Sunday, 9 April 2017

sights n scents of an Indian spring

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a free tatting pattern

I had just finished my Block Heart patterns in early Feb when Georgia threw me a hint about thinking ahead towards spring, ITD, etc. (groan !!!)
Coincidentally, earlier that week the advent of spring had been celebrated in India . Having already tatted an an impressionistic collage for the end-of-spring celebrations called Holi, I looked up some details of the former. 
The beginning of spring ‘basant’/‘vasant’ season is heralded by a burst of flowers and celebrated in large parts of India as Vasant Panchmi, with floral tributes, religious ceremonies, joyous singing, dancing, kite flying,…
You know how I love tatting flowers – what better than a garland incorporating some of that joyous spirit in an Indian leitmotif. 
This pattern (and the mustard fields) is going to be shared with the Online Tatting Class on Monday, and length of post was unavoidable due to pics ...

Spring Garland
a tatted floral veni/jadai

This is my attempt to capture a few of the colours and spirit of this spring festival with attached symbolism – auspiciousness of marigold flowers, the swaying yellow fields of mustard, and the fragrant white jasmines – as a garland around neck or as a ‘veni’ worn by women in their hair. (pronounced ‘waynee’. A broad floral garland also called ‘jadai’ in Southern India and worn by brides)
Before I dive into the pattern details, I urge all tatters to please check out this video on flower veni making – the first few minutes will reveal something I'd never noticed before. I’ve seen many methods, but not this !   
The scents !!!! Pure floral essence or attars and an exquisitely hand-carved sandalwood box.

I have already shared the 3 stand-alone patterns. Here, they are joined to create a broader garland. 
Marigold braid acts as the foundation row ;
Mustard fields acts as a filler middle row ; and
Jasmine braid tops the ensemble. 

Recommended thread size : between 30 to 50. The tatted model is worked mostly in vintage 40 which is equivalent to size 50. The measurements work out to :
Marigolds : ½ inch wide; 3 flowers = 1 inch
Mustard : ¾ inch wide (~ 4½” long)
Jasmine : ½ inch wide; 8 buds = 1 inch

Row 1 : Marigold Garland
This row is tatted exactly as per pattern shared here, for desired length.
The first flower was mistakenly left unattached (see "Oops" below)
Part of this length is for the main body, the rest for a tail or tie.
One fully loaded bobbin is sufficient for the 23 flowers in size 50, and a bit less for the green.

Row 2 : Mustard Fields
Attach thread to any of the marigold flowers and work a fabric of these single-shuttle picot flowers as per pattern & instructions here. This row is worked from right to left overall, but in a to an fro fashion as seen in next pic ...

The work grows from side to side as seen in the marked sequence – this is only a guide. 
There could've been a couple more flowers at the beginning (see "Oops" below)

On one side, the flower is attached, using a normal picot join, to the row 1 marigolds before returning back to the other side. But leave some slack on the joining loop to resemble a picot, as described in pattern.

To keep the 'open' edge relatively straight, I initially used grid paper – place your work on the grid, and see that the work is aligned to desired width.
Continue for desired width and length.
One fully loaded shuttle (size 50 thread) sufficed for this 4½” long segment.
Since we are working with a single shuttle and flowers are randomly arranged, some bare thread is required, old-style, to span the distance between 2 flowers. This, however, stays hidden on the wrong side. (a wrongside view of garland is shared below).

For a dense effect, keep the flowers close, and bare thread minimal. The texture & feel in fine thread is quite exquisite !

Row 3 : Jasmine Braid
Attach threads to a marigold nearest to the edge of body. The first ring is joined to an adjacent picot after closing, to anchor the braid well.
Basic pattern, shared here, remains the same, except that the left column of flowers is attached to previous row of mustards as follows ...
SR (on left)  : 8 + 2 p 6 vsp 2 / 2ushs p 1 p 1 .
SR (on right): 10 p 6 vsp 2 / 2ushs p 1 p 1.

In response to some confusion about direction of 3rd ring, I have drawn a diagram : 

To turn the corner : after tatting the right-side ring (numbered 1 in above pic), tat another ring without turning work. This ring 2 is joined to the vsp of ring 1. After closing, lock join to the vsp of previous left-side ring, and without turning work, tat ring 3.

 Ring 3 is lock joined to the picot of previous left-side ring as shown by the + sign. 
(see "Oops" below)

Now turn work and tat a regular left-side ring, joining to previous row and continue to desired length.

