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 8 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

Saturday, 21 July 2018

anybody interested?

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I need a couple more days to work on the treble tatting pictorials - mainly the presentation. Meanwhile here’s a free pattern in case anybody is interested….

Periodically this post turns up in the top-of-the-week scroll. I really don’t know who is interested and what they make of it. Anyway, you can see that it’s been trending again this week and finally caught my fancy. Despite the ideas I presented then, I didn’t make anything further myself. Thought it was time to rectify that lapse. So here is a circular edging made with a tweaked count of Mónica Manceñido’s Peace and Tolerance Tiny Heart motif. 

Tiny Heart Circular Edging
click here to download pdf

I was going to link adjacent motifs with chains and rings, but that would mean a whole lot of designing and testing work. So I decided to follow a simple path just to see how they lie first and then move on to more design elements or rounds.

In order to determine the exact number of motifs required for it to lie flat, 
I blocked it (rolling pin, of course). Hmm, just one more motif was needed.

design tip : I learned that if the count of the middle rings is smaller then I will get a closer circle, with fewer motifs. With the present count I need 16 motifs around. For a larger circle, one can add a split ring between each motif instead of a mock picot.

The pdf contains only a diagram and dimensions. 
UPDATE : If you have already downloaded the original pdf, please note that the middle rings of adjacent motifs link to each other. This linkage was missing in that diagram.
Or download this new pdf with correct diagram.

For those preferring a written pattern, here it is.

2 shuttles, ctm.
Split rings, mock/false picot,

Worked I Anchor size 40, each motif measures 1½ cm X 1½ cm.
Outer diameter of edging is 8½ cms and inner diameter is 5½ cms.


R1 : 10 – 4 – 4. rw
*Ch : 4 rw
R2 : 4 + 4 – 4 – 4.
R3 : 4 + 6 – 6 – 4.
R4 : 4 + 4 – 4 – 4. rw
Ch : 4 rw
SR : 4 + 4 / 10. mock picot
SR : 4 – 4 / 10. rw*
Repeat from * to * till there are 16 motifs. Join last motif to the first one (join R4 of last to R2 of 1st as well as last ring to first).
Note that the last ring of 16th motif can be worked as a normal ring.
Tie, cut and hide ends.

This is the basic pattern. It can be used as a frame, a coaster edging, on a card, sewn to a quilt block, etc.

For now, I am not doing anything further to this edging, 
but will keep it in mind for future adventures.

see also Tiny Heart Poppy - a 3D flower made from the heart motif. Some day I will get around to diagramming it in Inkscape.

Hope you enjoy tatting the pattern.
The circle of love and tatting is eternal!

Thursday, 19 July 2018

treble with an M

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Yup,  I treMble in fear of how Ninetta will react to my crochet reference. But I get ahead of myself ....

First, a lovely triangular motif with both tatting stitches – the old ds and new tds.
Ninetta sent me a pic of her new treble triangle and I helped in writing the pattern. 

There are 3 rounds worked continuously in one pass. However I used different colours in each round to make it easier to demarcate stitches and counts.

I had to pause when joining a treble to an earlier element. After a couple of tries, I figured it out. I’m not sure if it is the right way, though it came out fine. I will share it in my next post where I dissect this new tatting stitch.
Ninetta Caruso’s
Triangular Motif (treble tatting)
(with pattern below)
A tad over 4 cms in Anchor size 40
The written instructions are for one-pass motif as in Ninetta’s model, climbing out with split ring. Or each round can be tatted separately as seen in the 3 colours I used in my model.

Abbreviations  (in order of appearance):
R – ring ; ds – double stitch ; vsp – very small picot ; tds – treble ;
BTS – bare thread space ; + - picot join ; - - picot ; SR – split ring ; rw – reverse work ; 
SS – switch shuttle ; TR – thrown/floating ring ; lj – lock join.

