Saturday, 14 March 2015

Collecting Wisdom

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Working on Renulek’s Wiosna Doily 2015

One can learn so much when one comes across the right people, the right places, the right attitudes ! One stores little snippets somewhere in the grey niches, and at times they pop up like AHA moments .

(click on coloured, bold links for source)
I started Renulek’s Wiosna (Spring) Doily 2015 a few days back. And am finding myself applying tweaks & techniques that I read of / learned along the way. A lot of it was garnered from the tatting angels at InTatters (now Craftree), some from actually tatting patterns shared by experienced designers, some from blogs (posts & comments), and of course the numerous tutorials that have been shared.  I am truly grateful for all the combined & cumulative wisdom.

·        Flat Rings :
Adding a 2nd half stitch before closing rings helps them lay flat. (InTatters).
I now do this almost on a regular basis.

·        2 shuttles :
I am getting into the habit of using 2 shuttles, whether the pattern calls for it or not. It is much neater, convenient, & it opens up numerous options. One can switch shuttles when required (instead of making SLTs) . And one does not need to buy 2 balls of same thread !
Used this is even in round 3 & was happy ! Learned my lesson during last year’s Chrysanthemum Doily, where my natural tendency was to go with shuttle & ball wherever possible.

·        Hiding ends, customized :
As detailed in the post on Hiding ends sans sewing, I learned a few techniques. However, there was overwhelming opinion in favour of sewing down the ends. One cannot ignore combined wisdom ! Hence, although I still used MTT, Frivole’s hiding ends in the last chain, SSSR, etc., (because they eliminated that eye-sore Knot!), I also sewed in the end(s) to be safe, using Jon’s instructions on sewing.
I am happy with the combo & now have many options to choose from; and I Did use different methods in different roundsCustomized treatment, shall we say ?!
hiding ends - SSSR, sewing,  & adding tiny stabilizing picots
·        Tiny Picot to stabilize elements :
The 5-ring flowers in Round 5 were fiddly. My tatting experience with Jane Eborall’s TIAS 2015 & her Chicken Wing Coaster came to mind. I had been impressed by her use of a teeny tiny picot to anchor adjoining elements. Thought to give it a try here.
It Worked ! See how flat the flower lies, and it will be much easier to join the next round, even if I don’t iron it.
Working 2 rounds simultaneously
 ·        Hiding ends with SSSR :
Working the flowers separately, gave me the added advantage of being able to easily use SSSR to finish off the flowers. 
(I remember seeing a tut long time back, but don’t remember exactly who wrote that post …. She had used SSSRs to hide ends in jewelery tatting. Will add link when I find it)
'Lengthening' Thread functionality
·        ‘Lengthening’ the functionality of thread :
Joining a length of extension thread to tail end. Many a times you Know that there is enough thread to complete the next element, before reloading shuttle. But it is so difficult to handle & manoeuvre that short length that I always ended up cutting it off. Recently I recalled another tip from InTatters. Attach a piece of scrap thread to the end so that one has ample length to wrap around & work ! I joined this extension (tan thread in pic) using a weaver’s knot , thus giving me plenty of working & wrapping length !
In photo below, one can see the very very short tail left !

SCMR instead of normal ring to use up last length of thread
·        SCMR instead of normal ring !
I could see that there was enough thread to complete that single ring. But not possible to work a Normal ring. So, SCMR to the rescue ! Used the last length (with extension) as a chain thread, making a mock ring with Sh1 thread.

Abbreviations Used (in order of appearance) :
SLT : shoe lace trick
MTT : magic thread trick / magic loop
SSSR : single shuttle split ring
SCMR: self closing mock ring
Sh1 : shuttle #1
Isn’t it nice that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel ?!
All solutions are already floating around
– simply collect, collate, combine, cumulate –
and wait for them to waft into our conscious from the mental storage pool! 


  1. I love reading your posts and how you gather up information it is great! doily is lookin good!

    1. Thanks :-) Putting up correct links, sources, etc. does take a lot of time, though it becomes an easy reference for the future.

  2. Yes, I love the way tatters have come up with so many different ways to do things, and are willing to share them so that we can all learn new tricks!

    1. So true, Jane :-) And this learning becomes a continuous and Interactive process .... It is what makes 'practice, practice, practice, ... ' really effective.

  3. Great tips. Wish I had read this post before I made all those little flowers on the Renulek doily. I would have employed many of your suggestions.

    1. Thank you so much ! But, see, That is the beauty & purpose of this title "Collecting wisdom". What I applied here was not meant specifically for this project. These are tips/tricks we come across during our reading, etc. without realising their immediate importance.
      So, I am Sure you will get plenty of opportunities in future tatting to use such shared pearls :-)

  4. I wish I had anchored all those little flowers the way you did in the Renulek doily. I often 'tweak' patterns and DO that sort of thing, but usually I'll work the pattern 'as is' the first time I do it. Next time, I'll use a tiny picot - like you did. :-)

    1. Thanks, Stephanie :-)
      I, too, have been used to tatting a pattern as is. Now, with a little more techniques under my belt, I am starting to get a bit more confident in 'tweaking' to see what works best for me.
      And of course, all these tips are timeless :-)

  5. Wow, I love the colors of the first doily, very inspiring. All your work is so perfect.