26 Mar 2012

New passion - tatting

Recently I discovered brand new for me lace making technique - tatting. And I feel that i becoming sort of obsessed with it. In a good way of course. But about everything from the begging.

Tatting (or also French frivolite) is a technique constructed from series of knots and loops. The ornaments made using this technique are marvelous, I've collected some inspiring pictures in my facebook page. Sometimes from the first view it reminds crochet, well, but its not. Although there is a way of tatting using special tool. The other tools for tatting is special tatting needle and special shuttle. I am using shuttle so far, so I can't say much about the other tatting tools. 

Tatting shuttle and thread

I ordered tatting needle on line, the metal one with replaceable bobbins. It works just fine, but for those who are planning to get some of these tools friendly advice - get at least two at once, as some patterns require to work with two shuttles the same tame. 
Or course it takes some time for shuttle to reach you if you ordered it on line especially and if you are so impatient to try it as soon as possible you can make a shuttle by your self! Here is great idea how to make it using simple materials. This is what I did and it worked just fine for practice. 

When you have a main tool, the other necessarily thing is thread. I am using cotton string No.12 (the earrings in the picture above is made from this thread). Just I had one big roll of white thread at hand, and for practice it works just fine. After you'll learn basic steps you can go with finer and dark color thread. No.12 and white works very well for the beginning as it is easier to see the knots.

Speaking about other tools you should keep scissors at a hand. Later you can sometimes use a crochet hook and also I'll try to make tutorial how to make measuring tool for loops. But so far, you have everything you need.

Getting started

Books on Tatting are way too expensive in my point of view, especially having in mind that you can find everything on internet. Just takes some time to search. I will make this time shorter for you. I have been browsing for tutorials for days and days, and the conclusion is: the best video tutorials are made by Karen Cabrera. (Thank you Karen one more time!) Don't get scared by amount of lessons on tatting. Just start from lesson one, for the beginning first 10 lessons are more then enough. 

There are much more tutorials in different forms on internet, so I just don't want to repeat them. Instead I'll go to prepare you step by step tutorial for flower earrings while you are practicing main knots. Don't worry, first steps may look a bit difficult but as soon as you will get the technique it works like best therapy! 

13 Jan 2012

Traditional wrist warmers and knitted jewelry

Beaded wrist warmers, more precise  - wristers are traditional Lithuanian 
accessory which use to be part of  the national costume. Both men an women use to wear them outdoor and indoors as it keeps not only hands but all your body warm as its normally made from natural wool. The variety of patterns is enormous! If you google Lithuanian word riesines
Anyway, now wristers are sort of reborn, so if you are interested in making techniques, without bigger difficulties you cab find loads on line tutorials how to make a pair of this useful and also pretty accessory.

Inspired by traditional wristers, using the same technique I made some bracelets. It's easy to make and you can match any color you like according to your wardrobe. Just a couple of hours and you can have brand new jewelry exact the same color as your sweater, scarf or socks. Just a bit of string and some matching beads. Here is the result.

For more designs check in my Etsy shop.

19 Dec 2011

How to make modular origami vase

One more time about modular origami vase. This time I prepared step by step instruction, hope it will be helpful. If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me! Here we go. 

A few month ago I made one very tall vase, which wasn't very useful so I took it apart and made a new one, for my so called Christmas tree :) 

To make a origami vase first you need loads of triangular pieces, modules. How to fold them you can find here.
How many of them to fold? It depends on how big your vase going to be, I made a really big one and I used 1800 pieces. Don't worry you can make a smaller one, but you have to have in mind, that if you want your vase had a shape, you will need at least 300 of pieces.
Colors are absolutely your choice! I used colors, but its ok to start from one colored vase.
When you have your pieces ready we'll start connecting them. As you know the pieces has two flaps/legs and two pockets. You begin with connecting 3 units as you can see in a picture.

You keep connecting the units until you are ready to make the circle. Just be careful - the top of triangles makes sort of two rows. Try to keep it this way. 

Here is my circle. I used 100 pieces (50 first row and 50 second one). You can use 20 +20, 30 +30 or so. If you will have less than 20 on your base, after it might be difficult to get the shape you want. 

Don't worry if at the beginning circle is falling apart a little bit - this is the most difficult part, after when you make more rows it will be much more resistible.So keep going. 

When you put units be sure you use one leg of one triangle and one of the another. It reminds knitting a bit :) 

After you made 5 more rows the circle must be firm enough so you can turn it over. And now, if you have different color units you can start making ornaments. The way I do it - it's all improvisation: I put red units every 14 bits. When I make other row I put 2 red ones, then 3... and so on. And then the same backwards: 8, 7, 6 .... So I get diamond shaped ornaments. 

NB! the amount of units on every row is the same! It naturally gets into the shape of egg. The is no trick, jut u need to know when to stop and make the top of the vase. 

Here is my result. I would be interested to know how you did. Don't be shy to try and send me a pic!
If you have any questions - leave me a message!

6 Dec 2011

Lizard pillows

Inspired by gorgeous our home pet George (see pic. on the left) I decided to dedicate a few cushions for this amazing creature. At first, here are some pctures with the result and then a 'how to' bit.

One of two pillow cases is made crocheting line by line. Its like making a net, small squares and filling up some of little squares makes a picture you want. The scheme is the same as cross stitching. 

The secret is, that to make your own original scheme is much more simple than you think, especially if you are using only one color strings. Here is what I did: 

I drew a lizard on a piece of squared paper with the pencil and then I filled the picture with tiny crosses and erased the pencil to get get the view more clear. That's it! I did the same for both pillows: croched and stitched one. 

30 Nov 2011

New on Etsy

So here, finaly I put myseft together and I opened my own Etsy shop! Everybody was asking me why I dont sell the things, so I decided to give a try.
First thing on etsy is of course my favorite kusudama. Christmas is comming and I decided these realy small flower balls (round 4 -5 cm width) decorated with beads can make a good start. 

To make these tiny kusudamas is a bit more dificult then a bigger ones. I used a pincet to fold these small squeres of paper. And each flower is decorated with bead. Also I made a small nearly invisable loop for the string or ribbon. In this way ribbon can be easily changed acording to any need without cutting the old one.
It takes some time to make it so small, but I really like the result. I am sure these mini kusudamas can be on the top of christmas tree. Not of cource nesisarely for christmas - I hanged one on a mirror in my car.

Anyway, I am new on Etsy. It takes some time to understand how it works, but as they say in Cyprus siga siga (eng. slowly slowly) we get there. And I promise there will be some more!