Wednesday, 20 September 2017

snood and a wannabe

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Remember the snood I made recently from Linda’s Split Chain Doily ? My MIL loved it and immediately asked me to make her one, albeit a very small one. I chose this …

Flowery Meadow (for snood)
“Tatting Patterns and Designs”
Blomqvist and Persson (Dover, p58)

For a hair net/snood, I needed a semi-dense pattern and liked this. However, all except the joining picots have been discarded, for practical reasons when used & washed.

It got me thinking as I worked the looong outer chains, how picots have their advantages and disadvantages. To list a few …
Without Decorative/Free Picots
  • Clean, crisp lines of the design become highlighted. 
  • Quicker to tat, too.
  • No hassle about even picots, picot gauges, etc.
  • Easy to keep track when joining since they are the only picots there.
With Decorative/Free picots
  • Enhance the lacy, airiness of a piece.
  • Decorative picots come in numerous forms and can add a lot of effect and interest.
  • Picots at regular intervals help us keep track/count of stitches, which is especially handy in case of long chains and large rings !
Since I didn't know the final size, I decided to cut off after each round in order to stop when needed.
Used one shuttle and ball, cutting after each round instead of climbing out. Simple techniques call for simple tatting J
Techniques used : directional tatting, clover, rosette center, join to the right.

The design element that caught my eye was the clover arrangement.
Row 1 has outward facing clover rings,
Row 2 has inward facing clovers, &
Row 3 again has outward facing clovers. (This row was not done, since the size seemed right for the snood).
And in Row 2, I really like how the clovers are joined as pairs !

Each round looked very pretty when completed, but I didn’t take pics.

Works out to 3½ inch diameter in Anchor size 40.
The complete doily will look good in colours to do justice to it’s name. A snood for MIL called for something subdued.
Added a Lock Chain string with rings at either end – normal ring and tatting over tails at the starting point, and SSSR tatting over tail for the end. No sewing in ends !
I intend to tat a few more snoods for her in different colours & patterns, once I know for sure that this size is fine.

how far can I go ?! 
In fact this is a challenge I’m setting myself – trying to design a larger pattern. I don’t know how far I can go with it, but this is the very first stage. Already I need to change the picot position in 2nd round so that 3rd round reflects the long ring effect of inner circle instead of oblongs.
I'm going to start over tonight to see how it looks. At present there is a lot of ruffling as well.

What do you think ? Any suggestions ?

tatting simple patterns can be just as exciting !
stay tatting stay happy 

Sunday, 17 September 2017

ties of friendship

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We ‘met’ in Georgia’s online class. Anita has been a huge supporter and her emails are always so sweet and encouraging! She is so talented – many will remember her corn harvest basket and her miniature tatted baby items.  

This year she was teaching a class at Tat Days and imagine my immense surprise and pleasure when I got the same pattern in my inbox almost as soon as the event ended! The pattern will be available on the Palmetto’s CD shortly. I am so touched by her thoughtfulness and generosity and treasure her friendship.

Doctor Who inspired
Red Bow Tie Tatted Necklace
Anita Barry

A 3D bow tie meant to be a necklace with jump rings and chain attached. I intended to sew it on to a hairband; instead a satin ribbon was passed through the bead to use for wrapping a gift. It's theirs to decide how to use the bow :-)

The triangular motif is repeated 4 times – 2 on either side of the bead, folded back on itself, to create this bow tie. Smart – and interesting how ‘easy’ it is to use flat motifs to create a 3D lace.

An alligator join midway through a ring was new to me - stopped me in my tracks! 
But it’s pretty simple – move the ring thread around/behind keeping the core/shuttle thread in front thus 'capturing' the picot and continue, making certain that thread still slides freely. 

Use of padding only one half of a stitch is clever (Half Double Double Stitch - HDD)! It adds stiffness to the tatting to hold shape, without making it bulky ! 
HDD is merely one form of a variable/unequal padded double stitch (pds).
According to the notation we proposed
a HDD would be pds(0,1) ie. regular first half stitch (0 or no wrap), 1 wrap on second half stitch. 
And if one wanted to make 10 such HDD, we would write it as 10pds(0,1).
pds encompasses all the various terms for padding the stitch.

Pattern called for a ½ inch bead. This pearl bead is the only one in my stash. However, one can use any sized bead, I realized only later. A smaller bead, more importantly with a smaller hole would keep the 2 sides from 'flopping'. Or perhaps I didn't snug the bead/tatting tightly enough. As a necklace, it wouldn't matter, though. 

I used size 20 Anchor although the pattern calls for a size 10 thread since I’ve come to realize that the former is pretty close to Lizbeth 10. My bow measures 2”x4” - almost similar to Anita’s. 

