Tuesday 31 December 2019

leap into a new year

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In a couple of hours earthlings will begin to usher in and celebrate the new year. 
A couple of pics of, perhaps, my most ambitious designing challenge to date ..... the furious flurry of the 25 Snowflake Project. I thank you for patiently following my 7 month long journey, and many have thrilled me with their enthusiastic response through actual tatting and tweaking!

I wish all my beloved readers, friends, and followers a hugely creative year ahead with peace, happiness, and good health.
You have all brightened and enlightened my life :-)))

I have made a couple more versions/variations since this pic was taken and will gradually share all patterns.
Find all snowflake patterns here.
I'm glad many of these are flower flakes or summer flakes -- with record winter spell -- chilliest and longest spell for over a Century !!! 

Monday 23 December 2019


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#24 & #25 in Land of Laces' 25 Snowflake Project.

Phew, it's done! The last 2, in the nick of time. And yet, I feel, actually I find, there are still so many ideas on my drawing board yet to see the light of day. And a couple midway on my shuttles.
Anyways, plenty of time for all that.

First, season's greetings to all my readers. Almost everywhere I see/read, the weather is playing havoc or is pretty 'un'seasonal. Hope good cheer prevails over and above the weatherman's predictions.

#24 is a throwback idea from 2016. This stacked adaptation is called Double Dotted Snowflake. I had liked how the twin dots appear close together, forming a virtual circle,  under the arches. I need to tat one more to confirm that it works as neatly as when 2 separate motifs are stacked. But more details, along with pattern, later.

And the final, #25, is a deliberately wonky tree which has spunk to be seen as crooked ;-p 

I came across this graphic card with this sketch in one of the blogs a couple of months back (can't find that blog now), and Loved the freeform sketch with character!

It was easy to convert to tatting, but beading took me a lot of time.

UPDATE : Pattern for this tree motif is posted in pdf here.

Now I need to take a group photo of all 25(+) models for this project. Wonder how I'll fit them all in one frame ... i have an idea, but like so many, execution belies imagination ;-D

Thursday 19 December 2019

monkey business

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Snowflake #23 in Land of Laces’ 25 Snowflake Project

Why did I title this post ‘monkey business’? I’ll tell you in a bit. Let me start from the beginning.

It was an amazing start in a sense. After a few beaded trials that needed more figuring out, I finally decided what I would do. But no lessons learnt, sigh. It ended up as a square. I think it looks superb as an ornament – pendant, earring, brooch?
While it holds well, if one wants to wear it, I think some stiffening will be needed otherwise the swinging beads will fold down with gravity. 
I wish I could capture the beautiful sheen & shine.

For the snowflake project though, I started a new one without beads. Folded rings are not often seen in snowflake patterns and I repeated the top ring inside the negative space as well. Lots of folded rings (need to practice, so don’t look too closely) and I like the overall design! 
Anita Barry spoiled it for me!!! I was pretty happy with my latest star but she saw a monkey face in it! She’s such a Goose. Now all I can see is a Monkey, too, or perhaps even a Lion or Tiger face. She even suggested a name like Monkey Mania and is determined to call her's 'monkey face'! Grrrr, I’m too Chicken to use it because then all everybody will see is that darned monkey!
I still know which name will stick, though ;-P
And do you see a Butterfly? I saw it while tatting and is worth pursuing.

While I have finalised the count, this star model can be considered a prototype since there is a bit of tweaking going on. So if you have suggestions, please do share. I might incorporate them.

It is too cold for me to work at my desktop for long, hence pattern will have to wait. I also want to make this a 6-armed snowflake. Then all 3 patterns can be uploaded in one go.

Meanwhile I have worked the first trial of #24. Should be able to work and share in a couple of days. 

Tuesday 17 December 2019

open treasures

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The treasure chest is open! Krystyna and Anita are sharing lovely patterns of their lovely Hidden Rose adaptations shown here!!!
Actually, there are a few other snowflakes where tweaks have been made. But I’d like to tat those up before sharing. It may take a while, but there’s always next season :-D

Getting right down to it ….

Krystyna Mura’s Earrings adaptation

Now this is a very clever use of thread which she has diagrammed as well. In her own words –
I wanted to make the whole rose bud in the shade of red. It is possible to get such a result with Lisbeth 20 "cranberry bush" (colour 181)
This particular thread colour is excellent for this goal
I wound the thread on two shuttles as it's shown below.
The ring - shuttle 1;
All chains [except lock chains, of course]: the core thread - shuttle 2.
Krystyna has captured the direction, sequence and count, etc. all in a single, easy-to-follow colour-coded diagram!

