Friday, 22 April 2016

keeping it clean

Pin It now!

This post starts off with Round 4 of Renulek’s current tat-along and
lists a few ways to keep our large projects & works-in-progress (WIPs) clean till they are completed.  

Renulek’s Wiosna 2016
There’s nothing much to share at this stage. But if one is looking for options, here’s how I am doing it :
I climbed out of Round 3 with a split chain.
Round 4 can be tatted with a single shuttle and ball, although I already had 2 shuttles. I am tatting it in clockwise direction.
Continued from the split chain with Direct tatting (reverse/unflipped stitch), to make the connecting/base chain in Rnd 4;
For the floral scallops I went with Directional (fs/bs tatting) : the rings are all in RODS & chains in normal DS, with RW between each element. 
The first ring has a medium length picot to which the later 3 rings are joined. I like the slight hollow in the center, hence chose this method.
After the 4th ring is made, turn work (TW). Continue with reverse stitch for base chain and join to Rnd 3 picot, using the Split Ring join described in 1.3.a here . I kept switching between an Up loop & a Down loop, but there is not much visual difference when working with a single colour. If required in later rounds, I intend to practice the S2LHPJ.
I have a few more repeats left in Rnd 4 and will update/post future rounds only if I have something new/different to share. This is still on the shuttles & has not been ironed or blocked yet.


Keeping It Clean !

As the doily grows in size, one often comes across the problem of keeping it clean – dust & stain-free. It seems to be right time to address some of the very many options we have devised for ourselves ! There are so many really creative solutions that are made & shared by bloggers. The following is a simple run-through list

1. Prevention is better than cure !
Keep hands, tools, materials & work area clean.
A. Always wash hands before picking up the project. While traveling, use clean/wet wipes, etc.
TIP from Patti Duff :  "Regarding the wet wipes - be sure to read the ingredient list and avoid any with oil and/or lanolin. The oils will transfer to your work and show."
B. Store tools & threads in clean covered boxes or pouches.
C. Wipe the working surface clean before spreading out the lace & materials.
Layer it. Cover the work area with a clean sheet – a mat, a table cloth, etc. This sheet(s) can be earmarked for & stored with our lace projects so that we don’t have to hunt around every time. Clean this sheet(s) regularly.
 My Memory Afghan took many months to complete & the change of sheets can be seen in pic below.
Yet, after working on it for two winters, it does not need a wash.

2. Ride with Pride !
Often the only free time we get to enjoy our hobby is while traveling. But risk of dirtying the lace increases manifold. A few tips …
Use wipes to keep hands clean.
Keep all items & WIP in clean pouch, special bags with pockets, zip-lock bags, etc. that can be closed/zipped shut.
Place a clean hanky or cloth over the working surface.
Choose darker shades/colours or variegated colourways that won’t show the dust/dirt easily.
Instead of one large project, it might be easier to work on small items that get completed & packed quickly so that they do not gather too much dust.
Box it. Small motifs, snowflakes, etc. can be stored in small boxes or containers within the pouch.
These small motifs from Renulek’s Snow Doily were stored in a little plastic box till they were needed later.

3. Roll and Store !
Pillow cases can be used to store our WIPs, especially as they grow large, without having to hunt for large flat clean covered surfaces ! This is especially handy for long-forgotten WIPs, which we are all guilty of.
Roll It. Place the doily flat on the pillow case (or any other clean cloth or towel) ;
fold in half ensuring that the entire doily fits within ;
roll the pillow/towel & store in closet, drawer, or in a  pouch/bag if traveling.
This layered rolling keeps the doily fairly flat without getting squished or creased. The rolled case takes up very little space. 

Renulek's Wiosna 2015 - another doily that was in progress for many months, as it grew larger & larger in size 20 thread. But it stayed clean & cozy within the pillow covers (I had to change to a larger pillow case on the left). The shuttle & thread is deliberately left out only to photograph, otherwise it stays inside too.

