Wednesday, 20 February 2019

rose is a rose

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rose is a rose is a rose, whatever the material used.
Time to make a rose spray after my first trial here.
Huh, turned out the coloured paper I’d bought had lots of coloured square sheets but only 3 of each colour. And each rose requires 3 sheets to make. It was either send hubby back to buy more, or simply go with the white rose. Why not? The first one did look good. And the theme seemed to be white (white saree, silver/white wrapping paper).
I found the video for DIY paper rose. It is by Dreamy Posy here. 
Also found an 'easy' rose bud video. Hmm, my fingers couldn’t turn out one as nice as in the video. Patience was hard to come by :-( 
Leaves are simple, as before, except for a spikier rim. Folded for veins.
A spray needs baby breaths! Watched this video by tsuku cafe and tried. Ugh, it was a horrendous job with glue & tissue sticking to my fingers. Not happy with the green taping either, but well, job done. (the 'well' is displaced ;-P).
Overall it looked fine. Hubby thought it was an overkill. More importantly MIL loved it and is going to use it to embellish her friend’s birthday gift in a few weeks' time ;-D
If we were geographically closer, I would’ve offered to make a better spray. I'm going to try my hand at crochet roses/flowers for next time. 

Sunday, 17 February 2019

drop it around the neck

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In crafting, nothing goes to waste! The ice drop here was a second attempt. The first attempt, too pretty to discard, is now a pendant!
Download Jane McLellan’s Elana ice drop pattern from her blog (listed on right panel).

I had 2 reasons for setting it aside as an ice drop : 
1. the perle cotton is not stiff enough it’s shape with the weight of the glass pebble unless stiffened later.
2. I forgot to link adjacent motifs (which is why you see 2 green beads between the motifs)! Clearly they would’ve started flopping even more as the round was completed.

The threads had not been snipped off for want of a decision at the time. So I finished the left side (as seen in pic) with a chain of 10ds, secured it properly to previous round, then continued with a pearl string.
On the right side, I pulled off a length of thread, inserted it through the base of split ring and repeated as above.
Both pearl strings were tied off with relevant findings and thread ends needled back through the end beads before snipping off closely.

I hand-sewed pearl & green seed beads on the top part of the pendant later. Obviously one can simply string the beads beforehand and tat regularly with beads in place of picots.

This picture shows the overlapping motifs clearly. But with mere 4 repeats, this pendant does not require stiffening.
So that’s the story of the incomplete ice drop! Crafty, eh?! ;-P 

The green glass pebble used here is 2cms in diameter. Anchor Pearl size 8 ( Lizbeth 20) white thread.

Friday, 15 February 2019

curled and celtic

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Overcoming the lethargy to work with beads means I take the opportunity to work a few projects in quick succession! This time it is Ninetta’s ice drop with curled rings. Well, it does have another round with treble hearts, which changes the circle to a square. I stopped at 2 rounds since this appealed to me even more.
The variegated didn’t quite turn out as pretty as I'd visualized. And as you can see, using it for the curled rings makes it look too busy. Went with silver (on right) and snipped off the earlier part.

TIP : To get the curled ring to look like a heart, insert the ring (the picot end) from below and fold/curl from above. This difference is clearly visible between the first 2 curls on the left.

As recommended, I chose a 2cms glass pebble. Yet for some reason it looked like 8 repeats would be too tight a fit, so a 9th was added. No, didn’t need it!

I like the clever way she used 2 motifs to interlace and trap the cabochon within! Faux Celtic along with curled rings and more – nice!! You can see the underbelly in Ninetta’s post – I forgot to take a pic. 

I have one more ice drop pendant to show you next time ... stay tuned :-))) 

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Goldilocks meets a friend

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Remember how I couldn’t introduce you to Goldilocks since she was already in bed? 
The wait is over. Meet Goldilocks and her friend, Elana! 
Well, opposites attract again (see comments here)! Gold / silver; tiny / large; warm / cool; quick project / long project; AND our two friendly designers from different hemispheres!

Closing the spiral ring using metallic thread was a tad dicey. Anyway, after making it with single shuttle, I switched the shuttle thread to regular cotton size 20, using gold for the visible stitches.
Lenka shared some nice pics on how to add beads in spiral rings. Do check out her beautiful applications of the spiral rings. 

Red Rose metallic gold size 20 & Anchor size 20. size 16 seed bead & crystal teardrop.
2+ cms across & 3+ cms long without teardrop.

