Friday, 19 January 2018

Ice drop Enchained

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A few days back I bought assorted glass pebbles in order to make Jane McLellan’s Elana. Didn’t get to it (yet) but I had an idea when I made my charmed cross pendant. It has a large open space in center – ideal for an ice drop makeover!
Finally got around to experimenting with it this morning.

Ice Drop Enchained 
(a prototype experiment)
My idea was to have long picots all along the chain in front, then link to these picots when tatting the chain at the back. Well, it didn’t quite materialize due to my laziness – didn’t want to leave the warm winter sun to get a picot gauge ;-P

The picots turned out to be too short. 
This is the price I paid for being lazy and not leaving the warm winter sun to get a picot gauge!

But I improvised….by using a lock join with shuttle 2 (also called a ball thread join) leaving enough space to create a mock picot when encasing. Just like we do in Inverted Tatting.

I must say I’m not unhappy with the textured edge this creates.

This is worked in Anchor size 40 and is easily adaptable to any shape and size gem.

But all is not well.
  • The stitchcount needs tweaking. I had to substitute the original gem.
  • Worked in one pass, but I let the chains make a single point at the tips instead of having an all-round encasement/pocket.
  • The picots need to be longer still.
  • I ended up keeping the medallion at the back and working the other chain from front. Not that this should be a problem.
The fact remains that it Can be done ! A gem caged between chains within picots ! Even normal picots with regular picot joins. Some dexterity is required to hold the piece when joining, though. I held it sideways, ie., the side faced me, thus making it easy to pull loop through picot and make joins.

I had more ideas for this –
Tat the clovers on both sides – front and back – and join while tatting, inserting a large bead/gem within the space. This would create a nice pendant when chains were inserted at both ends later. For some other day….

Another idea based off Diane’s recent ice drop – tat a twin split ring braid, folding it along the middle to encapsulate the gem. Then add any more rounds as desired.
Also for another day. I do have nice glass pebbles now :-D

happy tatting !!!


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Thursday, 18 January 2018

friendly warmth ?

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A long time back I had started reading the Bible and finished the Old Testament. Then my eyes gave out and I haven’t returned to it since. But one of my dear tatting friend recently suggested I read the gospel of Luke if not the rest. I have yet to do it, but this is a reminder.

This is the tweaked charmed cross pattern to look more like a cross. A floating ring on either end extends the horizontal bar, while additional rings and chains add length vertically.
Can’t say I’m happy – perhaps changing the chain direction to face inwards at some places would make it a bit better. But that is for some future day.

Worked in Lizbeth size 40. I now regret having bought only variegated and no solid colour in Lizbeth.
For some reason I didn’t enjoy working with this at all. And as you can see, by the second round I couldn’t be bothered to try to hide colour blips caused by the lock join.
Also, I didn’t snug the chain stitches properly on the right side thus getting an asymmetrical outline inside.
There was also plenty of retrotatting to do. All in all not a happy experience.

The saving grace was the lock chain tails. I’ve long admired and wanted to do those little charms along a tail and this seemed like a good project to use in.
And in order to balance the width of the cross with the slim tail, I worked a 2nd tail. Can’t have enough of bookmark tails - read my argument for multiple tails here !

What truly charmed me was Denise’s enthusiastic testing and working of the charmed cross pattern. She made little tweaks to suit her taste. Notice the charms? And the Heart-shaped glass gem in the center?! These are all meant as gifts for her church friends. She tells me that since it will be close to Valentine’s when these will be gifted, she used the heart and I guess the lovely pink shade.

Also warming my heart in this cold are these cute maple leaf earrings (she added a strand of Rexanna to the hand-dyed colourway), and 

appliqués Denise is tatting; the former again as gifts. She has a great big heart for sure, always helping with a smile and spreading warmth J

And for the record, I now have a finalized version of the charmed cross pendant to share soon.

cheers and stay warm/cool  J

Friday, 12 January 2018

mad or maddening ?

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am I going mad over medallions ?
do you find it maddening to go through it  with me ?
Well, you are excused ; can’t say whether I can be rescued yet ;-P

Yup, more trials, prototypes and procedural peeks !
Made sporadically over the last several weeks, experimenting with different elements and effects to form enclosed space medallions.

