Saturday 27 June 2020

back to back reading

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Grace tagged me on facebook to share 7 of my favourite books. Really? ONLY 7?! With 5 decades of reading and a personal library of close to a 1000 books, How can I choose just 7 - you can relate to this feeling, right!
But I took this as an opportunity to start a new album and share the books that are in my home. It is taking me through some nostalgic moments. I invite you to share my journey .... No promises, but I’ll try to do one post per week on my book collection.

Under the tag "books I read", you can find my old posts & pics about a few books, most with a tatted bookmark. I'll try not to repeat them, if possible.

Back in the ‘80s, with my very first paycheck, I ended up in a bookstore. This became a monthly habit. My checklist included classics, complete works preferably in hard cover/binding.

The Complete Works of Oscar Wilde was among the very first of such buys.

Oscar Wilde has such a wonderful way of presenting stories laced with humour and satire, whimsy characters, and witty epigrams. But reading his plays back to back revealed that he often repeated them! I penned a few thoughts on back-to-back reading here
I wonder if these plays will impart the same pleasure now - age and experience or time has a way of changing one’s preferences, one’s perspective…

The Picture of Dorian Gray remains one of my favourite novel for the message it imparts.
I’ve read all his short stories, a few of his sonnets, ballad, and De Profundis. The latter revealed a sad and weak side of the sensitive author. He was also born in the wrong era. 
I didn’t get around to reading most of his essays, and a lot of his poems, etc.

Though huge (almost 2 inches thick!) and hard cover, it is surprisingly lightweight! But the print is too small to read comfortably now - this is where e-readers score over print. Nevertheless, it sits proudly and worth every penny.
The Complete Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
This is a box set of 2 volumes, and I have All 4 novels and all 56 stories, back to back or more literally,  cover to cover!!! (the marks of reading are visible on the spine and covers ;-P) Just could not put it down. I consider this character the best sleuth among all I’ve read, and Doyle’s suspense consistently the best. He generally has very few characters, and spins the mystery around those handful….unlike Agatha Christie who collects oh so many characters in every single story.
I also enjoy the single-minded focus and logic of the story and of the detective work.

One peeve, though, is that the complete picture is not painted and a vital clue is mentioned towards the end, thus preventing the reader from participating. But the story still holds one’s attention to the very end.
I liked the TV series where Jeremy Brett plays Holmes – a bit over the top, but like I said, the stories are so compelling ….
This box set is actually my 2nd or replacement buy. I had lent my original collection (a leather-bound complete works) to a friend and it never came back!

So what are your thoughts?

Thursday 25 June 2020

bonding together

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I haven’t been able to pick up my shuttles for the last several days - a tatting hiatus seems quite inviting! But I have permission (some for quite a while now) to share pics of stuff inspired or learned from this blog. 
So here's a colourful spread to cheer us all -
Tatting binds us.....and liberates us! Soaring together ....

In no particular order ….
Krystyna Mura – tweaked Blossoms heart (from Buddy Hearts) to create quite a wild boho version. Love it!

Sheetal Kakodkar – her bookmark journey took a zigzag path instead of S turns, giving us such a picturesque view! Tweaked from the picoted S-chain tutorial! (

Carolyn Miller – her practice piece for various techniques, starting with Interlaced Rings. She has cleverly converted it to hold picot gauges. See, we put every little piece to good use!

Margaret Davies – Such a beautiful adaptation of the Hidden Rose snowflake into an ice drop! She shared the pattern here -

Usha Shah had tatted and sent me her version of the Magic Square Cross almost within hours of my posting the pattern!

Anita Barry - Master Tatter - has often been inspired, and sent me her off-shoots –
Inspired by the Heartland Rainbow Snowflake, she went wild with these hearts ...posing as plumes on a proud peacock and colourful heart balloons (lead pic top) – such happiness and good cheer emanates from these - a true reflection of her peesonality!

Remember my invite to design-play? This is how Anita added a new round to the NeoVintage heart.  Looks like an embrace,  doesn't it? !

She has also shared her count.

And finally, such an honour - she used the Rosette Enchained Ice Drop only-chains idea to frame a miniature of her tatting teacher!
This is how the back looks.