Jane McLellan’s Elana has long been on my to-tat list. It is such an elegant pattern.
And I wanted to stick with blue and white. This is actually my 2nd attempt; the first being left aside after 4 repeats for 2 reasons. But read what happened in next post here. (Update)

Notice the missing chain in first round? I used the double ring & chain sequence. And the rings on the back are 5-5-5.
I used bead as picot gauge method to load bead with a crochet hook only when it was time to link. Yet the small Pony shuttle bobbin had to be loaded twice.
Adjacent Ankars motifs are slightly tightly packed with some overlap – perhaps my seed bead was too large?
But I love how it looks despite the thick white thread! And finally another struck off the unending list
Blue glass gem - 2¼ cms x ½ cm high. The pebble is not absolutely clear but has shaken snowglobe effect.  Anchor white 20.  3½" diameter

2 projects, but so many techniques have been incorporated! My knid of tatting ;-P
And now that I have my beads and gems out, there are a couple more projects queued ;-D

Monday, 11 February 2019

simple in spring

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Vasant Panchami, also spelled Basant Panchami, is a festival that marks the arrival of spring, celebrated by people in various ways depending on the region.’

The Hindi word for spring is ‘basant’ and from it is derived the colour ‘basanti’ which is similar to the yellow of mustard flowers. (Remember my 2017 spring garland with it’s mustard fields, etc.?)
By chance, but perfect timing!
When I saw Elaine P Gan’s Rose Heart, I wondered whether 2 shades of yellow would work well here.
This is my first project from any of her patterns, though as you know, I’ve been a frequent user of her reverse join! And, through Sue’s test tatting, I have admired how she puts together patterns using simple motifs and fairly basic tatting.

Worked in Anchor size 40 (00293 & 00302), with ball and shuttle.

No heart should be alone!
I’ve been seeing lovely models of Gloria Nelson’s With All My Heart in facebook and liked it’s simple elegance. The outline appears like a free-flowing scroll!

A clover is arguably the simplest heart shape in tatting. So why not highlight that with a contrasting colour? How to do it without too many ends to hide???

Aha. SCMR – self closing mock rings! And all worked with one shuttle only! Same as what I did with the very colourful scrappy doily
I wound yellow in the shuttle without cutting it from the ball. The magenta is ball only.
Work all 3 clover rings as mock rings using yellow core thread from shuttle.
Then snip off the magenta (with tail to whip stitch later) and continue the outer round using yellow ball thread.
The thrown/floating ring at the bottom is also worked as a mock ring.

Worked in Anchor Pearl size 8 (00291 – shuttle & ball ctm & 04380 ball).

Both hearts measure approx. 4cmsx4cms (bit longer than wide) and are quick enjoyable tats. And I used Ninetta's blipless join again. 
I like the contrast of these designs - one frilly the other stark. Yet both so beautiful. Although I worked both as simple motifs for now, Gloria's pattern is for a beaded lanyard and Elaine has used hers on a card.

AND, Buddy Hearts will be taught in the Online Tatting Class by Georgia today ! All are invited and hope I can join in.  With frequent and long spells of illness over the past year, I haven't been able to attend regularly,  if at all  :-( 

Saturday, 9 February 2019

a heart in spring

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I do love a challenge! And this time it was kind of a double challenge with Jane McLellan suggesting the use of more colours. It is Sharon Briggs’ 1-31-2019b Heart and read the comments there. I certainly wish the heart had a better name ;-D

In order to get a feel, I worked the first one in single colour (except for the dimpled heart motif). 
TIP : Leave some space between the dimpled heart and ring at it's base in order to accomodate 2 lock joins later. 

 Also took a few in-process pics in case someone would like to reference later. 
Wondered whether a smooth outline would look good; so I decreased the count in the outermost chain and used Catherine Wheel join (cwj). Nope, I don't think it works!

Having tatted many of Sharon’s patterns, I’ve come to realise that my chains (and tatting in general) are more taut than Sharon’s and I need to factor that in to avoid cupping.

Now for the coloured spring impression.
I started the yellow flower on the right, climbed out to the left, then added a short 10ds chain between the yellow flowers in order to get back to the right side and follow as per diagram. (indicated as 1 in pic below)
BUT I realised after completion that this short chain is not required IF one starts with the flower on the left!!! Work left flower, climb out to right flower, and then add green to continue working as per diagram.

Work counterclockwise to complete the left foliage (2). Notice where the split chains and rings are. The lower SR that links to the heart is worked last, so as to continue along to the next round (3).
Interestingly, I got to work split chains in both directions - left to right & right to left! Check out the tutorials here.
Another change – omitted the little ring in the dimpled heart motif. I think this stands out much more as a tiny heart framed by the large one.

In order to frame & highlight this spring-y impression, I added the beige for final outline.
Can’t say how much is evident, but a couple of my split chains are incongruent making the overall heart a bit lopsided.

So, Sharon & Jane – your thoughts ?

Both are worked with size 40 threads and measure around 5cms X 6cms.

Anchor 4054-40.
blue – 00130 ; teal – 00528.
red – 00046 ; yellow – 00293 ; green – 00229 ; beige – 00368.  

