Thursday, 25 September 2014

Tatting Away VII

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Sunshine Snowflake Lace & Braid !

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Sunshine Snowflake by Patty D
Patty Dowden writes “I was struck by the notion that I could design a snowflake that was all rings, not hard and be interesting to look at.”
Well, she achieved all that & more! A snowflake made with radiating beams of rings only!
First time I set eyes on her Sunshine Snowflake, I was intrigued & by how she got all those rings lined up one after the other – vertically radiating from a circular formation – just like sunbeams !! They seemed to be connected in a circle at the center but were simultaneously unconnected when radiating outwards And no threads crossing between motifs !

She graciously shared the pattern on the forum & has given me free rein to share it too, along with pictures of her own project. Click on the caption under the snowflake picture for the pdf.

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Neck Lace / Edging
Materials :
Anchor Mercer Crochet Cotton size 20. Variegated Purple with white – 1208.
Single Shuttle.
Techniques :
Ordinary/Normal Ring – R
Split Ring – SR
Single Shuttle Split Ring – SSSR  (can be optional, but is preferred & convenient)

Each vertical row starts with one ordinary R, followed by SRs, ending with a small SSSR. That’s it !!!

I started off intending to make the snowflake. But having made 3 vertical rows or one repeat, it dawned on me that this would look great around the neck ! 
So I restarted, this time converting it into an edging for neck. 
To that purpose, I eased off on the peripheral gradient by adding another vertical row between the ones in the original pattern.
The original Snowflake pattern has a section/repeat/motif of 3 vertical rows (as seen in image above)
( 4 rings, 6 rings, 4 rings ) x 6.
All I did was add another row of 5 rings on either side of each vertical row : 
( 4 rings, 5 rings, 6 rings, 5 rings, 4 rings, 5 rings ) repeat to desired curvature. (see close-up image below)


TIPS / Notes :
  • Because each vertical row is ‘separate’ & started afresh, there will be a lot of thread ends to hide. So it is a very good idea, & convenient, to learn SSSR. I swear by SSSRs now !!! Gone are the days when I had to tie a knot & sew/ weave in the tails !!!
  • One can increase the length of each vertical row by adding as many SRs as desired !
  • If the joining picots in base ring of each vertical row are shifted, then one can get a longer, broader curve, rather than a short & deep one. However, for a choker or necklace, it is perfect ! Add a pearl or bead & it’s soiree time !
  • If one continues further to complete the circle, it could make a nice mini-doily too (sew on a piece of circular fabric for center). And since each ‘row’ is made separately, one can grow crazy with multi-colored sunbeams !! The diameter from periphery is 7½ inches approx.
  • Make 2 half circles, alter the positions of vertical rows & sew on as a stylized Peter Pan collar !!!

It was a surprisingly quick & thoroughly enjoyable tat & was then hand-sewn on to my newly stitched apron. I have not tacked down each and every ring, just at critical & strategic points, to hold it’s shape & alignment.

Next step : Make the neck or shoulder straps in the form of braids. Not as easy as smooth sailing as it seemed …..
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Apron Braid / String :
Materials : Anchor Mercer Size 20
Variegated Purple – 1208
Purple – 0101
Techniques :
Split Ring
Woven cords/braids

All I wanted was a simple Split Ring braid, keeping the stitch count in sync with the snowflake/border, and using the same thread.
But as the braid progressed, the thread regressed !!! The tightly twisted thread kept unraveling &/or breaking. I was already half way into the braid when the problems began, so chugged along.
Change of course was nevertheless required !

Made similar braids with solid purple and interwove them with the original variegated ones, to provide the necessary strength, stability and durability. Interweaving braids was on my to-learn list for a long time anyways. I followed Gina Brummet's tutorial on Woven Split Ring Cord-2 shuttles.

The smallest ring in the braid, however, wouldn’t allow the larger rings to pass through. Hence, the weaving was done by placing the smallest ring of one braid over the largest ring of the other braid; for all other rings, the braids were passed through them. This gives a slightly irregular weaving because after 2 proper weaves, the 3rd rings (one small, one large) in both braids just lie juxtaposed, not passing through each other. But overall, a symmetry is maintained & barely discernible.

Repeats of -- ( SR 6/6, SR 10/10 , SR 12/12 , SR 10/10 ) to required length.
Interweave the 2 braids & sew tips to fabric of apron.

