Monday, June 25, 2012

(Re)Learning to Tat

 Those miserable scraps at left are the result of my learning to tat.....again. Actually, I'm almost pleased by this.

I have been curious about tatting since I was in high school. During my freshman year, we had a German exchange student, Karen Volker who was the buxom, sexy, blonde of the high school boy's dreams that year. She was a sophisticated 16 years old to my lowly 14 years. She had a German accent. She could act!  Woecakes and jealousy. She was the student aid in my first year German class. Poor girl must have been bored to TEARS! I don't think I ever had a real conversation with her all year. What I DO remember is that she started tatting during class. That got me fascinated. In German, the word for tatting is Schiffenarbeit. It means "boat work" and refers to the shuttle used.

I did learn how to make the basic tatting double stitch many years ago, probably as a college student. I never did much with tatting, though. I did buy some books, which are collecting dust in the basement. The problem is that classic, Victorian tatting patterns are just horrific. They are poorly written and the designs simply say "outdated, fussy". I simply could not find anything I wanted to make enough to bother.

Admittedly, I did not see the potential in tatting.  Next post will have more info.

Leaf Concept for a Baby

The photo at left shows a project I made up on the fly. It is a small baby blanket/receiving blanket.

I made it simply from a pattern for a decorative small leaf. Now that I think about it, the shaping is very similar to that for a shawl. In this case, I just kept increasing far, far beyond the size of a normal leaf. This became truly mindless knitting. I made the project the size of a receiving blanket because that was the smallest size that fit within a reasonable standard.  Final dimensions are about 28" across the center of the leaf. I think it is perhaps 40" long. Those numbers are guesses. I knit the leaf to get a gauge of at least 28" 

I used Red Heart Recycled yarn for this project. Originally, I bought the yarn for a leaf-themed baby sweater that I am just starting. The blanket part was a sudden inspiration. Baby things get made in acrylic yarn so that they are machine washable and hypoallergenic.

For once, I have no recipient for this gift. I may just keep this one myself for a while. I am hoping that the next couple of baby projects are pretty special.