|Elena Koval's doily (left) next to mine (right)|
Last year, I had been spending a lot of time on eBay looking for rare tatting books. Unexpectedly, I came across a listing for one of Elena's finished doilies (for an extremely low price). I had been admiring her work on InTatters and jumped at the opportunity to own one of her pieces. I knew she tatted using size 80 threads and really wanted to see her work in person.
The pattern is called Buttercups from Ben Fikkert's A Tatting Adventure. Isn't it pretty?
In truth, I tried out Lizbeth size 80 on a bookmark, only a few months after learning how to tat. It looked ridiculous in the pattern I chose, but more importantly, I had no idea how to hide the ends. I have never been able to succeed in the magic thread trick, and my sewing needles were too big to fit through the tiny thread. So, I abandoned the thought of tiny tatting for over a year.
That is, until September of last year, when I found another tatter at the Waterford Fair. (Click here for her website). As I was looking through her craft booth, I noticed a piece done in very fine thread. I asked how she hid the ends, and she replied "with quilting needles."
Now, I admit, I know next to nothing about sewing...including needle sizes. I didn't even know there were needles small enough to fit through size 100 thread. So, off I went to the local craft store, new information in tow, and looked through the display of all of the sewing needles to find the smallest ones. Instead of using quilting needles, I decided to pick up a pack of "sharps" because they looked smaller. I went home and tatted samples in Lizbeth size 80 and DMC size 100, and low and behold, the sharps worked! I was ready to begin my tiny tatting adventure.
I began with a series of snowflakes tatted in size 80 DMC tatting thread. Once I got comfortable with this, I decided it was time to go for the size 100. Here's where I am now: my Stawasz Mega Doily next to Elena's doily on a folding chair: