Thursday, 19 July 2018

treble with an M

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Yup,  I treMble in fear of how Ninetta will react to my crochet reference. But I get ahead of myself ....

First, a lovely triangular motif with both tatting stitches – the old ds and new tds.
Ninetta sent me a pic of her new treble triangle and I helped in writing the pattern. 

There are 3 rounds worked continuously in one pass. However I used different colours in each round to make it easier to demarcate stitches and counts.

I had to pause when joining a treble to an earlier element. After a couple of tries, I figured it out. I’m not sure if it is the right way, though it came out fine. I will share it in my next post where I dissect this new tatting stitch.
Ninetta Caruso’s
Triangular Motif (treble tatting)
(with pattern below)
A tad over 4 cms in Anchor size 40
The written instructions are for one-pass motif as in Ninetta’s model, climbing out with split ring. Or each round can be tatted separately as seen in the 3 colours I used in my model.

Abbreviations  (in order of appearance):
R – ring ; ds – double stitch ; vsp – very small picot ; tds – treble ;
BTS – bare thread space ; + - picot join ; - - picot ; SR – split ring ; rw – reverse work ; 
SS – switch shuttle ; TR – thrown/floating ring ; lj – lock join.

Notes :
  • Use ball and shuttle for each round is worked separately; use 2 shuttles, ctm, if working continuously.
  • BTS - since tds is ‘higher’ than a ds, leave enough bare thread space between rings.
  • How to make a tds video ; For all posts/info on Treble Tatting start here.
  • For how to join treble to a previous element (round 1) pull up thread through both picots – the vsp for tds as well as the picot on small ring. Stepwise pictorial in next post.
Pattern :

ROUND 1: (moving clockwise)

R1:  1ds vsp 1ds, 8tds, 1ds. BTS
*R2: 3 +(between before last tds) 3 – 3 – 3. BTS
R3:  1ds vsp 1ds, 1tds +(R2), 7tds, 1ds. BTS]*
Repeat from * to * once.
SR6: 3 + 3 / 3 + 3. mock picot

ROUND 2: (moving clockwise)

SR: 3 / 3,
*Ch 4 rw
R:   5+(after 2nd tds) 5 rw
Ch: 4 – 4 – 4.  SS
SR: 1ds vsp 3tds 1ds / 6 +(after 4th tds) 6. SS
Ch: 4 – 4 – 4 rw
R:   5 +(after 6th tds) 5 rw
Ch: 4 rw
R:   3 + 3 SS
TR:  3 – 3 SS*
Repeat from * to * around Round1.
Climb out with a split thrown ring (3/3). Mock picot.

ROUND 3: (moving counter-clockwise)

SR: 3 / 3. mock picot
R:   7 +(nearest picot on chain) 9. rw    
Ch: 2 – 4 – 4 – 2  lj(same picot) 4 – 4 rw
*R: 4 +(vsp) 4. rw    
Ch: 5 rw
R:   4 +(after 1st tds) 4. rw   
Ch: 5 rw
R:   4 +(after 2nd tds) 4. rw  
Ch: 5 rw
R:   4 +(after 3rd tds) 4. rw 
Ch: 4 – 4 lj rw
R:   7 +(picot on TR) 9. rw    
Ch: 2 – 4 – 4 - 2 lj rw
R:   7 +(2nd picot on chain) 9. rw    
Ch: 2 +(previous chain) 4 – 4 – 2  lj(same picot) 4 – 4 rw*
          Repeat from * to * till end. Tie, cut and hide ends.

A visual study of ds and tds

I learned how to do the treble in these earlier motifs.
But while tatting this triangle more questions arose especially along design lines. I wanted to put these observations to the test. So, choosing thick threads, I set about trying to compare normal double stitches with treble tatting and a few variations. I think the pictures, with notations speak for themselves.
Both double and treble stitches are made of 2 half stitches, though constructed a bit differently.
However, a ds has only 2 ‘legs’ or threads on the core thread, while a treble has 3 ‘legs’ or threads around the core. 
Reason - the first half of a tds is actually a normal double stitch (2 legs) at the base.
This makes the tds wider than the ds by a thread. 

Moreover, a single tds, or a row of tds will start with [1ds,vsp,1ds] and end with [vsp, 1ds].
When I showed Ninetta this pic, she shared her precision-based tip; something I had merely observed as explained in the above para.
“... one treble takes the place of 1 and half ds, and the contour is spaced as a normal height picot, ...”

While tatting the motifs I sometimes made a mistake in joining to a tds. I had to count each tds to establish which ‘picot’/space was the right one. Given my recent foray into the top view, I wondered how the treble looked from top. 
The trough is one long arc while there are 2 crests within/offsetting it !!! Wow.
In the 3tds segment in above pic, the small crest between the long trough is where the 'picot' is - where we join a future element.

Now here’s where I go into ‘crochet’ mode and treMble to use crochet terms. But I think it will help, so here goes.

A treble starts by pulling a loop through the vsp and again through this loop (1 crochet chain formed). Then we pass the shuttle through this 2nd loop and wind or wrap the shuttle thread 3 times around it before snugging tight.
I altered the number of loops pulled as well as the wraps made to see whether we can create viable variations of the tds. Yes, it works. (please note that Ninetta’s method is slightly different from the one I used here. A pictorial in next post will show the steps better).