TIPS / Notes :
  • To go round the neck, a single woven braid suffices.
  • I made 2 woven braids & sewed them on either side as shoulder straps, joining to the belt behind. It can get really hot under the neck in these Indian summers, so this is more convenient. Since the braids did not cross at back, length of 25 inches sufficed for me.
  • One can also opt for sewing the entire braid on to fabric straps, which are in turn attached to the main body of apron.
  • I deliberately avoided picots in the braid. Washing would mess them up & it would take quite some effort to iron them out looking right every time. So, keep it simple ;-))
  • The braid(s) can be sewn on along the edges of the entire apron. I wanted the focus to remain on the “neck-lace”, hence did not attach the braid to the sides.
  • The woven braid can be used as a belt/apron string as well.
  • Or how about a string of rings around the neck ?!  

I enjoyed tatting the braids to the extent that the variegated thread remained willing & gracious. The solid purple braids were extremely quick & silken smooth to tat. That is the difference a thread can make !!
The weaving, though easy, was a bit tiresome. Without a shuttle in the hand, it just didn’t feel the same ;-)  But I learned a new technique & that’s what matters.
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Tatting Mantras by Patty D

"The knot does not care how it is made"
"Every tatter does it different"
“Ideas are free”

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I am very grateful to Patty for sharing her lovely pattern, & to Gina, for her clear tutorial .

Happy  Tatting  ;-)

Motif #18 & #19 for 25 Motif Challenge

Friday, 5 September 2014

Tatting Pattern: Tiny Heart Poppy part 2

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Tiny Heart Poppy
 A  3D  Tatted  Flower (contd.)
Tiny Heart Poppy - spot the difference ;-)))
The 2nd and final part of the Tiny Heart Poppy pattern. The first part of Flower (petals) pattern is here. 

We’ve completed the 3 red petals. Now to add ‘embellishments’ to bring it to life ;-) : the flower centre made of yellow & black, a couple of free-standing buds, a leaf sprig, & then the main stem. 

Poppy Flower Centre :

AMC Size 20 , Yellow 0289 , Black
2 shuttles OR 1 shuttle with yellow tied to black ball

Techniques & abbreviations :
JR – Josephine Ring , with Perpendicular arrangement of Rings
Floral Picot   (click for tut)
Ch – chain
fhs –  1st half stitch of ds
shs – 2nd half stitch of ds
Wind yellow thread in one shuttle & black in 2nd shuttle/ball & tie together. No need to hide the tail ends as these will be required to provide stiffness to encapsulated stem later.

Yellow Pistil/Carpel :
With shuttle 1 (yellow) :
JR 1 : 10 hitches / half stitches

Perpendicular Arrangement of Rings : (click for detailed tutorial)
Before starting JR2, try to turn JR1 at a 90° angle on Y axis. So instead of making a concentric, onion-ring type of overlap, we will get an overlap Across the 1st JR, vertically, at right angles. Hopefully the image & diagrammatic representation below, will give a clearer idea.

JR 2 : 15 hitches …
Before closing, adjust this ring over the 1st JR so as to snug neatly over & around the latter. If required, add or subtract the half stitches. Since there is no picot in JR1 to which JR2 can be joined, one needs JR2 to fit snugly over, yet without distorting, JR1, Nor falling over itself !
I kept positioning the open ring stitches over JR1 till I felt the length was just right, then close JR2, keeping it positioned perpendicular to JR1.
Yellow Pistil in center
Black Stamens :

Place/position the yellow centre over the space between the 3 petals. (Pass the tail ends through this open centre, so that they are now Under the flower). 
Working from top, join to picot at the base of any petal, keeping the yellow JRs centred.
Now start a chain made up of medium length Floral Picots (I have used the term described by Ring of Tatters)
Ch : ** ( 2FHS , p , 2 SHS , p ) …. Repeat ** for desired length, joining to the picots at the base of each petal at regular intervals. The chain should be long enough to go all around the yellow core. Lock join into place.
I made the length slightly longer so that it overlapped a bit, before ending. If you look very carefully, this overlap of picots can be seen towards the right side in image. Overlap ensures that the black picots will never show any gap.
Pass all the tails through the center, to the back of the flower, to be encapsulated later.

The Poppy Flower is now complete ! 
If one is looking for only a flower, one can stop here (hiding all tails). This can be sewn on to decorate or adorn headbands, bracelets, rakhi, gifts, etc. etc. Add a green calyx, if desired.
I decided to add some stem, leaves, & buds to the flower to make it a stand-alone entity such as a nosegay (spritz your favourite perfume ;-) ), a lapel flower, brooch, or a boutonniere for men. Add a couple more flowers & paraphernalia to make a cute spray !

