Thursday, 31 October 2019

who gobbled the sun?

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A mini video – please disregard the static. It’s actually the sound of the fan last night!

A few days back, Lilas Lace started a Celtic earring tat-along on facebook, which she has now posted in her blog here. From a bit of Googling, I find that it is a variant of the 4-leaf clover symbol.

It was a small project, broken into extremely tiny steps, And it was true Celtic interlacing unlike the ‘faux’ Celtic I’ve attempted so far. 
I chose Bliss variegated thread because it brings out the interweaving clearly. At the end, the motif is inserted within a 3cm ring which I did not have. This was the other reason I chose a thick thread (size 3 or 5), to mount on a bangle. 

The weaving itself took a long time! Pinning it down helped me keep track. After many trials, I reached this stage, where a part of it is still wrong. Took a pic to refer and remember. Then it was easy to undo and redo the last bit correctly...
TIP : Always remember that each chain/line goes over-under repeatedly. After choosing to keep the chain left of each ring above (over), at the next intersection it should be below (under), then again over and under meeting up with the next ring.

Final measurement – 2 inch square.
Pretty happy with it.

Now to make a suncatcher out of it - my very first. Chose a bangle with 2½” inner diameter and scurried over to the Queen of Suncatchers – Sue’s (His Kid) blog

  • Before starting, I tacked the overlapping chains at 4 points - peer closely to see white sewing thread knots in pic below. And notice all the tools I needed?!

Gold metallic thread to shine through the transparent crystals.
I first sewed crystals through the 8 tiny picots, rolling the thread around the bangle frame. I don’t how she does it … I had a tough time keeping the crystals in place.
Wasn’t satisfied with the look, hence added more crystals, along with small green bicone crystals. This time I simply tied and cut each thread! Easier to handle the sequence as well. Yeah, I’m still not comfortable sequencing the beads correctly for pre-stringing.

ecided to snip off the first round of crystals and continued with the rest. Huh, this looked much better. So that was it!

Now how to hide the little ends? Tatting over the bangle using a single shuttle, and hiding all ends within. (cover a cabone/plastic ring - scroll down to #5 for tut links). I enjoy this process as can be seen in my previous bangle projects.  

The air pollution has been so high, that it has gobbled up the sun. It’s dreary and difficult to breathe even inside the house. This is the best we could do this morning. Soon we will be literally caged in - next week we're going to put up toughened glass in the balcony, sigh. Sliding, yet not the same. 

Many thanks Lilas Lace & Sue !

Tuesday, 29 October 2019


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Some patterns are meant to enjoy! That is precisely how this vintage butterfly felt when Georgia announced it for this week’s class.
The Deaconess Butterfly 1916, re-written by Carolyn Groves in 2002. When I went hunting for a Deaconess butterfly, I found her old site!
It is a well-written pattern, with clear instructions. But I also kept referring back to the model image(s) frequently, to stay on track. It is worked in one pass. A very clever presentation by Carolyn Groves.
I decided to play with beads. Small projects are ideal to try out ‘new’ stuff. And not everything was planned ahead. I unwound the shuttle to load seed beads, etc.
The ‘stuff’ that went on here –

  1. Black and orange beads pre-strung on yellow thread and the green seed beads on blue thread.
  2. Twisted (floating) picots for antennae. 
  3. Eyes and orange beads are ‘up’ beads- they need to go in the ring loop before starting the ring.
  4. Long beaded picot –On the tail ring I made a very long picot. After completing the butterfly, I put 4 black beads over it with a hook, then snipped the picot in the center and tied a knot to keep beads in place. Snip off excess ends.
  5. Rhoda Auld’s method for bead in center of ring. This was new to me. I Love it for various reasons and am eager to try out a few more ideas with it. I used it for all 4 wing rings.
The collage shows how the bead is hooked over blue thread and the loop is held with a holder pin/paperclip. This pin passes through both the loop And the picot. When it is time, a loop is pulled through both simultaneously to make the join. The bottom left is a back view to show join.

