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 :-)

Monday, 17 July 2017

off to The Pentagon !

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I totally forgot to post the pentagon trials in my previous post! These were accomplished before I started on the triangles.
I realize you may be getting bored seeing the same stuff in the same colours. 
No, I do Not like pink! Which is why I chose it for trials – trying to finish off the ball ;-P
However, I think it goes fairly well with the ecru.

I’ve made 5 of these with slight tweaks in stitch count. Arranged in a semi-circle they make a lovely collar. Or continue around to complete the circle fore a lacy edging.
The best part – it can be tatted in one pass !!!! Easy to trace the path, if you enjoy a bit of a puzzle :-)

I'll have to consult my sketchy notes to determine the details here & that is all boring stuff. (In fact I stopped writing notes early into the project, shhhh!)
The size 20 one is ready, so that's what matters.

I've found that size of picots makes a difference in these shapes lying flat. 
The placement of joining picots in inner rings also makes a difference.
And where the ring is split causes the shape to widen/spread out or remain closely packed. 
Fun to experiment with these factors, especially since all rings are 24ds each. And working it in 2 colours adds to the fun factor.

With Wimbledon over, I’ll be able to get back into this pattern-writing and diagramming stuff more seriously & diligently now.
I’m thinking of sharing all 4 shapes in one pdf.
Next I’ll do the bookmark in a separate pdf.
After that I hope to tat these one-pass magic shapes and share as I go. And I promise to use different colours, but in size 40 - it's the size I enjoy working with.

I’ve added ‘quatrefoil’ to the Labels’ list on the right panel. Click or use the search engine to scroll through my previous posts.

 happy tatting always - whatever the shape/size of the building :-)))

Saturday, 15 July 2017

tatting in my pocket !

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Yesterday I came across this thread on Craftree, started by Grace. She shared this link to a global compilation of tatting-related verses. Here’s what she says :

It was on e-tatters, and it grew for quite a while, with more and more people adding verses. Maybe we can add some more verses? The only rule is, the third line must include "tatting in my pocket".

There were already some excellent verses there and I jumped right in. All through the morning verses kept popping into my head. I’m just relieved it didn’t lead to any sugar/salt mix-up in the kitchen ;-P
Meant to be stand-alone, I’m sharing them all together here and would love to see you pick up the gauntlet :-)

No pocket, yet a pocketful of verses –
None the worse for want of a pocket ;-)
Okay cheesy, but I can't resist puns :-D

Except for the 1st and last verse, all the rest have at least one tatting technique or term in it. I have edited a couple of lines to fit into the meter. Hope you enjoy ...

Tatting In My Pocket !

Chores are physically stressing
Global news is so depressing
But the tatting in my pocket
Is always very refreshing ! 

My head is in a swirl
Shuttles ‘n’ threads are in a twirl
And the tatting in my pocket
Is full of rings in a Curl

Non-crafters may think I'm daft
They might call me a loony
But with tatting in my pocket
I won't just stop at a Cluny !

'I'm going through a designers block'
One often hears this talk.
Use the tatting in your pocket
To unlock with a Block !

The hegemony of a Trefoil
I fully intend to spoil
Since the tatting in my pocket
Is creating shapes from a Quatrefoil !

Husband rrrrrolls his eyes hiding his smiles
When I ask for more supplies
He Knows the tatting in my pocket
Will make lace for miles and miles !
                            - ©muskaan  July 14 2017

With exciting Center Court matches, not much tatting accomplished. But here's a glimpse ...

Four shapes derived from the initial design hack ! Tatted in size 40.
I’ve now tatted all 4 shapes in size 20 to determine picot size before I present the final pattern. Will share those pics with the pattern.

These are the various Quatrefoil Triangle trials. I was too lazy to block them for a proper pic, but these generally lay flat.

Arranging the triangles into a hexagon – it makes a nice coaster in size 40 and can be tatted in one pass. Magic Triangle, you say ?! Hardly ;-P

Why waste, right ?
Retrieved #4-6 from the hexagonal scrapyard – sewn in layers, added a bead, etc. I didn’t spend time shaping or curling the ‘petals’.
Noticed the 3 leaf rings enclosing the stem ? Kinda cute, no ? I'm going to use this in future!

