Monday, 25 March 2019

uniformly tatted motifs

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A week back I was tagged on Facebook for suggestions on how to make uniform medallions. I love to receive such questions 'coz it gets me thinking and helps me understand better through a fresh new look. I listed 8 common factors at the time, 2 of which she had already suggested (#6 & #7). The following list has been refined and updated and will hopefully be of use to relative beginners.

How To Tat Uniform Motifs and Medallions 
This is a generalised list of 10 factors. There may be pattern-specific factors that may affect uniformity which are not covered here. For instance the swirl join in the model below. 

1. Thread
Mercerised crochet cotton which is tightly wound will keep stitches even, unlike perle/pearl cotton. Experienced tatters can work equally well with any thread.

2. Personal experience
One’s tatting tension improves and becomes more consistent the more one tats.

3. Familiarity with pattern
Sometimes the first working of a new pattern may not be representative since we are intent in figuring out the pattern. Once familiarity sets in, one can focus solely on the work. Hence it may be advisable to disregard the 1st attempt and choose the 2nd motif as a base or reference for future.

4. Template
Scan the chosen motif or glue it over a grid paper to use as template for reference. All future motifs can be placed over it while working to confirm uniform progress.

5. Techniques
Again, consistency and continuity of techniques employed in the pattern.
eg, whether working frontside/backside or traditional; or whether working chains with regular ds or with reverse (unflipped) stitch; and so on. 
In case of Josephine rings and chains, choose whether to work them with first or second half stitch and carry on with the same method. 
Do not change midways.

6. Elements
Consistency in elements is important, especially when working long chains and large rings. Ensure that the stitches are snugged with the same even tension throughout the entire piece.

7. Picot measurement
While uniform picots are visually appealing, the joining picots need to be of the same size to avoid disfigurement. A picot gauge may be a handy tool to use. Detailed article on the choices we have - Measuring the Picot  

8. Joins
Some count the join as a half stitch while others do not. Some prefer a down join to an up join. Whichever way you choose, continue with it throughout.

9. Beads
If using seed beads in the motif, select evenly sized beads.

10. Blocking
Pull motif into shape and use a template to block each medallion accurately. Blocking really helps in 'hiding' minor flaws or discrepancies, so that the final motif becomes a replica of the others. 

Can you add to this list? I love hearing from you!

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Wednesday, 20 March 2019

bye bye winter

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It’s done; before Holi which signifies the end of winter in the lunar Hindu calendar. Took a bit longer because there were days my mind was cliffhanging ;-P 
On reaching the arms, I realised there was sufficient yarn left to continue in yellow. But to keep the chest warmer, I picked a denser pattern (#44 in The New Knitting Stitch Library by Leslie Stanfield). I was going for flames, but made an error and the pattern turned into diamonds. Still it looked good.
It is also a 16 row pattern that needs with multiples of 6 (+1) stitches. 8 rows have been offset from the original, to change into discreet diamonds.

Finally running out of yarn for the arms & neck strips, I picked up the white and added a trim in yellow. Barely 10 gms yellow left now, phew.
I’m going to embroider a small sprig in white, but have burned the fingers on my right hand. Embroidery (and tatting) will have to wait till the blisters subside.

While the photos may not show it, the blouse/top does look very pretty and hubby approved ;-D
This is fresh off the needles, with no ironing/blocking. Will only be worn next season. I didn't shape the body coz I like breathing space ;-P 

Happy Holi, everybody !!! Colour the town with tatted threads J

Thursday, 14 March 2019


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Cliffhanger - as in a dramatic (hopefully) end to a series... Yes, you'd be right in thinking this, if only to an extent. There are numerous, I mean Numerous ta-daa moments I have left unshared, but there's more.

Look closely and you will see the cliff is made of an ever-increasing heap of pending posts, unfinished projects, wishful projects, WIP presentations, and on and on.... getting higher and steeper by the day.

And you see that tiny dangler? Why that's me hanging for dear sanity, for organisation, for speed (yeah, not That kind!), focus and diligence. The winds of lethargy and piling stress are buffeting this 'cliffhanger'.

Can she hang on - for how long? Can she persevere to overcome and survive the years of buildup?! Can she land on her feet running? Or will the cliff pile-on finally tilt over and crush her under the debris?!

To know the answers, wait for the next episode 😈😈😈😈

So are you a fellow cliffhanger or are you sitting pretty 😄🌹🌹🌹