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

Spokane Shuttlebirds Tatting Workshop

I just returned from Spokane Shuttlebirds Tatting Workshop and am about recovered now, so I can post about it. I had a great time, of course. Normally I take a lot of pictures at events, but this time I only took a few, and they weren't really tatting-related, so I won't post them here -- I'll put them into my photo album asap.

But although I didn't take pictures of the tatting from the Workshop THERE, I can still take pictures here, of the things I made. In Mimi Dillman's classes, I made the following:

A zipper pull (or it could be used as a striver, too):
A refrigerator magnet. Note there are no 'magnets' glued onto the back. This is because the beads themselves are magnetized! Such a simple idea -- so why didn't anyone think of this before? Here it is attached to my fridge:
In Patti Duff's classes ('make it and take it'), I received a lot of patterns and bought a lot of kits to make the following (and then some):

As many already know, Patti Duff made these wonderful name-tag lanyards for all the teachers. She shared the pattern with everyone in her class, and then EVERYONE found a copy of the pattern at their place in the lunchroom! So here's my attempt -- well, at least the beginnings of it). But I'm not entirely sure I like the stitch count around the beads. Patti wrote the pattern for size 20 thread and I had size 10 with me, in this color, so I decided to try that. I think I should reduce the number of stitches in those rings around the beads. What do you think? I could cut off what I have already done, and use it for a fob (or two), and begin again. I'd like some feedback on this before I do anything more, please...
A 3-D Christmas Tree. This is made with 5 simple motifs, strung onto a finding, with beads between.
Here's a pic of a couple of darling little pins I made in the first 'make it and take it' class. They are just simple motifs with a novelty button (shank cut off) glued to the front and a pin-back glued to the back:

I've begun making several adorable little flowers from the patterns Patti supplied, but I think I'll wait until I get the entire arrangement finished before taking a picture of the whole thing. More on that soon...

I don't know of anyone who didn't have a wonderful time at the Spokane Shuttlebirds Workshop, and most of us can't wait till the next one! : - )

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Marlinspike Skills II

Speaking of Marlinspike Skills, that's the trip from which I returned in mid-March. Here's what I made there:

This first one is a simple fob. Two strands are folded over the ring, and tied into a MWK. Then 10 or 12 crown knots, in one direction, then the same number, in the other direction. Then it's finished off with a manrope knot.

This one is a bit more complicated. Four strands (two of each color) are braided flat, then the braid folded over the ring. Then an 8-strand MWK is tied, then the four strands of one color are tied into a diamond sinnet. Then an 8-strand MWK is tied in the opposite direction. Then the four strands of the other color are tied into diamond sinnet. Then it's finished off with an 8-strand crowned star knot.

Here is a lanyard made to be used two different ways. You can use it around your wrist by slipping the snap through the loop ...

... or wear it around your belt, by slipping the loop around the star-knot 'button'

This was just a little bit of fooling around and 'improvising' in some spare time. I tied 3 strands into a flat braid and folded it over the ring. Then a MWK, then wall-crown-wall-crown...sinnet. Then a MWK in the opposite direction, then a star knot, then another MWK. It is finished off with a manrope knot.

This is an experiment with multiple snake knots, in magenta rat-tail cord. I thought I could try taking the strands from one snake knot through the corresponding adjacent knot, to form a fob, sort of in the style of macrame. The result is pretty, imho. I finished it off with a carrick bend. Then I added metallic beads to the ends of the fringe and tied figure-8 knots as stoppers for the beads.

More to follow, as soon as I can get some more written. I just returned from Spokane and am still getting back to reality. Happy to be finished traveling for a few months. : - )

IGKT-NAB Meeting, 2007, Orlando, FL

There are so many things I could write about, but I guess I'll leave the past behind and just catch everyone up with the things I haven't posted about on the lists. The next trip I took that I haven't posted about was to the IGKT-NAB meeting in Orange City, Florida. It was a lot of fun and great to see everyone again, and meet new people, too. Conspicuous in his absence was Steve Coats. I missed you, Steve -- but I'm sure you're having fun...