  1. Frontside/backside tatting meant I used down and up picot joins respectively. 
  2. Avoiding colour blip in Lock join – I did try my own method, but the thread is just too thick to hide it completely. And I was colour-blinded ;-P I thought the yellow blips could camouflage as tiny beads! 
  3. Ninetta’s blipfree join was used in a couple of picot joins, and as usual I counted the join as 1ds. 
  4. Elaine Gan’s Reverse join came in handy thrice, to switch threads/colours. 
  5. Green seed beads in place of all the picots on wings.
  6. In Anchor size 20,  the  butterfly is 2½” wide and 1¾” tall. A good size for brooch, pendant, or hair ornament
Phew, that’s it. I'm happy, though - getting more confident with beads! If you like this butterfly, fine, otherwise think of me being beady-eyed at the time ;-P

Oh, and I added a center to the Wreath snowflake prototype. It looks more like a flower now! This stitch count won’t work for an ice drop version. I added a faceted glass bead and wound the threads to make a suspension loop for ornament.

Many thanks to all for bringing joy fluttering into our TatLand!

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Auld is gold

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Snowflake #15 in Land of Laces’ 25 Snowflake Project

Wreath Snowflake
(& possible ice drop)
This is a prototype using Rhoda Auld’s bobble technique, based on Ninetta Caruso’s pictorial and can be worked in one pass.
The colours, texture, and central hollow create a wreath-like effect that can be inserted over a bauble or a candle. It can be suspended as a tree ornament or add bling for earrings or pendant. We can also continue on the back with a ring/chain round to encase a gem for an ice drop.

Model tatted with Anchor Pearl Cotton size 8 measures a tad over 1¾”. The glass gem has a diameter of just over ¾”

A rings-only pattern using 2 shuttles to stack them facing opposite directions (ring as fish). If it is your first time using Auld’s bobble, I recommend first trying Ninetta’s pictorial and then making one motif (repeat) of this pattern with scrap threads before attempting the actual flake.

Abbreviations and Notes :
Sh = shuttle. R = ring . SS = switch shuttle. JR = Josephine ring (half stitches)

Sh1 – green ; Sh2 – red
I tatted over tails at the start, hiding under respective rings.

Θ -  Rhoda Auld's method to join stacked rings, as shown by Ninetta. It basically captures the other shuttle thread within the open ring, between 2 stitches.
For odd rings (green here), follow Ninetta’s method. Pass Sh2 through ring from behind, and over the shuttle (core) thread.
For even rings (red here), do the opposite : pass Sh1 over Sh2 core from above and down through ring loop.

Always keep previous work to the left.

RW = reverse work. I started off without any reverse work as in the tutorial, but found that the thread emerged on the ‘wrong’ side of ring. For some reason, RW made it easier to manage the bare thread space! Hence, it is better to RW after each ring in this pattern. 

btsSh2 (red) bare thread space about 1ds wide on the outer edge of both sides of the odd rings, ie. a total of 2 or 2½ ds wide bts
Do not leave any bts before starting green odd rings.

Pattern : 
Sh1 : R1: 3 Θ 3. rw, SS
Sh2 : R2: bts, 6 Θ 6. rw, SS rotate
Sh1 : R3: 9 Θ 9. rw, SS rotate
Sh2 : R4: bts, 12 Θ 12. rotate
         JR: 10. rw, SS  Capture with overhand tie to center the floating ring.
Sh1 : R5: 9 Θ 9. rw, SS
Sh2 : R6: bts, 6 Θ 6. rw, SS
This completes the first motif. Repeat 5 more times, joining back in a circle.

Do not cut thread. Continue around the inner margin with a lock chain. (I had already cut off threads when the idea occurred, hence you see a green lock chain).

Lock Chain : [5 +(space after R1)]x6.

Cut and tie and hide ends.
OR continue with the lock chain to make a loop for tree ornament.
OR continue at the back with rings and chains to encase a cabochon for ice drop.