Buds, Stems, Leaf Sprig
AMC Dark Green : 0844
2 shuttles, wound CTM

Buds :
JR 1 – Josephine Ring with auxiliary thread
JR 2 – Josephine Ring using Jane Eborall’s alternative technique
Perpendicular Rings arrangement
JC – Josephine Chain or Spiral chain
Encapsulation with JC / spiral tatting

UPDATE : For detailed tutorials click : Starting with Auxiliary Thread & Ending with Auxiliary Thread

2 Shuttles wound CTM.
Here is something I hadn’t tried before, hence a detailed log :
  1. Wind an extra (auxiliary) piece of green thread along with the thread in shuttle, just enough for the 2 JRs.
  2. Make JR1 (15 half stitches) using this double thread, for added thickness.
  3. JR2 (20-22 half stitches) made with Jane Eborall’s method of Josephine Rings   
  4. JR2 is made perpendicular to JR1. Before closing the ring, make sure it sits over the 1st ring just right, without falling over.
  5. Cut the extra length of auxiliary thread & hide it in the JC that follows, or keep it for encapsulation.
  6. JC for about 5½ cms (or as desired).
  7. Note : Since one is encapsulating, the half stitch of JC/spiral chain will remain unflipped.
  8. End JC with a small picot with which to join to main stem later. Do not cut. (This step can be skipped. After leaving a short tail, cut threads. Repeat from Step 1 for 2nd bud).
  9. JC going back up for 2nd bud. This stem is shorter ~ 4 cms long.
  10. Unwind shuttle & double up the remaining thread (or wind another auxiliary thread).
  11. Use this doubled thread to make the 2 perpendicular JRs as before.
  12. Tie, cut & hide the tail or sew it in.

Note : The 2 buds have been made in one pass. But looking back, it is better to make them separately, each one starting from the bud end & moving down to the stem. Threads can be encapsulated later.

TIP : JCs can be done with 1 shuttle & ball. But the ball (working) thread tends to twist a great deal & untwisting the ball after every few stitches, becomes cumbersome. Hence it is advisable to use 2 shuttles. I speak from experience ;-((

Leaf Sprig :
Twisted Picots (unjoined)
JC – Josephine Chain / Spiral tatting
3½ cm stem which is again a JC
Twisted picots at regular intervals (2½ - 3 cms long each)

Start with a twisted picot on a JC. The picots are closer initially, then the spacing increases slightly. Do as many as you want. When desired length is reached, stop & cut threads, leaving a tail of 2-3 inches.

TIP : JC stem spirals around, so the twisted picots spiral around too, instead of sitting flat on a single plain.
Another reason I used a JC chain, is to replicate in an abstract fashion, the fuzziness of a real poppy stem.

UPDATE : Refer to Tutorial for Twisted Picots (Floating) 

Main Stem :
Encapsulation using JC ( spiral chain)
< 5 cm long.

Preferably 2 shuttles, CTM
Hook the green thread to any one picot at base of petal. Then make JC, encapsulating all the floral thread tails.
Note : Since one is encapsulating, the half stitch of JC/spiral chain will remain unflipped.

After about 2 cms from base of flower, start attaching the buds’ stem & the leaf sprig. Make sure to encapsulate these from a little higher than the point at which the tails start; this will ensure free-standing stems that hold the buds & leaves.
Also start cutting off tails, at different stages but After at least 1 inch of encapsulated main stem, for a tapering kind of stem. If an evenly thick stem is desired, then encapsulate all tails right till the end.
Continue the stem further to desired length. Tie & cut.

When encapsulated with all the tails, the stems remain stiff enough & no extra stiffening is required. It is also essential that a short part of the buds & leaf sprig stems be encapsulated within the main stem from the point where they are joined, so that they stay erect & in place without any support.

NOTE : Each element holds it's shape. However,  in case thread specifications demand, one can add an extra/auxiliary thread for encapsulation of stems.