That’s all from me for the present …
Have a great weekend

let there always be tatting in your pocket !

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

slippery paths

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a TWoT analysis of climbing out in tatting

Mark ‘tatman’ Myers’ Luster Snowflake
Studying Pathways and Process – a stepwise pictorial

Luster snowflake by Mark Myer is an excellent study in tatting continuously without cutting the thread, using techniques such as split rings (SR) and self closing mock rings (SCMR) to climb out. The pattern also provides plenty of SCMR practice.

We’ve all been there – we can do the split rings and SCMRs, yet the orientation and which shuttle goes where can get confusing during early stages of learning. Which is what happened with Amritha from the online class. She is aggressively learning many tatting techniques and often emails me for help. I can usually answer her questions using various means, but this particular one needed a holistic approach. It required more stepwise visuals, despite the accompanying diagram and notations therein. And I discovered 2 pathways in the process!

With Mark Myer’s kind permission and lovely email, I am sharing the path/sequence of elements in the snowflake, through the use of 2 different colours, in the hope that others facing similar situations may also find some resolution. 
This exercise will be beneficial in future 2-colour tatting to understand placement of colours, direction of tatting, shuttle choice, and directional (frontside/backside) tatting - to make choices and understand effects.

This project was started & completed in May when his Tatterville site was still operational. Since then, most of his patterns have been shifted to facebook. 
This pattern can be downloaded from Photos  Tatting Patterns album.

Click to download Pictorial pdf of Luster Snowflake Process
The stepwise pics and explanation are in the pdf along with notes, tutorial links, table and tips such as when to switch shuttles, etc. 

When you climb out with a split ring and the very next element is a chain, how do you work this ? Do you reverse work and tat the chain from the back side (path 2) or do you simply switch shuttles and continue from the front side (path 1) ?

My own feeling is that the former is almost a natural subconscious movement and often unwritten/unspecified in written patterns & diagrams. The switch shuttles is a more ‘modern’ phenomenon. And I guess tatman used the Reverse Work path - it all fits in.
I faced a somewhat similar directional dilemma in this heart pattern where the diagram & instructions went a certain way & my tatting the other.

Your choice determines the overall direction of working the round, the shuttle required for elements such as thrown rings & SCMRs, and also the colour of chains, thrown rings, mock rings in two-colour tatting. 
This is one of the TWoT (This Way or Tat?) rules that is yet to be shared through diagrams.
Let's examine it partially through the snowflake ....
In both models, shuttle 1 has copper thread and shuttle 2 has green. The center is worked exactly the same. Only after the climbing into outer round with split ring, do we need to take a decision on how to proceed.

TWoT Rule for climbing out with a split ring
Path 1 involves choosing the nearest shuttle . Thus tatting progresses from the front, in a clockwise direction. 

Path 2 involves reversing work (RW) as we would do if it were a regular ring-chain pattern. Here, tatting progresses counterclockwise when seen from the front. (The same consequences are seen if we Turn Work here)

Compare also the colour changes that occur in the outer round because of these choices - in the chains, the rings and the thrown clover!
And obviously the working shuttle changes.

So how do we decide which shuttle produces what effect in some of the common techniques used ? Especially in 2-colour tatting. The following table works as a quick reference. 
Red thread in shuttle 1 & blue thread in shuttle 2. 
The table shows the colour of stitches and the lower row shows core thread colour (which is the same as the working shuttle, except in case of split rings).
And these coloured arrows depict the core thread colour in the luster snowflake (path 1) model ... where red is shuttle 1 (copper thread) & green is shuttle 2 (green thread)

This post has probably become more technical than I'd intended, so if you managed to read through, you are my hero :-)))

I thoroughly enjoyed tatting the 3 models, although I do prefer working in size 40 (white). And I hope some confusion will be laid to rest through the pictorial in pdf.
This is my first tatman pattern, but definitely not the last.

Many many thanks to Mark ‘tatman’ Myers
for his gracious permission and generosity

Related Posts :
How to avoid gapsosis in ring clusters (Luster snowflake used for pictorial)  

Friday, 7 July 2017

magical Mexican wave

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a Mexican wave of tatting !