Since I don’t have any such variegation, my model is made in 2 parts. The yellow rose is made with 2 shuttles, continuous thread and stem/leaves in green ball and shuttle, continuous.
However, I captured the green thread at the base before starting the 1st lock chain.
For the outer chains in rose, I went clockwise instead of counterclockwise.
I didn’t snip off the yellow tails. These are easy to encapsulate within the green Josephine chain stem to avoid sewing in ends. After carrying them for a distance, I snipped each off at different points.
Krystyna used the magic thread trick to hide tail ends. I struck upon a new (I think) idea to end on a chain. Use the dead end, floating or single shuttle splitchain (SSSCh) method! Yes, it can be used to end, not just start a curlicue!

Here’s how –
Hiding Ends in Floating chain
After bottom leaf, double the shuttle thread and continue the Josephine chain by finger tatting over the other green ball thread. We are encapsulating the other tail.
On reaching the end, pass 2nd tail through the SSSCh loop, and snip off after about 1cms. Now pull the shuttle thread to close the loop, tugging the 2nd tail inside the stitches as well. Snip. No sewing in ends for those, like I, who cannot do the MTT.

I might do a stepwise pictorial later if anybody asks. 
Related - http://tipsaroundthehome.blogspot.com/2016/11/beginning-or-ending.html 

Anita Barry’s Heart adaptation
To see a heart in a rose snowflake is something Anita does well!
The rose count is tweaked slightly, however the original count will also work, provided the heart chain is reduced in length proportionately.
count and sequence notated in image
Rose - 2 shuttles, ctm. Use shuttle closest to the next element as core thread.
A: ring: 7 - 7. RW
B,C,D: Lock ch: vsp, 9, lock join, 10, vsp 9 +(ring)
E,F: ch: 18 lj vsp 20. T & C.
Heart - 2 shuttles, ctm. Start with shuttle #2
Chains have thrown rings (TR). Switch shuttle before and after each TR.
A: ring: 5 +(base of rose) 5. Switch shuttle
B: ch : 16, (TR:5), 3 , (TR:8), 3, (TR 14), 3, (TR 8), 3, (TR 5), 3, lj. SS
C: SR : 6/6.
D: SR : 6/6. SS. LJ.
E: Repeat chain going down, with thrown rings... RW
F: SR 5/5.
G: ring: 6-6.
This last can be a single shuttle split ring (SSSR) to hide ends.

UPDATE : Hidden Rose Heart pattern pdf.

I had tremendous fun tatting these pretty quick projects. In fact I used scrap yellow threads for both. Hope you enjoy them as well.
I will see you next with the #23 snowflake ! All photographed ….

Saturday 14 December 2019

Gotham Towers

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Snowflake #22 in Land of Laces’ 25 Snowflake Project

Taking in view the majority opinion in previous post, this is the 3rd round added to the snowflake. Since it has numerous possibilities (time is running out, & I am involved in helping out friends ;-P), I am counting it as #22, with 3 more to go. 

ConcentriCITY Towers snowflake
For some reason I was just not into this round – I hated my tatting, the curves in the chains were not sitting right, so many options kept invading my head, and I just slogged through somehow. I was almost on the verge of calling the 25 snowflake project over. After blocking it, though, I am fairly satisfied, and want to continue on.

Rounds 1 & 2 remain the same as shared here.
The only difference is the small ring at the tips is (3-3) instead of 5ds.

Since one tatter preferred written instructions, here is the entire written pattern. Choose your favourite method for making onion rings, pointed or angular chains, & joining 2 picots together. If required, adjust the stitch count so that the concentric rings & chains lay niched.

Abbreviation/Notation :
OR = onion ring ; -/p = picot ; + = join ; RW = reverse work ; Ch = chain ; -- = long picot ; 
SS = switch shuttle ; rs = reverse (unflipped) stitch - optional ; ^ = dot picot with Only 1 first half stitch (not 1ds) - optional ; 1SCMR = self closing mock ring made of 1 stitch.

Round 1 : ball and shuttle, continuous thread
OR1: 6 – 6.
OR2: 7 – 3 +, p 3 – 7. RW
Ch :  2 –– 8 – 8 –– 2. RW
This forms motif#1. Repeat 5 more times, joining each new OR2 to that of previous motif, and also the last to the first.
Note : None of the chain picots is joined. They all remain free.

