Friday, December 13, 2013

Sigh...Cry...Sigh another school shooting

First off I want to cry or vomit as I write this (Friday December 13, 2013) just 1 day before the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.  We have had another school shooting....Sigh....Cry....use a bunch of naughty words....Arapaho high school in Centenial Colorado experienced the terror of a armed 'student' or 'former student' but a young man who felt he had no options in his life to address the wrongs he believed were done to him.  From what we know he asked for the 'school cop' and a specific teacher.  The school officer was out of the school on unknown business (also none of our business--officers have other duties that must be attended to).  The specific teacher was in the building but tried to lure the young man with the shotgun out of the building away from the children (yes high school students are children...becoming young adults but still legally children).  The young man with the shotgun critically injured 1 student/child and also gave another student/child (both reported to be females) a 'minor injury'.  At last report the 1 student was undergoing major surgery in hopes of saving her life and the less severely injured young woman was expected to be released yet this evening.   Additional reports indicate the young shooter had turned the shotgun on himself and caused his own death.  The teacher and school officer were not injured.  I hope the teacher and school officer get help with dealing with the trauma they have because the shooter was looking for them but took out his wrath on 2 young women.  Some reports indicate the young shooter was 'bullied' at school but other reports indicate he had poor grades due to lack of consistent attendance.  Which is correct will have to await further investigation.

We must control the access to lethal weapons.  We also must curtail the 'anger inducing games' that are so popular with the young men in the world.  The isolation of playing a violent game is only 1 part of the issue...
The military uses similar but presumably more violent games on game stations to condition recruits into believing the enemy is less than human and can be destroyed with impunity.  That is called brain washing.  The violent games convice people to believe the 'bad guy' will get up to fight again in the next scene not the reality that someone has been murdered and will be forever dead.  When the handcuffs go on or the jail door is slammed shut or the blood, vital organs,and life flow out of a dieing person then the shooter realizes that it ain't a game.  I suspect the horror of what the shooter did caused him to take his own life.

My heart goes out to the young man's family as they are going to take a long time understanding what has happened.  My heart goes out to the young women who were injured as they will have to live the rest of their lives with the scars and yes their families will deal with that too and they will heal eventually.  The teacher and the school officer also have my thougths and prayers as they deal with this.  But oh so many young men and women in the school will deal with this the rest of their lives.  My heart goes out to them all.  Lets not vilify the shooter nor the injured nor the teacher and officer but lets get some real responses to this tragedy for all so it does not happen again....

I do not have the answer as to what we need to do about the problem.  First, we need to talk to our children from the time they are little about what being bullied is and to tell a teacher, school officer, principal, mom, dad, grama and any adult what is going on until someone steps in to help solve the problem.  This bullying must be stopped.  To be stopped we have to think like adults and help our youth to understand the problem is not over when they part ways but it can affect them their entire life.  It affects the bully and the bullied.  Second, wake up people and quit thinking it is 'kids just being kids'  and you need to be their 'friend' as you need to be the adults and protect the bullied whild using the moment to help the bully to also see the behavior they are doing as the problem.  This concept of we have to be the kids firend has to go and asults have to take back being the ADULT and stopping the bullying.  Bullies feel they have to prove they are better...why not make it more popular to prove they can be compassionate towards others?

My heart is broken for the loss of the families and the loss of a feeling of safety in our schools.