Different time zones can be quite limiting in many ways.
Or they can create a Mexican wave ! While some sleep, others are awake to carry on tatting and the wave goes around unending. My volunteers eagerly raised their shuttles (to my call for help) and worked as a tatting-wave and they deserve a similar ovation.
My 5 test tatters are from 4 different continents !!! Through the day I kept getting progress reports, pics, & feedback. Oh, it is so exciting to be a part of this wave. In less than 24 hours of sending out the pattern, I had my answers! I feel so blessed to be surrounded by such a community. Now it's my turn to finalise the presentation and tat a new error-free bookmark.

While I slept, Robin successfully took on the challenge of flattening out the quatrefoil hexagon. Here's my working of it ... 
It lays flat but the rings need to be worked carefully - some have a tendency to get squished. 

I found the hexagon that wanted to be a square. Instead of a mock picot it has a tiny 4ds split ring (SR) between the 2 SRs. 
I like the pattern it creates and a fabric of these squares would definitely be much more interesting in 2 colours. 
Both versions together for comparison - the inner square is more defined in 2nd version.
Which do you prefer ?

So, back to the hexagon.  I did another one without picot space between split rings. Kind of squishes the SRs,  don't you think ?! Space between the 2 SRs provide some flexibility. 
Jenny did something interesting - instead of a mock picot with equal thread lengths, she allowed the upper one to be longer, and the lower one to remain flush. It worked for her !!! 
A single colour CTM version causes the sequence and direction of work to change !

And some more excitement - I traced out a continuous path along the hexagons to create as large a fabric as one desires --- a Magic Hexagon ! So the wave continues ;-D  (I guess it is a fancy name for one pass tatting, but much more appealing ;-P)
I placed the 4 individual medallions I had and it works on this rings only pattern ! Can it translate to a rings & chains pattern is something that needs to be seen.
In fact, for the same reason, there are 2 ways one can tat this in one pass or as a magic hexagon (some split rings will become true rings and some true rings will become SRs!) - 
  • complete hexagons climbing out with split rings     OR
  • as half hexagons in a kind of undulating wave.
Very early days though. Need to work on it some more - what will happen if another round is added? A one-pass rectangle made of these hexagons is easy to figure out.

I didn't have an updated pic last time, so here's how far I got in the magic square prototype. I've had to drop it for the present till the pattern writing, tatting, and presentation are over....

And the Magic Wave continues across continents with Jane sharing her own experiments - do check out her recent posts on the topic ! 

Now here's an idea.
How about a Global Tatting Mexican Wave ?
Start from the East and follow the sun till it sets in the West, with tatters working on a butterfly or heart or any small motif and then uploading a pic immediately on any social media they follow. 
I remember something similar was tried a few years back. Did you participate?

tatters are magicians who create enduring lacy waves !

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

hexagonal scrapyard !

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quatrefoil hexagon – lie of the land
I mentioned how the quatrefoil hexagon was giving me trouble. My very first attempt ruffled, but settled down after the rolling pin blocking method. Not satisfied, many tweaks were sporadically attempted....

an uneven surface !
Here is the condensed result of my ‘logical’ rationale of changing the joining point, the inner diameter, the outer cross section, etc. –
1. original – lays flat after blocking
2. long inner rings – I like the effect, but overlaps around the edge
3. works perfectly as a pentagon
4, 5, 6 – discarded midways.
There was one more which turned into a nice square, but has run away somewhere – it had a small SR between each quatrefoil.
This scrapyard does not include all the tiny scraps I threw away immediately ;-D

a volunteer to clean up ?
As the name suggests, it is a quatrefoil pattern – 4 equal-size rings; hence I cannot change the stitch count on any of the 4 main rings.
Can any of you experienced designers/tatters offer some tips on how to get it flatter, without  compulsory blocking?
Or perhaps someone could offer to test tat this medallion (only left one above) to decide whether the ruffle is negligible or workable or whether the pattern needs to be scrapped ?
I would very much appreciate a volunteer to test tat it

charmed perhaps
Meanwhile I went ahead and completed the bookmark. It is made in one pass, using quatrefoil squares, and hexagon for the main body and a pentagon for the charm, all connected with lock chains.
This is just the prototype, with a few distracted errors (one cannot watch a tennis match and create a pattern simultaneously !) Once the hexagon issue is resolved, I will re-tat and write up this bookmark pattern.

squared paths
While writing my previous post I had identified a simple path to create a magic square out of the quatrefoil square. It involves tatting the entire square and climbing out with a SR. This is possible because there are no chains in the pattern.
But Robin’s tutorial post rekindled my curiosity and I wondered how the triangulation would work on this all-rings pattern. Well, it works fine obviously (the left one in pic). So this pattern actually has 2 paths to choose from.

