Saturday, 30 March 2019

tape lace bookmark

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I went into a tizzy trying to find tatted bookmarks for 10 books in Hindi I was sending to my MIL for her friend. They were either brand new or almost so. In the very short time left after hunting down the books, I could only find 5 bookmarks, and no time to take pics either!!! Despite gifting or using bookmarks, I know there are more left. Time for some major reorganising, but before that some tatting ;-P

On cue, this video from Sushma’s Craft & Creations turned up. She regularly uploads videos on tatting, crochet, and embroidery, in Hindi. This is the first time I’ve tried her pattern. This is an insertion pattern she calls Tape Lace.
If planned ahead, I would’ve started with a ring at the tip – now the top looks ‘cut off’.
Also, the stark contrast in colours does not show the undulating effect clearly. 2 shades of the same colour would’ve worked better.

Decided to cut short my misadventure and end with a zigzag chain and tassel.
Using Red Rose pearl cotton (size 8), the body is 8 cms long and 2½ cms wide.
Techniques I used : 2 shuttles, directional (fs/bs) tatting, blipless join, SLT, zigzag chain, tassel.

If doing fs/bs tatting, all rings on one side are done frontside and on the other backside (reverse order double stitch or RODS). En bloc, as in the spinning wheel glass mat
SLT is used only once in each block
This is a comparative listing of Chains in Shuttle Tatting, along with tutorial links.
Don’t you like how even my tassel is this time? There’s a trick I’ll share soon.

The Book of the Vedas - Timeless Wisdom from Indian Traditions. By Virender Kumar Arya.
Since there is this ‘Hindi’ or Indian connection in this thread, I chose this book on Vedas. 
It is in English and offers a lucid 2-page summary of major religions, cultures, traditions, deities, beliefs, etc. A bird’s eye view of spiritualism with lots of images and charming layout. One can start and stop at any page! Hardbound with dust-cover.

I'm excited to show the other bookmark I've finished....

Thursday, 28 March 2019

DYJ instead of LJ

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Enclosed space medallions, as the term suggests, have a negative space outlined with tatting elements. When this space is large, the lace lacks the structure to hold it’s shape. Early tatters added a needle woven scaffolding after tatting was completed. 

Dora Young Join variation of 
Daniela Mendola's Filigree Stitch Motif
Now Daniela has shared a filling method that is all tatting and can be done with a single shuttle or a needle. It is like mignonette but instead of rings there are lock joins to the bare threads in previous round because we are moving inwards instead of outwards! She calls it Filigree Stitch or Punto Filigrana.
For my first attempt, I chose thick thread (Bliss, size 3?) for medallion and placed it on grid paper to mark the picots and the distance between them. 
Ninetta’s blipless join (without the half stitch) is perfect for variegated threads.

This gave me an idea of the length of bare thread required. It is 7mm here.

For filling I chose finer Red Rose pearl cotton size 8 (20) to better see, feel, and control. Single shuttle required.
Filigree stitch is done with lock joins from the back side. I started, but managing the lj was tricky. So I switched to Dora Young Join (DYJ) which is like the Catherine Wheel join but with one shuttle/thread only. This is done from the front, and appears like a double stitch. It locks in the bare thread and holds shape well. It is the same as tatting over a cabone, but only one stitch.

At this stage it started to ruffle a bit. Simple rolling pin blocking flattened it out later.
I thoroughly enjoyed this DYJ filling - it was smooth sailing - though the BTS could've been shorter. This was so much more fun than needle-weaving. And this DYJ filling has created a bit of a different look. 

Apologies to Daniela for not following the letter, only the spirit. But now that I have an idea, I will be trying again with shorter BTS and lock joins to achieve the beautiful pinwheel effect. Might even need more rounds. I will be snipping off this filling to rework the new one. 
Would a variegated or tinted thread filling show off the swirl better?

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Monday, 25 March 2019

uniformly tatted motifs

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A week back I was tagged on Facebook for suggestions on how to make uniform medallions. I love to receive such questions 'coz it gets me thinking and helps me understand better through a fresh new look. I listed 8 common factors at the time, 2 of which she had already suggested (#6 & #7). The following list has been refined and updated and will hopefully be of use to relative beginners.

How To Tat Uniform Motifs and Medallions 
This is a generalised list of 10 factors. There may be pattern-specific factors that may affect uniformity which are not covered here. For instance the swirl join in the model below. 

1. Thread
Mercerised crochet cotton which is tightly wound will keep stitches even, unlike perle/pearl cotton. Experienced tatters can work equally well with any thread.

2. Personal experience
One’s tatting tension improves and becomes more consistent the more one tats.

3. Familiarity with pattern
Sometimes the first working of a new pattern may not be representative since we are intent in figuring out the pattern. Once familiarity sets in, one can focus solely on the work. Hence it may be advisable to disregard the 1st attempt and choose the 2nd motif as a base or reference for future.

4. Template
Scan the chosen motif or glue it over a grid paper to use as template for reference. All future motifs can be placed over it while working to confirm uniform progress.

5. Techniques
Again, consistency and continuity of techniques employed in the pattern.
eg, whether working frontside/backside or traditional; or whether working chains with regular ds or with reverse (unflipped) stitch; and so on. 
In case of Josephine rings and chains, choose whether to work them with first or second half stitch and carry on with the same method. 
Do not change midways.

6. Elements
Consistency in elements is important, especially when working long chains and large rings. Ensure that the stitches are snugged with the same even tension throughout the entire piece.