Notes :
  • Use ball and shuttle for each round is worked separately; use 2 shuttles, ctm, if working continuously.
  • BTS - since tds is ‘higher’ than a ds, leave enough bare thread space between rings.
  • How to make a tds video ; For all posts/info on Treble Tatting start here.
  • For how to join treble to a previous element (round 1) pull up thread through both picots – the vsp for tds as well as the picot on small ring. Stepwise pictorial in next post.
Pattern :

ROUND 1: (moving clockwise)

R1:  1ds vsp 1ds, 8tds, 1ds. BTS
*R2: 3 +(between before last tds) 3 – 3 – 3. BTS
R3:  1ds vsp 1ds, 1tds +(R2), 7tds, 1ds. BTS]*
Repeat from * to * once.
SR6: 3 + 3 / 3 + 3. mock picot

ROUND 2: (moving clockwise)

SR: 3 / 3,
*Ch 4 rw
R:   5+(after 2nd tds) 5 rw
Ch: 4 – 4 – 4.  SS
SR: 1ds vsp 3tds 1ds / 6 +(after 4th tds) 6. SS
Ch: 4 – 4 – 4 rw
R:   5 +(after 6th tds) 5 rw
Ch: 4 rw
R:   3 + 3 SS
TR:  3 – 3 SS*
Repeat from * to * around Round1.
Climb out with a split thrown ring (3/3). Mock picot.

ROUND 3: (moving counter-clockwise)

SR: 3 / 3. mock picot
R:   7 +(nearest picot on chain) 9. rw    
Ch: 2 – 4 – 4 – 2  lj(same picot) 4 – 4 rw
*R: 4 +(vsp) 4. rw    
Ch: 5 rw
R:   4 +(after 1st tds) 4. rw   
Ch: 5 rw
R:   4 +(after 2nd tds) 4. rw  
Ch: 5 rw
R:   4 +(after 3rd tds) 4. rw 
Ch: 4 – 4 lj rw
R:   7 +(picot on TR) 9. rw    
Ch: 2 – 4 – 4 - 2 lj rw
R:   7 +(2nd picot on chain) 9. rw    
Ch: 2 +(previous chain) 4 – 4 – 2  lj(same picot) 4 – 4 rw*
          Repeat from * to * till end. Tie, cut and hide ends.

A visual study of ds and tds

I learned how to do the treble in these earlier motifs.
But while tatting this triangle more questions arose especially along design lines. I wanted to put these observations to the test. So, choosing thick threads, I set about trying to compare normal double stitches with treble tatting and a few variations. I think the pictures, with notations speak for themselves.
Both double and treble stitches are made of 2 half stitches, though constructed a bit differently.
However, a ds has only 2 ‘legs’ or threads on the core thread, while a treble has 3 ‘legs’ or threads around the core. 
Reason - the first half of a tds is actually a normal double stitch (2 legs) at the base.
This makes the tds wider than the ds by a thread. 

Moreover, a single tds, or a row of tds will start with [1ds,vsp,1ds] and end with [vsp, 1ds].
When I showed Ninetta this pic, she shared her precision-based tip; something I had merely observed as explained in the above para.
“... one treble takes the place of 1 and half ds, and the contour is spaced as a normal height picot, ...”

While tatting the motifs I sometimes made a mistake in joining to a tds. I had to count each tds to establish which ‘picot’/space was the right one. Given my recent foray into the top view, I wondered how the treble looked from top. 
The trough is one long arc while there are 2 crests within/offsetting it !!! Wow.
In the 3tds segment in above pic, the small crest between the long trough is where the 'picot' is - where we join a future element.

Now here’s where I go into ‘crochet’ mode and treMble to use crochet terms. But I think it will help, so here goes.

A treble starts by pulling a loop through the vsp and again through this loop (1 crochet chain formed). Then we pass the shuttle through this 2nd loop and wind or wrap the shuttle thread 3 times around it before snugging tight.
I altered the number of loops pulled as well as the wraps made to see whether we can create viable variations of the tds. Yes, it works. (please note that Ninetta’s method is slightly different from the one I used here. A pictorial in next post will show the steps better).

So, from left to center the graduated tds –
1. like the single crochet (sc) –1 loop (no chain) thru vsp and 1 wrap with shuttle.
2. like a double crochet (dc) – 2 loops (1 ch) and 2 wraps
3. like a treble (tr) – 2 loops (1ch) and 3 wraps
4. like a double treble (dbl-tr) – 3 loops (2ch) and 4 wraps
This sequence was repeated in decreasing order. 

We can see the height changing clearly, as well as the number of ‘coils’ around the 2 halves of the treble stitch and its variations.
Please note that this is NOT a crochet stitch as Ninetta has explained in her posts. I have merely used it as a reference for visualization.

If all this is confusing, take a step back and the pictorials will soon reveal all. I have actually gained a whole lot of minute & detailed understanding even as I wrote out this post, and am truly amazed at Ninetta's brilliance especially the 1st half of a treble stitch! For the 2nd half of the treble, the closest similarity I could find was with her Vapor Picot.

to be continued - how-to pictorials 

in helping a friend, one helps oneself

Monday, 16 July 2018

Wimbledon motif

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My personal tat-along for Wimbledon 2018!

