Saturday, 3 December 2022

footprints on the sands

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... of time and tatting. Today I complete 10 years of blogging and it is the 800th post. These are mere numbers but mean a lot to me. 800 posts that each contained some tip, idea, experiment, option... At times 10 years seems like a long time; and yet like a short period, not enough to accomplish all my goals. Did I leave any footprints during this journey? Some faint ones perhaps which will soon be washed away. 

Incidentally, my first post on 3rd December 2013 was on tatted edgings! 

And now these pics from Judith Connors kind of summarise and symbolise my online tatting journey. I wouldn't be here, wouldn't have improved and learned so much without the help and guidance of the community; without their willingness to share freely of their expertise, patterns, and resources.

The lace - design shared freely by Robin Perfetti; tatted by me, in Lizbeth size 80 threads gifted by Sharada R; gifted to Judith who mounted it on a plain white handkerchief. This is what she wrote - 

'If you look at the close-up you’ll see that I crocheted around the raw edge first and then slip-stitched/top-sewed your lace to the crochet. I love how it all came together. When Queensland Tatters next have a display of their lace I shall place our combined effort in there too.'

This 'combined effort' is what my online experience has taught me. It may not always be an overt collaboration but the moment we tat somebody's pattern or when we share something that gets picked up another, the community grows, evolves, thrives.

Speaking of which, Judith also sent her beaded version of the Reflections Snowflake - a gift we send to anybody who completes an Endrucks' pattern.  

I had extracted it from the 100 year old Endrucks' pattern #17; it was modified by Ninetta Caruso and Anna Tedesco; tatted by several of our recipients in their own unique versions, including this sublime beaded beauty.

Endrucks 1920 Project, a huge milestone in my tatting journey, is pure collaboration! I will never reach any pinnacle of perfection and am aware of my limitations. Yet it makes me immensely happy to be able to pass on whatever I have learnt or discovered along the way. 

While the tatting community is growing, the blogging community is shrinking. Blog Land is getting a bit lonely with bloggers dropping off in favour of other platforms. Irrespective, I join those who persevere - I find it the best long-term platform and with absolute freedom to present and express in any kind of format. Let's see what the next years will bring ....

💓Cheers! And a huge thanks to the tatting community at large!💓

Wednesday, 30 November 2022

starting with a SR pictorials

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 We are well aware that split rings are not meant only to climb out/into the the next round. They form a design element in their own right and when 2 colours are used, there can be interesting 'splits' in the overall design. Then there are split ring braids that make beautiful bracelets and lanyards. Speaking of which, what if we wanted to start a split ring braid in 2 colours

I rarely if ever use a knot to start any lace (except occasionally for a tut). Same holds true for starting with a split ring. I use this simple knotless method (which also holds good for true rings, mock rings, etc.) - cross the tails from each shuttle in the manner depicted, and voila, we're ready to go!

These pics were taken in 2018 and I dug them out when someone asked a question. The pdf has a bit more notations.

How to Start a Split Ring Knotless - click for pictorial pdf -

At the same time (2018) I had also taken pics for a related situation - what if the split ring braid had to be joined back in a circle? For instance in my Thorny Wreath Ornament where the foundation round is a series of 2-coloured split rings joined back to the start.

Obviously we need to have a picot in the very first SR. Initially I had made the picot on side 1 of the SR. However, it is not always easy to start any ring with a picot. Moreover that small picot has a tendency to close up when the core thread is pulled to close the ring. This is the reason I am not sharing pics I took at the time. Instead, I shot new pics where we start the split ring, knotless, with a picot on the 2nd side of the SR.

How to Start a Split Ring with a Picot, Knotless - click for pictorial pdf -

Both are one-page pdfs with minimal text.

Both links will be included in this huge collection of tutorials for how to start and finish covering all situations -

Do you remember my whimsical experiment to Hide tail ends in the last split ring without sewing? - This, too, was in response to a query.

And I used this same technique to hide the ends in a floating chain, with no sewing - 

Hope some of these help when the situation arises.

My next post will be on the 3rd of Dec when I reach 2 milestones simultaneously. So do stick around ....

Monday, 28 November 2022

teachable moments

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or learnable moments! 

 We are having a fun time playing games in our FB group, and surprisingly several teachable moments have arisen especially in our current event #tagmeEndrucks! Sharing tips, sharing resources, sharing options, ... There is even a hashtag #eptutorials in our FB group to locate them.

These short games are a good opportunity to learn and apply a 'new' technique, try something different, improve one's skills, experiment, find solutions.

#1. If you run out of thread in one shuttle before completing the project, simply do a shoelace trick (SLT) and switch threads if there is plenty of thread in the other shuttle. (SS - switch shuttle)
Or choose a convenient element further down the line to add new thread (false CTM).
Add new thread, knotless or with a knot, and hide ends simultaneously.
(a huge curated list of situations, options, tutorials -

My resolve to never share the length of thread required in shuttles has strengthened after this project - my personal learning moment. Too many variables to factor in!

#2. We decided to use 2 colours to tat the model in order to clearly show which shuttle was in use. However, this meant the split rings were bi-colouted while their corresponding rings on the other side were a single colour, See the encircled areas.

Solution - Double core SSSR Karen Cabrera's lesson #43 -  

#3. Alternatives to Lock Join - Lock Join is needed when joining to a picot below our line of tatting or below the core thread. It is basic, convenient, and tiny. However it leaves a little dip and it also locks the core thread (the colour of the picot below is also more visible - see image below). For a smooth edge, there are alternatives such as Catherine Wheel Join, Anne Dyer's Join the Smooth Side, and the Slope and Roll Join, to name a few.

In the first pic, 3 white arrows indicate where the Lock Join was replaced with a Slope & Roll Join for an unbroken rows of stitches.

[This was all meant to be part of the Joins in Shuttle Tatting series (2016!)... perhaps some day].

1. when the joining picot is below the line of tatting/below core thread.
2. when we want a smooth, unbroken line of stitches.

1. easier to accomplish than a CWJ
2. can be done with shuttle and ball
3. keeps the core thread sliding freely
4. can be used for ring or chain. Especially useful for Onion Rings or Concentric rings, hence also known as the Onion Ring Join
5. If the join is followed by the 2nd half-stitch, it resembles a double stitch. Hence it is a seamless or invisible join.
6. in 2-colour tatting, it creates a blipfree join.

It is sometimes difficult to hold a picot space, especially a vsp, immediately before or after the SRJ since it appears to twist. After completing the 2nd half-stitch, ensure the space is intact and a slight tug with a hook/pick helps prop up the picot.

Debbie Arnold (coined the term SRJ)-
Karen Cabrera (video Lesson 25) -
Ninetta Carusoo (diagrams Simple Joins) -
The Online Tatting Class -

Teaching or Learning are interchangeable, just as we have tons of options to choose from our tatting kitty and can change when needed!

Tutorials to all terms and techniques mentioned in this post can be found here -