Round 2 : 2 shuttles, continuous thread. Refer pictorial here .
Attach thread to BOTH picots on adjacent chains of previous round. I joined them simultaneously, but you can choose your own method, keeping it consistent throughout. See Eliz Davis’ study
Ch : 2 –– 6 lock join
OR1: 6 – 6.
OR2: 9 + p 9.
Ch : 12 + SS mock picot R: 3 – 3. mock picot SS, 12, lock join
Ch : 6 – 2, lock join through Both picots.
This forms motif #1. Repeat 5 more times.

Round 3 - TOWERS : 2 shuttles, continuous thread.

Attach thread to the outside of any onion ring formation, and continue around the triple onion ring.
The ‘towers’ are made of curved chains where I used reverse or unflipped stitches. To avoid this, you can RW, and switch shuttle.
You can choose your favourite method to make the points. There are numerous options, including a seed bead, which I have listed at the end of the post.
To create the point at the top, I made 1ds SCMR, and the points at the side are made with 1 first half stitch dot picot. 
Ch : 14, lock join, 5rs, SS, ^ , SS, 7, 1SCMR, 7, SS, ^ , RW 5, SS, lock join on other side of        OR ,
Ch : 8, lock join through Both picots,
Ring: 5.
Ch : 3rs, SS ^ , SS, 5, 1SCMR, 5, SS, ^ , RW 3, SS, lock join on other side ring, and again          through both picots.
Ch : 8, lock join
This forms motif #1. Repeat 5 more times.
Block into shape.

NOTE : I found that when I made the ^ on the right side and continued with unflipped stitches, there was a tendency for that point to get sucked in. You may notice it on some of the spears. My solution : Make the ^. Then reverse work. Leave a loop of core thread as if you were tatting a SCMR. Work the 3 or 5 stitches, and only snug the chain. This keeps the point intact.
I really should’ve used another method to change the curves of the chain, and I did try a couple, but somehow settled for this finally. Not happy with my work.

In Anchor Pearl cotton size 8, this measures 4”. Side of hexagon is 2”.

-         switch colours in onion rings, alternating the colours, as in block tatting.
-         use Victorian set for alternate onion rings.
-         change the tower curve from ‘spear’ to ‘trident’ (as in above trial pic)
-         padded double stitch (balanced ds) for sturdier spear chains
-         concentric chains for the towers (as in trial pic)
-         beads-          
-         Lee Buchanan gave me another idea to explore at leisure, to grow the tips as in real snowflakes.   

A few options to make pointed chains : Scroll through for tutorial links (many are listed under different headings/sub-headings)   
-         Shoelace trick (SLT), switch shuttle or reverse work
-         Frivole’s one-stitch SCMR  
-         Jon Yusoff’s pointed chain 
-    Martha Ess’ folded chain (2 half-stitches) 
-         Usha Shah’s dot picot (or a half stitch dot picot as in pattern, to reduce 'bulk')
-         Ninetta Caruso’s right angle
-         Daniela Mendola’s mimosa knot

Monday 9 December 2019

ConcentriCITY pattern

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Snowflake #21 in Land of Laces’ 25 Snowflake Project

This time I decided to go simple. Trouble with ‘simple’ is the constant fear that it’s already been done! Which is perhaps one of the reasons I did a 2nd round. A quick search did not throw up anything like this, and if there is, I haven’t seen or copied it.

I’ve used Kathleen Minniti’s captured adaptation of Aurora Lozada’s Onion Rings method. I find it ‘simpler’ and easier to remember, with great results. Kathleen captures the 1st/innermost ring in the first half stitch (within the loop after flipping the stitch) and proceeds with the 2nd half stitch. The rings stay snug.
In the 2nd round, where I worked the 2nd ring backside (RODS), I captured the inner ring in the 2nd half stitch (see pictorial below).

Both rounds are worked from front, clockwise....

ConcentriCITY snowflake
Small / Round 1 pattern
Worked in both Anchor Pearl (size 8, white) and Lizbeth (size 20), it is <4½ cms. As a hexagon, the side is 2cms.
Ball and shuttle, continuous thread. Start with the innermost ring (A) of onion ring. 
Choose your favourite method to make the onion rings.
I used Georgia Seitz’s Onion Ring or ball thread join.
Then work the chain. Note that the chain picots are NOT linked to each other. They remain free, and are slightly longer.

ConcentriCITY snowflake
Medium / Round 2 pattern
Worked in Anchor Pearl (size 8, white), it is 8 cms. As a hexagon, the side is 4cms.
2 shuttles, continuous thread.
Join to the 2 free picots on adjacent chains. I used a normal lock join, pulling up a loop simultaneously through both.
Check out this explorative study by Eliz Davis of how different ways of joining 2 picots together can be visually different. She tried Consecutive vs Simultaneous Joins. 

