Friday, 17 August 2018

an easier split

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2nd split/scmr pattern - bracelet

This braid which I turned into a bracelet is a simpler version of Houtz brothers' split/scmr technique since no reverse (or unflipped) stitches are required. All tatting is worked as normal stitches, except that the second side/half has a double core thread. You see, we lengthen the scmr loop and use it to finger tat this half with double stitches. Hence, I still consider it a s/scmr – perhaps a variation or an adaptation?

Sunrise Sunset Bracelet
braid/bracelet pattern
No unflipped stitches ; no ends to hide !!!

I visualized this as a sun rising above the blue horizon or skies and & then setting on the ocean horizon. Colours were chosen accordingly. 
And if you notice, the blue bead in the sky is a different shade to the one used for the water … there is a tinge of green in the latter, flanked by green seed beads.

Measurements :
In Anchor size 20 (close to Lizbeth 10), the bracelet measures 6¾” X 1”.
There are 10 motif repeats.

Materials :
3 colours in Anchor size 20 (similar to Lizbeth size 10).
Shuttle 1 – red
Shuttle 2 –yellow
Ball or shuttle 3 – blue
Findings – jump rings and bracelet clasp
Seed beads – size 16/0 - 60 transparent yellow ; 60 transparent green
Crystals – size 8/0 – 10 red ; 10 yellow ; 10 sky blue ; 10 blue-green
Loose beads for danglers (optional) - 2 red, 2 sky blue, & 2 yellow crystals

Abbreviations :
Sh – shuttle
s/scmr – split/self-closing mock ring
rw – reverse work
ss – switch shuttle
b – seed bead
B – crystal

Preparation :
Prestring beads in each of the threads as follows :
SH1 Red : 10 crystals 
SH2 Yellow : [3 yellow seed beads, one yellow crystal, 3 yellow seed beads]x10
Blue : [3 green seed beads, 1 blue-green crystal, 3 green seed beads, one sky blue crystal]x10

Pattern proceeds from left to right.

Part 1 : Dangler to start
In order not to hide ends, I used dangling crystals on each thread tail on both ends.
Tie 1 crystal of same colour to each of the 3 threads. Gather the threads at different lengths and make a larkshead knot or luggage tag loop through jump ring, using all 3 threads.

Part 2 : Main body

** Start with Shuttle 1 (red) as core thread. Make a starting loop for scmr and use yellow for stitches.
s/scmr1 : 2 b 2 b 2 b 2 B 2 b 2 b 2 b 2 / lengthen the loop to use as core and finger tat with blue stitches 3 B 3. Close scmr.  rw. ss 
Keep red thread at back of work.

With shuttle 2 (yellow) as core thread ….
s/scmr2 : 2 b 2 b 2 b 2 B 2 b 2 b 2 b 2 / lengthen the loop to use as core and finger tat with red stitches 3 B 3. Close scmr.  rw. ss **
Keep red thread at back of work.

** to ** forms 1 motif. Repeat till there are 10 motifs.

Part 3 : Dangler to end
Leave about 10-12 cms thread tails and cut. Using all 3 threads make a larkshead knot or luggage tag loop through jump ring/bracelet clasp. Tie 1 crystal of same colour to each of the 3 threads, at different lengths.
To ensure the crystal knots in the 6 tails remain secure, dab a dot of fabric glue and press/twist.

This pattern can be shortened for earrings, or lengthened for necklace.

Trials that led up to this 2nd s/scmr bracelet -

As shown in the previous post, I wanted floating/thrown rings on both halves of the s/scmr for the next braid.
I started the trials in size 40 thread. I kept messing up the onion rings!!! I’m not a novice, so I don’t know what was happening. Not very happy with the visual effect either.
But I do think this picoted version has some potential. Of course, there is a lot of switching shuttles to throw rings off.
Since the above trials were not giving me any zing, I took the plunge directly for a beaded bracelet version and I like how it turned out! Once the beads are strung, tatting it is pretty quick.
I was aiming for a more curved 2nd half (like the half moon split rings), but soon realised that it is difficult to achieve because of the double core thread. But this adaptation of the s/scmr is easier than the hmsr.