Final Dimensions : ( ” – cms ; ’ – inches )
Flower : ~ 4”/ 1½’ across
Yellow centre : ~ ½” x ½”
Black centre : picots are ~ ½ cm long each, with slight variation if desired.
Buds & Stem : 1st pair : 1”x 1”, on a 4”/ 1½’  long stem.
2nd pair : >1”x 1”, on a 5½”/ 2’ long stem.
Leaf Sprig : Twisted picots vary between 2½”-3”/ ~1’-1’+ in length, along a 3½”/ 1½’  long stem. The total length from tip to base, comes to about 6”/ 2½’ .
Main Stem : <5”/ <2½’ long, from base of flower to end.

Total length of entire Spray : 9”/ 3½’

Some Variations :

For a fuller, more ROSE-like look, add another layer of 3 petals below the 1st three, before starting with the stem, etc. (in pic below)

One can add a calyx at base of flower. A set of long twisted picots, joined to the free picots at base of flower, might look good.  It will also make the flower “complete” in case one does not want to follow up with a stem, etc. Once the sepals are in place, start with encapsulation for stem.
A potential ROSE ?!  2 layers of petals.

In Remembrance of all those from whom I have learned,  & am learning, 
all who have graciously shared their knowledge, patience, & skills .... 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Tatting Pattern : Tiny Heart Poppy - part 1

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Tiny Heart Poppy
A  3D  Tatted Flower
muskaan  (Aug 15, 2014)

I am seriously into writing & uploading the pattern in pdf format, exploring combinations & avenues that work for me without too much hassle or learning, .... but am finding that it is taking me more time than initially anticipated. Hence, I’ve decided to share the pattern in stages, so that if anybody is interested, they can start tatting along. It will also give me time to tweak the final pattern with any feedback & suggestions provided, as well as work without any pressure.
Another reason is that it will allow me to explain certain elements in more detail.
While notations & diagrams are provided, I am also writing it in longer script …

The flower can be made Very Quickly, even though the written format seems long :-)

Peace & Tolerance Tiny Heart by Mónica Manceñido is the base for the flower petal. Hence I have named it Tiny Heart Poppy, in appreciation of her versatile original pattern.
For more examples of the versatility, check out my previous 'Designing 101 post' ;-)

In order to write out the pattern, I have followed Jane Eborall's notation to a large extent.
I apologize for the unprofessional diagram ... hoping to do a much better job learning & drawing on a new program ...

Poppy Flower
Anchor Mercer Crochet Cotton Size 20
For petals : Red 046
For centre : Yellow 0289 , Black
2 shuttles
Main techniques used :
For petals : Split Ring (optional) ; Roll Tatting ; Lock Join ; Slope & Roll Join
For centre : Josephine Rings arranged perpendicularly ; Floral Picot Chain ( in part 2 of pattern to be uploaded later )

Petals : Round 1

Techniques & abbreviations :
fhs - 1st half stitch of ds
shs - 2nd half stitch of ds
CTM – continuous thread method
R – ring
Ch – chain
 (dash) – very small picot (as small as possible, for joining purposes only)
. (dot) – close ring
RW – Reverse Work
DNRW – Do Not Reverse Work
FS/BS – Front side/Back side tatting (optional)
SR – split ring (can be optional)
SS – switch shuttle
rs – reverse stitch / lark’s head knot / reverse double knot / 2nd half of SR stitch
+ (plus) – join (where to join is indicated within brackets)
/ (slash) – after the slash mark, rs or 2nd half of SR

  • Flower is composed of 3 petals, made in one pass, 2 rounds, tatted in clockwise direction.
  • A yellow & black centre is added later. (pattern for this in Part 2)
  • IMP : All picots in the petals are very very small picots, mainly for joining purposes.
  • TIP : For beginners : If one in uncomfortable with Split Rings, the 3 petals can be tatted separately/individually & joined as one tats along. But remember to add picots & avoid twist when 3rd petal is joined to 1st ! Click for Tiny Heart Pattern
  • *In some rings, in order to keep the stitch count the same, I have made a picot Within a ds eg. ( 2ds, 1 fhs, vsp, 1 shs, 2ds ) .This is notated as ( 2½ - 2½ ) ; thus total ds count for this segment would be 5 . But one could try it with ( 2-3 ) or (3-2) as long as the same count is followed throughout.
  • Option : FS/BS tatting, for some chains, is indicated by italics & red text colour.
  • No tails need to be hidden as they will be encapsulated later.

2 shuttles, CTM, with red colour thread
Refer to Diagram below ...