A gauge from the practice pieceIt was not always easy to gauge where to attach the jasmine ring. A short practice piece of 5-8 flowers was very helpful in correct attachment! When it came time to join, I placed the gauge over the braid, matching the flowers, and knew which picot on row 2 would be needed.
When it was time to join, I placed the gauge over the braid, matching the flowers, and knew which picot on row 2 would be needed (crochet hook used as an indicator here).

TIP : If one does not want a straight-ish edging, join the jasmine at any stitch along the 10 stitches instead of after 8.

Only 2 instead of 3 continuous jasmine rings would've sufficed to turn this corner. The first ring actually got hidden under the previous right-side ring ! But 3 rings would work for a full turn.

 The jasmine braid is continued unattached to form a tail or tie. 

as seen from the wrong side.
I deliberately went with a different braid at each end in order to showcase them separately and also to keep a bit of freestyling. Obviously, the tatter is at liberty to use any combination of braids, or repeats of the same braid, to create many variations !
By altering the row widths, and combination/placement/addition of beads, or changing the thread colours, the pattern can become a necklace, a bracelet, anklet, belt, etc. or individual flowers/groups can be used as appliqué, brooch, and so on. How about a floral henna for a bride's hand ?!  
I am going to use it as a bookmark, hence no beads.

Oops !
Parts of this garland were tatted on the go, and a few mistakes crept in. Here is a listing to quell any confusion, hopefully :
1. Marigolds – the first flower is not joined. It was a mistake which I incorporated as a design modification in order to get the curve.
Since I did not know how long a tail was needed, the wip pics show 2 threads of this row at right end where I left the shuttles ‘dangling’, and completely the unattached braid tail at the end.

2. Mustard – the first few flowers are not as closely situated as the rest. I could’ve added a few with scrap thread later, but have left it for now.

3. Jasmine – the given pattern & diagrammed pdf starts with the first ring on the left, which is how I started the row initially. 

But it left an unseemly gap on the right side. Hence, for this garland, the first ring is on the right, BUT it is tatted backside just as in pattern. 
Close-up pics in Jasmine braid show that I did not keep the green thread at back of work while starting the next ring, thus the bare thread is visible on top.
Corner : For an gentle angle, instead of 3 continuous rings, 2 would suffice. The first of these is now hidden behind a previous ring on that side – one tatted & joined as usual, the next joined to the long picot of right side flower, and then turn work and tat the right side flower as usual.

Okay, I think I need a break from all these long posts, as do you my dear readers :-) 
Dear hubby misses my company due to the long hours spent daily in front of this PC ;-P

Hope you are enjoying fair weather and happily tatting away :-) 
see you in class !


  1. Great spring garland and you write very interestingly about spring traditions in India:)

  2. Beautiful, a great garland! Thanks for the video link.

    1. Hope you noticed the knot in the video, Ninetta ? ;-D

  3. Aha, she's tatting the flowers together! Love the idea that you're inspired by Spring, but your flowers will last long after Spring has passed.

    1. Jane, I've seen ladies stringing flowers, but never with a clear tatting stitch !!! I set aside all the other pics & videos I'd found to share this :-)
      Oh, yes, my flowers will stay fresh, on hand for a long long time ;-) Thanks Jane

  4. Oh Oh Such a great work Muskaan!!!!! The video you have attached is really worth watching to know how marigold flowers are strung together to form a veni. I am sure your concept has reached the tatters and all are inspired by this post too. You have perfectly displayed making of each part. It was very easy for me to make your mogra (Jasmine Braid) pattern. Thanks a lot Muskaan.

    1. Usha, I loved the mogras you tatted in size 20 - so glad the pattern worked in that thread. It cheers me when I see tatters enjoying one of my patterns - thanks :-))
      I watched many more videos, Usha, but none of them used the tatting technique. Hope to see you in class tomorrow

  5. I've spent the last few minutes completely in awe! Your creation is amazing, and the video as well! And such a humble smile from the lady at the end of the video, as if she had done something so unremarkable! THANK YOU for this moment of pure beauty :D

    1. sylvie, I'm at a loss for words but do appreciate your exuberance - hope you enjoy tatting it :-)
      The lady came across as quite a perfectionist, taking care with each flower. But I couldn't repress my smiles when she just would not pick the marigolds offered to her both times ;-D
      I'm also thankful for the ease with which we can share and store our skills - the net has immortalized traditional knowledge !

  6. Lovely garland, our marigolds dont flower here until summer, but the flowers remind me of the oil seed rape that grows in the fields and about to flower soon.

    1. Margaret, mustard & rapeseed are basically the same for all practical purposes. England is teeming with such a variety of flowers & greenery - you can truly enjoy all the natural splendour :-)