I am not happy with my Josephine rings. Pearl cotton is not a good thread for tiny rings or JRs. Perhaps next time I will use beads instead.

My initial idea was to use stacked rings only as a central round, adding more round(s) on the outside. But I like the shape and didn’t feel like disturbing it. The idea for outlining the Inside, came to me suddenly a couple of hours back, and I made the lock chain.
Another idea alongside, was to make David’s Star in the negative space using interwoven lock chains.

What do you think? Your opinion and suggestions are valuable, so please speak freely.


Have I told you yet? Since mid-2017, I haven’t uploaded any pics to my pattern page – it is already so crowded!!! Then I had this idea and started a few months back - listing all my patterns in Google Doc files, category-wise. It is easy to update and see at a glance. The Snowflake patterns are all up to date with a photo and links. Even if a pattern has a pdf file, I request you to go to the respective blog post since that is where I may post more tips, and updates. And comments often offer a lot of ideas J

 ËÌËÌË happy deepavali  ËÌËÌË

Thursday, 24 October 2019

a friendly neighbourhood

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I count my blessings to have such talented and generous friends in my global/digital neighbourhood. Here are a few ‘gifts’ I gratefully received recently….
In the order they were worked....

Elizabeth’s doily Round Robin 15.
Jenni Clark (Liyarra) posted her beautiful pink version on facebook & I liked it for a snood. She shared the pattern with me. It is from an old blog ‘tattingroundrobin’. Does anybody have a link?

More rounds to go.
Not happy with my chains - some overlap. Not a problem as it will not show up when worn.  I used 2 colours to showcase the flower shape, the green showing up as foliage.
Does the center look familiar?  Yes, it's what started the whole False CTM exploration. And to think I started this as a slow side project to disengage my mind and focus on downsizing my UFOs ;-P

Spool Pin Doily 
Who else but Anita Barry can come up with a butterfly to place under the spool pin?! How cute to have a butterfly sitting pretty on the sewing machine, keeping an eye on our sewing (or current lack of it, in my case)?! She is making these to sell at fairs, etc. yet shared the pattern with me!
Again playing with colour placement and had to include some lavender! It is worked continuously using 2 shuttles.
Now this is an example where we can continue into next rounds using the same core thread (in this case the mustard) but adding new colours for each round since they are chains with thrown rings : false ctm! If only I had remembered ;-P
This time I simply twisted the long antennae picots when it was wet. One picot is missing on one of the purple chains - can you identify it?

Walla-Walla Sweet Onion Motif 
Kathleen J. Minniti is not only talented but also explains so well! I understood Aurora’s onion ring technique when Kathleen used it for my dancing peacocks doily! But she uses only a half stitch instead of a full ds to capture the inner ring. I do like this method!
She PM-ed this pattern a couple of months back, with 3 versions for the center leaf. The left motif has a dot picot tip, and right one has a bullion knot (which got pulled out when I closed the ring).
A clever feature of this motif is the captured picots! Multiple alligator joins across the same picot. The left one has smaller picots than the right one. I like it, but need more practice.

Both these patterns (butterfly & onions) can be worked in one pass using 2 shuttles.
We mostly get pink/red onions here, but I've eaten similar onions in Australia.

Bobble stacked rings
And finally below is my trial of Rhoda Auld’s bobble technique posted by Ninetta Caruso which she shared with everybody ;-D  
Here again, one captures the previous thread in the current ring. It reminded me of how Ninetta curled her small rings.
I wanted to see if a circle could be formed with the stacked rings and then to see how it works with different ring sizes. I want to use this in one of my snowflake centers. Many textured effects are possible with this technique! 

Captured together...the butterfly & onion motifs are worked with Anchor Pearl cotton size 8, and the bobble trial is in Anchor size 20. Elizabeth's doily measures 4½" so far in Anchor size 40.

