I have this thing about being defeated by inanimate objects. I refuse to let it happen. I keep at it until I’ve beaten it. In this case, it’s thread and tatting. I am not going to be beaten by a skinny little thread, a shuttle, a needle, or a pattern. Just not doing it.
So tonight was my gazillionth attempt at needle tatting the bookmark in the Handy Hands, Inc. catalog, and it’s the closest I’ve ever gotten to completing it…till I ran out of thread. In what was quite literally the final stretch. And I got that far with only one minor mistake: forgetting to join two rings. I was so proud. And then.
While I haven’t yet given up on ultimately making this thing, I still wanted to scream. I have started and restarted this bookmark so many times, I don’t even need to look at the pattern anymore, and I have certainly lost count of the number of attempts I’ve made. Bryony could tell you; she’s got every single tossed-aside attempt buried in her room somewhere. I lost count after five, but I know there are more than ten.
Some of the throwaways have been thread malfunctions. Some have been human errors that have snarled so badly in my attempts to correct them that it just wasn’t worth it.
Okay, most of them fell into that category. I’m a novice, what can I say?
But this, this took the cake. I was one 8-4 chain from done. Finished. Complete.
It was tragic.
The reason it was such a tragedy is actually my own fault. I’ve been so focused on learning
how to tat, how to make each element from rings, split rings, mock rings, chains, etc., that it never occurred to me that, aside from knowing how to pick out stitches when I screw up, I didn’t know how to do other things, like how to add thread when you’re out of it and the project isn’t done.
So I cut it off both the needle and ball threads, took a picture of it, and tossed it. Like an idiot.
Now, now I’m looking for tutorials on how to add thread! I’d hoped to avoid that contingency with this piece by having an incredibly long tail on the needle thread (over six feet long, and when you think about how easily the Lizbeth thread twists around itself and snarls, you’ll agree that was brave of me. At least, I hope you’ll agree.), and by cutting the pattern down by two fifths.
Yes, I know, I really should have made sure to know this before trying this project, but I tat very tightly, apparently, and getting the needle back through the rings when finishing a piece has been a battle and a half, and so I tried to avoid it, since it was a big part of adding thread. Clearly: no dice. I’m gonna have to bite the bullet.
In other news, a couple of new recipes I’ve tried have been wildly successful, in contrast to my tatting.
The other night, I was in the mood to cook and try new things, so I made feta-stuffed Greek lamb meatballs with a dill dipping sauce, homemade almond paste, and Dutch banket, to which a classmate had introduced me from a local Dutch bakery.
No one was thrilled with the dill sauce, including me, but the meatballs themselves went over very well with the PIP and with me. The kids, close-minded as they are to new foods, not so much. The banket, though, was a true hit. That, I’ll be making fairly often, according to the entire family. They even went as far as stealing bits of the almond paste while it was in the refrigerator, setting in preparation for going into the blanket. I’m amazed I had enough left for the pastry!