Erica's Blog

The Try Something New Everyday experiment

Today I tatted with beads

on February 1, 2014

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I’ve been leary about tatting with beads.    I hold tatting at such a high esteem and lean more towards traditional patterns and uses of tatting.

Well, and maybe I’m a bit intimidated. 

I’m a visual learner and find I retain new knowledge better with a teacher/mentor demonstration.  Of course, I’ve only known 2 tatters in my life and both have passed on to the big craft workshop in Heaven.

I did luck up and find a tatting course on Craftsy.com taught by Marilee Rockley, a published tatter who does mostly jewelry.  I started viewing the course a few days ago.  The first half I skimmed through.   My ultimate goal in life is to teach tatting in small groups locally.  Even though I’m well versed in the first half of the course’s techniques,  I still picked up pointers on how to teach tatting. 

Then we got to today’s lesson…tatting with beads.  The project is a simple earring motif combining split chains and beads. 

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Holding the ball thread still perplexes me.  A fellow blogger shared a post she wrote to explain her technique of holding the thread.  I tried her method and while it worked a bit better than the previous instruction, I still struggled.   My thread seems too loose to hold the proper tension needed to build the chains on the ball thread.  I ended up winding the thread around my pinkie 5 times to keep it taunt however this made it hard to free up more thread when needed.  This will be a work in progress for me. I will NOT surrender!

I’m absolutely amazed how easy tatting with beads can be!  Its totally just about loading your beads when you wind your thread on the shuttle and include the beads on your working circle when ready to use them!

I’m hooked 🙂  I cannot wait to find more patterns with beading! 

Honestly,  I went to the craft store tonight to buy the size beads for this project.  I became mesmerized by all the beautiful, colorful beads.  I think I spent an hour just evaluating the beads, taking all the glitziness and colorfulness in.  And I’m an organizational freak so I really flipped over all the containers you can get to keep your beads. 

I filled my basket with a variety of beads, thinking I could stock up since they were on sale AND I had a coupon ($10 off $40 purchase) AND I have gift cards.  The trifecta!  Let’s just say I had every color in the rainbow and then some.  And I would have been set for life.  I presented my basket to the cashier and when he finished ringing my items up, I gave him my coupon.

“Uh, you cannot use the coupon.  All your items were on sale and the fine print clearly says this can only be used on regular priced items.”

Fine print?!  Who reads the fine print?!

Geesh!   I sulked back to the bead aisle to put my selections back and agonized for another hour as to which beads I TRULY needed.

I truly needed ALL of them!

It was a sad, sad time in the bead section. 

I finally settled on some cheap beads, just to try this pattern out.  After working with these beads, I could see one should not skimp on quality beads.  I didn’t notice until I put the beads in place that each of their width varied in size.  Probably wouldn’t bother anyone but me however next time (next sale) I’m opting for the higher quality.

I will still hold true to my traditional stance but value the new techniques which make tatting relevant in todays’ modern world. 🙂

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