Thursday 22 October 2015

Graphic Deconstruction of FS/BS (revised)

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Deconstructing FS/BS (RODS) Tatting

Many of us are visual learners. And a picture is worth a 1000 words anyway !
This got me to thinking of a universal graphic that could deconstruct & represent Stitches/Techniques.
This simple right-angle symbol seems to be easy & perfect to showcase Many different stitches, including some advanced ones. It is still a work in progress. But here is the 1st 'unveiling' .... It is meant to understand & compare a normal double stitch (DS) with a Reverse Order DS (RODS) commonly called FS/BS tatting.

I am uploading a picture, but for better visual, it is also presented as a pdf file which can be downloaded here.

A ring and chain pattern usually calls for RW (Reverse Work). The element we start tatting with (let's say a ring), can be considered to be the front of the project. Now, when we RW (to make a chain, suppose), we go from the front to the back side of the project. If we continue with the normal DS, they will look like RODS when viewed from front. The pattern may next ask for RW again, to make 2nd ring. So, we've switched to the front again, and normal DS will appear complete. Thus, in 'traditional' tatting, in terms of stitches,  there is no Distinct front or back .... some elements have complete ds, some seem to have incomplete DS, despite the fact that the Number or Count of stitches is a complete numeral according to pattern.

Left motif is the back of project, with RODS ;
 right motif is as seen from the front .

Now, since DS viewed from Back looks like a RODS, and conversely, RODS is nothing but a normal DS when viewed from the other side, we started to use RODS when tatting from the back. Hence in the description above, the ring is tatted in DS, RW, chain is tatted in RODS, RW, ring again in DS, and so on.

What has happened ?
ALL the stitches, when viewed from the Front of project, look like complete DS. And ALL the stitches, when viewed from the Back of project,  look like RODS !
Thus we have a project with a DISTINCT frontside & backside. Hence the name FS/BS tatting which employs DS & RODS.

There are many tutorials that explain & demonstrate it much better (I didn't have time to take pictures of actual tatting). This post is meant more for the symbolic representation of stitches.

Hope it helps, though.

Download Free pdf of Deconstructing FS/BS or RODS Tatting

I would truly appreciate any feedback, criticism, constructive suggestions for improvement. I do intend to add actual tatting pics in subsequent posts in this series.

Thanks & happy tatting :-)

Monday 19 October 2015

Tutorial : Findings Atop Diamond

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“Finding” The Tip !

The curled ring earrings (below) posed a dilemma when it came to adding a finding, the way I visualized it. How do I add the earring hook to the Tip of a diamond arrangement of beads on a Ring ? Now this may seem like a simple question, but my limitations with beads in tatting, and the limitations of bead/thread sizes, brought forth beads of perspiration ! Searching the net didn’t yield any results either :-(
At the time I went ahead by inserting the finding through the space between the 4 beads, as you can see in pic above. But the puzzle kept gnawing at me & I sought answers in the Online Tatting Class, etc. Everyone was very helpful, with lots of suggestions & tips. My sincerest thanks to the OTC team (Cyn, Mel, Barb, Tammie), to Georgia who sent me an email presumably after reading the conversation, & to Jane Eborall for her prompt replies to my emails. Your collective interest & promptness in trying to resolve the issue was very heartwarming & inspiring.

But the person who Finally “solved” this was our other Jane from exciting safari land,while multitasking ! I received a reply, with tatted sample pic, within a few hours !
Hence, the following pictorial is Jane McLellan’s Method of adding findings to the tip of a diamond arrangement of beads, on a ring.
If you enjoy puzzles & challenges, read no further. Why not give it a try before reading ahead ? :-D

But first a couple of pics to show how we normally make 
a diamond arrangement in beads :

Normally, when we want a diamond arrangement of beads on a ring, we hold 3 beads in the loop around hand, & slide 1 bead from the shuttle thread. 
Note : All 4 beads were pre-loaded on to the shuttle.
When the next double stitch is made & snugged, the beads position themselves in a diamond shape.