Trials for the 3rd braid –

From the 2 tiny rings inside a large s/scmr, it gradually evolved into a heart shape with flower within. I still need a few more motifs to confirm and finalise.
What should I name this 3rd braid/bracelet ? All suggestions are welcome …

I thoroughly enjoyed working the Sunrise Sunset bracelet.
Hope you enjoy it too.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

the correct guess

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A couple of emailers & Ninetta came close, but Stephanie nailed it! In fact more than nailed it, giving 2 more ways to tat the braid/bracelet. Read her comment in this post. Thank you for playing along, tatters.

The July 19th Bellaonline newsletter carried an article on some of the laces featured in the latest IOLI publication. Skimming through, one word caught my attention – ‘split/self-closing mock ring (S/scmr)’First time I’d heard this term and was especially keen to understand because of my ongoing Mock Ring series. Randy Houtz’s tatting picture frame image was too small to realise what was going on. 
I asked Georgia immediately and she introduced me to Randy Houtz! What a stroke of luck ‘coz the internet-recluse was online! And this is what he graciously shared …

For making a split/SCMR –
after desired chain tatted past thread loop of SCMR, place thread loop on little finger, add third thread and tat un-flipped stitches (ufs) as would regular split ring over both thread of the thread loop. when desired stitches obtained, pass core thread through thread loop and close mock ring. Since you've added the third thread, it can be used for rings on the inside of the split ring. Hope this is clear enough to get you started?

This is my very first attempt following the above instructions, 
till I ran out of the scrap threads but not ideas.

This is my next trial from which resulted the first braid. 
I’m calling it Buttercup Trellis. Like the combo of split ring and scmr, this name is a combo of suggestions from God's Kid (Sue) and Anita Barry!

I continued on with more effects for the next two braids. Still working on them. 

Here’s the first pattern if you wish to give it a go, using the split/self-closing mock ring (s/scmr) technique … Let me know if you want in-process pics of the technique or the bracelet.

Buttercup Trellis
braid/bracelet pattern

Wind 3 shuttles with 3 different colours.
Sh1 – beige. This is the main shuttle throughout. 
Sh2 – purple
Sh3 – green
Note: If one does not want to switch colours in the trellis, then use ball instead of Sh3.

In Anchor size 20, 4 repeats of the motif measure 5cms in length, and ½cm wide. The tatted model (merely a sampler) with 8 repeats and end rings is about 11cms in length..

Abbreviations :
Sh – shuttle ; R – ring ; S/SCMR – split/self-closing mock ring ; SLT – shoe lace trick

How to start: Following is the way I started it, but you can choose to start in your favourite way.
Make a starting ring (R1: 12) with only Sh1, tatting over tail. Then make a loop for scmr and fold Sh2 thread over it. Start the chain, tatting over Sh2 tail.
For 2nd side of the s/scmr, fold Sh3 thread over loop. Work unflipped stitches, hiding this tail in the first few stitches.
Both halves have Sh1 as the core thread, but the top half has single core, while the bottom half has a double core since the unflipped stitches are worked over the loop.
In case of bracelet, attach findings to the 2 end rings.
The pattern is worked all from the front, from left to right.

With Sh1
R1 : 12.
**S/SCMR : 10 / 10. close.
R2 : 1-1-1-1-1-1.  rotate
R3 : 1-1-1-1-1-1. 
(make a 3rd ring for the center)
SLT with Sh2 & Sh3 from behind the flowers**
Repeat from ** to ** to desired length.
S/SCMR : 10 / 10. close.
last R (Sh1) :12.

To finish :
Make picot rings at end of each tail, at varying distances. Make 2 overhand knots at base of each ring to secure. Tie & Cut. No tails to hide!

For variation :
Try using a thinner thread for Sh1.
Add beads.
Finish off with tassels dangling on the tail(s).

The scmr has already had such an impact on modern tatting. I hope you create many more designs using this split/scmr variation with due credit to the Houtz brothers.

Gary & Randy Houtz’s latest book, Tatting GR-8 Triangles has several different tatting techniques, such as the split/scmr and a variety of two-shuttle rings i.e. alternate thread rings, un-flipped stitch rings, wrapped rings, and others. click here for more info on their books & resources.

