Wednesday, 19 December 2018

heartfelt gratitude

Pin It now!

Your solicitous comments and emails have overwhelmed me !!! Your kind words have brightened my days and I am touched by your friendship…

Just wanted to let you know that the worst is now behind. Today should be the last of the cumbersomeness that clogs up my days, phew. I hope to get back into the mental and physical rhythm of tatting and blogging immediately and gain the lost momentum - as far as the short cold days permit.

Please don’t leave any comments here – wait for a proper tatting post ;-P
Know that I miss BlogLand and TatLand !

See you soon again J

Monday, 10 December 2018


Pin It now!
Hello all 😀

I'd like to take a few moments to apologise for not responding to my emails. I intend to, but the day slides by quickly. I keep thinking my health will improve enough to get back to my usual routine, but recuperation is slow and the cold days are short 😔

Hope to be back in full force sooner than later, so hang in there dear friends, correspondents, and readers and enjoy the festive season.  Can't wait to catch up with blogging and commenting and interacting with you.

With all my love
Happy tatting and keep smiling ❄🌹💗🌹❄

Monday, 3 December 2018

flaky visits

Pin It now!
I had bought those Lizbeth 20 mixes in order to work my own patterns in that thread so as to have a more universal, uniform, comparable, and easily convertible measurement. Unlike the newer Anchor (Madura Coats India) size 20 which is all over the place and way thicker than a Lizbeth 20. With the finished dimensions provided earlier and now, you can easily see the difference in the old (Anchor 20) and the new (Lizbeth 20) snowflake!

So, when I saw the vintage motif pattern trend last week, it spurred me to revisit some patterns. And on my journey I noticed a little omission here and there, but am not well nor motivated enough to rework the pdfs/diagrams. Sometimes it is a boon if your patterns are not popular – the mistakes remain buried ;-P

I loaded 2 shuttles with Lizbeth size 20 thread and got to work. It felt good to tat a done pattern in softer ice-blue shades after all those colourful blossoms. I am sharing only tweaks here, with stitches inked in the respective picture. Links are provided for the detailed patterns.


Hexagonal Motif snowflake
Instead of a central picot which accommodates all subsequent rings, I linked adjacent rings through very small picots. This also meant that decorative picots can be added in the central negative space.
Measurement: 1½ inches point to point.

Main techniques : 2 shuttles, ctm. Thrown/floating rings (TR) which require switching shuttle (ss) before and after.

R1: 4 vsp 2 p 2 vsp 4. rw
**Ch: 3 p 3 ss TR (2p2p2) ss Ch:3 p 3. rw.
R2: 4 + 2 p 2 vsp 4. rw.**
Repeat ** to ** till there are 6 inner rings. Finish off with chain.

Pentagonal Motif star or snowflake
Measurement: 3 cms wide.

Since I didn’t want to change the count, a central picot becomes essential here. Thus advantage of central picot is that it is easier to adjust the number of rings around. I bent a double loop across 4ds for the central picot. This picot is sufficient to hold the 5 inner rings. (see Stitches as Picot Gauge on page 5 of Measuring the Picot)


I had shared the design process for this flake and the reason why it had bilateral symmetry instead of a 6-order rotational symmetry. This time I ‘corrected’ it and all clovers have the same count.
Measurement: 3½ inches
[ Round 1 : 1¾” or 4½ cms  ; Round 2 : 2¼” ]

Techniques include :
2 shuttles, ctm ;
floating Josephine rings/knots (JK), hence 2 shuttles required for rounds 1 & 2;
lock join (missing in written pattern);
Victorian sets ;
padded double stitch or pds (2 wraps on each half stitch).
  • We can climb out with a split ring in clover and mock picot, thus tatting the entire snowflake in one pass.
  • Instead of slope and roll join, I used lock join throughout, and counted it as first half stitch.