1. Square Wave
Combination of elements -- space outlined with alternating split rings and chains.

I’d forgotten all about this. Lucky to have taped it on the page! Trials start from bottom up and the yellow one is rejected now.

2nd round creates a bit of a swirl wave if seen closely.
Need to decrease the negative space.
I had some time today and worked around the square with small tweak. This one has offset picots and smaller SRs in 1st round.

Techniques : 2-shuttle tatting, split rings, lock joins. 2 rounds. About 3.5" in Anchor size 20.


2. Dancing Peacocks
Onion rings enclose the space.

This design gave me grief!!! Whether it was getting the innermost JR to lie flat or where to place the picot to join adjacent rings. Also, how many onin rings were needed for the medallion to lie flat, since I didn't want to increase the length of the connecting chains. 
The bits you see above don't show the parts where I un-tatted and re-tatted!

Finally, I did away with joining picots altogether.  Now, I can decide where the adjacent rings need to be attached and place picots accordingly. 

The innermost ring is a FB-JR. The overhand knot in floating beads method Does make the Josephine Ring lie in same plane as the outer rings. 

Although I deliberately made spaced out concentric rings, it cramps the adjacent rings. 
Need to reduce the stitchcount in the 3rd onion ring.

Techniques : 2 shuttle-tatting, Josephine ring using Floating Beads method, Onion rings (faux rings made with chains), dots, thrown/floating rings.


3. Inter-Sections
Celtic or Interlaced center made with lock chains.

This piece is made in pieces ! Hence the name.
Although there are many on my to-tat list, I don't remember tatting any such faux-Celtic pieces. So I'm actually thrilled to get something off the shuttles!
2 triangles make up the 6-point interlaced center.
Then a round of lock chains.
Next a 6-tip insertion through rings.
Followed by another round of LCh.

Need to remove the last round (as already done above) unless more rounds are added. Need to increase the central negative space, and also use different colours. Lots of tweaking required !

Techniques : 2-shuttle tatting, lock chains, interlacing, lock joins.

For the present these are standalones, but can easily function as motifs to create larger lace. 
Medallions are a quick, fun way to design and stop whenever desired.  Who knows I might come back to enlarge some of these at some future date. Meanwhile my medallion stash increases (as does my workload ;-P) ! 

have fun whatever you tat J

Monday, 8 January 2018

charmed cross ?

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Off and on, for the past few months, I’ve been tatting and designing medallions - different shapes and effects. I’ve already shared some medallion patterns/prototypes
Here’s my latest, the first of this year - an oval that turned into jewellery .... 

....  Charmed ! - a cross pendant
This post only talks of the design process since it is still a prototype. The final pattern will be shared after I re-tat it. I received confirmation from an ever-enthusiastic Denise that she is test-tatting several versions - I'm just as curious to see what she comes up with :-)

I wanted to create an oval shaped inner space with chains and use trefoils instead of clovers. It is interesting to discover that clovers are more prolific than trefoils for the center.
Browsing the net and antique books didn’t turn up anything within those parameters. Or perhaps I didn’t like the ones that did show up. Either way I set about trying my hand at this shape.

1. First came the one in purple with my basic elements – chains and trefoils.
2. Both elements needed bolstering, hence anchored the trefoils to the chains, and linked ring pairs to each side in the next round and .
3. My 3rd attempt was more of a cleaning up. I shifted the ring pair to the inner chains - as thrown rings (hence outward facing). 
I now had a decent shuttle shape though a bit obese with all the holiday feasting ;-P


4. Trying to get out of my comfort zone, I tried to spruce up the 2nd round. While ending, I eliminated the thrown ring at the top to see what it would look like and to give me an option for next trial. This made it look a bit like a cross!

Drew 3 rings at the tips in above pic to create a more cross-like shape - one possible variation. Another could be with a longer lower arm. Lots to keep me busy....

5. Sewed in beads using Anchor size 40 in same colour. In case I didn’t have the same colour, I would’ve followed Jane’s tip here.

In Anchor size 20 (close to a size 10 Lizbeth), this pendant measures 2”x3”. In smaller thread it can be used for earrings.