2 weeks of Wimbledon. Not that I watch all the Center Court matches. Yet I needed to satisfy my tatting hands while I watched. Something medium-sized, not too stressful, where my eyes could focus more on the game…

Clover Mat
Lindsay Rogers’ ‘ Mastering Tatting’

July 2, evening.

After quickly completing my kitchen chores,  we sat down to watch Federer (defending champion) vs Lajovic.
I had earlier readied 2 shuttles, ctm, with Lizbeth 20, Vineyard Harvest. This variegation reminded me of the tournament colours and towels – but perhaps my memory was faulty coz I couldn’t find any magenta this time! Still, it had green for grass and shades of purple for royalty & tradition, and let's pretend the magenta represents strawberries! 

This is how far I reached after that speedy match ! 
I’d barely got the hang of the pattern when it was all over.
Now to watch Brazil vs Mexico - FIFA World cup. But the motif remains solely for the great W.

At the end of Federer’s Round 2 match. 
I had to switch to direct tatting (unflipped stitches) for chains to keep track of direction. 
The working of this pattern reminded me of the Magic Square.

His Round 3 match was too late for us to watch. 
So this was done during his Round 4 match against Mannarino. Another Master class!
2-shuttles, thrown/floating rings,  inward picot, lock join, picot join to right. 
Optional: fs/bs tatting, direct tatting (reverse stitch).

Quarter-final and he’s out, shockingly. But this is how far I got.
I was pleasantly surprised that the mat was almost the same size 
as the one photographed in the book.

I finished it off during Kerber's semi-final match. 
Her quarter-final with Kasatkina was an amazing match with both ladies 
playing some spectacular tennis. Eyes glued to their play!

I had deliberately left off the central ring (which could’ve been worked as a thrown ring) 
because I had this fear that there could be cupping. 
Adding the central ring later meant I could tweak the stitch count to suit the space. 
Sure enough, I added 2ds to each segment.

Yellow is for the tennis ball!
The completed mat measures 5X5 inches.

I consider this pattern easy in terms of the techniques employed, but requires Mindful tatting- what joins where, etc. Possibly my attention was so divided that I could not memorize the joining points even till the end. 

But the book itself made me comfortable.  I absolutely love the book binding – a normal spine on the outside, but spiral binding on the inside. The pages lie completely flat and I can easily tat along without damaging the spine.

Diagram is large and clear with only a couple of picots missing. Easy to keep track and follow along. Central ring count was missing but easy to guess with the entire pattern following the same count. In fact one can easily choose a different multiple and yet get the same result - only smaller or larger depending on one's choice. 

evenings of tennis and  football are over for now
but tatting goes on forever !

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

black blindness no more !

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How often have we ranted and raved;
avoiding black like the plague ?!
Well, avoid no more! Follow this tip to tat with thread of any colour and any thickness.

(click title to download pdf)

Tatting with black thread often means having to rely on motor /muscle memory. It is so difficult to see or distinguish each stitch! And heaven forbid if we lose count!
Well, fear no more.
Here's a simple way of counting stitches in black or dark coloured threads and even very fine thread. So tat on without a care; throw away that magnifier.

this is only an image. click here to d/l pdf
[ It was extremely difficult to take pics of the top view, despite seeking help. Only 6 of the tons made it through. Hence the diagrammatic illustration. ]

Turn the tatting towards you so that it is vertical and you now see the stitches from the TOP. It helps to view it against a contrasting background.
The line of stitches now looks like a serrated edge or a wave.
Slide/spread open the stitches along the core thread - separating them out a bit.
Each individual crest & trough of the ‘wave’ is now individually visible. Even in size 50 black (or thinner threads).
Count either the crests or the troughs to determine the number of stitches.

In traditional tatting, count the number of troughs.
1 trough = 1 double stitch.

In backside tatting where the sequence of half stitches is reversed (rods),
1 crest = 1 double stitch

Once you are satisfied with the number, push back the stitches and continue. 

Here's the same in thick thread - 
 There are 5 ds on either side of the picot on this chain...
Spread out the stitches and view from top. 
One can clearly see 5 troughs on either side of picot.

Simple? Try it and do tell. 
I have not come across any such tip. If you have, please share.