I know of 2 tatters who actually learned treble tatting in order to make the Peacock in the Snow flake - one of them worked it a second time using a different colour palette !

These are but a few of what I would like (or remember,  sadly) to accommodate. Any omission is due to a faulty memory, not intentional.
There are quite a few others I have to share, but need to hunt them down for a future post. I invite you to send in your versions to share in my blog!

Many thanks to all these wonderful tatters – 
you inspire me to try harder and do better!

You can find links to respective pattern or tutorial in one of these pages –
All my Snowflake patterns -

Sunday 21 June 2020

forever young

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Flowers in nature, wilt; in thread, they stay a-bloom for generations! The tadaa moment for my Peony has arrived …..
I don’t remember ever seeing a peony flower in real life, but Goggle images came to my rescue at various stages, and structured my visualization. Eg. peony stock image and this

In the last post, the round wasn’t complete. Above pics show the completed Round 8.

Stephanie L (on fb) shared another 4-shuttle method of interlacing (or is it interlocking or simple overlapping or layering here?!) and I immediately decided that this would form my final round.

My first trial to confirm colour and count.... I thought the light shade hazed out the pink. Switched to a medium dark instead. 

With both shades on the darker side, the pink flower is better highlighted and nicely framed. 

PEONY pattern continued (final Round 9)
Pattern for rounds 1-8 and related Notes can be found in the following posts -

  1. 2 shades/threads preferable for the overlapping to show up better.
  2. 4 shuttles (or 2 shuttles continuous with respective balls) in 2 pairs, ctm.
  3. Worked in Anchor size 20 ( Lizbeth 10).
  4. 10 mm Picot Gauge. The long picot is 8ds across, in case tatter wishes to use other thread size/brand (refer Section IV-B, page 5).
  5. Instead of reverse work (rw), switch shuttle and work direct chains (with reverse or unflipped stitches).
  6. Only the odd numbered rings (in this case, dark green) are joined to Round 8.
  7. Decide the manner of overlap and maintain it throughout the round. All odd rings join to each other and even rings to each other, through the long picot. 
  8. For an easier version of Round 9, skip the interlaced rings and work only the dark green part (simple rings and chains) using one shuttle and ball.

Starting Pair :
R1 : 6 --- 5 + 5 --- 6. rw
Ch1 : 9 - 9. rw
R2 : 6 --- 5 - 5 --- 6, rw
Ch2 : 9 - 9, rw
Overlapping Rings and Chains : 
In above model - The long picot of Ring1 is inserted from front to back (over-under) through Ring2 from  to be joined to Ring3. 
Chains also overlap front to back - Chain2 in front of Ring3; Chain3 in front of Ring4, and so on. 

Start next ring from behind previous ring as in model above -
R3 : 6 +(R1, after passing picot through R2) + 5 --- 6, rw
Ch3 : 9 - 9 , rw

R4 : 6 +(R2, after passing picot through R3) - 5 --- 6, rw
Ch4 : 9 - 9 , rw
Repeat from R3 onwards all around, remembering to overlap the rings and chains correctly.

Final Pair :
R79 : 6 +(R77, after passing picot through R78) + 5 +(R1) 6, rw
Ch79 : 9 - 9 , rw
R80 : 6 +(R78, after passing picot through R79) - 5 +(R2, after passing picot of R2 through R1) 6, rw
Ch80 : 9 - 9 , rw
TIP : It is easier to finger tat the very last ring (R80) after snipping off a sufficient length, or to work it as a self-closing mock ring (SCMR). It becomes easier to maneuver the overlap correctly before joining to respective picot. 

Measures 8" - kind of a mini doily?

Instead of 10mm, one can have 9mm picots. This will create a straight line of picots when joined, instead of this wavy interweaving. I deliberately chose 10mm to keep with the semi-structured, slightly natural and textured look of the doily.

Hubby was a bit hesitant during the early repeats of this round. But once close to the end, he was pleasantly surprised and actually felt the inner darker red shades and yellow could have been broader. I think a few more pink rounds wouldn't have been amiss either.

I have some design ideas to add more rounds, but that will be for a future day. I might even work out a beginner-level version.  