Petal 1 –
R A : 4 - 2½* - 2½ - 4 . RW
Ch : 3 RW
R B : 4 + (to A) 12 . DNRW  SS
Ch : 5  DNRW  SS
R C : 12 – 4 . RW
Ch : 3 RW

R D : 4 + (to C) 2½ - 2½ - 4 . DNRW
SR E : 4 + (to D) 2/ join to base of Ring A with Sh2 (to form clover), 4 + (to A) 2 – 3 – 3 . DNRW
1st petal (tiny heart) made.

Petal 2 –
SR F : 2 – 4 / 3 – 3 – 2 – 4 . DNRW
R G : 4 + (to F) 2½ + (to D) 2½ - 4 . RW
Ch : 3 RW
R H : 4 + (to G) 12 . DNRW  SS
Ch : 5  DNRW  SS
R I : 12 – 4 . RW
Ch : 3 RW
SR J : 4 + (to I) 2½ / join to base of Ring F, 4 + (to F) 2½ . DNRW
2nd petal (tiny heart) made.

Petal 3 –
SR K : 2½ - 4 / 2½ - 4 . RW
Ch : 3 RW
R L : 4 + (to K) 12 . DNRW  SS
Ch : 5  DNRW  SS
R M : 12 – 4 . RW
Ch : 3 RW
R N : 4 + (to M) 2½ + (to A of 1st petal) 2½ - 4 . DNRW
SR O : 4 + (to N) 2 + (to E of 1st petal) 3 – 3 + (to F of 2nd petal) / join to base of Ring K, 4 + (to K) 2 .
3rd petal complete.
One poppy flower with 3 petals made. But do not cut thread yet.

TIP : One can forego All Reverse Work & tat purely from the front side by using Reverse Stitch ( also known as Lark’s Head Knot, Direct Tatting, Wrapped/Unflipped stitch or Reverse Double Knot as in Directional Tatting). This is applicable wherever FS/BS tatting is indicated in red. So, instead of FS/BS, do the rs & don’t see the reverse of the work !

Petals : Round 2
Techniques & abbreviations :
Lj – Lock Join
RT – Roll Tatting
S&R J – Slope & Roll Join

Bring the threads up to the picot join between rings J & K & make a Lock Join (as indicated in diagram). You can either bring up the bare threads (since it is a very short distance), or a chain of 2-3 ds can be made to ‘climb out’, and then Lj to outer picot join.
From this point on, Roll tatting chains are made & joined at regular intervals, to create an outline encompassing each tiny heart petal.
  • The roll count may vary by a couple of wraps, depending on tension, etc.
  • Since there are no free picots on the outer margins of the petals/rings, some joins will have to be made through a ds cap. 

Here is the wrap count, ( +/- 1 wrap ) :
**RT 17 , S&Rjoin to center of ring L, 
RT 23 , S&Rjoin to ring M, 
RT 23, S&Rjoin to center of 5chain, 
RT 17, Lj to picot between rings N & A.
Repeat from ** twice, to encompass the 2 remaining petals.
Lj to starting point.
It is not necessary to cut the threads. Bring them to the centre, join to any central picot. Leave a tail of 6-7 inches, cut. These tails will serve during encapsulation for the stem.

TIP : Patty Dowden shared this wonderful tip in same thread. “If I am roll tatting a ring or a chain and need to join to a picot, I just start an up join and then I don't finish the second half. By simply working the first half of a join, the appearance of the roll tatting is preserved and the join is just fine.”
Moreover, there is no need to do a ds before & after a join. “I like to keep my roll tatting as roll tatting from start to finish.”
The visual outcome is Amazing !

TIP : Another way of doing the Slope & Roll Join :
Slope & Roll Join can be made in following manner, which I find easier & quicker as the motion of shuttle remains fluid, all in same direction. End result is the same. We have discussed this in a Craftree thread here
It can be made when one is working with 2 shuttles or a shuttle & ball :
To make this join :
1. Bring Sh1 thread up through picot/space to make a loop (as in normal picot joins) ;
2. Pass Sh2 through this loop;
3. TUG at Sh1 thread to PULL DOWN Sh2 thread ;
4. And simultaneously snug the wrap/join. It should become smooth & allow the previous stitches to move freely on the core thread ie. Sh1 thread. (it does not lock the stitches)
Patty D has pointed out that this is similar to Teiko Fujito's "outer thread joining method" (post #3 in above thread)

UPDATE : In the next post, here -  part 2 of Tiny Heart Poppy pattern - is the rest of the pattern : how to make the centre of the flower & the buds & leaves ....

Motif #17 for 25 Motif Challenge