You generous ladies have captured my awe and gratitude J

Sunday, 20 October 2019

flowers love me

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Snowflake #14 in Land of Laces25 Snowflake Project

Which is why they keep popping up in my snowflakes!  Don't blame me if you don't like flower flakes ;-P
Hidden Rose Snowflake

This wasn't how I had visualized it. I was almost asleep when the design emerged and I thought of lock chains for a V structure.  Next day, as I tatted, it turned out a rose was hiding there instead!

It is kind of a meandering one-pass pattern with shuttle and directional switches. 
I have presented the pattern such that shuttles are in position for next element and avoid any unseemly crossover threads.
There may be times when you feel the element is not correctly positioned. Don't worry, the next element(s) pull it into place.

Worked in Anchor size 20, it measures 3 inches point to point. As a motif, it is 2½ inches across.

There are multiple joins in same picot, hence keep picots normal sized. Do Not make the joining picots very small.

I have included a few progress pictures, along with 2 diagrams – one showing sequence of work/elements, and other the stitchcount. Colour coding in the diagrams should assist in keeping the right shuttle in hand for each element.

I would love to see this flake in 2 colours with decorative picots or beads. I love this snowflake and hope you enjoy it.

This gold rose is very special. It is a real rose with real stem & leaves, that has undergone 41 stages of processing to preserve the life-form, and finally plating it with 24 carat gold. But it is extra special to me for a symbolism that holds sentimental value. One of those rare romantic surprises that my otherwise practical & realistic hubby gifted on a very special day.

UPDATE : Although the process pictures for the first motif are in the pdf, they have been downsized. I am adding them here for easier viewing.

Related Posts

Saturday, 19 October 2019

false CTM Part 2

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Continuing the concluding Part 2 of false ctm. As expected (see comments in Part 1), most of us already use this trick in some form or situation. Now we have a name for it (thanks to Jane McLellan), and a number of situations listed together for easy reference. 

Combining CTM and False CTM

Following are examples where one set of ball and shuttle is wound ctm, but a 3rd shuttle/thread is also at play. The first shuttle or the ball is used only later.
Can we call this false ctm?  Or is it delayed ctm?! ;-D

4. False ctm in 2-colour tatting
In the doily I started, I wanted to add colour only in the center, and the next few rounds were to be in ecru, worked continuously. Here’s what I did –
Wind 1 shuttle fully, but keep the thread connected to the ecru ball as in CTM (NOTE: ball can be replaced with a 2nd shuttle; here I used ball). Wind another shuttle with some green thread for the rings.
I started with the green ring, using the ecru ball for chain. The ecru shuttle lies to the side and will not be used in this round.
Notice there is only one green tail at the beginning, hidden in first ring!
After working the last chain (seen from back in first pic), cut the green thread, join to base of 1st ring, and hide tail on the other side of same ring (or under next row element).
I now have 2 ‘continuous’ ecru threads ready to start the next round!
If pattern calls for 2 shuttles, pull out thread from the ball and wind 2nd shuttle – a ‘false ctm’ – or continue with ball and shuttle.

5. False ctm in SCMR
[ SCMR – self-closing mock ring ]
A mock ring is often used as a central ring/medallion to climb out into the next round. Usually the ring is made separately if using 2 colours, or we climb out using a mock picot for which CTM is required. Following are examples where false ctm is used effectively.

I like to use a different colour for the ring. Pull out a length and wind in blue shuttle to make the SCMR. When the ring is closed, make a mock picot to climb out (#5 in collage above. If the pattern calls for it, we can tat a split ring to continue in ring/chain round). Now add new thread to the red shuttle, ie. on the core thread, and continue with next round.
Notice in step #8, 3 shuttles are still attached. This gives me a choice of which shuttle to use to continue, if I have sufficient thread in each.

This heart is another example of 2 coloured tatting using red mock rings in center. The false ctm involves 2 balls and one shuttle (yellow is ctm ; yellow shuttle & red ball is false ctm). Since the outer round is simple rings and chains, I snip off and later hide the red tail, continuing only with yellow ball and shuttle. 

