Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tudor Rose Knot Tutorial posted

Hi, everyone.

For those of you who are patiently awaiting my tutorial for the Tudor Rose Knot, here is the link (it's a .pdf flie). Many thanx to Nils, of KHWW, for posting it!

Tudor Rose Knot Tutorial

The .pdf file does not allow the links to work, for all the knots used, so here they are:

Constrictor Knot

Star Knot

Wall Knot

Crown Knot

I do hope these links help.

This is my first tutorial, so please be gentle with me. ; - )


Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm saddened to report the death of my friend, Ron Soman, whose company was hosting my website, along with many others on the tatting lists (and many other types of websites). My blog is not effected, however (obviously).

I was just notified by my webmistress that "someone has unplugged the servers" and it appears everyone's website hosted by Ron's company is offline now. The situation being worked on, but there is no telling when/IF we will be able to get these websites and all their contents back and intact.

I was also informed that Ron was only 37 years old. I'm so sorry that he is gone, not only for the websites that we enjoy so much, but even more for my personal relationship with him. We chatted often about personal situations and I will miss him.

My deepest heartfelt sympathies to Ron's family and loved ones...


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tudor Rose Knot

This knot is from the 100th issue of Knotting Matters, quarterly newsletter for the International Guild of Knot Tyers. It must also be in a book somewhere, but I haven't been able to track it down yet. If anyone knows, please e-mail me.

The first one I made is on the left. The second one I made is on the right.

Then I decided to try making one with smaller stuff. And for those of you who think 'Flowers Are Red' (I sure do miss Harry Chapin), I decided to make it in red. I made it reversible, by tying two knots, back to back. Then I thought I'd try making a snake-knot stem for it. And, of course, if there's a stem, there has to be a leaf or two, so I threw in a couple of Ruth Perry's Hanging Cluny leaves (because the rat tail is so much larger than tatting threa, I had to use the tiny fid in place of the floss threader).

The mat and fid (another masterpiece by the 'Maestro') are from Bud Brewer. Thanx again, Bud -- it works perfectly! : - )

And yes, of course, I'm working on an even smaller one, but that'll have to wait for another entry. I had to get this out there to all of you!

I'll post more as soon as I can, but things have been REALLY weird around here, lately. I guess I say that a lot, but it's been stranger than ever the past couple of weeks!

Monday, July 21, 2008

More Coverings of Macrame

This was inspired by work that Andre showed on his site. The ones he shows are mostly (all?) needle hitched, but we were in the chatroom one afternoon and I mentioned that I might like to try these cork key rings with macrame. He said he'd not seen it done, so of course, I had to try it! I decided to whip the cork (just common whipping) before tying the macrame, so that the winery's name on the cork wouldn't show. I showed it to Bud, when we were at his house, and he said it would probably be easier to just sand the name off the cork. Why didn't I think of that? ROFL!

Anyway, I had fun working on this and hope to make a few more, including some needle-hitched ones. They've become yet another addiction, and I'll probably be teaching them in my class at IOLI Convention in 2009. : - )

Thanx for looking...more macrame to come, as well as other knots ... still catching up after the long vacation. I'll get there eventually...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

My First Fully Covered Macrame Bottle!