In Randy’s own words …
Good luck with the Split/SCMR. It has tremendous potential since it gives opportunity to place rings on both sides of a split ring…. It is a technique that enhances the art of tatting and folks should know about it.

So, let’s rally round to thank him!

Loads of thanks to Randy
for promptly and selflessly sharing the technique
with the tatting community
Many thanks to all my tatting playmates, & a great big hug to Georgia.

Friday, 10 August 2018

guess the technique

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I have to make a comeback somehow… after the glut of posts last month, I seem to be spent ;-P I've continued to tat, but am not spending much time at the computer or online. And all the while my pending pile grows higher, deeper, wider! I'm just so split on how to close the gap !!!

So here’s a quick query – 

can you identify the technique used in this braid?

3 shuttles were employed, but it can be done with 2 shuttles & ball if the purple & green are not alternated.
I came across the technique in a recent Bellaonline newsletter. Only the term was mentioned and on further digging, the originator graciously explained the technique and also gave me permission to post. But I’d like to prolong the mystery for a bit :-D
But if you need some clues, ask & I will respond (there is a bit of a clue in this post itself).

So this is the first of my 3 braids/bracelets. But what should I call it?!
Any help with naming it is also very much appreciated. I’m at a total loss for names right now.

Meanwhile, I’ve made 2 more Blossoms motifs, and a corner motif for a handkerchief. And am tatting Jane McLellan's leaf braid for the edging.
Also completed one design round robin doily which I converted into a snood and using it already!

And if you haven’t seen any comment from me, it’s because I’m just not online for long enough. I do try to keep abreast as far as I can, though, and hope to catch up …

eager to hear from you …

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

wound tight

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Two more thugs wound tight by AliBaba ….

Blossoms Motifs#5 & #6
6 of 40 completed. 
All 6 threads are in play here! 
At the beginning of the project, I wound shuttles completely with each colour. 
The center 5 are from the Sunkist mix and the ones on the sides are from Ice mix (Lizbeth 20). 
If you remember, I discontinued the Green Ice since it was too light for a white background.
With fully loaded shuttles, it is easy to pick as desired.

Blossoms Motif #5
Pattern is notated in the pic.
 Measures under 2” x 1¼”. 

Blossoms Motif #6
Pattern is notated in the pic. 
Note that the number of petals in each flower varies.
Measures 2” x 1¼”

I finished both a while back, but haven’t been able to move further. They don’t take long to tat & I don’t mind hiding all the tails, either. Each is a single shuttle/thread component; so tat over tail in the beginning, leaving only one tail to whip stitch at the end. 

happy flowers make for happy tatting !

Sunday, 29 July 2018

giving and receiving

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…. thanks q

According to the Hindu calendar, Guru Poornima is celebrated every year on full moon of the 4th month - this time it fell on the 27th. As per scriptures, it is a day to offer respect and gratitude to one’s teachers. So this may be almost a 3,000 year old legacy! 
Thought I’d give my thanks to each tatter/blogger I’ve had the pleasure to meet online – I always learn a little something and add to my knowledge, be it from a beginner question, peer consultation, or expert advice.

Firstly, I’d like to thank the extremely talented Mari-jan. We got acquainted, and have been in touch, when they asked to publish my pattern in their publication, De Frivolite(k)ring . Recently she celebrated her 1st blog anniversary and surprised me with this lovely handmade silk plum blossom and handwritten card. 
Update : Mari-jan has posted details about this technique here.

Next, as a thank-you gesture for helping her out with some tatting snags over time, Jean Gordon shared this joyful bookmark pattern! I got down to tatting it almost immediately, spurred by her tatted models.
This is the Butterfly Bookvine designed by Kimberley Donohue 
published in #16, KNOTS tatting newsletter, March 1997. 
Jean made a few tweaks and re-wrote it.
I really liked Jean’s colour scheme above! 