Above is an example where a ball and shuttle are used, but the threads are cut/different colours. Use shuttle to make the mock ring (tatting over ball tail) and climb out. Hide the shuttle tail in next element.
Ball can be replaced with a 2nd shuttle. Colours can be switched. Possibilities galore.

In summary,
Anything that we do with CTM (continous thread), can be done with False CTM, and much more, since the latter allows use of different colour. The main thing is to Look before starting and review choices. We don’t Need to start CTM every time a pattern calls for it. Use your discretion to convert it into false ctm, if required and play with leftover threads and colours.
My pictorials depict a sequence where the threads are in position for the next element or row. However, we can use a shoe lace trick (SLT) to change positions.

And don't forget to join me in my next post - I have a New snowflake that I am itching to show you, along with a pattern!!! 

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

false CTM Part 1

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Before the tatted rope jumped in, I had started an old doily pattern to keep my hands busy, but my mind disengaged in order to focus on pattern writing. But it, too, led to a ‘quick’ foray into ‘false CTM', something I’ve been doing a lot, in numerous situations, especially when working with 2 or more colours. I like this term recently coined by Jane McLellan.

CTM – continuous thread method, where we wind one shuttle, and thread stays continuous with the ball. Or in case of 2 shuttles,(and here, including comments), wind one shuttle, then without snipping off thread, wind the other.

We tatters prefer to start with a ring and also add new thread on a ring.
With ctm, one can start anywhere, even with a chain, with NO ends to hide. However, it works Only with single colour tatting, obviously.

False CTM is essentially the same but one of the threads is a fairly short, utilitarian length, and new thread is added at a distance. This new thread can be of same or different colour. 
It is a very convenient solution to -
  • use up threads already on shuttles
  • climb out for continuous work
  • start with a chain
  • start with 2 colours
  • add a different colour, yet work continuously
  • spot or localised treatment for mistakes
It avoids having to hide a lot of ends in a single element and allows tatter to choose a inconvenient location to add new thread/colour. 

This may not be new for most experienced tatters. For newer learners, I hope the listing will help.  

1. False ctm to climb out in continuous/one-pass tatting

1A. Mignonette and single-colour tatting :
I first remember hearing it in the Online Tatting Class with respect to mignonette. Mignonette is a single shuttle technique with tiny rings and tatters began pulling out a length of thread from their shuttle to work the few split rings required to climb out after each round, and work continuously. No more cut and tie and hide ends after each round.

1B. Multi-colour continuous tatting :
This is a doily where I used false ctm a few times, reducing the ends to hide and also tatting the next rounds continuously despite using different colours. Where possible, either the core thread or ball thread from previous round is continued, replacing only one thread to change colour.
TIP : How to add new thread to a chain is a very handy skill.

2. False ctm when starting with a chain
I always make knotless additions – tatting over tail(s), as can be seen in next examples. Follow your preferred method of starting/addition.

2A. False ctm in chain, adding to core thread, closest ring faces inwards (is to be worked with core thread). The chain will continue in same colour (mustard here), but the new core thread can be of different colour, hence rings will be in that colour. This works on a shuttle and ball pattern where the red shuttle can be a ball.

2B. False ctm in chain, adding to working thread, and closest ring is a thrown ring. Pull length from shuttle and use this for the chain stitches. 2 shuttles.

Notice and compare the position of pulled length, shuttle(s), nearest ring, etc. in 2A & 2B. It keeps the old & new shuttles in the right position to continue without the need for any SLT (shoe lace trick).

2C. False ctm in chain with starter picot
A dead end chain or one starting with a picot is best started with continuous thread. In cases where this is not possible, a false ctm is Ideal. Pull out a length to tat till we reach a point where new thread can be added and hidden easily.

But here is where and why it started - starting chain with false picot – Needleart 1921 edging #6 where I wanted a grape bunch with leaves effect. 

