Wednesday, January 04, 2012

First Project Musings

Lace-edged Handkerchief
I've done a few simple projects, but this is my first Very Big project.

In case you care about details, this project was done with a metal Susan Bates tatting shuttle with size 20 crochet thread.  The thread is from the 1950s (a gift from my grandmother, who started trying to teach me to tat last year), so I'm not sure who made it.  Instead of being done with two shuttles, I'm doing this with one shuttle and a ball.

I'm kind of uncertain as to how I feel about how it turned out.  On one hand, I'm about fifteen minutes away from completing my Very First Project.  On the other hand, I'm starting to feel comfortable enough doing this that I see flaws, which is always frustrating.

The top corner probably should have been sewn on more loosely.  The picots (peek-ohs) on the bottom arc are really just too large, and make the tatted lace stand out from the handkerchief a little more than I had wanted it to.  I felt the thread was also probably a little too bulky for this handkerchief, but I was in sort of a rush.  I had hoped to complete this for my grandmother by Christmas.  I think I finished the tatting itself before Christmas, but the sewing on is taking forever.

I actually attempted to make this 2 times previously, but my innate desire to rush through things to make glorious works of tatting meant I didn't read far enough ahead in the directions to see that I needed to fancy up the corners a bit.  On the other hand, it did give me a lot of practice keeping my tension steady, so it does look a lot cleaner than the previous attempts.

Things I Learned:

  1. Always read to the end of the directions.
  2. Using the ball and shuttle method is pretty easy, and it's very convenient to tuck your shuttle and lace in the ball when you're working, but it's a pain to untangle if the ball thread gets twisted.
  3. Keep the picots tight when you're using them to attach to something.  Airy is good, and lovely.  Spacey is a little much.
  4. I'm not very good with the clean-up work.  I'm lazy about sewing in my ends, and I despise sewing the lace on to the handkerchief.  I think there's a good life lesson in there.  Life isn't about making beautiful decorations to tack on.  You have to go through the hard, gritty work of taking those embellishments and attaching them to the rather plain everyday that is your life.  Or at least it works that way for me.  Devil's in the details and all that jazz.

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