7. Picot measurement
While uniform picots are visually appealing, the joining picots need to be of the same size to avoid disfigurement. A picot gauge may be a handy tool to use. Detailed article on the choices we have - Measuring the Picot  

8. Joins
Some count the join as a half stitch while others do not. Some prefer a down join to an up join. Whichever way you choose, continue with it throughout.

9. Beads
If using seed beads in the motif, select evenly sized beads.

10. Blocking
Pull motif into shape and use a template to block each medallion accurately. Blocking really helps in 'hiding' minor flaws or discrepancies, so that the final motif becomes a replica of the others. 

Can you add to this list? I love hearing from you!

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Wednesday, 20 March 2019

bye bye winter

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It’s done; before Holi which signifies the end of winter in the lunar Hindu calendar. Took a bit longer because there were days my mind was cliffhanging ;-P 
On reaching the arms, I realised there was sufficient yarn left to continue in yellow. But to keep the chest warmer, I picked a denser pattern (#44 in The New Knitting Stitch Library by Leslie Stanfield). I was going for flames, but made an error and the pattern turned into diamonds. Still it looked good.
It is also a 16 row pattern that needs with multiples of 6 (+1) stitches. 8 rows have been offset from the original, to change into discreet diamonds.

Finally running out of yarn for the arms & neck strips, I picked up the white and added a trim in yellow. Barely 10 gms yellow left now, phew.
I’m going to embroider a small sprig in white, but have burned the fingers on my right hand. Embroidery (and tatting) will have to wait till the blisters subside.

While the photos may not show it, the blouse/top does look very pretty and hubby approved ;-D
This is fresh off the needles, with no ironing/blocking. Will only be worn next season. I didn't shape the body coz I like breathing space ;-P 

Happy Holi, everybody !!! Colour the town with tatted threads J

Thursday, 14 March 2019


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Cliffhanger - as in a dramatic (hopefully) end to a series... Yes, you'd be right in thinking this, if only to an extent. There are numerous, I mean Numerous ta-daa moments I have left unshared, but there's more.

Look closely and you will see the cliff is made of an ever-increasing heap of pending posts, unfinished projects, wishful projects, WIP presentations, and on and on.... getting higher and steeper by the day.

And you see that tiny dangler? Why that's me hanging for dear sanity, for organisation, for speed (yeah, not That kind!), focus and diligence. The winds of lethargy and piling stress are buffeting this 'cliffhanger'.

Can she hang on - for how long? Can she persevere to overcome and survive the years of buildup?! Can she land on her feet running? Or will the cliff pile-on finally tilt over and crush her under the debris?!

To know the answers, wait for the next episode 😈😈😈😈

So are you a fellow cliffhanger or are you sitting pretty 😄🌹🌹🌹

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

a Celtic flip

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Remember how I wondered about a Celtic variation here? This is how I went ahead to complete a Celtic variation of Ninetta’s Curled Ring ice drop.

Notice there are no curled rings here, but the beaded rings are raised. I was hoping for more of a water lily effect.  

The pattern for 2 motifs/medallions remains the same as Ninetta's original (I have inked the count in the pic above for easy reference).
BUT, I flipped the cabochon, switching the motifs in the process : the lower one is now in the front/on top, and vice versa.

I didn’t tat a new one, simply added to what was already tatted. One can call this a prototype variation if you will,  with scope for improvement. 

For outermost green round, after the first lock join to previous round, I continued with the Slope and Roll join. It looked better.
There was a very geometric and open shape after completing the green, hence I added more silver rings in the empty spaces to look more like petals. If properly planned, a full round of 16 silver petals would give it more of a lotus/water lily effect. 

as seen from the back
I still don’t understand why the outline is more square than circular despite all chains being 7-7 ! Anybody?

In Gautam (green size 8) and Red Rose (size 20) metallic threads, the motif/pendant measures 4½ cms across and 5½ cms diagonally. The cab is 2cms.

Friday, 1 March 2019

changing tack

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According to the Hindu calendar, the festival of Holi will fall on 21st March this year, meaning we can expect the cold to last till then. Taking this into cognizance, I spurred myself into knitting a blouse/tunic. It's been 5 years since my last one! Tatting has really taken over my life.

I was given this yarn and the items knit from it looked fine and were said to be warm. There was a shine which I could live with. But when I started knitting, I just couldn’t get a feel for it. It was too nylon-ish, too artificial. It is a mix of 25% polyamide & 75% acrylic. Has anybody tried something similar? What is your opinion?

I tried earnestly for a few days, but finally gave up before it was too late.  
Frogged it and pulled out yarn from my own stash.

Vardhman Little Angel.  Shade LAL011. I only have 200gms and will again have to resort to a white yoke as in this 2014 topThis is 100% acrylic (at least the current ones on their site – mine are from 2012!), but at least it feels more like wool when knitting.
This is the true yellow shade, not the lighter/pale one in other pics.

I hope to finish it in a week, but there are tatting commitments, which may result in a race against rising temperatures. Thus, I chose a relatively repetitive pattern with just enough lace and change to keep my focus and retain interest.  
I used UK #12 needles for the border (p2,k1) and UK #10 for pattern. This is where it reached after 2 days. 

Pattern is again from my favourite book. I just naturally gravitate towards it - one of my Best and most used buys! All patterns are visual charts which I find very easy to follow and navigate. 
The one I chose, #196, is an 8+2 repeat over 16 rows.