Peace, Cyn

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A cautionary tale

To everyone out in cyberspace this is important for you to know and yes, it is a soapbox rant but very important. I sell custom fit bras for a bit of income. The lack of knowledge out in the world among not only our young adults but and women of all ages. Yes men get breast cancer too and often theirs is not diagnosed until very late in the disease and it has spread. A couple years ago while doing a bra fitting for a beautiful young woman in Oklahoma she asked if I knew what "this is.." This turned out to be a walnut sized lump in 1 breast and a second, smaller lump was found in the other breast that had spread to her ovaries as well. I hate when a woman who does not know how to do a BSE and we find the large lump when fitting the bra. Finding a lump during a bra fitting is frightening just because we have so little knowledge of what it is. The young woman's breast cancer had spread and she also had ovarian cancer. I also have ladies share that the special man in their life has a lump on "his parts" and won't get it checked. Also a very scary situation. I held the hand of a young woman in Oklahoma for college from Botswana as she awoke from getting a double radical mastectomy and oophorectomy/hysterectomy and at just 25. Her brother pulled me aside (she had not told him but her roommate had told him where she was when she did not return his call) and asked why she had surgery. Talk about a difficult conversation! She chose the massive surgeries as when she went home there would be almost no access to follow up medical care. She wanted to teach so the members of her village could move forward with education and help to move her country into the 21st century away from subsistence farming on lands that had been treated with herbicides by the powers that be to kill the native foods for the goats and people. Her brother was just 21...I remember the pain on his face as I told him--as gently as I could I had to tell him what his sister had just gone thru. She had not told me her brother was also in Oklahoma studying in hopes of becoming a physician. He then asked me if I knew what a lump on "his guy parts" meant. (Yes even a guy studying to be a medical doctor was not comfortable asking about 'his parts'. No I didn't ask to see the lump nor touch it--I'm not a doctor. I did refer him to a doctor and yes he had testicular cancer. Their family had lost 10 of the generation between 20-35 out of 15 who had made it to at least 20 years. The doctor traced it back to the herbicides used in Botswana and the incidence of cancer in the specific area is almost 75%. This is just a horrible incidence of presumably unintended genocide by the powers that be wanting the people to take up farming instead of traditional susbistence farming. This rant is not about herbicides...I do that on other posts...this is just about the incidence of cancer and a horrible lack of knowledge of our own bodies. Men as well as women develop breast cancer and should check themselves. Men develop testicular cancers early and later. We need to become more comfortable with our bodies so we can combat this insidious disease. Cancer of all kinds has been linked to pesticide abuse. Yes in the USA we have the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) but most people do not read the label to make sure they are using the chemicals correctly. Doug, my dear hubby, a forester has gone out on way more 'sick tree calls' than he cares to enumerate only to find the person has killed his own trees by putting a common fertilizer/weed controller on at as much at 25 times the amount recommended and right up to the tree trunks. The directions tell you how much to use and not to use within 100 feet of a tree, ornamental bush, flower or vegetable garden. When he would get home from those calls. He would immediately put his clothing in the washer for a tripple wash cycle and get a shower. We had to wash his shoe soles too. Yes I have asthma caused by herbicide spray when I had a mild oversxposure while working on a TSI (Timber Stand Improvement) project in the mid 1970's. Before the knowledge of how bad it can be and now professionals use respirators and protective clothing when working with them--a leftover from the packaging of the 1960's before more knowledge of the dangers. I can not go in areas of stores due to the herbicides stored there. Some laundry products cause cross reactions and my breathing requires medications to make it possible to continue living. Please be aware that the incidence of mammary cancers in female dogs and penile cancers in male dogs are both 99% linked to herbicide use in the lawn they play on sometimes while the chemicals are being spread! It says to keep people and pets off for 3 to 14 days after application! Gentle readers please read the labels and follow the instructions for your safety and the safety of your beloved family, friends, and all companion animals. Peace, Cyn

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Foam Latte Earring

Here is 1 of the earrings I am making based on a pattern in Jan Stawasz's book Tatted Treasures 2012 edition.  The cap is on page 40 and I am doing that for a bride to be.  The earring will let her see how the points look with a bit of bling.  Peace

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fantastic weekend at Bartlesville

I was in Bartlesville OK for the weekend of July 12-14 at a class presided over by Gary and Randy Houtz.  It was a fantastic class and I want to admit this is the first class I have actually gotten 1 item DONE!!!! Yes it was the practice bobble but I was able to complete it.  I did not get the  possum done in the afternoon using the same technique nor did I get the items done Sunday morning or afternoon but I know how and can do them (correctly) even tho I did not succeed at either getting them correctly completed.  

Can someone please tell me the difference between making a chain of 15 ds and a chain of 8 ds?  Duh now you know why I messed up and could not complete the morning item correctly...I did complete it but it wasn't right. The afternoon saw my fingers getting too sore to tat efficiently so I didn't get the afternoon project done--but again I know how and can finish them correctly.  I will redo the messed up one. 

I still need to get the flowers sewn onto my hat :( but Gary asked how long it took to do the block tatted crown and brim.  He also liked the flowers that were going to be added.  Nice to have that info.  He did suggest a way to arrange them and I like it better than my way so will do it that way.  When done then pics and the how to.  It is NOT a beginner piece as I won't put the row 1 do this, row 2 do this pattern just a how to if you can do the skills.  The hat will have to fit the head it is meant for not mine...


Bumblebee Die off in Oregon....did we find the cause

Please read:,0,3014501.story

If you haven't read the above is the summary and then I will get on my soapbox...

In March using the pesticide "Safari" containing the ingredient dinotefuran that belongs to a class called neonicotinoids (which have been linked to the problem of hive collapse) the trees were sprayed long before they bloomed as required on the label but in late June they had 2 massive die offs of bees in the Portland-Hillsboro-Wilsonville area that killed off about 50,000+ bees--up from the 25,000 they originally thought.  The Oregon State Agriculture Department made the brave decision to net the approximately 200 trees that had been sprayed and cease the use of and even the sale of 18 products containing dinotefuran for agricultural, turf and ornamental as well as vegetable garden plantings making the use or sale of this chemical illegal for 180 days or until they have completed their investigation into the deaths of the 50,000 bees.  The option to continue the ban on neonicotinoids permanently is under investigation.

Now my soapbox....

HURRAY for the state of Oregon recognizing that a chemical pesticide derived from nicotine is not good for bees!  

Nicotine, in my opinion,  is not good for people or bees so why are the chemical companies still touting its use.  A limited search for the manufacturer of dinotefuran discovered it is manufactured in China. China does not have the regulations that in the USA that try to check for safety before something can be used in food.  It doesn't matter if it is human baby formula or pet food and treats or pesticides...they must be proven safe before being dumped into the environment.  

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against all chemical weapons against pests that eat our food crops because some are useful and relatively SAFE unlike the neonicotinoids.  We are fouling our planet and taking a chance on killing off the bees that pollinate 75% yes 3/4 of our food crops.  We are using a poison to kill the bees that ultimately feed us by pollinating our food crops and causing famine.  Wake up!  Get smart about the use of pesticides.  

Not only are neonicotinoids used in sprays but some people buy flea and tick collars for their dogs that contain dinotefuran along with pyrethrins.  The more we learn about pesticides including those I am writing about as well as DDT (remember the near loss of the large raptors due to concentrations of DDT in their eggs making the shells soft??) the more I question how much influence the chemical companies have over the EPA.  We need to band together and say no more random use of pesticides polluting our world.  

I saw a man put a nationally know broad-leaf herbicide and grass nutrient (Weed and Feed) broadleaf herbicide on his yard at twice the recommended concentration.  Yes he applied it by a spreader going lengthwise in his yard and then crossways (yes in a crosshatch pattern) giving his yard a double dose but he also made a spiral around his large shade tree giving it a lethal dose of herbicide.  His ornamental shrubs also died.  The Weed and Feed is registered by the EPA but he used it at more than double the concentration recommended and ignored the label that specifically states do not use within 50 feet of a tree or shrub you do not want to kill.  He had known that my DH is a forester and asked if he would come tell him what 'bug' killed his tree.  I told him it was most likely an herbicide poison in the Weed and Feed product he put on the yard as the leaves had the typical herbicide curl. It is time to ban all pesticides that are not applied by a licensed applicator to protect us all.  Currently the use of herbicides and pesticides in residential areas is at 10 times the concentration that is used in agricultural areas.  We need that to change.  

Off my soapbox.  


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

For the Oklahomans in the reading area...

Oklahoma weather humor!
This was sent by the wife of the head meteorologist of the Nat'l Weather Bureau, based in Norman, OK---Considering the past couple of weeks here, we all need a little touch of humor.
A Little Taste of Oklahoma Living

For those of you who aren't familiar with tornadoes and are hearing news coverage of this, I put together a short glossary to help you understand.
Fujita Scale: Scale used to measure wind speeds of a tornado and their severity.
F1: Laughable little string of wind unless it comes through your house, then enough to make your insurance company drop you like a brick. People enjoy standing on their porches to watch this kind.
F2: Strong enough to blow your car into your house, unless of course you drive an Expedition and live in a mobile home, then strong enough to blow your house into your car.
F3: Will pick your house and your Expedition up and move you to the other side of town.
F4: Usually ranging from 1/2 to a full mile wide, this tornado can turn an Expedition into a Pinto, then gift wrap it in a semi truck.
F5: The Mother of all Tornadoes, you might as well stand on your front porch and watch it, because it's probably going to be quite a last sight.
Meteorologist: A rather soft-spoken, mild-mannered type person until severe weather strikes, and they start yelling at you through the t.v.: "GET TO YOUR BATHROOM OR YOU'RE GOING TO DIE!"
Storm Chaser: Meteorologist-rejects who are pretty much insane but get us really cool pictures of tornadoes. We release them from the mental institution every time it starts thundering, just to see what they'll do.
Tranquilizer: What you have to give any dog or cat who lived through the May 3rd, 1999 tornado every time it storms or they tear your whole house up freaking out of their minds.
Moore, Oklahoma: A favorite gathering place for tornadoes. They like to meet here and do a little partying before stretching out across the rest of the Midwest.
Bathtub: Best place to seek shelter in the middle of a tornado, mostly because after you're covered with debris, you can quickly wash off and come out looking great.
Severe Weather Radio: A handy device that sends out messages from the National Weather Service during a storm, though quite disconcerting because the high pitched, shrill noise just as an alarm sounds suspiciously just like a tornado. Plus the guy reading the report just sounds creepy.
Tornado Siren: A system the city spent millions to install, which is really useful, unless there's a storm or a tornado, because then of course you can't hear them.
Storm Cellar: A great place to go during a tornado, as it is almost 100% safe, though weigh your options carefully, as most are not cared for and are homes to rats and snakes.
May-June: Tourist season in Oklahoma, when people who are tired of bungee jumping and diving out of airplanes decide it might be fun to chase a tornado. These people usually end up on Fear Factor.
Barometric Pressure: Nobody really knows what this is, but when it drops a lot of pregnant women go into labor, which makes for exciting moments as their husbands are trying to drive them to the hospital and dodge tornadoes at the same time.
Cars: The worst place to be during a tornado (next to a mobile home). Yes, you can out run a tornado in your car...unless everybody on the road decides to do the same thing, and then you're in grid lock.
A Ditch: Supposedly where you're supposed to go if you find yourself without shelter or in your car during a tornado. Theoretically the tornado is supposed to pass right over you, but since it can lift a 20 ton truck and up root a three hundred year old tree, I'd bet my life on out-running it in a car.
Mobile Home: Most people are convinced mobile homes send off some strange signal that triggers tornadoes, because if there's one mobile home park in a hundred mile radius, the tornado will find it.
Earthquake: What any Californian would rather go through on any scale of severity than face a tornado.
Tornado: What any Oklahoman would rather go through on any scale of severity than face an earthquake.
Twister: Slang for 'tornado' and also the title to a movie starring Helen Hunt, which incidentally everyone thought was corny and unrealistic until May 3rd, 1999.
Power Flash: One of the most reliable ways to track a tornado at night, it's the term used when the tornado hits a power line and a bright light flashes. It's also the emotion experienced by meteorologists when they get to make the call to interrupt prime-time must-see t.v. and a million dollars’ worth of advertising to track a storm for viewers.
Here are some phrases you might want to learn and be familiar with:
"We'll have your electricity restored in 24 hours," which means it'll be a week.
"We're going to be out for a week, so buy a lot of supplies and an expensive generator," means it's going to be on in twelve hours, probably as soon as you return from Wal-Mart.
"It's a little muggy today." Get outta town. It's getting ready to storm.
"There's just a slight chance of severe weather today, so go ahead and make your outdoor plans." Ha. Ha ha ha ha.

And Rene's BIG TIP of the day:

When your electricity goes out, and you go to bed at night, be sure to turn off everything that was on before it went out, or when it is unexpectedly restored in the middle of the night, every light, every computer, your dishwasher, your blow dryer, your washing machine, your microwave and your fans will all come on all at once.
1) You'll just about have a heart attack when they all come on at the same time, waking you from a dead sleep.
2) Your breakers will blow, leaving you in the dark once again.

When you are done laughing remember Rene's Big Tip of the works everywhere...have a great day, a safe day and enjoy a moment of tatting.

Rant on why I don't in airplanes!

First a bit of a rant as I was asked why I did not just fly to New York...a) cost, b)lost luggage, c) time waiting for a plane and d) TSA

I know a gal (she wishes to remain anonymous as she still has to fly) who had her handmade knitting needles  and had the wool yarn that come from England confiscated from her carry on--trip to and back from England--where the security makes the TSA look like jokers as security in Europe is way higher than in the USA.  She had no problem on international flights but here in the USA on a domestic flight the yarn and knitting needles were destroyed by the TSA.  She would have put the carry on in the "carry on put on the plane" had she known that the work of 2 weeks worth of work would be destroyed (You can ask that the 'carry on' be put in the hold at the daughter does that all the time and has not lost a bag yet). She can not get the yarn shipped as the US will not allow it to be imported without $5/skein import duty as the US has nothing like that wool but does have acrylic yarn. They are NOT the same.  Just as tatting with crochet thread is not like tatting with Lizbeth thread from Handy Hands.  That is another issue altogether! She was down to working on the Fair Isle/Fisherman Sweater sleeves when the remaining yarn was destroyed along with the handmade needles, I certainly would not chance losing my hand made wooden shuttles and Lizbeth thread to the scare tactics of the TSA. She and her attorney are considering a lawsuit against TSA for the loss.  We are talking about almost $4000 (plus expenses in the suit) in work, material and travel.  Yes she will have to return to England to replace the yarn and needles.   I'd have had to go to the Finger Lakes area with nothing and buy shuttles and thread to participate then toss them or mail them home--waiting until Monday to I could mail them just to sit on a plane and have my hubby take a day off of work to pick me up over 2 1/2 hours away...Stillwater does not have an airport.  

With the travel time...2.5 hours minimum (each way) plus getting there 2 hours before boarding...I can be almost 1/4th the way to my destination before the flight, if on time, leaves the ground.  Then when I get to the destination I have to rent a car...and coming back an extra night in a motel and tossing the thread and shuttles or mailing them to myself...doubling or more the original cost.  I just don't fly.

TSA is sure there is a terrorist in every pair of shoes...I'm sorry but that smacks of McCarthyism (according to wikipedia...McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion, or treason without proper regard for evidence. It also means "the practice of making unfair allegations or using unfair investigative techniques, especially in order to restrict dissent or political criticism."[1] The term has its origins in the period in the United States known as the Second Red Scare, lasting roughly from 1950 to 1956 and characterized by heightened fears of communist influence on American institutions and espionage by Soviet agents.) because it is playing on the fears we all have of not being safe and I find that incredibly offensive.  I do not fly unless there is an overwhelming need.  As my father, and Air Force pilot, said 'If you have time to spare go by air.'  

Now you know why I do NOT fly unless there is no other realistic alternative.


Friday, May 10, 2013

 Shuttle v Needle

I recently read a cute article about the difference between knitting and crochet.  My mind did a fast turn and kept seeing shuttle for knit and needle for crochet.  Please don’t ask why as that is just how it is…It started my 5 brain cells running around and here is what they came up with.

First off I would like to give a big thank you to Writer/illustrator/knitter Franklin Habit and to Lion Brand for their neat article that can be found here:

There have been famous feuds in history….Hatfields v McCoys, Capulet v Montague, knit v crochet, and now we add shuttle v needle for tatting.   Why??????????  Don’t ask me…I don’t have the answer.  I just report what I see.

Shuttle tatting has its strengths, needle tatting has its strengths, and both are TATTING!  Yes I know traditionally needle tatters and shuttle tatters have squared off on which is actually tatting…both camps claim the other isn’t tatting.  I will not go into the history of the battle nor who is right and who is wrong.  Both are right and both are wrong.  Remember thread is long, life is short.  Tatting will last a long time. 

Shuttle tatters find an easy rhythm with the shuttle making each half of the double stitch, the flip (some have called it a pop or snap or switch), picots, rings, chains and the stitches come easily  with muscle memory taking over so you don’t have to think about the flip.  Needle tatters, in general,  can tat a bit faster as the stitches are put on the needle with a wrap technique…wait aren’t they different?   Not really…yes in how the stiches are formed but both have a core thread, both have double stitches over the core thread, both do picots, rings, chains, split rings, split chains, and a plethora of additional techniques for making interesting parts of a pattern. Yes they do them differently but that is inherent with the differences in the tools…shuttle as different from needle so different procedures are used to make the same look from the thread. 

Some tatters include making the stitches in reverse order for the second half of split ring/split chains/front side back side tatting as part of the difference.  I disagree because we both do both halves of the stitch.  Essential we are talking about the difference between the English method of tatting and the French method of creating the stitch and not about the stitch itself.  Georgia Seitz has an interesting article at:  about the difference between the English and French stitches.  Typically we use the French stitch aka 1h or first half of the ds first and then the English stitch aka 2h or second half of the ds second.

 If we are doing the second half of a split ring or split chain or the contemporary fs/bs (front side back side) also known as 1 sided tatting (in some circles) we  use the  stitch halves in reverse order...that means instead of tatting the double stitch as 1h/2h we do it 2h/1h.  Before you string me up please do this simple exercise as it shows the difference between the 2 manners of forming the stitches. 
Tat a  *ring of 3 picot 3 picot 3 picot 3 close ring and reverse work, chain 3 picot 3 picot 3 picot 3 reverse work* repeat for 4 rings ending with a ring.    Tie the thread off.  No need to hide ends…just tie them off and cut the threads.  This is just an exercise for your edification and amusement.
Now tat a ring of 3 picot 3 (join to the middle picot of the first ring previously made) 3 picot 3 close ring and reverse work.  For the chain start with the 2h then 1h and continue the chain doing the halves in reverse order commonly abbreviated as RODS. Repeat joining each middle picot to the ring that would be next on the previous row so each ring is joined to the same ring from the first part of the exercise.  Tie and cut off as before.  Now the big reveal look very closely at the rings and chains on the first part…see how the stitches look different between the rings and chains?  Look at the second set …do the stitches look the same on both the rings and chains?  They should.  Now compare the rings from both rows…they should look the same but the chains should look different.  Did you even notice I did not say shuttle tat….or needle tat….I just said TAT.  The first row is traditional tatting and the second row is contemporary tatting also called 1 side tatting or front side back side tatting.  Both are good techniques and have positives and negatives.  The 1 sided tatting takes a bit of time to get ingrained as a habit but it is a good technique.  Neither of the techniques are all good or all bad…just different. 

And now this brings us back to is needle tatting or shuttle tatting …not better/worse, not good/bad, not right/wrong just 2 different techniques for us to all learn and enjoy.

Needle tatters find split rings (if there are a bunch in a pattern) to be irksome with the continual unthread, thread, re-unthread, re-rethread….it continues that way for each split ring.  Shuttle tatters don’t have that issue but split chains are easier with needle.  Both are useful. 

Very few….I repeat…Very few patterns cannot be done with either tool.  Read the pattern and decide which tool will be easier and go with that one.  I found, and deleted so no longer have the pattern, one pattern that was more challenging with shuttle than needle but it specified that it was a NEEDLE tatting pattern.  The pattern had several spots where you put a chain thru the ring several rows below and continuing to make a chain with rings on it.  That meant I did a lot of unwinding shuttles (shuttle and ball were both shuttles fortunately!!) putting the threads thru the ring and rewinding the shuttles as I had to do that several times!  It would have been so much easier with the needle but I did it with the shuttle.  So yes you can do the pattern with either…just 1 is way easier than the other would be.  I then could see the value of needle tatting.  Before that I considered it a lazy way to tat—you don’t have to learn the flip and not really the same skill at all.  I have learned there is value in each tool and each skill.  Yes new tatters learn can learn both.  I recommend beginners get comfortable with 1 tool and then give the other a try.  Some tatters find learning to needle method to be harder than shuttle method  while some find the opposite to be true.  I knit and crochet and shuttle tat right handed but needle tat lefty as when I learned to needle tat I could not use my left hand except to stabilize the needle.  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

You are smarter than..............

Are you smarter than......

Keep reading...this starts with knitting...A long time ago..okay 42 1/2 years ago before Doug and I were married.  I wanted to knit him a sweater and had a neat pattern that had a tree on it (Doug is a Forester)but you have to change colors to put the tree in.  I could not get it to work, my aunt crocheted not knitted so that didn't help but she said...let me call a gal I know as I bet she can help.  She did and off I went to visit a then 97 year old lady who could knit and did so beautifully.  She started by showing me a a table topper that was done with yarn that (at the time) looked more like thread to me that was an argyle pattern in about 1" squares!  At the time I knit with worsted weight thread!  I had never crocheted with anything thinner than the yarn I knit with and tatting was long in my future.  

The next thing she did was asked me to show her what I had and laughed that I used 'big' yarn so it would be a piece of cake.  We'll leave that to be seen.  She showed me the 'trick' of wrapping the thread around the thread I was working with.  She insisted I stay and knit for a bit...I did 4 more rows and got the hang of adding thread at each side of the big green tree.  It was not artistic it was more along the line of a first grader's coloring book tree but large enough to extend from the shoulder yoke to the ribbing on the sweater.  

As I left, she reached up, patted me on the shoulder and gently said "Sweetie, remember you are smarter than the yarn!"  At the time I felt I was being scolded but later I realize she was giving me a good piece of advice and I have laughed about it since...yes I AM smarter than the yarn.  I relate it to my beginning tatters when they tell me they are too 'dumb' to get the hang of it.  I change the subject and ask if they can drive a car?  Ride a bike? Type and chew gum?  Walk and talk or chew gum and walk?  If so they can learn to tat it just takes time to learn and then I tell them about the little old lady and her advice..."You are smarter than the thread."  I don't think she would mind my changing the 1 word as her thought are still there.  

Now go teach someone how to do something that is giving them trouble or read to a child or teach someone to tat.


Why not tat during the 10 o'clock news....

Last night I was ready to start a new washcloth...yes I tat around washcloths to make them pretty!  Also the tatting almost always outlasts the wash cloth and we get the 'good' kind not the cheapies.  My daughter had one that lasted almost 20 years before the cloth wore out so it is not a waste of tatting.  Also I was told to not use an item as in save it for 'good' or 'company' or 'the new house' was shaming the person who made it for you.  We use our tatted washcloths and hankies and everything else and enjoy it!

Back to the edging...I spent all the half hour of the news and the first part of the Tonight show tatting, cutting off or retro-tatting, and starting over on what should be an easy pattern...I had the "corner" directions.  I could see the first part would be the straight part for the edge...but could I just tat that?? NO WAY could I do it.  It was one failed attempt after another...I tried starting with the blind chain...the rings would not attach right, I tried starting with the ring but it would not work either....AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!
I considered calling my daughter, in the morning, and telling her that edging won't work...but instead, before I went to bed,  I emailed the problem to the awesome tatting goddess Georgia and asked her if there was "just the edge" not the corner available for the pattern.  In her great wisdom and tatting insight she sent me the better still didn't have the straight part shown but....ta...da....ta..da...(drum roll belongs here) it makes 100X more sense!  She didn't say duh just do the first 3 rings and chains repeatedly she just quietly sent the pattern in a better form and by golly it makes sense in the morning light.

I have completed 2...repeats and it works!!!!!  Even us experienced tatters can be stymied by a relatively easy pattern...maybe that is why I teach the beginners and will help them and not let them give up...I won't give up on them as I know they are "smarter than the thread"! 

When you are done laughing and rolling on the floor go tat something beautiful! 


Sunday, March 31, 2013

International Tatting Day

International Tatting Day 
  Monday April 1 2013
Every year on April 1

Welcome to my blog...I am a horrible poster but today it feels right to post again.  Today is actually March 31 and Easter but my brain has jumped to tomorrow--International Tatting Day. This day is special to those of us who tat....that is make lacy creations using a shuttle or needle or even a co-tatting hook.  The purist will say that tatting is only done with a shuttle but in my experience you can do a beautiful lace with shuttle, needle, hook.  How beautiful it is depends entirely on the skill of the artist.  From the sample above it is obvious I need to do more work on the split chain....LOL,  I prefer to show the items that I have made with all the problems.  I was told by a newbie once that she was going to give up because she was sure she could never tat perfectly...she had been looking at pics from some awesome tatters...check out the list of the things on Georgia's site (<>).  She had been tatting less than a month and still had the occasional mistake.  The above medallion/coily/sun catcher was my 4th try at split chain.  Yes it isn't perfect but it looked even better when I starched it so the split chain was held a bit better
and all the picots on the outer edge were even.  When she saw that she said she could do almost that good.  She never showed me her try...but that is okay too.  I don't remember where I got the pattern or if I 'designed it from my mind'.  If it is your pattern I would be happy to honor you with a link to your page so let me know.

For those of you who only think of tatting as the act of putting ink to skin....sorry you read clear to here...but you can learn to do the beautiful hand made lace too.  There are men and women, youth and seniors all over the world who can make beautiful lace called tatting.

International Tatting Day was started somewhere between 7 and 50 years ago but the exact date has been  lost over the years.  It is a day for wearing something tatted as  tatters to get together in public to tat, chat, eat chocolate, share patterns, share new techniques or variations on older techniques and drink tea.  We also will share our skill with anyone who is interested.  I plan to be wearing my 'Easter Bonnet" that is also my "It's Spring, Sir" Hat (M*A*S*H fans will remember Klinger's/Jamie Farr's in imitable voice and attitude wearing his spring hat) seen below:
The spot on the brim will not say worked in no matter what I have tried.  I will conquer it if I have to encapsulate it.  

Happy International Tatting Day to all....Happy tatting to you until we tat again............