Well, I'm back from a LOOOONG vacation, so now I can get back to blogging. I've missed it and have quite a bit of catching up to do. Here's a UFO (UnFinished Object) that I finally finished. I began this over a year ago, while in England for the IGKT Silver Anniversary AGM. It's a small bottle -- just a plain old 125-ml 'mixer' bottle from the pub near where the meeting was held. I didn't want to start with a HUGE project, for fear it would take too long to finish. It wasn't all that difficult, really, with pointers from Ken Elliott, and quite a few online Q&A sessions with Gordon Perry -- Thanx, Ken and Gordon!
The problem I had was at the end -- the decreasing part. I wasn't positive about how to go about it, so I sort of had to wing it, and that gave me a terrible case of the '3 P's' (Perfectionism, Procrastination and Paralysis). But I finally decided that I would try it, and just figure it out, without cutting any of the cords until I was certain it was correct. And it worked. I'm very pleased with it and have even begun covering my second bottle -- it's well underway, as a matter of fact. I also have plans for two more projects! Okay, just a little obsessed ... but it's all Ken's fault for getting me started ... that's my story and I'm sticking to it! LOL
Here are the pictures I took -- the first one is the only 'in progress' picture that I can find, but the rest are all of the completed bottle. Those of you who were at Fareham 2007 will probably recognize the cord I used. That's right -- it's from that tangled mass of cord that was so lovingly untangled by devoted members who needed the 'therapy' as Europa referred to it. LOL! Thanx again, everyone, who worked at untangling all that cord. The bottle is even more special to me, because I can still hear the ROAR of cheering that went up when Europa and Mikio met at the middle of that last length (there was so much of it that we had to keep cutting off sections and winding it onto spools)! I may even still have a bit of this cord leftover -- I gave a LOT of the spools of it away at the meeting, so there's not much left, after this project. : - )

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


At first Marlinspike Skills, I saw a wonderful creation. It was a 14-strand star knot, with a 7-strand star knot in the center. He didn't finish the ends because he didn't know how he wanted to do that, and he thought it looked good 'as is' -- like a jellyfish. I agree! He said, 'I challenge anyone to make a bigger one!'

Well, I couldn't let that go unanswered, so I just HAD to tie this one! It has 6, 12, 18, and 24 strands -- total of 60 strands. I thought about leaving the strands on it, for the 'jellyfish' look, but decided I didn't want to copy him too much. And this looks like a flower or a mushroom. It was fun to do, but I swore I'd never do it again.

The then-Scoutmaster of my sons' Troop said, 'It looks like something you should roll up and SMOKE!' That surprised me, coming from him, but I suppose he has a point...

When I shared the above with the knot-tying lists, someone who ties a lot of star knots sent me a gift of a star-knot stick pin. It is beautiful, and the technique he used for it is unique to any I've seen. I asked him how he did it and he very generously shared the technique with me. But he swore me to secrecy, so I will not share it with anyone until he shares it -- and even then, I'll only point everyone to his website.

Anyway, here I am wearing the pin, along with my tatted USA Flag pin, at the IGKT AGM and Silver Jubilee in Fareham, 2007.

But this technique made the following possible. The technique eliminates HALF of the ends! So I was able to make this necklace. The strand count is 6, 12, 18, 24 and 30, for a total of 90 stands! Now it's MY turn to say, I challenge anyone to make a bigger one. : - )

No, I don't have any plans for more of these, but 'never say never...'

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Models for Class

I've been invited to teach several knotting techniques at the 2009 International Old Lacers, Inc. Convention, in Los Angeles. Here are some of the models I have made for the classes I plan to teach:

This choker is made of hemp, with glass 'E' beads and a center-hole flat bead of carved bone. The techniques in this piece are unique to anything I've ever seen.

Here is a choker made with a similar technique, but moving the cords in a different pattern to create a slightly different effect. The beads are cloisonne and the center is a shank button.

Here is a choker made with a different technique. No beads are used, but a charm is added to the center. I knew I wanted to make this choker with the spider charm, but had to think about what color(s) to use for the cords -- for a few seconds! What better colors to use for a spider in the desert/foothills of California (where black widows abound) than black and red? The knots used are square knots and Josephine Knots (Carrick Bends). The Josephine Knots remind me of the distinctive 'hour glass' design on black widow's belly.

Another technique I will be teaching is the Snake Knot -- more specifically, the necklaces I've been making lately. Here are a few samples: Snake Knot Jewelry, Birds on Branch Necklace, and the last four photos here: Snake Knot Lanyard Variations.

There will be a few other projects, of course, including a few other techniques. I have several ideas, but I'm not ready to share them just yet. These will be my original designs.