Since it is inspired by Dr Who, I went with maroon. Looking back, I really should’ve chosen a lighter colour to bring out the beautiful pattern. Pink, to go with the Barbie story book inside ? ;-P

Many many thanks, Anita :-)
I enjoyed tatting it tremendously & am sure the recipient will like & use it too.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Cascade bracelet

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Cascade Bracelet
Adaptation of Cascade Earrings by Jane McLellan

As mentioned in earlier post, this bracelet is an application of Jane’s Cascade Earrings pattern.

No change in stitchcount of each ring or the process/path. 
Merely reduced the number of rings, making smaller 'diamonds' along the length 
and adding the entire earring pattern too for a bit of width and interest.

All in one pass, in size 20 Anchor and 4mm white pearl beads. 7 inches long.
Techniques : single shuttle , SSSR - single shuttle split ring,lock join, bead at base of ring.

After 2 rings, in order to make the next single ring in center, 
I made a lock join to the bare thread between the rings. 
This is required because the shuttle is on the farther side of the bead.

It was fun all the way !! And I like the gentle colours.
Once you get into a rhythm, the pattern flows easily and it is quick to tat up.
The bracelet took up a fully loaded Pony shuttle - that would be around 6 yards.

Hope you too are inspired to tat up the earrings and bracelet set J

Thursday, 14 September 2017

floating beads PART 5

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In one of my earlier pictorials I mentioned that Floating Beads method can be used in SCMRs, but didn’t actually get around to doing it. Jane’s earrings provided the impetus to take it up again.


We make the floating bead first, followed by whatever ring type one wants. It had all started with FB in thrown ring, next in normal ring and now in SR, SCMR with TR, and SSSR.

The basic steps remain the same – 
Step 1 - first pull loop through bead and either fold loop back around bead or pass shuttle through loop and tension (variation A) 
Step 2 – a half knot encapsulating the bead.

Since I’m using smaller 4mm pearl beads for these trials, I went with var A.
I’ve used 2 colours to show which shuttle is used to dangle the bead. If you’ve tried the FB method, these pics are self-explanatory.

Floating Beads - in Split Ring (SR)
Besides doing it in the split ring, I tried an additional idea – dangling 2 beads in the ring – 
one each from the 2 shuttles. We can have more than 2, of course, as in the tatted Josephine Rings here.
Also, I deliberately left a long shank and made several half knots (a Josephine chain) along it.
Crossed over ;-D

Floating Beads - in Self Closing Mock Ring (SCMR)
The SCMR is in progress using blue core, and a ring was thrown off with red. Both have a FB.
SCMR closed.

FB in Single Shuttle Split RIng (SSSR)
Using blue shuttle only, this SSSR also has a FB inside.

Since the bead is floated Before the ring is made, we have a choice of which shuttle to use in case of 2-shuttle tatting.
But unlike normal rings, we cannot make a FB After a SR or SSSR is completed because the thread(s) will not be emerging at the start of ring. 
Hmmm, so can we dangle a bead from the other end ? Oh dear, not another trial !
Actually, though theoretically possible, the bead will not dangle properly. It will have a tendency to flop back towards the next/new element, following the ‘pull’ of the thread. 
Phew, no more trials !

floating away to some other tatting :-)

All Floating Beads pictorials in My Tutorials page above. 

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

cascading ideas

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Cascade Earrings
Jane McLellan

If you remember my earlier post, I finally got around to tatting Jane’s Cascade earrings – long on my to-tat list. Pattern pdf is on the right panel of her blog here. This pattern was also shared with the Online Class as part of the 52 Earring Project in 2015.

Here’s what happened –
I started with the blue with pearl beads and loved it. Till I pulled away the 7th ring (see last pic) and while trying to unknot the ring, the space only worsened. Discarded.

That craft shop I’d been to didn’t have a good supply of beads. But they did have these beautiful sparkly crystal bead chains/necklaces which I bought in 5 or 6 different colours & was waiting to use them.
Started the next in yellow (Red Heart thread) with brown crystal beads. Meh ! Don't like the thread but needed to do justice to the pattern.
So back to blue with pearls – after all cascade conjures up an image of white froth and blue water! Happy.  Instead of earring hook this time, I used a post, gluing a larger pearl on it.

The pattern is presented with clear stepwise pics and explanation. Although not mentioned, I had to reverse work for a couple of rings. 

I love the clever use of SSSRs in this lovely pattern.
Got me wondering if we could make a small doily or coaster in one pass, without the beads of course. Requires some figuring out.

Floating Beads Substitution
Jane had wondered whether we could substitute the Floating Beads method for adding beads. 
I tried, and yes we can
However work starts from the top, going down rather than the original bottom-up sequence !!!