This one round took longer to tat than all the previous rounds together, and adds a lot of weight! But I am happy with the outcome. Of course, it can be changed to suit individual taste. And the best part – one can stop at Any round one wishes and call it done!!!

I wrote a teensy bit about this favourite and very handy book here.

This has been an unintentionally long digi-break, but I managed to get some tatting in. And now I am excited to show you what I believe is possibly a new picot technique – very easy, versatile, and functional. I'm calling it the Intruding Picot ;-P So stay tuned …. And happy tatting always :-)

Tuesday 16 June 2020

whimsical interlacing

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INTERLACED  RINGS  using 2 shuttles
(SSSR – single shuttle split ring method)  

When I first experimented here by reducing the number of shuttles, I thought this was a do-able but whimsical technique with very limited application. 
However, a couple of interested tatters, including a request, led me to post this pictorial. And as I went about it, a few designs cropped up in my head. I will try to tat 1 or 2 motifs for practice patterns later.

Skill required : how to make SSSR, Mathew Takeda style. Several resources, including Sabina’s pdf, are listed here (scroll down to RINGS -> SSSR).

This pictorial covers only front to back (over-under) movement in detail. The same concept applies to back to front movement as shown in my earlier posts here and here.

For practice, wind 2 shuttles with thick threads in different colours. Join them. I made a short picoted S-chain.
Each ring is : SSSR: 5-5/10.
The starting pair of rings is closed a wee bit differently than the rest of the braid.
For 1st pair of rings :
1. Leave a bit of bare thread at the base, before starting ring.
Using shuttle1, start Ring 1: 5-5

2. Pull up a long loop from the shuttle

 3. and finger-tat 10 ds to complete the ring.

 4. Partially close the ring leaving just enough space for shuttle to pass through.

 5. Pass shuttle2 front to back through the open ring and tat 5-5

 6. Again post shuttle2 front to back through the same open ring

 7. This is how the 2 rings will look. Ring1 is still open, and interlaced Ring2 is partially tatted.

 8. Now start closing Ring1 by pulling the core thread part of the loop

 9. Ensure the loop is at the back of work, hence pass it through Ring2

 10. Then pass the starting tail through this loop in order to anchor the thread (otherwise the ring will unravel)

 11. and completely close the ring. Pull out a loop of shuttle2

 12. and finger tat the 2nd side of the ring.

 13. Tug on the loop to close ring

 14. Pass tail through this loop to anchor

15. and pull shuttle2 thread to remove all slack from the loop.
The starting SSSRs are interlaced and complete.

For 2nd and all subsequent pair of rings :
Leave a tiny bit of bare thread before starting each ring.
 16. With shuttle1, tat Ring3 just like Ring1, closing it only partially.

 17. Interlace shuttle2 ring and tat the first half.

 18. Close Ring3 but leave the finger loop open.

 19. Complete tatting Ring4 and close it, leaving the finger loop open. Notice the loops from each shuttle at base of respective rings.

 20. Now, pass the tail through BOTH loops simultaneously, to anchor the rings,

21. and tug the respective shuttle threads to remove all slack from the loops.
Second pair of interlaced SSSRs completed.
Repeat steps 16 to 21 for desired length.

The next 2 pairs shown in the above pic are interlaced back to front. All steps remain same (from #16 onwards), except for posting shuttle2 back to front twice.

Interlacing with SSSR - My Thoughts and Comparison :
  1. Fewer shuttles required. But this also limits the number of colours that can be used.
  2. Basic interlacing movement and effect remains same as for split rings.
  3. Each pair of SSSRs is brought together at the base (due to the anchoring loops) unlike the linear path/separation for SRs. This is a visual effect, too.
  4. When using interlaced SSSR in a motif, the pair has to remain unattached to previous elements in order for the anchoring loops to pass through unhindered. Some patterns may get around this dilemma, but the range becomes limited.

I had also wondered whether Dora Young’s knotless rings can be used in such interlacing. As I thought over it more, I realise it will be very cumbersome, if at all, to accomplish the interlacing. One will have to go back and forth to tat a pair of rings completely. I’m not in a mood to try it ;-P