Friday, 26 June 2015

Mystery Doily

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Confession #1 : I would never have chosen this doily to tat, despite it’s simple beauty. I would’ve argued that it’s all simple rings & chains, nothing new to learn. Well, it Is after all a Beginner’s doily.
But I so wanted to try out a doily in size 40 thread, after seeing all those lusciously dainty laces belted out by many of my talented fellow tatters. (Many in size 80 , 100, .... I can't even count beyond that !) But 40 is as far I can go for a large project).
So this seemed like the perfect opportunity. A beginner’s doily pattern being revealed in stages…. The Tat-Along began on June 1st & the last (9th) round was revealed on June 21st.

Confession #2 : I Love it ! I enjoyed it all through … waiting eagerly for the next clue. And I am so happy I made it. 
Also, now I’m hooked to size 40, at least for larger projects. (I Will need to finish off my huge size 20 & 10 stash, but those will be for smaller projects). The doily looks so delicate & dainty to touch. Perfect !

Threads Used :
Anchor Mercer Crochet Cotton size 40 .
Brown : 0355
Yellow : 0302
Colour choice was by default. I don’t have many to choose from in this size, & these 2 were bought back in 2002 for a different, large project, that barely got off the ground.
Measurements at end of each round are given under respective image.

Techniques involved :
Single shuttle & ball tatting ; Lock Join .
The pattern can be needle tatted easily, as many participants did.
Optional techniques : beads, decorative picots, split chain, split ring .

A Few Notes

  • This 9 round pattern is by an Unknown designer, but presented in modern format by Kersti. She uploaded 2 versions for each round : a Beginner’s version & an Advanced version, accompanied by diagram. She also indicated joining picots & decorative picots.
  • Accordingly, I made the decorative picots longer , but graded for most rings & chains. No picot gauge (I don’t like the pauses). The graded effect is not clearly visible, especially in photographs ; but it made the process more interesting.
  • The pattern mentioned Tie & Cut after each round. This can be avoided by use of split rings or split chains easily. However, I largely stuck to tie & cut this time …. It was so Easy to thread a normal crewel needle & sew in the tail ends ;-P
  • And I also used Weaver’s knot (tatman’s video) when adding thread. Unlike size 20, in size 40, it just does not show !
  • I adjusted the stitch count in a couple of rounds to avoid cupping/tightening. Details under respective photo.
  • Frontside/Backside tatting throughout.
  • I am generally very pleased with the long chains in size 40. I used size 20 thread in Renulek’s Wiosna here (notice the black chains ?!), & I never know how much to snug the stitches …. If I do it too tight, well it buckles; if I leave it a bit slack, then the chain slackens even more later ! But with size 40, there is less elasticity in the thread, & one cannot over-tension the stitches !
  • It was the perfect foil to Iris’ TIAS doily which I was tatting simultaneously (along with other new learning/projects) ; with the added advantage that this simple pattern could be tatted while watching the Roland-Garros French Open & Gerry Weber Open ! But I Did have to keep a magnifier at hand Always ;-P

The Rounds !

Round 1 : Measures 1½” across

                      Round 2 : Measures 2” across. Forgot to take a photo. No need to tie & cut after this round.

Round 3 : measures 2¾”/ 7cms across 
At this stage, it looked like the centre of a Sunflower ! 
So I switched colours, took a leap of faith & decided to go with solid yellow for the ‘petal’ effect. 
Round 4 : measures >3½” or 9 cms across
Round 5 : measures 5” across. 
Halfway along, the round felt slightly tight . Thenceforth, I added 1 ds to the chains.

Round 6 : measures 5¾” across (15 cms)
 Neater double chains
I was unhappy with the long 'double' chain joins in this & the previous round. 
A tweaking experiment was called for! I reduced the stitch count by 1ds on the returning chain (7ds instead of 8ds), and was pleased with the result! The before & after are visible in the image from the white oval point …

Round 7 : measures 7” across 
Changes made to double chain as indicated in previous pic.
 Colour Choices 
With only 2 rounds remaining, I wanted to bring back brown. But wasn’t sure where to use it. 
Did a quick coloured sketch with 2 options & asked my DH. He went traditional & chose brown chains.
Round 8 : measures 8” 
Added 1ds to chains to avoid tautness.
This could well be a final round, especially with the brown acting as an outline, bringing it all in.
Round 9 : measures 9½” across . 
Added 2 ds to ring where it joins between the chains of previous round. Worked well.
Also added 1 very small picot to anchor the long chains between adjoining scallops.
Some of the graded picots in most rounds are visible here.

So that's it ... the ta-da... moment. LOVE the scalloped edging !

I should’ve ironed it … but was too lazy – heavy weather here ;-(

That’s it for the present. I hope my Doily-Mode lasts a tad longer so that I can finally complete the Wiosna .

happy tatting

Motif #24/II  for 25 Motif Challenge


  1. Your tatting doilies are just so beautiful.

  2. Your tatting doilies are just so beautiful.

  3. Gorgeous :). Thanks for sharing your notes on the doily :).

    1. I'm really eager to see how you complete your doily, Jenn :-)

  4. Good for you! I gave up after the first round. There was no way I was going to try and figure out why my piece was cupping so badly. The doily is beautiful, so I may go back and try again after I finish the two I have in progress.

