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.

Sunday, 8 July 2018

revised and new

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So I completed the 4th motif and also changed the leaves in the 3rd.

Blossoms Garlands

I enjoyed playing with the 4 motifs to create 2 possible garlands for spring ! All that is required is to join them and perhaps add a leaf or two where necessary.
Garland #1 (on the left) has motifs 1 & 2 ;
Garland #2 has motifs 3 & 4.

Blossoms Motif #3 (revised)
I changed the colour of leaves in motif #3 and also tweaked the stitch-count. 
Much happier now. Revised leaf pattern is on the pic. 

Blossoms Motif #4
Stitch-count for the fourth motif is notated in the pic.
I added a different flower shape in the middle. 

Design TIP : I realised that as the number of motifs increase, it will become easier to design. In order to decide where to place leaves, and how many leaves, I placed one of the previous motifs under a white card paper; placed and positioned this new motif over it; and it was easy to see whether the leaf(s) looked good or not.

In Lizbeth 20, this motif also measures 2 x 1½ inches
What I cannot decide is which way to sew it on … which do you like better?

whatever the weather, spring is never far from a tatting heart !