My 2 trials (in yellow) – both aborted for following reasons -
In 1st one, I used 2 shuttles & split rings and couldn’t figure out how to position 2 threads correctly...
In 2nd, I went back to single shuttle and SSSRs and this is as far as I reached before giving up. This can be done, but I discarded it only because I didn’t like the mundane shape of rings.

Part of the appeal of Jane’s pattern is the shape of the semi-closed rings – broad at one end & tapering at the other. This shape gets lost if I use FBs. So when 4th ring dangled away, I cut the trial.

Not a wasted effort at all. Discovered/Confirmed that the FB method works not merely in rings, chains, & thrown rings but also in SRs, SSSRs, and SCMRs. In fact I have a couple of ideas to try out before I post a few pics of each of these.

Oh, and also, I’m not done with the Cascade pattern – I have this idea of adapting it for a bracelet … watch this space - it may take a while coz I'm not tatting much these days :-)

Many many thanks, Jane for sharing your pattern and ideas J

Tatting with online friends and resources is like a never-ending 
Cascade of ideas, inspiration, and learning !

Monday, 11 September 2017

while you were away, Diane …

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earring tatting pattern using Floating Beads methods

When I first posted a prototype, it turned out to be in Diane’s favorite colour and birth gem! These earrings Had to be hers ! So while she was away enjoying Tat Days, here’s her welcome back gift in the form of a mainly schematics pattern along with a 2-colour version. 
Since it is for our Ice Drop lady, there had to be a ‘drop’ in the name, right?! So here’s the pattern for ….

Floating Teardrops for Diane

This is a very basic and versatile pattern that can be used as earrings, pendant, or brooch. Change the number or size of beads, change the stitchcount of the 2 chain rounds, etc. to get a different look - dense, is visible in the 3 pieces photographed above.
Let your imagination & creativity soar while you enjoy tatting these up.

It is a single shuttle and ball pattern (CTM) with barely any thread on the shuttle and a Floating Beads String as center.
I have tried to diagram the 2 basic steps for FB string. Hope it is clear. Otherwise the stepwise pictorials can be found here – Floating Beads String for the beaded center, and Floating Beads - on Chain (same as in ring) for the teardrop bead.

Only thing to keep in mind when tensioning the FB string is to leave some slack on the string. This space between beads is where the joins in next round will be made.
In above pic, left one is the original & in the right one I increased the stitches in outer chains, thus highlighting the concentric arcs.

I tried a 2-colour version using 2 shuttles. 
To switch colours/shuttles for Round 2, either make a Reverse Join or a Lock Join and SLT (shoe lace trick).
2-colour version can still be worked with single shuttle if one uses Reverse Stitch chains (unflipped stitches as in split rings).

Worked in Anchor size 20 threads which probably equates to Lizbeth size 10.

This is it for now. I hope you enjoy tatting these using diverse colours, sizes and stitchcounts. Very quick to tat up too.
In case of any problems, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

drops in any form – ice or water – are always fun to tat J

Saturday, 9 September 2017

pretending we're there

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So Vicki suggested we pretend we’re at the ongoing Palmetto Tat Days and tat anything from their previous events while eating chocolate today.
Hmm, I've switched from chocolates to Indian sweets for last several months and only have mishti doi (a Bengali version of thick sweetened fermented yogurt) in the fridge. I've already dipped into a spoonful and will be licking my bowl clean after dinner ;-P 
No Palmetto's T-shirt, but wore my black-laced kaftan

As for what to tat – I chose to design and work on a bracelet - 

Noorjahan’s Rubies - Bracelet

For the goody bag (thanks, Georgia Jthis year I had sent in patterns for a 3-piece jewellery set – all about it in a future post. This bracelet is also derived from the same pattern. 
And I was pleasantly surprised to receive a lovely email straight from the event last evening froma very special friend! Feels like I'm practically there attending right at this moment ;-P

Very quick to tat up. The foundation row was completed last evening. 

Worked the rest today with plenty of time to block (though still damp).

Tatted continuously in one pass, 2 shuttles CTM, about 10 yards

It does ruffle when working the outer rows, but lays flat after some damp finger-blocking. 
The 10 repeats should be whittled down to 9 or 8 because it stretches when blocking. 
Instead of 7", it is now 8" long. 2 cms wide. 

This can easily work as a choker instead of bracelet. 
I sewed in the danglers later using finer thread.

I'll be sharing all 4 patterns together - necklace, earrings, ring, bracelet along with the rationale behind name and colours. I update with a link here as well.

Despite having a lot to share I have been goofing off for the last few days – resting my arm and eyes, avoiding the desktop (except once to catch up on my blog-hopping) after weeks of marathon sessions writing up presentations & pictorials. Even tatting was at a bare minimum. So Vicki's proposal stirred me up and I'm back in full force :-D And with beads, too, despite what I felt a couple of days back!