    1. For some reason, my initial rounds did not cup or pucker; it lay flat. Wonder whether it had something to do with the size of thread ?
      mandatory reminded us that it looked like a rose window -- have to agree there ... lovely pattern :-) Hope you make it, Diane ...

  5. That's lovely muskaan. I think it's good to remember that we don't always have to do the most complicated work to achieve something beautiful and worthwhile!

    1. You are so right, Jane ! Little pleasures :-))
      And, to boot, I got over my resistance to using finer thread ;-P

  6. That is a beautiful doily, and now another doily to desire to tat, you did a wonderful job and as always love the tips.

    1. Desires & temptations abound in WonderTatLand , lol ;-P
      Thanks, Carollyn :-)

  7. Your doily is beautiful. Don't be afraid to try large projects in tiny thread - a 'large' doily will be smaller, yes, but it takes the same amount of tatting time and you make the same amount of progress in each tatting session as you would if you used very large thread. You may be surprised - you may find you really like making larger projects in tiny threads. :-) As long as it does not need to 'fit' into a certain size, you can use any size thread you like, and no matter what size thread you choose, you will have beautiful results. :-)

    1. Such beautiful sentiments, Stephanie ! Thank you very much :-)

      My only reason for hesitation & resistance was that I can't see the small thread stitches that well . A lot of the tatting is by motor memory. In fact, I Really couldn't see the brown thread against my finger for the picots - it was all 'guesswork' or past experience.

      But I Loved & Enjoyed this experience, as well as the end result. And it is Just the right size (as the Iris TIAS doily) to sew on to cushion covers :-))

  8. Beautiful doily! I'm still back on round 7, congratulations on finishing so quickly. I'm using a size 30 thread, and didn't have many cupping issues. It makes sense that this older doily design would work best with smaller threads, because tatting threads were size 30 and up. Crochet used the thicker threads, but tatting is dainty and frivolous. Thanks for giving me inspiration to finish mine!!!

    1. You make a very valid point, Mandatory. No wonder the doily lay flat even in the initial rounds !
      And yes, it will be very difficult to go back to size 20 for doilies , after the feel & effect & daintiness of finer threads :-)
      Hope to see your doily soon ! Thanks :-D

  9. Wow! Your doily is soooo gorgeous ! I wanted to do this tat-along, but unfortunately, I had too many other projects to finish.
    Size 40 is my favourite one.

    1. And 40 is my favourite, too, now :-D
      Thank you so much, Julie .... perhaps you can join in another TAL ... I'm sure Kersti will have many along the way ;-)

  10. Hi Muskaan,

    Your colour choices are perfect! This is lovely. The scalloped edge is great and the picots are consistent.

    Your experience with #40 thread is like mine. That is exactly how I transitioned up to using #80! Now I don't like anything larger- even for small projects. And, like you, I often, particularly if tired, can't see the stitches that well, but the thread just feels right.

    I use the Weaver's knot to add thread as well. It is even less obvious with #80 thread.

    After questioning a few tatters I admire about hiding thread in #80 thread I learned about knitting and using FrayCheck on the knotted end thread, as there is no space to sew in the ends. I'm not wild about doing this and will soon try quilting needles, as I've read they work well. My tapestry needles ruin the fine stuff.

    Also, I'm with you concerning picot gauges! However, I have just purchased Clover gauges that I must use on the Ben Fikkert doily, much as I don't enjoy the process.

    Well, you see how this interesting post got me involved in a response. Thanks for your post. Fun to read as your details are so informative and thought provoking.

    Fox : )

    1. Oh, Fox, it is always nice to hear about experiences of talented tatters like yourself :-)

      Although I will never be able to transition to size 80, I so agree about “the thread just feels right” !!! That is Exactly what I felt when tatting. And it was the reason I looked forward to each round. Not to mention the end result, of course.

      These colours were bought in 2002-3 for a broad saree lace for MIL & also for a raw silk scarf for sis. But before long tatting itself got shelved for 10 long years ;-(

      Besides Weaver’s knot, I gradually found that even the Lock Join, if done tightly, does not leave any colour blip, unlike with size 20 ! Yay – my dislike for LJs is gone ;-P

      You have an adorable & inspiring set of picot gauges :-) I just cut any card stock piece that is lying close by & use it if the pattern definitely calls for it ;-P
      For the most part, though, gauges hamper my pleasure, progress & process of tatting & I tend to settle for fun rather than ultimate perfection .

      I have used Fabric Glue for a long time now. It gives me a sense of security even when all ends are sewn in.

      Thanks, again, for all the interesting nuggets :-)

  11. That looks wonderful!!! I love your color placement!!! :)

    1. Thanks, Sue :-))) I kinda visualized it as a sunflower ;-P
      The true colours still haven't been captured in the photos ... they look much better in reality.

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