Start with the chain, going clockwise.
Lock join to the center picot. Make the 2 inner onion rings. Outer one is a chain, with a thrown ring. Join chain to middle ring, leave some picot space and make thrown ring. Leave equal space after closing ring, and continue chain. Lock join to same picot and continue chain, again making a join to the double picots simultaneously.

Repeat all around.

NOTE: I often have to tweak the stitches - adding half or full stitch in onion rings. Hence, depending on your tension, make the necessary adjustments.


The following pictorial shows how I worked one repeat, in directional or frontside/backside tatting. Red is shuttle1 & yellow is shuttle2.
1. After making the chain, make innermost ring with Sh1.

 2. Turn work and start next ring backside. Capturing the inner ring in 2nd half stitch.

 3. Close ring. Both shuttles are now in position to start chain.

 4. Make chain around the onion rings. Make onion ring join or lock join. Switch shuttle to tat a thrown ring, leaving mock picot space. Switch shuttle, and continue chain back on other side. Lock join to base. [see inset].   
 5. Make chain. Put hook through both picots of previous round to pull up a loop and make a lock join.
 6. Continue chain
 7. Make lock join and repeat from 1.
8. Snowflake complete.

 Round 3 TRIALS
I tried a 3rd round. These are the 3 repeats with tweaks in each (from 1 to 3). I couldn’t decide whether to go through with it or not, but feedback on facebook seems to be in favour of making a 3rd round.
I have a couple of questions, though –
  • Should there be a small ring (as in 1 & 2) or 2 picots (as in 2 & 3) between chains?
  • Should the outermost onion ring round be normal (1 & 2) or Victorian Set (as in 3)?
  • Anything else?
This will require making the entire snowflake afresh to make the picots the right size and avoid stretching. Hence it will be counted as a new snowflake for the project – I have 4 more to design/tat before the 25th, so I’m taking this lifeline ;-P

Saturday 7 December 2019

hidden treasures

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I can’t explain the feeling. I have tatted patterns shared online, making coloured versions or with other tweaks/techniques. Some morphed into adaptations. Something similar is now happening with my patterns! It is so gratifying to see tatters enjoying a pattern, a design so much and exploring new avenues through it.

When creating a pattern, one keeps thinking of ‘what if…’, but there are limitations to how much I do myself. Then I get to see those or newer ideas being implemented on the original and I am thrilled!

Of the patterns I've shared so far in 25 snowflake project, Hidden Rose snowflake is one of the more popular ones. Some have attested to becoming ‘addicted’ to it – making more than 4, 5, 6,….! Playing with it! 
With due permission, I am posting only a few pics to showcase some of their ideas - some pics were sent privately, others were on facebook. In chronological order

Anita Barry immediately converted it into a heart!

Elisabetta de Napoli tatted the entire flake with metallic thread.

Jeanie Schekel quickly belted out SIX 2-coloured beauties and even ‘taught’ it to her group. They had some difficulty with the direction, which I can totally understand. When this project is over, I intend to tat the flake again so that it moves in clockwise direction instead of counterclockwise, and post those instructions.

Jean Gordon is on her FOURTH flake, determined to make it perfect and send out as gifts.

And the piece de resistance …

Krystyna Mura made several (and has a half page of notes for tweaks/ideas!). Of those, this one holds a very special place in my heart. She wove in gold thread in the center to reflect the gold-plated rose I showed you!
She went further to make these single rose buds as jewellery for her daughter.
Aren’t they the cutest! I couldn’t have done such a great job.

There are many more tatters who uploaded their beautiful work on facebook (or in respective blogs) – many of them can be found in my timeline or in one of the fb tatting groups, or by typing Hidden Rose Snowflake.
If you have made any of my patterns and wish to have it posted in my blog, please do not hesitate to tell me. 

Silver Linings snowflakes
Before I forget yet again, I condensed the 4 pages of Silver Linings snowflakes into 1 single page, and added a legend and some more info. I had already updated the post. But here’s the new link to the single page.

Keep them coming, tatters, and thanks for your interest ! 
And time for the 21st snowflake …stay tuned !

Wednesday 4 December 2019

heartland rainbow pattern

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Snowflake #20B in Land of Laces’ 25 Snowflake Project 

Here is the pattern for 2nd version, including instructions for tatting in one pass. The entire pattern is given even though round1 is similar so you won’t have to go back and forth between the 2 versions.