Round 1 Clover
[Ring1 : 6 - 3 - 3
Ring2 : 3 + 8 – 8 – 3
Ring 3 : 3 + 3 – 6. rw.
Chain : 6 ss JK6 ss 6 rw.] x 6
Round 2
Chain : [12 vsp 1 lj , ss JK8 lj ss, 1 vsp 12, lj ] x 6
Round 3
Chain: [4N6 lj 2, 2pds – 2pds, 2, lj 4N6 lj]x6 
(4N6 = alternating sets of 4 half stitches 6 times) 


I didn’t change a thing here, except for the thread of course.
 Measurement: 4 cms from point to point.

Techniques : 2 shuttles, ctm ; turn work ; lock join ; floating Josephine knots.

TIP : All chains in 2nd round can be worked from the front without turning work at all. Use reverse (unflipped) stitch for the 6ds chain. This is just like block tatting, and here instead of lock join pull up a loop of ball/shuttle2 thread, pass core shuttle through it, and tension.


Again, I used small picots to link adjacent rings in central medallion instead of the original central picot. All the rest remains the same as in Version 2 of the pattern.
Thus each inner ring is (7-6-7), although one can add decorative picot, thus working them as (7-3-3-7).
Measurement: just over 2½ inches.

Techniques :
Graduated picots,
Floating dots
Floating Josephine rings

It is interesting how the dot is smaller than the JR, despite having exactly same count. Also notice the outline – dot has an irregular outline as compared to the smooth circle of a JR.

For a pointier outer chain, work the JR as a SCMR instead of a thrown ring. Although I like the gently curved chain.
Although not mentioned, all my tatting is directional – frontside/backside.

Winter is the season for tatting  ....
as is spring, summer, monsoon, and fall !!!

Thursday, 29 November 2018

4 colour broad Cluny tatting

Pin It now!
Final installment of colour Cluny tatting pictorials.

This collage shows the progression of Colour/striped Cluny Tatting pictorials I shared this year. While stepwise directions are given for regular tallies (and a broad one below), the same concept can be applied to Hanging Cluny Leaves, as seen in the collage center.

Four-Colour Broad Cluny Leaf
(5 threads and 4 colour stripes)

Using 4 colours for Cluny tatting meant the coloured stripes would show better in a broad tally. Hence I resorted to a 4-Warp loom and also changed the leaf shape a bit.

Notes and Links :
  • My one small step really comes in handy here since multiple loops need to be closed in the end. It is done Twice in a 4-Warp loom because there are 2 top loops to close at the end.
  • Continuing with the braid from the 3 colour tally, I made a split ring, encapsulating the pink and yellow threads on either side. Then I brought in the 5th thread – blue and mustard was again used for the loom.
  • I recommend hitching the loom before actual weaving commences. These year-old pics do not show that step.
  • how to add new thread and hide the tail in the Cluny leaf.
  • how to hide loom colour blip on top.
  • Only major steps are shown below. eg. only one pass of a weave/wrap is shown. But remember to bring the thread back to the side where it starts.

Brief  Pictorial 
1. This is a 4-Warp loom. In order to close tally on the loom itself later, 
One Small Step is done twice – under the AB bar, and again under EF bar.

2. Bring 2 colours/threads to the right side, making a pass (under-over-under).
Before this step, I now find  hitching the loom helps center the tally and hide any colour blips. (not shown here, since these pics were taken a year back).

3. All 4 needles/threads are in place, 2 on either side.

4. Start weaving with green keeping yellow below: over-under-over-under to the left. 
Return to the right : under-over-under-over (not shown) to complete 1 weave or wrap.

5. Pick up pink from the left, entrapping blue within and move to right : over-under-over-under. Return to left : under-over-under-over (not shown) to complete 1 weave/wrap.

6. Pick up yellow, entrapping green, and make 1 weave/wrap as in step#4.

7. Pick up blue, entrapping pink, and make 1 weave/wrap as in step#5.
Remember to keep tensioning and packing down the weaves.

Note: In this manner, each needle/thread returns to it’s starting side, 
making a single weave colour strip.