In order to add a finding in this arrangement, a jump ring or split ring will have to be inserted through the topmost bead. BUT : The bead hole has to be large enough for the wire to pass through easily, & without fraying the thread. Moreover, the jump ring will be held stiffly in place & may cause the hook (or earring) to curve unnaturally in another plane. 
This is where Jane's method comes in handy ....

How to Add Findings to the 
Tip of Diamond Arrangement of 
Beads On a Ring
Jane McLellan’s Method

1. Load only 2 beads around hand & bring forth 1 bead from shuttle thread. 
2. Load 4th bead on a hook & pull a loop of thread from BETWEEN the pair of beads. 
3. Pull this loop out further & pass the 4th bead on to it (like LBP of leave bead on long picot) 
4. Insert a jump ring or split ring through the ‘picot’ loop. 
One can insert an earring hook directly on to the loop, too. 
 5. The earring hook can be inserted into the jump ring now, or earlier.

 6. Snug the beads & loop into position by pulling on the core thread. 
Then make a double stitch & continue with pattern.
 7. Complete the ring & close.

Variations to this are possible. For instance,

  • With proper tools, the earring hook or any other finding can be added directly to the loop.
  • Add more than one bead to the tip, if one wants longer dangles.
  • Leave the thread loop long, like Jane has done here & here

My Heartiest Thanks to Jane for helping me out :-D

This tutorial was pending for such a long time ! Tonight, though, Georgia will be teaching the earring pattern in the OTC, & hence the impetus to post this post-haste ! 

Motif #5/III for 25 Motif Challenge

Related Posts : Jewelry Medallion Pattern

Thursday 8 October 2015

Snow Doily - 2

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Two-Colour, One Pass Strategies

Round 5 and a pdf download*

Faced some dilemmas in this round ...
Round 5 consists of 3 separate motifs, joined to each other & to previous round.
{ Motif 5A is a snowflake ; 5B is a starlet ; 5C is a leaf clover for stability.}
Next there was the problem of colours – which colours to use, how to show them up at the right places, how to hide a particular colour, and so on.
And of course, the problem of hiding multiple ends!
I tried to balance practicality with pleasure, trying to be as precise as I could.

I would’ve liked to make at least the snowflakes ahead, & join as I tatted Round 4. But the all-cream snowflake (shown in previous post) did not appeal, hence shelved the idea. And I think it was a wise decision – the completion of rounds 1-4 gave me a better perspective on choice & placement of colours. Pretty happy with the outcome … wouldn’t you agree ? :-)
AND I got to learn a new technique, which Always generates immense interest & excitement !

List of abbreviations at end
* Click on titles/coloured font for links and pdf

A 2-round snowflake that can be tatted in one pass by using split chain.
Techniques required : 2-shuttle tatting for outer round; Floating/Thrown ring.
Techniques I used : FS/BS (RODS) tatting ; Floating Ring ; SSSR ; LJ .
Row 1 (yellow) – Made them all together. For 1st few, I hid the tail ends using Frivole’s finishing on a chain method. But since I was still sewing in the remaining tails under a few sts, I decided to simply go traditional (& practical). Knotted the tails, then sewed them under to hide. With size 40, knots are not discernible , Yay !
TIP : I tend to leave part of the tail ends visible till the motifs are completed & attached. It helps to easily identify the front & back sides of the motif. 
Snowflake motif measures 2" in size 40 thread
Row 2 (cream) – Ended with an SSSR for one tail. For other tail, I made a LJ to base for security & evenness ; then sewed under the chain caps. (the tiny telltale tail-ends are visible in above close-up pic)

TIP : One can use tiny picots at base of the thrown rings, to anchor them. However, considering that all 6 of these are joined to some part or other, I dismissed the idea. Would’ve been even pretty fiddly, too. Practicality ruled.
Ditto for the long chains – these could use a very small picot join at base (1ds away). But I kinda liked the flowery freedom & precision was discarded for pleasure :-)

These are very tiny motifs, especially in size 40, for me. Hence when these came up, I tried to use a little brainpower – surely they could be tatted together ?! Easy with single colour, but with 2 colours, in predetermined positions ?
There’s always a solution in our WonderTATland, isn’t there ;-)