Heartland Snowflake patterns
Version 2 – Rainbow
I wanted to enclose only rainbow hearts, leaving the rest white. It alludes to the spectrum components of white light, but also has an inclusive symbolism, hence I wanted only the heart shape & colours to be pronounced in the outer round. However, you can choose to work this exactly as the basic pattern I shared here (with SSSR).

And just like version 1, this rainbow coloured snowflake can Also be tatted continuously - make the desired colour stitches using scrap lengths of threads. These alternate instructions are in coloured italics.

Choose your favourite method of making Dimpled Rings for the hearts. I chose Sue Hanson’s method (Method 2), also called Dimpled Yorkie. I find it is an Excellent method to keep the bilateral symmetry of even large rings and facilitate smooth closure. It is now my go-to method.

Abbreviations/Notations, in order of appearance.
ctm = continuous thread ; dRing = dimpled ring ; vsp = very small picot ; sp = small picot ; p or - = picot ; + = join ; rw = reverse work ; ch = chain ; -- = long picot ; SS = switch shuttle ; R = ring ; MP = mock picot ; SCMR = self closing mock ring ; Drop/down/downward/paperclip picot 

Round 1 - ball and shuttle, continuous thread. (white)
2 shuttles, ctm, if working continuously
[ dRing1: 6 vsp 7 p 2 sp 3 + 2 + 7 vsp 6. , rw
ch: 5, rw. ] x 6
In order to climb out, tat last chain as a split chain, then climb out with a
split dimpled ring : 6 vsp 7 p 2 sp 3 + 2 / 7 + 6. Continue to Round 2, leaving mock picot space

You can add decorative picots to the chains as in the basic version.

Note: Rainbow in Round 1 :  The hearts in this round can be colourful, too, by working each dimpled ring as a mock ring. Join the desired colour at the beginning of a SCMR. The core thread will remain white, while the stitches will be in colour. Tat the dRing as per pattern and close SCMR. Continue chain with both white threads, hiding the coloured tail within the chain. Similarly do next dRing in 2nd colour, and so on. Very short lengths of coloured threads are required.

Adding new thread on a chain (knotless method) & Magic Thread Trick (MTT) -https://tipsaroundthehome.blogspot.com/2016/11/beginning-or-ending.html

Individual Heart – single shuttle only.
dRing1: 4 sp 2 sp 10 sp 5 + 10 sp 2 sp 4.
Make 6 such motifs in spectrum colours.
This step is omitted if working continuously.

TIP : In order to avoid sewing in ends, here’s how I did each heart (see pics above):
Tat over the starting tail, BUT leave a little loop at the start. Complete the dRing and close. Pass end tail through the tiny loop. Tug the starting tail end, making the loop disappear. The end tail can now be tatted over when it is joined to the main snowflake. No ends to sew! Or use Magic Thread Trick.

Round 2 - 2 shuttles,  ctm.
Join to center of any inner heart.
Ch: 10, SS. Leave bare thread space for a mock picot before starting R.
R: 6 -- 6. SS
[ Ch: 8 lj(heart) 2 lj 4 SS
SCMR: 6 -- 6. * SS
Ch: 4 lj(heart) 2 lj 8 , SS
R : 6 -- 6. MP, SS
Ch: 10 lj to next inner heart, 10 lj(MP) ] x 6
For last motif/repeat, make only 10ds chain and join to inner heart. Tie & cut.
Note: the mock picot is asymmetrical, so that when adjacent chains are attached to it, the ring appears to be in the middle.

* the end tail of heart can be hidden under the SCMR stitches to avoid sewing.
If you have already sewn/hidden the end tail, continue chain & SCMR without any join to base of heart. With 2 joins on either side, it is secure.

For continuous tatting, proceed as above :
[ Ch: 8, drop picot, 2, drop picot, 4. rw
dRing worked as SCMR and colour thread used to make the stitches: 4 +(drop picot) 2 +(drop picot) 10 sp 5 + 10 sp 2 sp 4. rw, SS
R: 6 – 6. SS
Ch: 4 + 2 + 8, SS. …..
Continue as per above pattern

 A few tidbits during the trials and tatting. It wasn’t a bad run!

All 3 snowflakes layered to show comparative size.
The pink in Anchor 20 is <10cms. >5cms as hexagon side.
The white rainbow in Anchor Pearl cotton 8 is 9½cms. 4½cms as hexagon side.
The red in Anchor 40 is 7cms. ~4cms as hexagon side.

Hubby liked this rainbow version very very much. And he has set a task for anybody willing to take it up – Increase the arms to 7 to include the missing indigo heart, and 8 to include a white one as well. Anybody?

I would really like to make the inner round with SCMR rainbow hearts too.