the doilies. This one is called Sunflower:


It's tatted in Lizbeth size 40, Spring Garden and White. It definitely needed blocking after Round 2 because the doily was ruffling quite a bit. Luckily, Round 3 was a lot easier and didn't pose any problems. Here is the finished doily on a black background:


As I was tatting the doily, I kept wondering if Lizbeth thread was too stiff for the project. This seems to happen mostly with white thread, and I don't notice it too much with the colors. Next time I tat something from this book I might try using DMC Cordonnet Special to see if it makes a difference.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Triangles (Part 2)

This is a continuation of my previous post in which I was exploring different patterns that could be made with triangles. I was able to put together a cross based on the bookmark pattern:


Like the Priscilla Cross, this is a large piece of tatting and takes a while to complete. In size 40 thread it measures 6.75 inches long and 4.75 inches wide. You can get a better idea of how big it is in this photo:


I also wanted to mention that if you send me a message through my Blogger Contact Form, please check your spam/junk folder for a reply as well as your inbox. I try to respond within 24 hours, but sometimes my responses get sent to the spam folder (especially for those using Yahoo accounts). Always feel free to send me another message if you haven't heard back within a few days. It probably means that something went amiss with the email filters!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Triangles

After all of the pattern writing and proofreading, I really wanted to take a break and just tat. While brainstorming a few snowflake ideas, I stumbled onto a triangle. It looked like it would make a good building block for a variety of patterns:


I like to use building blocks as a basis for creating patterns. I think in terms of shapes (trefoil, rosette, multi-ringed flowers, triangles, squares, pretzels, "the scream") and I use these concepts to form larger patterns.

With the triangle pictured above, I have created a repeatable square, a small snowflake, and a bookmark:


I have already begun adjusting the bookmark to make a large cross. If the large cross is successful, I can use the inner portion to make another repeatable square. I also might be able to tweak the triangle itself and use split rings to make a bracelet or small bookmark.

Hopefully I'll make some progress in the next couple of weeks and will have more pictures to share!