Friday, May 25, 2012

Thread Give-A-Way Closed....

I want to thank those who commented on both the posts here in my blog and my posts on Facebook. It is very encouraging to have so many people want to adopt my threads. There were two winners chosen for the prize. The first from the blog posting was "Cynthia Tatsaway" and the second from Facebook posting was "Geraldine Starbuck". Both have been send messages indicating their winning and I am awaiting responses for their mailing addresses to send them their special packages. 

Just a reminder of the threads that were won:

I received my latest book acquisition today in the mail. It is Fabric Dyer's Dictionary by Linda Johansen. I am taking small steps as I learn the art of thread dyeing and hand painting. It makes a good start of explaining the process of mixing the various colors. It is more of what one would us in fabric dyeing but the principles are the same for getting the same results with threads.   I am looking forward to taking the next step of obtaining the supplies necessary to begin formally dyeing thread. I must say that there are a couple of other books out there on dyeing that I might invest in later on down the line to see just how they compare with this one. 

The long three day weekend is almost here and it will be busy with family and friends. Kids have graduated from school and the summer vacation times begin. There are also changes coming in our family. We are having to step up care for my mother and after much discussion, we are moving her back near her long time home. This will be near to two of her children rather than just one and also nearer to dear friends who we (the children) know will visit her as often as they are able. She just lights up the room with her smile when someone comes to visit. These moments we cherish because they will become less and less over time. My mother suffers from Alzheimer's and will never be any better than she is today. Today is all that we live in and we should cherish what memories that we have. This year will be a year full of changes in our family. One son is moving with his family back to Japan with the Air Force and the other son will be joining the Air Force to be stationed who knows where. I will have the summer with his family as basic training will take 8 weeks plus time for technical school before he receives his first duty station. My daughter is becoming very independent but is still in college for a couple more years. She has grown into quite a beautiful young lady both inside and out. 

Enough from me for now. I await the response from the two lucky winners.

Happy Tatting
Arial - Tatting Faerie

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Confessions of a.....

THREAD SNOB. After the discussion in my last post about not being happy with the way the Fiesta band was turning out. I loved the medallion that I was working on because it was easy. I loved the colors that I had created in the thread. So the only thing wrong with the work was the size of the thread that I was using. I was right about not being happy with the thread. 

So I ordered white thread from Handy Hands and re-dyed the colors (though much brighter because the original was Ecru) on size 40 Lizbeth thread. Once this dried then I worked up a single medallion and found that I was much happier with the result. Below is the size comparison.

If you look closely you can see the size difference. I am going to go ahead and make the band using the new threads. Down the road this may be redone but with the Ecru thread base giving the richer coloring of the original Fiesta thread. 

So here is the deal. Rather than let most of the thread sit and flounder until I get in the mood to deal with it again. I am going to create two packages  to give away to a loving home. Do remember that this is for the size 20 thread. You have two chances to enter. The first is to leave a comment here on my blog. Secondly leave a comment on my post on Facebook. I will select using a random number generator that I have seen in use and notify the recipients by either personal message on Facebook or contact information on the post here. I would prefer that all entrants be posted by the end of today but I will do the drawing on Saturday. Packages will be shipped out on Tuesday as Monday is Memorial Day and postal service is closed. 

The drawing is for 2 skeins approximately 50 yards of size 20 hand-dyed thread. I would love to see what you have done with the threads. 

I will have a skein or two left to complete the band so that I can attach it to a denim bag that I use to carry stuff when I go anywhere. 

Happy Tatting
Arial - Tatting Faerie


Monday, May 21, 2012

One of those days.....

Did you ever have one of those days where you were just not happy with what you had been doing? I have been working on this one hat band way too long for my taste. Meaning, I am not happy with the way it is turning out. I will at some point finish this band but most likely this will be one of a kind. Don't get me wrong, I love the color combination that I created. The pattern itself is not all that bad. In fact, it is pretty easy to work. I am concluding that the problem for me is the size of the thread that I am working with. It seems that I have become spoiled by using size 30 or below in recent years. It is just like I have a very hard time reverting back to dealing with beginning tatting work. I am trying my hardest not to be so much of a snob when it comes to thread sizes because for me to get the sizes that I want I have to order them off the internet. 

Below is a close up of the pattern and thread that I am working with:

This next picture is the full amount of the pattern that I have so far.

So I am going back to tatting with the smaller threads (fortunately for me I have quite a bit on hand at this point). Something about lace calls for the much smaller threads for the delicate look that I am trying to achieve. I so have some thread on order to play some more with the dyeing process. I hope to recreate this particular color and try again to do something that I am happy with. 

I am not sure if I want to finish this band or not. Tell me if you think I should give this away or exchange it with someone for something else? I would of course include the extra thread to complete the project plus the pattern that I have been using. Please leave a comment below with your opinion.

Happy Tatting
Arial - Tatting Faerie

Friday, May 18, 2012

Received package.....

I received my light box today and immediately had to set it up to play with. I think that I will have to find a place where it will be more effective and useful but that is another story for another time.

The image below is of the "white" hat that I recently purchased from Walmart with one of my new bands on it.

This is one image composited in Photoshop of the two light sources. The first image with in the box with both natural light behind me and the additional spotlights that came with the kit. The second is just the natural light. I am thinking that the kit will provide the additional light that I want to highlight my projects. I am also providing a full picture of the hat below so you can appreciate that it is an eyelet lace hat. It really does set off the black hat bands perfectly. 

Happy Tatting
Arial - Tatting Faerie

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hatband Progress....

It has been a busy few days for me but I was able to get just a little tatting done. Not very much mind you but some. 

The thread that I dyed and hoped would come out more blood orange than orange came out more of a fiesta orange and yellow than what I would have liked. I do like the color even though it turned out differently. I will plan on getting more threads and working on getting more of the color combinations that I want and playing with new colors. Anyway, below is the most recent picture of the band's progress:

I am sure that this thread is actually a size 20 and which is larger than the size 30 I had been using for the other hatbands. So I will be ordering more size 30 soon to produce more threads that give the smaller diameter to this motif. Right now it is about 1 and 1/2 times the size of the other motifs that I put together so far. 

Beginning Friday, my item pictures will be more professional and better lit. I have placed an order for a Photo Tent light box which allows me to shoot pictures with more indirect lighting. I really do get bothered by the shine either from the background or the thread itself. This kit comes with the "white box", two lights, 4 backgrounds and a mini tripod for the camera. Below is the picture of what will be showing up on my door.

I do hope to soon get back to playing with color to find the right combinations that really set the hats off. I now have three hats to show off my hatbands. I have the original black hat, the summer straw hat and now the white hat. I do not have pictures yet of the last hat but will soon. Right now direct flash or taking a photo outside will just cause it to shine too much. It has a lace fabric look to it which will compliment my lace bands. When I finally decide to list the bands, the hats will not be for sale as it takes a while for them to show up in Walmart again. The only way I would offer the hat to go with the band is if I could find a cheap source with plenty of inventory. 

I still have questions about some things people are doing with painting threads. I know what to use and the basics of how to do it. I am planning out future articles on hand painting once I finally get all of the supplies together that I need. I am curious about how it is repeatable and the record keeping around it. I am learning that not everyone wants to share because they are afraid that they will lose out on a sale but not everyone wants to create their own thread nor can they. Those of us who desire to learn to dye threads will find out with or without someone else's help. Not many manufacturers out there offer the variegated threads that we tatters are looking for. Those who offer the threads for sale are also hard to find. I am sorry to get on a soap box about getting help to do this but we are so willing to share when it comes to our tatting to everyone, we should also be willing to share this art of dyeing thread to those who ask. If we do not assist those who show interest then who will pick up the mantle when we are gone.

Happy Tatting
Arial - Tatting Faerie

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Just could not wait.....

I just could not wait to show you all what I did with the blood orange thread. Remember the photo from the other day when I said that some of the red actually washed out more? Well this will remind you:

It turns out that more of the red washed out than I thought because the orange is really that. 

I will post again once the motif is finished in its entirety. This is actually taken from an Italian magazine called "Il Lavoro Chiacchierino #6". The motif can be found on pages 62 and 63 and is part of a table set. I found the pattern was suitable for the coloring of the thread and sets it off really well. It is just interesting to me that the color worked out the way that it did. Will have to do some more playing someday but for now I will happily tat with what I have.

Happy Tatting....
Arial - Tatting Faerie

Friday, May 11, 2012

A new hatband.....

I finally finished the last hatband I had been working on between my dyeing experiments. 

Here is a previous photo of a close up of the motif that I used for this band.

This motif was the one I took from a bag motif in one of my Japanese Tatting books. It really did lend itself well to this band. 

My next hatband project will use the new hand dyed thread that I just created. I have picked out both the band I will create and a flower addition to add to this for a change. I will make the flower detachable so the band can be worn with or without the flower or the flower can be worn by itself either in your hair or on the hat.

Off to wind shuttles so I can play. Will post more when I have some progress.

Happy Tatting
Arial - Tatting Faerie

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Blood Orange Thread.....

I was playing once again with my RIT dye (this is until I can get some Procion MX ordered) and discovered just what a beautiful color "Golden Yellow" and "Scarlet" can create on Ecru threads. It came out to a beautiful blood orange color. I first immersed the entire skein into the golden yellow letting it set for a bit as I wanted the strong yellow color. This actually came out to a beautiful antique gold color. Then after setting the color and rinsing the excess, I dipped the skein into the scarlet about half way. The following picture shows the first result after the initial wash of the threads.

There is just a bit more red in the bottom than I would have liked to have even though the soak time was less than a minute total for the red. Of course, while taking this picture I noticed that some of the soap was still in the thread and needed to be rinsed once again. Interestingly enough, more of the red came out of the fibers. The picture below shows the more satisfying orange that I was looking for.

This is the point where I wish that I had an aluminum drying rack like my mother used to have (only her's was wooden). I found where I can get one but that too will have to wait until I have some income. *sigh*

So now this thread is lying in the sun drying. I can't wait to play with this thread because I can see a hatband or two coming out of this thread. I am so happy that today is bright and sunny. This makes my deck the perfect place to dry the threads. When the weather is sunny like this my deck is normally not very useful during the afternoons as it gets way too hot. So the thread is happily baking away in the sun until it dries.

Happy Tatting
Arial - Tatting Faerie

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dyeing Explorations.....

As I wrote in a previous post, I have begun playing around with dyeing threads again. I took a class on "wool" dyeing many moons ago in an effort to get them to translate to dyeing my own threads. I got the basic concepts well enough but it really did not satisfy me when it came to working on my own. I finally have figured out that I was simply using the wrong dyes for the process. There are many more things that I am working on finding out before I can achieve some of the more variegated threads that I see others using. I can do single color and two color threads. Below is the latest batch of threads that I have "over dyed" from a long ago experiment gone wrong.

The original thread was an indigo blue that was the result of the red dye washing out completely from the purple that I was trying to achieve. Above you see the first one was one that I left in for way to long to achieve the color I was looking for. Yes, it is a beautiful rustic mauve color but not exactly what I was looking for. The rest of the threads were left in for no more than 2 minutes to achieve the purple that I have been looking for. The thread colors are not uniform within the skein but that adds to its character. I have in mind to make some hatbands from this thread at a future point. 

The skein that I did the other day:

This one was a double immersion where I suspended the skein half at a time in a jar of dye. Who knew that skewers could be so useful in this process. I will most likely turn this skein into either a narrow hatband or a flower to use on a hatband. 

For small batches and quick and dirty dyeing, RIT dye does work well on plant fiber threads. For hand painting thread I will need to go to something like Procion MX dye for a different sort of processing. This will require me asking hubby to order various dye powders and fixatives so that I can move on to the next step in this process.

I am still working on getting answers to some of the questions that I have about the process of hand painting thread with multiple colors. I will post as soon as I have the answers straightened out in my head.

Guess I am off to clean up my work room to find my skein winder so I can do bigger batches and have a much cleaner place within which to work on my tatting projects. 

Happy Tatting
Arial - Tatting Faerie

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Off on a Quick trip.....

Not a lot going on for me over the next two days. I have a six hour trip south to pick up my youngest from college. While I am down there I will drop in on my mother who is living in a residential facility down there near my brother.  Most likely I will do some tatting once I get to my brother's house tonight as there will be no one there to visit with. My brother is off to a conference and his wife is off to see their son with his wife and kids who is in training in the military. 

The picture below is the first effort for dying threads. I have more questions for those who hand dye threads but that will have to wait until my return tomorrow evening.

The colors are "Scarlet" red and "Golden" yellow. It is too bad the the flash has washed it out. I will try to improve the shot some how to get a better color without the wash-out.

Happy tatting!

Arial - Tatting Faerie

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Back To Tatting....

As much as I love my new granddaughter, I really do need to have my creative time. :D 

I have made some progress on the next hatband and have some pictures to show of the progress.

This is the first five motif repeats of the band. I took this from the same Japanese book that I had been working with before. The original pattern included beads and the motif was used for a phone case. I have adapted this for a running-tape. Below is a close up of the motif that I am using for this piece.

Now I have two options for the center of this motif. I can either do a weaving which might prove interesting or add some sort of large bead to it. I will need to look at the local hobby stores just to find the right item that will go inside. Then I will have to workout just how I would like to attach this new bead. This will take me some time to ponder.

I have only today to sit and work on this band some more. Tomorrow I make the trek south to pickup my daughter from college. This will take two days as it is a very long drive and I don't want to do this all in one day. I am ready for her to be home for a bit. 

I am continuing to play with Hand Dyed Thread. I have a new one brewing and this time I am doing a two color thread. I hope to have pictures of this thread soon. 

Happy Tatting
Arial - Tatting Faerie

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

New Addition to our Family......

We had a new addition to our family over the weekend so not a lot got done.

Madison Marie Greninger
parents Joe and Kaycee
born 7:23am sunday April 29, 2012
19 inches long
weights 5lbs 8 ounces

I will post tatting stuff again in a few days.

Happy Tatting
Arial - Tatting Faerie