I chose the closest I could get from my Anchor size 40 stash. I want to make another with more colourful butterflies and vine using embroidery thread.
It measures 13×3cms without tail.
Butterflies are superb in that there was no need to hide ends at all since we end with a split ring! Instead of using 2 shuttles, I left a long tail in the beginning to use for the 2nd side of split ring and one antenna.
There are 2 versions of the butterfly in the pattern. I chose the more decorative one. 
For the vine, instead of SLT, I used the Reverse Join to switch threads, thus ending up tatting it with one shuttle and green ball thread. 
One has to keep track of the joins, though. I kept making mistakes linking to the butterfly and ended up retrotatting.
You know I like tails on my bookmarks. So a lock stitch chain it was. But for the tassel, I have to thank Stephanie Wilson. Last year, when she was test tatting one of my patterns, she shared her wonderful idea – collect all the scrap threads and make tassels! 

I finally remembered in time, and am so happy with the result, even though these were the only scraps left from recent projects in my tiny collection box. I added a green border on either side of the wrap-around -- ALL scrap!!!.

Here’s another of Jean’s tatting sample (still unblocked). She’s been tatting for just over a year and already learned interlaced rings (the 4-shuttle braid) & the floating twisted picot!

Blogging has brought me so many extraordinary friends!
Many many thanks to this tatting circle of friends qYq

Friday, 27 July 2018


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….continuing from previous post ... 
The final post in this treble tatting series covers joining a tds to a previous element and my way of tds variations... multiple ways to skin a cat !

Any new element can be linked to a treble tat stitch as we would when working with normal double stitches. We can use a picot join, a lock join, etc. – whatever the pattern calls for. While so far all Ninetta’s patterns make the linkage between 2 tds, it is possible to link within as well – the long arch (when seen from top) can be used to pull a loop through.

What if one needs to link a tds to a previous element/picot? The triangle pattern needed such a linkage. I was stumped at first, then figured a way out. It looked similar to Ninetta's tatting, so I went ahead confidently.

Turns out, she does it in a different way! And she has graciously sent me a collage of her method to share here. And also a comparison between both methods !!!

How to join a tds to an element
Ninetta’s method :
1. 2tds made and now need to link to the white ring.
2. Make a picot join by pulling up loop through ring picot and …
3. … make the second half stitch of a ds.
4. Pull a loop through the ring picot again, and… (follow step 6 onwards)
5. pass shuttle through and work the 3 wraps.
6. 1 tds made with joined element.
The next pics show the front and back views.

muskaan’s method :
1. after making 4 tds, I need to join to the yellow ring.
2. insert hook through both the vsp of previous tds AND the yellow picot, and … (follow step 4 onwards)
3. …pull up a loop
4. pull up another loop through it to make a ‘chain’…
5. … and continue to finish the tds by wrapping thrice around the loop
1 more tds made after the join.

tds variations – my way
Nin and I had independently and simultaneously tried out variations in the tds. She has posted her method here and I had explained mine here (graduated). Turns out that they were again accomplished differently. I took a few pics and collaged them ...
Instead of explaining each step, I am merely pointing out the difference - for complete steps, please refer to this pictorial.

tds with 1 wrap
Skip steps 4 & 5 in pictorial (ie., skip a 2nd loop/chain) and make only 1 wrap (instead of 3).
This is almost like a dot picot (but wider) ; works well for a gentle slope/graduated effect.

 tds with 2 wraps
This follows the tds right upto the wrapping stage where only 2 instead of 3 wraps are made.
I made a regular tds after this (seen in pink)

tds with 4 wraps
Here, repeat steps 4 & 5 – ie. make an extra loop/chain ;
and make 4 wraps instead of 3.

tds with 5 wraps
similar to tds with 4 wraps, but with an extra wrap (5 wraps).
In the center, the tds & it's four variations are visible.

Ninetta made her 5 & 7 wrap variations similar to the normal tds, except for increasing the size of the first picot, and of course the corresponding number of wraps.
I still have to try this to see for myself how they compare and whether one looks better than the other.

Incidentally, this treble tat stitch can be made in needle tatting, too. Perhaps Ninetta will share some more info on this….

This post concludes my present foray into the tds, despite all the lovelies Ninetta continues to post (and challenge privately ;-P). I need to get on with my multiple pending patterns, projects, et al. 

hope to see this fun new stitch taking root and springing new designs.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

dissecting the tds

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Before I start, a note about the edging pattern in previous post
There was a slight error in the diagram (I missed out a join). 
It is now corrected and post updated. Nevertheless, here is the new pdf link.