Okay, most people know that I've become obsessed with making jewelry out of snake knots. I have a lot of pictures of them in my Flickr album, so I won't duplicate them here. Suffice it to say that I've made quite a few, so I donated a couple of the more special ones for raffle prizes. I can't remember who won the black one with the ceramic beads that look like Turk's Head Knots, but I do remember that the other one was won by our Dear Barbara Sessions.

I did learn one thing (well, besides the fact that I should not go shopping when I need to get everything back into my suitcases to fly back home)! Jeff Wyatt showed me how to make the braided grommet. It's a lot of fun and I think it turned out great. It does fit on my wrist, too! Imagine that...

When I got home, I knew I would have trouble making this again, because Jeff did a lot of it to 'show me' how to do it. I 'sort of' followed him, but I truly needed a refresher. So I got out my The Complete Book of Decorative Knots (Budworth) and followed Geoffrey's instructions. Here's what I came up with from there:

I will eventually be brave enough to tackle a one-color braided grommet on my own...

Before I went to Florida, I discovered the Instructables Tutorial for Stormdrane's Snake Knot Lanyard (well, I didn't actually discover it -- it was sent to the list) and I've had a bit of fun with that:

The first one I made is the one attached to this knife. The knife is very special, too. My brother, Bill, got it for me as a birthday gift. He knew I wanted one and found it on ebay for me. It's the Boy Scouts of America 75th Anniversary knife.

Well, two can play the knife gift game. I found two of these on ebay and Camillus is Bill's favorite brand (they also made the knife above), so I got each of us one of these knives, with a 'spike' on it, for when we go to Marlinspike Skills weekends together. Gary, please do let us know if you get MS-III set up!

Here's another one I made to hold a very special spike. This was a raffle prize from the IGKT-PAB Tenth Anniversary AGM, donated by our Dear Bud Brewer! It's the only one I have with a ring on the end of it, for attaching to a lanyard, and it's WONDERFUL!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Just getting started...

Hi, everyone:
I've never done a blog before, so it may take me a while to get the hang of it. I've been reading a number of blogs recently, which have been very inspiring, and have decided that I want to begin my own. I am very much into knot-tying, both practical and decorative, but mostly decorative. I also tat, which of course is a form of knot-tying. I decided that I would just use one blog and put whatever comes to mind on it, like a journal. I will just put pictures of whatever I'm making at the time, whether it be knot-tying, tatting, knitting, whatever...
So bear with me while I get used to how this works (figure out how to add photos, links, etc.) and I hope I will be able to include things that people want to see. I am a bit behind on posting to the many Yahoo groups to which I belong, so I will probably just start with the stuff I should be sending to the groups, so that I can remember what I have been wanting to post about. It's been a long time, and quite a few places I have visited -- and I'm not finished traveling yet! I'll be leaving in less than a week for Spokane, to attend the Spokane Shuttlebirds Tatting Days. I look forward to seeing everyone I know there, and meeting a few new friends, too.
I just recently returned from Indianapolis, where I attended the Marlinspike Skills II, and have a few items that I made there, but I still need to take some pictures, so that I can post them. I also made my first wicker basket at Zig-Zag Corner, a wonderful quilt shop in Greenfield, IN, and had a great visit with the people there, whom I visit whenever I go to Indianapolis.
I also go to as many IGKT events that I can, including the Silver Jubilee of the IGKT in England, held at Fareham, last May, the Tenth Anniversary Celebration of the IGKT-PAB, held in San Pedro, CA, in July, as well as the IGKT-NAB's AGM, held in Central Florida, in late November/early December. I won't post all the pictures that I take at all these places here -- I'll put those into my photo albums. But I will probably put pictures of what I make at these events on this blog.
I look forward to including links to my favorite blogs here, as well as some of my favorite books, websites, and other sources of information on the hobbies I enjoy.
Thanx for taking a look and be sure to come back often, because I will be updating as often as I can. : - )