Tuesday, 25 July 2017

forgetfulness !

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3 acts of forgetfulness came together for this quick and functional adaptation of a doily into a hair bun (jooda) net.
  A few days back I realized that I was completely out of hair bun nets and the one I was using already had the frayed elastic knotted for tension. I had forgotten to replenish my stock!
  Around the same time, while doing some housecleaning of my tablet files, I came across Linda S Davies’ Split Chain doily pattern saved there - don’t know when/why.
  And the same day, while working on a sidelined project, I realized that I’d again forgotten how to do the split chain (I always get the 1st hs but fumble on the 2nd hs) :-(
  These coincidences meant something, right ?!
Got right down to it & completed in 3 evenings….


I loved the triangle-type rounds in this doily – such a lovely uncommon effect. And the additional bonus was that I could stop at any round without affecting the pattern.

Remember this one in size 40 ? Ahem, it’s still an UFO & may be too small for my purpose.

I chose to do this in Anchor size 20, in a neutral colour, for quick completion & immediate use.
I've always worn black nets, but the tatting Should be visible - hence colour.

Since I wanted a slightly cupped look, I snugged the chains tighter in rounds 2 & 3.
Then I eased up a bit on latter rounds, tatting normally.
My preference is for nets with smaller spaces. Hence I decreased the stitches in Rounds 5 & 6.
Rounds 7 & 8 were tatted exactly as per pattern.

Despite peering closely at the process pics accompanying the pattern, I may’ve made a mistake in Rnd 7 chains, resulting in a wavy rather than spiked chain; still, happy with it.
The cupping decreased tremendously as the doily grew and lay fairly flat ! 
Diameter is 7 inches from tip to tip.

Instead of encapsulating an elastic band, I left my options open by doing a Lock Chain string with a black wooden bead at either end.
If woven around lower rings of Round 7, the string creates a nice edging/trim when pulled tight. Very vintage and matronly :-P  (see lead collage)
But my hair needed the string around the outermost arches. Now that’s a proper net!
And I am so very pleased to state that I wore it to sleep last night and all was well !!!! Yippeee :-D The hubster approves of it, too - after all it is he who will see it - I have yet to grow eyes at the back of my head ;-P

This was kind of a tentative pilot project in many ways, but it’s success has paved the way for many more. I’ve been collecting patterns for my nets for a while now.


Split Chain in Directional Tatting :
Look closely and you will notice an extra half stitch indicated by the arrows. Here I was working chains frontside but using Marie Smith’s method for split chain. In later rounds I used  Dora Young’s Knotless technique for the frontside chains.
Another aspect of SCH that I'd forgotten! Hence a reminder to self about working the split chain in directional (fs/bs) tatting :
For frontside split chain – DYK or original method
For backside split chain – Marie Smith version

Techniques used : fs/bs tatting (with chains frontside), split ring, split chain - DYK and Marie Smith methods, lock chain, lock join.

I enjoyed tatting this up and it’s functionality just makes it that much more special. Linda has such amazing patterns on her blog, especially her 3D flowers !

Mission successfully accomplished. Now to complete the UFO net – errr, now where did I keep it? Huh, about that ummm forgetfulness – may be eat more almonds then ?!

Many many thanks to Linda Davies 
  for her wonderful patterns and tutorials Z


happily tatting always :-))

Saturday, 22 July 2017

medallion stars

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“Tatting Patterns and Designs”
Blomqvist and Persson (Dover)

2 stars/medallions in Anchor size 40 thread
Been a while since I tatted from the book. These 2 stars were done some months back.

It is always good practice to study the round a bit before jumping in to tat. Look for the most convenient elements to start & end with, or in case of multiple rounds, the best element to climb out with. And in case of old/vintage patterns, place(s) where one can substitute techniques for ease of working or for colour placement.

This preparation helped in working Star #4 (p46)
I started with a right-side outer ring so that the round would end in a ring (easier to hide threads).
And as is so common now, the central ring was worked as a thrown ring from the first chain (with mock picot space).
Terms & Techniques : central ring medallion, thrown ring, mock picot, directional tatting. 

However, I made the joining picots too small causing this huge cupping. Will use it to cover a bauble, egg, or cabochon. The back of an Ice Drop perhaps, or without the central ring, it could well be the front.
My first thought was of a basket – tat a handle, add some flowers ! In size 40, it is fairly small.

TIP: Cupping v/s Ruffling : cupping occurs when outer round is tight ; ruffling occurs when outer round is loose.
To avoid cupping – decrease inner round or increase outer round ;
To avoid ruffling – increase inner round or decrease outer round.

Star #2 (p50)
is a very pretty medallion – simple, straightforward pattern.
Easy, quick to tat up but need to keep an eye out for which picot to join to.

Terms & Techniques : Inward-facing rings, clover, closed space medallion, picot join to the right (last to first join), long chains, directional tatting, avoid gapsosis in clovers.


I ran out of blue/green thread on the shuttle. This gives me an opportunity to pick up other shapes and colours, although I plan on keeping the ecru.
For all past and future medallions from this book, click on 'BnP' on the Label list. 
I have also updated (partially) and cleaned up my Jottings page. 

enjoy your tatting with a cuppa :-)


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

productive designs

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I don’t post pics of my buys. There’s always so much else to share ….
But here are 2 things I’ve been very happy to have bought – it is their Product Design that I’d like to talk about.
A handy bead box and a hooked needle threader
Placed alongside a Pony shuttle for size comparison.

Old & New Needle Threaders
I recently saw this needle threader in my old craft shop (it’s been 4 years since I stepped into that shop!). I liked the unusual shape & instantly bought 4 – one in each available colour. A very happy & useful buy in more ways than one !!!

Hooked Needle Threader as Beader
The hook at the end is ideal for size 30 & finer threads. It works for size 20 and 10 too but one has to be careful to hook the thread completely before pulling through.
The shaft is flat. So inserting into the tiniest or thinnest needle hole is pretty easy.
But an additional advantage I realized was that it could act as a beader too !!!! I’ve been using it since to load beads onto a picot, with great results.
The black lace in above pic is Anchor size 20 (almost double the thickness of Lizbeth 20) & this threader was used for the blue & green beads.
The old-style threaders are of no use when it comes to loading beads on a picot (my preferred method - LBP without beads), and crochet hooks may cause a mismatch between thread & bead size.

Bead box with rotating slotted lid
You might remember this bead box from an earlier post. Bought it on Amazon.in . 
It has a rotating lid with a triangular opening that stays on the white part when not in use; thus locking the beads in their respective compartments.
Rotate to the colour one wants and work with the beads. Or tilt to remove those beads on to a tray – the others stay in their place.
Once locked into default position, the box can be upended without fear!
And it is so portable (see 1st pic for size comparison) and reuseable !
This came with size 15/0 seed beads. I like the colours, weight & gloss, but the hole and width is not consistent :-(
Earlier I had bought transparent beads for their elegance. But they don’t photograph well ;-P Hence opted for these opaque ones.

Product design and practicality matters just as much as the pattern design.

Increase the fun & comfort quotient with the right tools !
happy tatting always :-)