I'm very excited about this opportunity. I don't know if there have been other classes in knotting at IOLI Conventions, but I hope to get a few people interested in continuing knot tying, by teaching these designs.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Another Coil Variation

Here it is! I have been working on this one a long time:

This one was a bit trickier than the other coil I did. First, I removed only part of the core from the paracord. Then I inserted the coil. [That last sentence was WAAAY too short for the length of time it took me to do that!] After I got the coil to the center of the length of paracord, I replaced the core in the end from which it had been removed. The core was surprisingly easy to get through the hole I opened in the outer braid with the yarn needle, all four strands at the same time. Then it was just a matter of slipping it through to the end, and pulling the strands through just enough to keep them right up against the coil inside. Next I took the ends of the paracord through the snap and tied the snake knot back toward the coil, ending by cutting off the small amount that was leftover, with the Perfect End burner.

I used magenta rat tail to make the 7 X 6 THK foundations for the pineapple knots, and pink rat tail to make the 5 X 6 interweaves. I like how this one turned out. It was a lot of work, but fun (although 'Arthur' does not like it when I do that).

Birds on Branch Necklace

When I saw this 'charm' (I guess that's what it's called) at the craft store, I just couldn't help myself. I had to make 'just one more' necklace. Yeah, right -- just one more. HAH!

I thought it was interesting and unique. I used blue rat tail cord to make the snake knots. It reminds me of a friend of mine, who raises birds.

More Pry Bars

I showed DH my pink pry bar and asked if he might like one for his work. He said yes, but figuring he didn't really want my pink one, I made this OD green one for him. It's just the same wrapping method with a lanyard knot, some snake knot, and another lanyard knot. I added a black cord end to finish it off.

While browsing through the small tools section of Home Depot, the other day, I found this -- a much larger version of the pry bar (almost double the size of the one from County Comm), made by Stanley. I had to get one and see if I could make a cover for it, too.

To cover this, I found that since both ends were useful, I couldn't have cords coming off either end. So I decided to try something a little different. I put the cord through the 'teardrop' shaped hole (which actually seems like it might be useful, too), from front to back, then through the round hole, from back to front, then again through the teardrop hole, from front to back, and wrapped it TIGHTLY around the heat-sealed end of the cord. Then it goes around the pry bar and UNDER the next cord TWICE, then around the pry bar and OVER the next cord TWICE, until the final wrap around and under the cord on the back of the pry bar. Then I cut it off with the burner, right at the last 'under' -- be careful with the burner; it left a mark in the black of the pry bar. Also be careful to burn only the end that you want to cut -- the slightest touch of the burner to any other lines will melt them, too!

I was surfing the County Comm site and found they have an even smaller version of their pry bar! So I made one up with orange paracord, and added an orange cord end.

Then I decided I wanted to try to make a one like the Stanley one, with the weaving on both sides, and no cords coming out the back end, so that it could be put onto a key ring or lanyard. Here's how that turned out:

And here's a pic of all of the pry bars I've finished, so far:

Friday, May 2, 2008

Middle School Ren Faire

Today, my younger son's school held a Renaissance Faire (for seventh grade only) and I went, thinking it wouldn't be much. I was pleasantly surprised! There were many activities for the kids, lasting the entire school day -- face painting, wheat weaving, an INCREDIBLE collection of armor, horses, a blacksmith, and that's just what I was able to see, coming in and going out.

I demoed netting. I even managed to finish TWO small projects -- a small bag for onions/potatoes in the fridge (thanx for the idea, Tony!), and a small sample of square mesh netting, both made of cotton twine. Here are the pictures of the projects -- yes, I forgot my camera again, so no pics of the actual event, just pics the finished items taken at home...

I made the opening in this bag a bit too small for some of the HUGE onions I see at my grocery store, so I'll have to make another bag for that use, as well as one for potatoes. This one will work well for displays, however (shown here with table-tennis balls). I'm going to try to find some plastic onions/potatoes to show in this bag for demo purposes -- much more portable and less perishable than the real thing, for displays...