Ninetta's videos and posts are very clear and it was fairly easy to learn treble tatting

The tds has a multiple of steps reminding me of crochet, padded ds and vapour picot. Was the resemblance to them actually there? Why was there the need to pull up 2 successive loops for the first part? Where did the ds disappear? These were some of the questions that plagued me. 
I got the How easily enough, but the What and Why needed some minute dissection.

In order to observe each step of the tds closely, I chose thick threads in contrasting colours and took pics of each step. These pics visually tell the story of it’s construction, and also the engineering genius of it’s originator! 

So the following is how I deconstruct treble tatting and also list some characteristics (see also A visual study, here) .....
Just to be clear at the outset, this is how a crochet chain and treble look : 
the crochet treble is clearly different from this tatted treble stitch. 
A single chain stitch, however, is similar in both cases. 
YET, the chain is similar to what we would do in a picot join - pull a loop up !

Treble Tatting (tds)
Analysing each step
 1. I have started a chain with 4ds, 1vsp, 1ds.

 2. Insert hook and pull up a loop through the vsp -
just as if we were making a picot join.

3. The loop is visible.

 4. Insert hook through this loop now …

5. … and pull up another loop (again like a picot join!).
Notice that this looks like a crochet chain. 
NOTE: Keep this stitch taut. If it is loose, it spoils the appearance later.
Although not yet visible, this ds and chain form the 1st half stitch of a tds.

 6. Insert the shuttle through this loop from back to front. 
This is the start of the 2nd half.
Note the full ds at the base, with 2 'legs'

 7. This is how it all looks after step 6. 

 8. Now pass the shuttle through the open space between threads.
(this movement is similar to what we do for a vapor picot on the 2nd half stitch)

 9. The ball thread tends to twist.

 10. Repeat step 2 two more times, so that there are now 3 twists in the ball thread.

11. CAUTION: While making the wraps, the core thread tends to twist like in this pic. 
Make sure that all the twists are transferred to the ball thread (as in pic#10) 
and the core remains free to slide.

12. We now start pulling the ball thread upwards to tension the wraps. 
Though hazy, this is to show how the core thread is held taut around the pinkie 
and the ball thread is pulled up.

13. The wraps are closer now. Tug a bit more till all unwanted thread is pulled off.
Note the single thread (pink) around the core thread at the base. 
This forms the 3rd leg of a tds.

14. 2nd half complete.
Notice how the 1st half also looks coiled and similar to the 2nd half? I think this is where her brilliance truly lies! The 1st half, tends to ‘twist’ or lie on it’s side which has a coiled appearance!

However, at this point, the 2 threads (ball & shuttle) are quite apart, as you can see. 
They need to be brought together in order to continue….

15. Leave space that is equal to the height of the tds. Then tat 1ds.
(This space acts as a picot for the next stitch and the ds becomes part of the 2nd tds too. ) 

16. We now repeat steps 2 to 15 to tat the next tds. 
In above pic, 3tds have been made.
Notice that at the end of a single tds or a row of tds, 
there will always be a picot space followed by 1ds.

17. The crochet is pointing to where the picot lies between 2 tds. 
This is where we make joins when linking a new element to it.
If desired, this can be made longer to give a decorative effect.

But when we need to join a tds to a previous element/picot (as in this triangle motif), it requires a slightly different approach. There are 2 ways to do it, both of which will be shared in next post.
Also in the next post, I will share my way of making a 4-wrap tds.

A few more characteristics of the treble ds :

  • A tds is worked with one shuttle.
  • Tds can be made on chains as well as rings, including mock rings and thrown/floating rings.
  • 1 tds has 2 half stitches just like a ds. But each half stitch is constructed quite differently. They look visually similar, but are not mirror images as in ds.
  • A single treble comprises of : vsp, ds, 2 loops (chain), 3 wraps, vsp, ds, where the last ds becomes part of the next tds or element. 
  • Thus 1st half stitch of a tds comprises 1ds, 2loops ; and 2nd half comprises 3 wraps; both flanked by a vsp.
to be continued ...

happy trebling J