I call it “Charmed” because one can use a charm of one's choice instead of a teardrop in the negative space. I don’t have any in my stash to show though.
It can be tatted in one pass using a split ring on the side pair to climb out, and Floating Beads method to add teardrop beads/charms. The crystals can be loaded on the shuttles.


I like how this has shaped up. Fairly elegant, even if I say so myself ;-P

However, was the initial goal accomplished?
The medallion is more spindle shaped inside and angular outside, than an oval. 
My next trial will be with a short chain between each of the trefoil rings as in the lone sketch on the left. It defeats the trefoil criterion, but may be I’ll learn along the way … 

happy tatting always :-)

Friday, 5 January 2018

tada ?

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For the 2017 summer break, Georgia had suggested we pick any vintage pattern and rework it using different type(s) of picots. Who knew I’d be doing that with this brand new doily ?!

Doily #10 (“Pikotek”)
(with my picot adaptation)
designed by : Agnieszka Gawron - Frywolaga
For this last round regular picots adorn the major portion. Wondered whether I should use a triple picot or graduated picots for the small outermost curve. But the soft curve seemed to give the doily a more flowery/petal look.

And to keep that in focus, the inner curve uses a single dot picot, as if moving to the next petal.
I’m not too happy with the colour – it doesn’t seem to evoke a spontaneous “tada”. Well, whoever receives it as a gift will just have to live with it ;-P

This round 10 turned to be a bit tight so I eased the snugging of the chains. 
Perhaps an additional stitch or two in the long chains would help.

Final msts – 26½ cms or 10½ inches across in size 40 Anchor
Doesn't this look like a flower?!

Here’s a comparison of size with Renulek’s 2016 Wiosna / Spring doily.

The pattern presentation is excellent. Uncluttered, with a clean schematic showing both the sequence and the stitch count in each round. Written pattern is also provided, although I didn’t need to even glance at it – the visual said it all.

There are no complicated or advanced techniques involved in the original pattern.

As I said earlier, the format of this picot game is totally conducive to armchair designing! All the hard work had been done by Agnieszka but we could have fun customizing the look with picots. Good ego-booster for any beginner designer !

She will be displaying the completed doilies on her blog. I will update with a link later. 
This journey stops –
Many many thanks, Agnieszka Z

I’m so glad for this opportunity to join in. Not only did I get a beautiful doily, I even enjoyed the process of "picot-ing" with double picots, dot picots, and normal picots !!! Maybe I can use more picots in my future patterns? But not in my newest cross pattern. the prototype of which I will share very soon. 
would you like to go picot-ing ?!


Wednesday, 3 January 2018

new learning

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The variety and application of techniques in many vintage books is truly impressive. I hope to spend more time browsing through and working some patterns from them.
The Priscilla Tatting Book #3 (free download from Antique Pattern Library) is one such.

Tatted Medallion with Woven Center (Fig 69)
This square medallion is inset in fabric and also linked into an edging for the ‘Centrepiece in Tatting and Weaving’. The weaving between adjacent medallion in the circular edging is even more impressive. 

I chose to tat the square with 3 strands of Anchor embroidery floss. 
The sides are just over 2 inches long. 
There is a central picot common to the 3 large rings at each corner.
Isn’t it a beautiful arrangement?!

But what interested me more was the woven center - something I hadn’t attempted. I chose 2 strands threaded through a tapestry needle for weaving.
Found this interesting and informative article by Georgia Seitz - Tatting with Needle-Weaving Centers  
I tried to follow the Priscilla instructions as well as those in the article, but somehow couldn’t figure out where the needle 'returned to' for the support lines.
So here’s what I did :
  1. First, I pinned down the square in order to keep it taut.
  2. Then inserted a pearl-headed pin in the center of the negative space.
  3. Now, starting with the tail in the center, I went through a picot to create a support beam, and back around the central pin, before moving to adjacent picot in one direction….
  4. After the last beam was done initial weaving was easier with the pin still in place. After a couple of rounds, I removed the pin and continued the under/over movement.


This is my one-n-only first attempt at weaving outside of embroidery and will take some practice to get it tidier. But I’ll get there some day!
Combining tools and techniques creates interesting texture and designs, and widens our scope.

hope your new year is off to a creative start!
weave dreams into tatting !