I tatted the 2 parts together using Brown in SH1 & yellow in SH2.
It can be started from either end ( I tried one starting with clovers, followed by starlet) but I preferred starting with starlet & ending with clover leaves.
Learned & applied Double Core Single Shuttle Split Ring* to hide the brown in the yellow ring, when moving from starlet to clover (main steps indicated in pics below).
Part of the Starlet is complete, joined to snowflake. 
Now trying to hide brown within a yellow ring.
 Instead of SSSR, one can continue with SH2 to complete the ring normally ! 
Then cut & hide yellow thread.
If one opts for a normal double core ring, then make a Lock Join with SH1 
& start clover motif 
Starlet, in size 40, is 1" long & less than ½” wide
(Alternate Method - Double Core Ring shown below)
1st ring of clover motif is SSSR. I added anchoring vsp (9vsp1/1vsp9) 
Yellow tail can be hidden within this ring or to previous yellow ring.
2nd ring of clover is normal, joined to adjoining vsp & then to Row 4 
3rd ring is also normal. Cut thread & pass through centre to bring it to the back
Hide threads. Motifs 5B & C complete
3-Leaf Clover, in size 40, is ½”across
Techniques required : 2-shuttle tatting; Floating/Thrown rings; Onion Ring join ; Lock Join.
The 2 motifs are tatted separately in original pattern.
Techniques I used : FS/BS (RODS) tatting ; Floating Rings ; SSSR ; CWJ (for onion ring join) ; LJ ; Double core SSSR and later, Double core Ring ; Reverse Join.
I tatted the 2 motifs in one pass, using 2 colours.

I have prepared a diagram, with instructions, to show how I did this motif. Click to download file.

Double core SSSR – quite a mouthful, right?! And if one really deconstructs it, this is only partially applicable.
1. the double core is for part of the ring only
2. the ring starts by using Two shuttles to tat !  And
3. one can complete the ring as a normal ring with the visible colour, as in this case.
This technique allows us to tat the complete ring in a single colour, while hiding one colour And positioning both threads as required. So in a SSSR, both threads emerge together at 'opposite' end, as in a split ring. But if one completes the ring as a normal ring, then the hidden colour emerges at one end, while the visible colour comes back to the base of ring !

It hit me almost towards the end, that for this particular pattern, why was I using SSSR after double core half ?! I could so easily avoid loop tatting by doing a normal ring for the 2nd half. The last few motifs were done in this manner :
Double core Ring

This also gives me more options to hide/sew in the yellow tail ! 
Notice where the yellow thread is emerging in this picture : it is at the base of ring... 
unlike in the double core SSSR, where the yellow thread emerges at opposite end, along with brown.

* I learned this technique by watching Karen's video (Lesson 43)

However, before posting here, I decided to do some more hunting. The first place to look is always Jane Eborall’s blog & sure enough there was the tutorial on Double Core SSSR with Two Colours Or how to crawl out of a round while using 2 colours and keep the SSSR one colour! 

And that also revealed that this technique was originally conceived by TattingChic in 2009. Read all about that interesting experiment & process (with pics) in her blogpost titled “A Tale of Two Split Rings” 

I like how the brown clovers form a defined outline for previous round - almost like a large flower !
Measures around 11" in size 40, after round 5
Abbreviations used :
SH – shuttle
SSSR – single shuttle split ring
fhs – first half stitch
RODS – reverse order double stitch for frontside/backside tatting.
LJ – lock join
CWJ – Catherine Wheel Join
ds - double stitch

The brown doesn't quite show up against the blue background ; but colours get muted against the pale b/g !

Motif #4/III for 25 Motif Challenge 


In Conversation ...
What I considered to be ‘routine’ repetitive rounds after Round 5, have suddenly perked up my interest.
As I was looking for the stitchcount in Rnd 6, something sprung up that I’d missed earlier. Rounds 2 & 3 have the side rings facing in one direction, while rounds 7 & 8  face the opposite direction ! And I think my round 2 & 3 rings face the ‘wrong’ direction ;-P
And the very latest includes new learning again – Join to Smooth Side by Anne Dyer
More about these in next post .

Till then, happy tatting :-)

Related Posts : Snow Doily Rounds 1-4