This piece of square-mesh netting is a actually combination of netting and tatting. After I finished making the net, I made 20 split-chain stitches (okay, you nautical folks may call it ring hitching, if you must, but it was made using a sort of 'indirect method') around the extra mesh 'loops' at each of the corners.

I would like to use this as part of my demo display, too, but can't think of anything to put in it for display purposes. Any suggestions?

Oh, btw, on the subject of netting, I recently found out that I'm a netting 'Grandma' -- my first netting student has taught other(s) how to net! It's a great feeling, considering that I wasn't even sure I was ready to teach netting, at the time! But actually, some students just learn so well, they make the teacher look good! : - )

Saturday, April 26, 2008

No Longer Secret

Bud Brewer had this tutorial on and it was SO easy to follow! I had to try it because it reminds me so much of a Cluny leaf in tatting or bobbin lace.

For all you tatters out there, doesn't this look a LOT like a Cluny? The difference is it's tied with BOTH threads (cords), as opposed to the Cluny 'loom' being made with one and the weaving done with the other. Interesting!

Thanx, Bud! Your tutorials are so good, even I can do it. : - )

King Cobra Fob

I made this, not knowing how I would use it, and then I suddenly had a need for a fob for a thumb-drive. The key ring is a bit big, but that can be changed simply enough. : - )

You simply tie a length of square knots, then reverse direction and tie square knots over the first length of square knots.

Yet another inspiration from Stormdrane. : - )

Knots on Tools

I found this 'Mini Driver' at Walgreens and thought it needed a knot covering. It's a Hanson knot, with a foundation of a 5 X 4 THK. It was too big at first, so I had to untie it, remove the core, then tie it again. That's the nature of THK's -- trial and error...

After I had finished tying the above, I went back to the same store for something else and found the larger version of this same screwdriver on a 'bargain' shelf. Of course, I just had to have that one, and cover it, too. This one was big enough that I could leave the core inside the paracord and tie the same size Hanson Knot:

And here is a photo of both of them together:

What I like about these screwdrivers is that it is all self-contained, so there are no 'bits' to get lost. Also, it's a one-handed operation to change which tip you use. Much simpler.

Simple Knife Lanyard

This is a simple lanyard attached to a mini knife, to make it easier to grip. I made the monkey's fist first, then a lanyard knot, then added the black and made 12 crown knots in one direction, then 12 crown knots in the opposite direction. Then after I finished it with another lanyard knot, finishing off one end inside the lanyard knot, I attached the remaining end to the knife with a noose.

Wondering why I use a lot of pink? Well, if you're a guy, would you want to use it? I have a DH and 2 sons. If I make things in pink, they don't disappear. Doesn't hurt that it's my favorite color either.

Another inspiration from Stormdrane -- I really have to stop looking at his blog -- too many cool ideas! ; - )

Monkey's Fist Bookmarks

Yet another idea from Stormdrane. Here are a few of my versions of his bookmarks:

The brown one (not sure what kind of cord it is) is Monkey's Fists, but the pink line (paracord) was too short, so I had to settle for Button Knots.

These are a great idea! They'll make nice gifts for kids' teachers (really, how many apple knickknacks do they really need?). They might also make a nice alternative to the monkey's fist necklaces that we teach the kids to make at demos. True, they will require that we take the time to have them make two knots, but that repetition may further ingrain the knot in their minds, and what better way to encourage them to read! I'm sure I'll be making more. Thanx for another great inspiration, Stormdrane!

Snake Knot Lanyard Variations

I made this with the same method Stormdrane uses for his lanyard, but with a slight variation. First, I made enough snake knotting to go around my wrist. I bent that around and then cut one line from each end, leaving about an inch or so, then used the other two ends and made the rest of the lanyard the same way as Stormdrane, working the snake knot back up to the top, covering the two ends I'd cut before, as I reached them. Then I just finished the ends off by cutting them off with my Perfect End burner.

The cording I used in this is braided mason line, from Home Depot. I don't recommend the colors of this stuff for fancy knotting, however, because they don't seem to care about keeping the color consistent (not very important in masonry, I suppose). I found several patches of much darker color throughout the project, so if I were to make anything with that again, I will have to keep that in mind and maybe use just the white.