I have worked further since this pic was taken & it reminded me suddenly of the Fandango motif (round 1 only). Quickly checked it out – phew, not the same.

It will be interesting to see how the 2 colours work out since some of the corner rings are split.

I believe that this rings-only magic square might perhaps be easier to work as a first-time serpentine magic square because one does not have to reverse work between rings and chains.

All tatting done in size 40 thread.

Please leave a comment (or email me) if you wish to test tat the hexagon. 
I also have a question about writing/presenting the pattern.
Grateful for any help you can provide.  

tatting scraps make the best scrapyard !!!!

Related Posts :

Friday, 30 June 2017

hacking out instant designs !

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This ‘hack’ hit me earlier in the month, while diagramming some vintage edgings. I was thrilled & eager to share, TILL I began writing this post & went over to Robin’s blog for her tutorial link. She’s already covered it meticulously in her last 2 tutorials – I’d totally forgotten (yeah yeah my encroaching greyness …quit teasing me already!)

But I’m still so excited about this shortcut because it led to instant designing – literally within minutes! Relatively simple and skeletal designs thus far, but such fun playing around ! Want to see how? Read on …

How can any of my Inkscape post Not have a reference to Robin?! She has shared free diagramming templates to get us started. Earlier, I would pick a specific ring or ring combo and arrange as required by flipping, rotating, resizing, etc. For clovers in a snowflake, I’d choose the 3 rings and adjust. This not only required additional steps, but some possible heartburn when they decided to change shape on rotation ;-/ 
(Of course, post-event I know that her Drawing ‘Automatic’ Pattern Repeats tuts eliminate all that heartburn & I’ll be internalizing it for future).

So, anyway, with just a few hotkeys and her Rosette template (6 outward facing rings), I created Instant Trefoil & Quatrefoil Patterns ! And went about tatting the latter, too.

This is just the tip of the creative berg - choose and move around templates & motifs !

click on images to enlarge
See how easy it is to ungroup and rearrange individual motifs. One does not need an advanced knowledge of diagramming or Inkscape here.
Although clicking on images will enlarge them, here it is in pdf for easy reading and reference.

The top left on p3 is a hexagon from trefoils. 
This skeleton is converted into a working tatting pattern diagram - a simple 2-round snowflake - with the inclusion of chains and picots. 
In the alternate method shown below with quatrefoils, more steps have been eliminated by working with a set of 3 motifs & flipping it!

I draw my own guide lines using the grid and a bezier. Actually this was to be the 2nd hack I intended to share, because many of us still find using the guide lines and snap commands confusing. But for those who can, use the actual guide lines.

Errr, tatting wasn’t as instant as designing – the first ‘hexagon’ turned into a square (the one with tails)! Just a slight stichcount tweak, and I got a square, pentagon And hexagon all from One skeleton diagram (on the left) !!! The picots & joins were shifted in the pentagon & hexagon on the right. It creates a visibly different look, but the hexagon refuses to lay flat.
Incidentally, all rings throughout have 24ds.
And there's another possible pattern on p4 with quatrefoils and thrown rings, but the quatrefoils are 'inverted' ! I think it can be accomplished in one pass using SCMR with thrown inner rings and split rings along the outer circle.

Now the Quatrefoil Square & Hexagon seem to be pretty basic, although my searches did not throw up such a medallion. And even the stitchcount – I came up by myself.
If you have come across an exact replica, please do tell.

I will share this pattern & it's myriad design possibilities next time. These different shapes seem to have a nice fit to create a larger fabric. Hmmm, a magic square, too, perhaps :-D No harm aspiring, is there - & I might just have got the sequence! 
But first I need to design a triangle to fit within. All help is welcome :-) 
In the meantime I'm halfway through a bookmark & next a coaster tatting it in one pass.

Related Posts

tatting or drawing – the name of the game is fun !
enjoy :-)