4. Working on Long Edgings !
I like to sew on edgings later, not join as one tats. That means keeping the lengthening edging from entangling.
Place in a zip-lock pouch.
Wrap around a card.
Or keep it safe inside a box.
This is the Zig-Zag Lace/edging tatted in size 10 for a table-cloth, getting quite unmanageable . 
 The Belgium chocolates inside were consumed in no time & the box used to keep the ever-growing lace. 
 Fortunately, the inner lid flaps had a circular opening, which worked well for the lace to emerge 
 Of course, one can always work with the lid closed …
 When one’s tatting is done for the day, place shuttle alongside the lace & keep box & thread in clean place.
This ‘fancy’ box also had a removable container ! I’ve photographed it with the lace in the container 
& the big ball of thread inside the box. Ball in box is something many tatters do.

After trying out various methods, these 4 are my favorite. Simple & inexpensive choices using what is easily available in the house. I have not had to wash any of these projects after completion, and 2 of these were even gifted! Experience teaches us so many new tricks & ideas. What is your favorite go-to method to keep large projects clean & dust-free ? 

Related Posts : Rounds 1-3 


  1. Your new doily is coming along beautifully!!! :)
    Great tips!!! :)
    Great edging!!! :)

    1. Thanks, Sue ! Her doily tat-alongs get kind of addictive ;-)

  2. Great tips :) I use many pochettes and totes but I keep forgetting what I put in, that's an easy way for me to tranform any wip in ufo!!

    1. Ninetta, I can’t believe You would have UFOs! Where is Mr Meticulous ? :-D

  3. I have the same problem as Ninetta. I love collecting pretty bags and containers, but I forget what is in them. I've lately realized how much more practical the clear ones are. Of course, I know this wouldn't be a problem if I didn't have a number of different projects in progress. I'm definitely going to find a pillow case today for my large doily. I've been folding it up after each little tatting session and placing it back in the bag. Your idea will work much better.

    1. I like clear containers (bags, boxes, glassware, etc.) for storage for this very purpose. I hope the pillow cover/towel idea works for you. My cotton pillowcases are demoted for various uses around the house & kitchen :-)
      I’m glad Kersti started the WIP Wednesday challenge, although I am using it more as a concept & reminder ... this keeping clean post was in-the-making for years – finally over & done with!

  4. What a wonderful collection of ideas! Thank you for sharing this. Your doily is very pretty. I am *already* SO far behind on mine.

    1. Stephanie I’m sure you’ll catch up soon :-) Glad you liked the ideas.

  5. Great tips Muskaan! I especially like the sacrifice you have made with the chocolate box :) I will use the pillow case idea for my next big project I think. Thanks :)

    1. That is a sacrifice I have made repeatedly, Fiona - store the yuummies in my tummy & the lace in the box ;-P
      Hope the pillowcase works out for you

  6. Good tips! Many years ago, a neighbour who was an experienced needlewoman gave me the pillowcase tip. In practice I'm more likely to use a cloth.

    1. Thanks Jane :-) Now i can be justifiably proud ;-) Any clean fabric works fine - size becomes more important for larger projects. Pillows or towels just give it an extra layering/cushioning to avoid creasing.

  7. Great tips! You always have such wonderful ideas!

  8. Your doily is looking lovely so far,
    Great tips, I like to keep my tatting clean and often use a plastic bag, and my knitting is in a large straight carrier bag, the sort bag you would buy a bottle of wine in.
    I find washing your hands before you start helps to keep the thread clean as you work.

    1. Thanks for sharing your tips, Margaret :-) (Hugs)

  9. Great list of tips. Regarding the wet wipes - be sure to read the ingredient list and avoid any with oil and/or lanolin. The oils will transfer to your work and show. Speaking from experience.

    1. Excellent tip, Patti ! With your permission, I will include it in the post with due credit. Thanks :-)

  10. I use I use large pieces of packing tissue paper to roll my tatting in!

    1. That's a crackling-ly good tip, Fox, especially if one wants to store completed projects ! Thanks :-)