8. Repeat from #4 to #7 to desired shape and size.

Note: colour placement and width of each colour strip depends on pattern and desired effect. 
(In the flame here I used 3 colours with broader stripes at the base)

9. The broad 4-coloured striped tally is complete.

10. Closing the tally and avoiding colour blip
bring pink & blue needles from under the AB loop and close loop by pulling downward at BC.

11. Pass green & yellow needles through the EF loop from above, ….

12. … pull off the EF loop from loom and close by pulling downwards at FG.
Then pull the remaining single loom thread upwards at I to finally close the tally (not shown).

13. One broad 4-colour striped tally made. 
The pic shows the tally first from the front, then from the back.

This collage shows the application of coloured/striped tallies in various projects.
3-colour pendant and diya flame prototypes.

I have a couple of practice patterns on the draft board for 3- and 4-colour Cluny leaves but may not be able to get to them till the new year. But stay tuned, one never knows when inspiration to weave may loom large on the horizon!
There are definitely some non-Cluny patterns in the next few posts! 

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

honeytrapped !!!

Pin It now!
Blossoms motifs 21-30

Who said the thieves were fools?! They were old hands at remaining free and unfettered (that's how they amassed that vast treasure stashed in the cave!*)! So, when 20 of their mates went missing – some wound tight, some cornered, roped in, corralled, split down the middle, and what not - they got into a consultative huddle to chart their future course of action. Most importantly how to avoid detection. By now they had realised that moving alone or in small groups made them easy targets. Henceforth they would move en bloc; split into 2 groups of 10 each seemed a safe bet to overcome their unseen enemy, Alibaba.

But our Alibaba was smarter by far and changed his MO (modus operandi), He laid a sweet honey-trap. Who can resist a ‘sweetmeat’ ;-P  He put forward his clever and resourceful slave girl, Marĵanah (Morgĩana in some online versions, pronounced Marjiinaa) who enticed and lured the entire group of 10 thieves to partake of the very many tasty candies till they doubled up in pain arising from decaying teeth! Who can think of anything else with a bad case of toothache, and were easily rounded up.
How cheeky of Alibaba – Was he being unethical and unfair in compromising their long-term oral health? Sadly, all’s fair in love and war.

So parading here are the captured blossoms motifs from 21 to 30, with their stitch count inked in respective images.

Techniques : rosette ; picot join to the right ; luggage tag loop or larks head knot ; lock join.
All worked in Lizbeth size 20 threads with a single shuttle.

Blossoms Motif #21
>2” X 1½”

Blossoms Motif #22
2½” X 1¼”
Blossoms Motif #23
2” X 1½”

Blossoms Motif #24
2” X 1½”

Blossoms Motif #25
<2” X 1¼”

Blossoms Motif #26
2¼” × 1¼”
This motif works well as an asymmetrical or freestyle corner motif.

Blossoms Motif #27
2¼” X 1¼”

Blossoms Motif #28
2¼” X 1¼”

Blossoms Motif #29
~2½” X 1¼”

Blossoms Motif #30
2¾” X 1½”

Spiraling out of control, lured by the sweetmeats!!! There's a lesson in this, isn't there! Enjoy festivities but control sweet temptations ;-P
A Blossoms spinning wheel mat ????

How will the last remaining group of 10 save themselves now? Wait for it - they may go underground or go digital ..... 

*Alibaba and the Forty Thieves from One Thousand Nights and One Nights aka Arabian Nights 

Saturday, 17 November 2018

quick art attack

Pin It now!
When I started this blog, it was meant to be about a lot of things around the home – both creative and practical. But very soon it lost it’s way becoming almost exclusively a tatting blog. Well, let’s take a break from that T word that seems to dominate my life!

Change of seasons means switching clothes and reorganizing the closets. And this time I found 2 of my art books (yes, even my clothes almirah has a huge shelf filled with books and also that T stuff – see the T invasion there?!!!) and was pleasantly surprised at some of the ‘artwork’ I found within. Totally forgotten and neglected all these years – that is the power of T! Aaargh, see there it is again! Before it manages to squeeze in further, let me quickly upload these scans.