With these hearts, I have now officially used every size 40 colour bought recently ;-D

Thursday, 7 February 2019

Buddy Hearts

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Sharing 5-in-1 Buddy Hearts patterns !!!

The pattern presentation would’ve been completed in November last year, if it weren’t for, well, life. Just so happy to be able to do it at least before Valentine’s Day!
the original notated pic Anita sent me!
There are 2 pdfs. 
The short version only has diagrams and is a single page printout.
The long version has diagrammed & written patterns, along with tips for impeccable tatting from Master Tatter Anita Barry. It also has a write-up about out design process and relevant details, which anyone can use to create their own heart patterns! Anita wrote her patterns while I wrote mine. So even if you decide to print only the diagram-version, I still urge you to at least read the long version for the insights. And, of course, for the tremendous time & effort we put in ;-P

Since I had already posted my thoughts here, I invited Anita to write about her journey. Which is when I realised our diametrically opposite approaches to designing our respective hearts – reminds me of centrifugal v/s centripetal forces!

See, where Anita goes from the out in, having drawn the heart first, I chose the decorative piece first and then drew an incomplete heart outline which was ‘completed’ with leftover motifs forming one side.
Further, her hearts can be worked continuously, whereas my hearts are a combo of separate pieces – the floral spray and the heart proper, and worked in 2 thread sizes for better effect.

Read about both approaches in the pdf. And oh, there is a bonus heart pattern in the bundle – 5 complete patterns for our tatting buddies, and one slight variation.

Click to download pdf :

Anita's models of Inside Your Heart & Cross My Heart
my Budding Heart - original & with variation
I used a CWJ in my Budding Heart models,
though not indicated in diagram. 
Blossoms Heart with & without butterfly
Anita's bonus pattern - Daisy Heart !
my rendering of Anita's Daisy Heart in
Anchor size 40 (maroon) & Lizbeth size 20.
Enjoy J
And in Anita's words – “Think happy thoughts”. 
Connect with your buddy and spread new tatting hearts around !


Update : Taught in Online Tatting Class on Feb 11, 2019

Sunday, 3 February 2019

3 little bears but where is Goldilocks

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It all started because I really wanted to tat Ninetta’s latest heart earrings. But I started out with her 3 little treble stitch motifs, the first of which I had done in July 2018. That's Mama Bear!
Papa Bear looked like a dahlia (yes, you can laugh at the incongruity!) and I worked it accordingly – flower surrounded by a bit of foliage. My intention was to tat only 3 rings in the green part to resemble leaves. While tatting, I kept admiring how well Nin had tatted those tiny rings. Little did I realize they were 12ds each and I made them only 6ds! But it worked out fine and I really like the overall effect!!!
The flower part ruffled a bit but flattened after a rolling pin block.

In Anchor size 40 (yellow 00302 & green 00269) it works out to just under 6cms.

Baby Bear was surprisingly quick to work. This has SCMRs with tds segments and thrown rings. As usual, I made an unflipped half stitch after closing the mock ring. She shared some process pics here.
In Anchor perle size 8 (01215), it measures around 3cmsx3¼cms.

Have you noticed the missing J & K in Ninetta’s diagram? She tells me that standard Italian alphabet does not have j, k, w, & y J

When it came time to measure and select beads for the earrings, I found Goldilocks had already gone to bed! Before she woke up, Sharon shared a challenging heart pattern, which I started instead - always sleepy when it comes to beads ;-P No problems, Goldilocks will soon have her earrings!

Saturday, 2 February 2019


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‘waffling’ [North American]  : fail to make up one’s mind.
I first saw Diane’s admirable waffle stitch afghan(s) and immediately liked the texture! Several months later, Denise’s enthusiasm proved too contagious to resist. And the timing was right as I was convalescing in Dec.

After these learning trials, I set about crocheting a cushion cover for hubby’s chair. Which is why I started out with a 15” length. But started to get bored with the single colour (wish I'd factored in some white!) and tied off, changing my plan to an afghan. This first strip is worked along the length, but rest were worked up from the shorter side.

8 strips worked so far in 4 different colours. Each measures around 15”x3½” and weighs about 20gms. Jaypee knitting yarn/wool and 2.25mm/size13 hook.
Multiples of 3 and 2 extra chain stitches to start off, so that I get the same effect on either side.
I used only 2ch to turn.
Wanted to lay them flat before posting, but …

I need plenty more, but don’t know how to arrange them yet. Lots of arrangement ideas jotted in my grid pages, however my current waffling hampers progress!
Meanwhile I had other deadlines to meet, stuff to finish.

One thing is for certain; the entire afghan won't be waffle stitch. I intend to knit a few panels/blocks using different stitches – perhaps in batches of 8.

I kind of got into a rhythm with the stitch and it went fairly quickly; it consume a lot of yarn.

‘waffling’ [British] : speak or write at length in a vague or trivial manner.
Yelp! I’m leaving I’m leaving ;-P