Come join in ... details on Vicki's blog 

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

floating beads PART 4

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edited Sep 7, 2017
This floating beads (FB) method I’ve been boring you with, arose out of a specific situational and visual need.
I was working on a 3-row necklace tatted in one pass (Tat Days attendees will get to see it way before I can post it here!). And instead of a bead in the center of a ring attached at both ends, I wanted it to dangle freely from the base.
The Swarovski bead was 4.5mm and the ring was a thrown ring. At least 3 such beads were needed (perhaps even 5) in the very 1st row itself. And in later rows there were pre-strung seed beads with more tatting and teardrop beads too.

I tried out some established methods and had to reject them because -
pre-stringing – more than 1 bead and too large for a Pony shuttle – they jutted out.  
down picot (2fhs B 2shs) – if made at start or end of ring, bead would not lie in the centre. But more importantly, it also required pre-stringing.
beaded fringe – as in Corina’s beaded stem - again required loading on to shuttle!  OR
Nina’s single file beaded picot using a needled tip/thread. This could work since bead was loaded only when needed. But it required unwinding, loading bead (with stopper bead) & rewinding shuttle every time. Not only would I have to unwind an almost fully loaded shuttle, but there were pre-strung seed beads for other elements in the way.

These alternative methods increase our range of options and each has its benefits and limitations. Specifications of each project and of the individual can determine our choice.

Starting with Nina Libin’s recommended method –

Floating Beads - Beaded Fringe method
My adaptation of Nina Libin’s explanation
I have taken the liberty of using some of Nina’s own words here.
Materials – 2 shuttles, bead
Additional Materials – a stopper bead (tiny seed bead), white glue or clear nail enamel to make a “needled tip”.
Needled Tip/thread – the tail end is sliced diagonally and dipped in diluted white glue and twisted along the grain of thread. Keep repeating till the glue dries and a stiff, pointed tip emerges. This acts as a needle! 

 1. A thrown/floating ring large enough to accommodate bead is made off a chain.
 2. Unwind/unload the shuttle. This thread has a needled tip.
TIP: I use clear nail enamel for a needled tip since it dries much quicker. 
 3. String the large pearl bead and a smaller seed bead …
 4. and go back through the large bead. The green seed bead acts as a stopper.
 5. Move the 2 beads along the thread length, to the base of thrown ring, evenly tensioned.
 6. Rewind the shuttle and continue with the chain.
(Repeat the above procedure if more such thrown rings with floating bead are required).
7. Floating bead in thrown ring using the beaded fringe alternative

Bit of a hassle for the bigger necklace project, but great for small earrings, etc. or if the large bead is needed towards the end or is the last to be added. 
If core thread length is manageable, one can resort to finger tatting – no shuttle hassle.
Undoubtedly, despite reasonable limitations, the method works splendidly with any level of expertise!!!

Adding a bead with CWJ in split ring
Ninetta Caruso
After seeing the bead under a chain, Ninetta sent me this link to the method she uses - a Catherine Wheel Join on the 2nd half of  split ring, after flipping it over.
Well, I had to try it ! See, one more option and this time in a split ring.
I need lots more practice, though. The last large ring is where I tried to dangle the bead lower – it doesn’t show clearly from this angle.

Floating Beads - Sequins
If beads, why not sequins, right ?

Exactly the same method and steps – one with 3 sequins on chain and another with a star sequin inside a ring.
Floating Beads – with Tatted Rings 

You know my preference for beadless tatting. I had been thinking about trying to ‘dangle’ tatted rings within rings. Would the substitution work? Before I could work on it, Ninetta again sent me some links.
This beautiful Berry Wreath pattern uses the same half hitch/overhand/half knot at base of Josephine rings as in Step 2 of the FB method ! This led me down memory lane – I had used the same half hitch to stabilize JR in this 2-colour edging a couple of years back.
In the blue-green one, the inside ring is a 4ds dot. In the larger heart ring, they are Josephines.

Jane M suggested an idea when she did a quick trial of the FB method – would it work on her lovely Cascade earrings? I’ve been meaning to tat a couple of her earring patterns for ages. Time is ripe !
Started this morning, following her method to get a feel of it. I love it! (No pics yet, though I’m almost through).
The next one will use FB. As I worked it out I my head, the order of working the 9 rings will be completely reversed – instead of bottom to top, we’ll have to move from top to bottom, using SRs! Well, that’s my thought process – tomorrow will tell.

So yet another post (are you keeping count,  Nin ;-P) on FB but this time with earrings.

Many many thanks to all the generous and innovative tatters above
happy tatting as always :-)

Related Posts
(all links to previous posts & pictorials will be updated on the My Tutorials page)