First off, it was tough to get a good impression despite setting the scanner to highest contrast, lowest brightness and a higher resolution. I do have a tendency to sketch and colour lightly, yet it is a tad better than what shows up in these scans. I added the black 'frames' with MS Paint.

Colour pencils, June 2010
This scene is partially from some story published in a newspaper or magazine.

Sketch pens, April 2008 
This was a phase when I was watching Neil Buchanan’s show Art Attack 
and was inspired by his excellent command, creativity and quick artwork!
I made faint pencil outlines which were later erased.
Those squiggles in the base of the bowl add a cute little touch,  methinks. 

Water colours, March 2012
This is the kind of stuff I go for – freestyle. 
I’ve used the technique on greeting cards, sarees, home linen, etc.

The above 3 were done on fairly smooth A4 sheets from this art pad. 
They came loose while scanning.

The next 4 below I found within the pages of this smaller art pad 
(I’ve cut/paste the specifics in the image. click on image to enlarge).
The sheets held together during scanning.

Mixed media, April 2008
There is charcoal, chalk, crayons, & colour pencil. 
Bummer about all these light scans - 
those roiling clouds actually came out pretty good using blue chalk.

Pastels, April 2008
I’d bought a set of 24 pastels and was eager to give them a try.

Pencil, April 2008
Another of my favourite theme for sketching : bare trees (and roots)...
 with a bird (there are 2 in this sketch if you can spot them!) or solitary leaf (O Henry’s story is among my favourite) or some such to add a spot of 'life'. 
I absolutely love the way bare branches and twigs enmesh together, yet each has a distinct identity. Leaves I do like, but they mask the unspoken majesty of bare branches.

Water colours, March 2012
Trying the wash technique.

I realise they all look quite amateurish and need a lot more details/background. 
However, they were all accomplished in single sittings! 

So a nice breather from that domineering T (major oops again!!!) in blogging? 
Do you think I should organise more frequently? ;-P

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Sharon's flakes

Pin It now!
Just too tempting to forego! Sharon shared 2 new snowflake patterns recently and I got to work immediately. Now, they look pristine in white, and snowflakes should be white. But you know me – I want to spice up the challenge and took to colours to see how they’d look. Also, to bring out the flower within.

This is the first snowflake (pattern here) originally worked continuously with one shuttle and ball, climbing out with a split chain. 
My coloured  rendition is done with 3 strands of Anchor embroidery thread 
which is equivalent to a Lizbeth 20. And no split chains.

Black shuttle for central ring & orange 0333 'ball' for rosette chains : <1¼" or <3cms
Mustard 0306, ctm : <2¼" or 5½ cms
Green 0204, ctm : 3" or 7½ cms
This is the 2nd snowflake she posted here.
I used Anchor 40 this time, but worked continuously. 
Measurements after each round : 1”  ;  1½”  ; 2½" or 6 cms. 

Started with maroon, ctm for the central ring and 1st round, then switched the core thread to cream. I kept the maroon shuttle, but snipped off the ball. 
In order to get the desired colour placement and eliminate colour blips, I used 
the Slope & Roll join instead of lock join in the 2 outer rounds; 
SLT to make the split chain in maroon, 
and the Reverse Join to switch positions after the split chain.

I remembered how to do the split chain, but unfortunately the colour is hard on the eyes and somehow that segment twisted while linking. The camera shows it all, sigh !

Future Ideas:  
This snowflake could work beautifully as repeatable motifs linked for a larger lace. 
But as I worked the outer round, it struck me how beautiful it would look as a continuous doily – the ‘formula’ for the last round can be repeated (with additional side rings) ad infinitum without having to change the stitchcount at all! 
Perhaps one of the middle or last round can have the central floral motif all around ?!

Wish I'd taken pics after each round for both snowflakes, 
because each round is beautiful and elegant!!!
In fact the rosette reminded me of a poppy despite the orange shade.  

And playing around, notice how cozily the 2 designs can fit together ....

I absolutely love Sharon's diagrams – simple and clear. 

Many many thanks, Sharon!