So, from left to center the graduated tds –
1. like the single crochet (sc) –1 loop (no chain) thru vsp and 1 wrap with shuttle.
2. like a double crochet (dc) – 2 loops (1 ch) and 2 wraps
3. like a treble (tr) – 2 loops (1ch) and 3 wraps
4. like a double treble (dbl-tr) – 3 loops (2ch) and 4 wraps
This sequence was repeated in decreasing order. 

We can see the height changing clearly, as well as the number of ‘coils’ around the 2 halves of the treble stitch and its variations.
Please note that this is NOT a crochet stitch as Ninetta has explained in her posts. I have merely used it as a reference for visualization.

If all this is confusing, take a step back and the pictorials will soon reveal all. I have actually gained a whole lot of minute & detailed understanding even as I wrote out this post, and am truly amazed at Ninetta's brilliance especially the 1st half of a treble stitch! For the 2nd half of the treble, the closest similarity I could find was with her Vapor Picot.

to be continued - how-to pictorials 

in helping a friend, one helps oneself

Monday, 16 July 2018

Wimbledon motif

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My personal tat-along for Wimbledon 2018!

2 weeks of Wimbledon. Not that I watch all the Center Court matches. Yet I needed to satisfy my tatting hands while I watched. Something medium-sized, not too stressful, where my eyes could focus more on the game…

Clover Mat
Lindsay Rogers’ ‘ Mastering Tatting’

July 2, evening.

After quickly completing my kitchen chores,  we sat down to watch Federer (defending champion) vs Lajovic.
I had earlier readied 2 shuttles, ctm, with Lizbeth 20, Vineyard Harvest. This variegation reminded me of the tournament colours and towels – but perhaps my memory was faulty coz I couldn’t find any magenta this time! Still, it had green for grass and shades of purple for royalty & tradition, and let's pretend the magenta represents strawberries! 

This is how far I reached after that speedy match ! 
I’d barely got the hang of the pattern when it was all over.
Now to watch Brazil vs Mexico - FIFA World cup. But the motif remains solely for the great W.

At the end of Federer’s Round 2 match. 
I had to switch to direct tatting (unflipped stitches) for chains to keep track of direction. 
The working of this pattern reminded me of the Magic Square.

His Round 3 match was too late for us to watch. 
So this was done during his Round 4 match against Mannarino. Another Master class!
2-shuttles, thrown/floating rings,  inward picot, lock join, picot join to right. 
Optional: fs/bs tatting, direct tatting (reverse stitch).

Quarter-final and he’s out, shockingly. But this is how far I got.
I was pleasantly surprised that the mat was almost the same size 
as the one photographed in the book.

I finished it off during Kerber's semi-final match. 
Her quarter-final with Kasatkina was an amazing match with both ladies 
playing some spectacular tennis. Eyes glued to their play!

I had deliberately left off the central ring (which could’ve been worked as a thrown ring) 
because I had this fear that there could be cupping. 
Adding the central ring later meant I could tweak the stitch count to suit the space. 
Sure enough, I added 2ds to each segment.

Yellow is for the tennis ball!
The completed mat measures 5X5 inches.

I consider this pattern easy in terms of the techniques employed, but requires Mindful tatting- what joins where, etc. Possibly my attention was so divided that I could not memorize the joining points even till the end. 

But the book itself made me comfortable.  I absolutely love the book binding – a normal spine on the outside, but spiral binding on the inside. The pages lie completely flat and I can easily tat along without damaging the spine.

Diagram is large and clear with only a couple of picots missing. Easy to keep track and follow along. Central ring count was missing but easy to guess with the entire pattern following the same count. In fact one can easily choose a different multiple and yet get the same result - only smaller or larger depending on one's choice. 

evenings of tennis and  football are over for now
but tatting goes on forever !

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

black blindness no more !

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How often have we ranted and raved;
avoiding black like the plague ?!
Well, avoid no more! Follow this tip to tat with thread of any colour and any thickness.

(click title to download pdf)

Tatting with black thread often means having to rely on motor /muscle memory. It is so difficult to see or distinguish each stitch! And heaven forbid if we lose count!
Well, fear no more.
Here's a simple way of counting stitches in black or dark coloured threads and even very fine thread. So tat on without a care; throw away that magnifier.

this is only an image. click here to d/l pdf
[ It was extremely difficult to take pics of the top view, despite seeking help. Only 6 of the tons made it through. Hence the diagrammatic illustration. ]

Turn the tatting towards you so that it is vertical and you now see the stitches from the TOP. It helps to view it against a contrasting background.
The line of stitches now looks like a serrated edge or a wave.
Slide/spread open the stitches along the core thread - separating them out a bit.
Each individual crest & trough of the ‘wave’ is now individually visible. Even in size 50 black (or thinner threads).
Count either the crests or the troughs to determine the number of stitches.

In traditional tatting, count the number of troughs.
1 trough = 1 double stitch.

In backside tatting where the sequence of half stitches is reversed (rods),
1 crest = 1 double stitch

Once you are satisfied with the number, push back the stitches and continue. 

Here's the same in thick thread - 
 There are 5 ds on either side of the picot on this chain...
Spread out the stitches and view from top. 
One can clearly see 5 troughs on either side of picot.

Simple? Try it and do tell. 
I have not come across any such tip. If you have, please share.