3. False ctm when correcting a mistake
Jane used it to correct a mistake and avoid hiding 4 ends in the same place. With a false ctm, she moved the starting knots on both threads further down, hiding ends in elements of her choice.

There are More scenarios when a false CTM is so handy! These will be in Part 2. I didn't go into too much details for each collage pic, since the main points are already covered at the start. However, if anything is confusing, please let me know what you want.

to be concluded in Part 2

Sunday, 13 October 2019

lay it on, baby

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SOUP card and tatted rope pattern

Playing around. See, I don’t need friends to distract me; I do well enough myself !

Looking for ways to use up your little bits and pieces of tatted lace, medallions, learning or trial pieces, mistakes, etc.? Another SOUP* (Sewing On/Using Pieces)tatting card. This time I placed little pieces over the larger medallion. Haven’t glued them down yet, merely playing at a good composition….
This is where it all started – made the lower motif for a tutorial and then used up the leftover thread for the upper ring. 
In time for Diwali and other festivities – an idea in time saves a dime ;-P


Now that Ninetta has tested it, I want to put the pattern out, since I want to get back to other projects. She has also tried another variation/modification of this SR method (I will update with the link later), as well as a whole range of other techniques and will be blogging about it over the next few weeks at least. Keep an eye out – this is just the start!

Tatted Rope Bangle/bracelet/kadaa 
generic pattern 

The pattern can be adapted to suit your choice of thread and beads. I am merely giving the main process – adapt as you will. You can increase the number of colours, or decrease; change their placement to create new designs, …. And the length can determine which piece of jewellery it can become.  Play!

If you wish to practice without beads First,  try this tree trunk pattern here

Size 20 crochet cotton.
2 shuttles.
Picot gauge (I used 7mm but 6mm is sufficient)
Crochet hook (I used #12 to load bead on long picot)
Bicone crystals in 4 colours – 2mm.

With 18x4=72 crystals, this prototype is 4 inches long and about 1cm wide.

Choose one colour beads, and load half in one shuttle, the remaining half in the other shuttle. Wind shuttles ctm (continuous thread).
The remaining 54 beads will be later inserted Over the long picot,  at the time of joining, in the colour sequence desired.
NOTE : Length of long picot and number of stitches between these is determined by the size of your beads and the amount of thread you want visible.

- : measured or long picot (6 or 7 mm in this case)
B+ : load bead on long picot of previous (lower) ring, and join upper ring. I count the join as 1st half stitch, followed by 2nd half stitch.
SR : split ring  ; R : ring
SS : switch shuttle

Sh1 : R : 2 - 2 - 2 - 2. Close. SS and move bead from Sh2 to base or ring.
Start next SR with Sh2 keeping bead OUT of loop.
**Sh2 : SR : 1 - 1 B+ 1 - 1 B+ 1 - 1 B+ 1 / mock picot 1. Post Sh1. Close.
Leave some bare thread before working the 2nd side of SR (as in a mock picot, equal to the height of the bead).
SS and move bead from Sh1 and start next ring with Sh1 following same process **

Repeat ** to ** for desired rows, switching shuttles and moving bead from that shuttle to the base.

TIP : It becomes easier to work the split ring if, after the 1st double stitch, we work the 2nd side of SR (which is only 1 stitch) and then continue back with the rest of the first side. (Thank you, Ninetta)

TIP: Post shuttle : If the shuttle that is used for 2nd side of SR is passed through the ring before closing, the bare thread from mock picot is not visible, ie., keep the shuttle INSIDE the loop. It may cause a bit of twist in the ring, but is of no consequence. 

TIP : If you wish to join back to starting ring, seamlessly/invisibly,  tat the 1st ring as follows : 1(-1)×7. The 'free' picots can later be used to load bead and join to last ring.

Insert required findings/clasps for jewellery. Or simply tat one last ring and curl it around the first ring to complete the circle.

It gets easier and easier as one gets into the rhythm. So if a bead-challenged person (ahem, I) can do it, you surely can! Give it a try ….