Here's another lanyard, but this is not removable, as you can see. It's a variation of the covering of the Pry Bar. But I wrap the Pry Bar a little differently than the video says to do -- it's not necessary to put the standing end through the second hole (at the top of the Pry Bar) until after the wrapping is finished. This allows you to do the wrapping without cutting a length of line from the spool. Before I started wrapping the Pry Bar, I left enough extra line to tie the snake knot lanyard (a couple of yards, as I recall). Then I put the standing end through the first hole (at the bottom of the Pry Bar) and then did the wrapping, going under and over as instructed, and THEN I put the standing end through the top hole. Then I cut an equal length of line from the spool and tied a lanyard knot, then snake knot until I had the length I wanted it to hang down from my wrist. Next, I split the two lines and added in another line (half going to each side) and tied the two lengths of snake knot to reach around my wrist. I finished it using the two ends from each side to tie a doubled lanyard knot, and trimmed off the ends with the burner, leaving a short 'tassel' of the ends.

And these are some neck-lanyards I've been making for some friends. They're nice for putting on your cellphone or camera. Again, I use Stormdrane's method, but I start with two cords, each about five feet long. I measure about 20 inches and that's where I begin. i tie the desired length of snake knot and then cut off the ends with the burner. The 20inch length gets tied into the neck cord, with a double fisherman's knot.

These were made similarly, but all I did was put the swivels in the middle of one cord and work snake knot from there. When the desired length is reached, or when there's only enough line left for the neck cord, I cut them to equal lengths and tie them in a double fisherman's knot for the neck cord.

And here's a lanyard I made with a bit of rat-tail left over from a snake-not necklace. I think it was only about a yard or so. First I put the rat-tail through the clipper and tied a lanyard knot. I then tied snake knot until there was just enough left to tie another lanyard knot. Then I cut off the excess, with the burner, leaving just a bit for "fringe". The really nice thing about this lanyard is that it gives me a great deal more control of the clipper when I use it. I hold the clipper normally, but I have the lanyard in the rest of my hand, for a much better grip. This is a great clipper for tatting -- because its blade is convex instead of concave, I can clip off the threads almost below the stitches in which they are hidden.

This is a lanyard made with just a bit more of leftover rat-tail cord from a necklace. I planned it just a little differently, so that the leftover cording (from the 8-yard spool) was all in one longer piece. I think there were about 2 yards to begin this one, but I can't remember for sure:

I've been having so much fun with all these that I don't know when I'll be able to stop!

Coil Lanyards

We have Stormdrane to blame for this next obsession, too. I have been having fun with this, but man, does it make my thumbs sore. 'Arthur' does NOT like it when I do these. But I don't care; I am just going to do what I want and deal with the pain. LOL

This one is my first attempt. I had enough paracord leftover to make a THK, but just barely. Obviously, I added the snap before tying the THK.

I'm working on a second one, but it's going to take a while, because I'm allowing myself a bit more leftover cord, to tie something else at the end. I'll post that one asap...

Snake Knot Jewelry

Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to post any of these here, since I have them in my photo album already. But these are very special necklaces. The glass pendants used in the first two are made and sold by Kahn-Fagan. They are not cheap, but wow, are they gorgeous! And I doubt anyone can ever find any two alike. I only wish my feeble photography could do their beauty justice!
Here's one I made with magenta rat-tail cord. The glass pendant is a leaf design, with AB coating.

Here's one made with lavender rat-tail cord. The glass pendant is a purple fuchsia-like flower design. The top of it is green, then it shades to purple around the rim of the flower. Breathtaking!

Here's a necklace I made from a bead I got from another source. It's lamp work, and the 'knobs' of the bead give the illusion that you're looking at dimensional petunia-like flowers. Fascinating. The cording here is blue rat-tail.

I've had so much fun with these necklaces that I just can't stop myself. I haven't run out of ideas yet, so I'll just keep making more. : - D