Thursday 29 October 2020

tree in time

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Digging through my tatting stuff for another project, this tree pattern sprung up! I had sketched the pattern in January, but didn't get around to uploading.  

Wonky  Spunk  Tree   

free pattern pdf

This was the final motif of the 25 Snowflake Project from last year. All patterns are listed in my patterns page, as well as in the Snowflakes' Google-Docs file (which needs a bit of updating).

This is tatted in 3 parts, though one can climb out with split chains to avoid cutting and joining. It is based on a sketch I showed here.

Worked with one shuttle and a Red Heart size 20 ball, ctm. 
Final measurements : 6 cms wide and approx 8.5 cms tall.
This is a prototype, but worked quite well the first time round! It is very wobbly since most rings are unattached. It was deliberate, so that I could insert a string of beads later, as desired.

Under fairy lights, shadow play gives it a 3-D appearance. Despite being floppy, it is good to glue down on a card or to sew as an applique.

Here it is with a string of assorted size 10 to 12 beads. Notice that there are 2 strings. I used a sewing needle with firm thread, joining to each free ring, as well as at other points.

Finally, these larger size 4 beads in assorted colours were sewn in. I thought they would work as baubles :-) With a bit of pre-planning, some of these 'baubles' could be left to dangle. However, in this case I needed them to join the free elements between layers.
It can be used as a tree ornament, but will require stiffening.

This time I simply inserted a couple of the model pictures to my pattern image and converted it into a pdf. Each of the 3 parts (A, B, C) is in a different colour. Here's the pdf link again.
This is kind of freeform - easy to change size and shape. making each model exclusive and unique, as in Nature! Hope you enjoy tatting and gifting.

Tuesday 27 October 2020

more than a butterfly

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I have finally completed the pattern for Butterfly Bandhan in pdf. But it is so much more than a butterfly as you shall see, scrolling down .... 

Butterfly Bandhan 

jointly designed by  muskaan  &  Harsha Creations

Butterfly Bandhan Pattern pdf
- click to download

Pattern is for a single colour, one-pass pattern. Hence there is a bit of mindfulness required, especially for first try. I tried to break the pattern into blocks with respective diagrams, to make it easy to follow. Not too happy with my diagrams (hand-sketched), but will have to do for now. I was going to get it test-tatted, but life got in the way and instead of delaying further, I went on a roll working non-stop since yesterday. 

This is the 2-colour model by Bandini, worked in separate pieces. A much easier option if you don't mind hiding tails, or find the one-pass method confusing. With this method, one can make all 4 rings a different colour!

Above is yet another working alternative. This 2-colour version is worked in one-pass, using 2 shuttles. It uses lots of Lock Join Plus techniques (SLT, reposition/TwW, RJ, etc) to position colour as desired.
This was one of my trials, hence not exact.

If the instructions are followed, threads/shuttles will be in the correct position for next element. However, tatter is free to choose their own method and techniques.
As detailed in this post, the butterfly would have remained cocooned as a potential idea if Bandini of Harsha Creations hadn't taken it upon herself to start with the early trials of converting 4 separate motifs into a proper butterfly! I cannot thank her enough <3

Future Ideas !
So how is this motif more than merely a butterfly? 
Check out how well these motifs work, creating different shapes, depending on where adjacent motifs are joined.

A broad Straight Border or edging if top wings are joined at 2 picots.

A Bookmark when adjacent butterflies are joined at single picot between top wing of one and bottom wing of other.

A Circular Collar or Doily when top wing and bottom wing of adjacent motifs are joined at single picot.

A Square Motif or Coaster when 2 picots of bottom wings are joined. Of course, we need a fourth butterfly to complete the square, but notice the interesting negative design it will create in the center? A few smaller motifs can fill in any spaces for a larger square and fabric.
  • Adaptation into a Maple Leaf - in the earlier post Linda Reiff saw a possible leaf and this is my first trial adding a motif in the center of the same purple butterfly. (the green is merely playing around with the photo effects ;-D)
Although it all lays flat, I feel the 3 chains are incongruent with the 4-chain 'wings'. I received some valuable feedback from experienced friends, and will try it again with 5 chains.
Meanwhile Bandini tells me she will be finishing her leaf version in a couple of days - eager to see what she does again!
  • Adaptation into a Peacock - When viewed from this side, does it not look like it could become a dancing peacock?! Of course, a lot more work is required, including shortening the 'legs'.
  • A Tree - And with a tiny bit of adjustment, the antennae could become the trunk of a tree, obviously in the right colours!!!
  • Angel Wings! - Grace Tan noticed these.

Butterfly Bandhan Pattern pdf - click to download
I invite you to work the butterfly alone, or to make any of the ideas displayed here. Please don't forget to show me what you've done - I could add your model as part of the pattern instead of working them all myself ;-P

Tuesday 20 October 2020

multiples of 7

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 and a voracious scissor!

My journey leading to this destination -  

Ta-daa! My variation of Ninetta Caruso's beautiful and multi-technique Swirling Butterflies doily, with due apologies. But let's continue from the last post where I had worked split round 10 to make all motifs similar, preferring to work the butterflies separately.

I've used numerous little tricks to keep my working smooth but those are mostly personal preferences, not compulsory.

ROUND 10 (part 2) - Cedronella, and 'Hugging' Butterflies variation.
Each of these 3 butterfly motifs has no tails to hide, since threads end at the head and tails are snipped into antennae. In each case, a short length was left at the start to finger-tat the final few stitches in the split ring head.
The profile butterflies are identical mirror images, one worked frontside, the other backside (optional).
To attach the side butterflies to green chains, I used the luggage tag loop at start and Dora Young Join, thus showing a complete stitch at both ends of the body.
TIP : For maximum overlap of wings, keep the joining picot in previous ring as small as possible.

Remember the lasagna I showed last time? Well, what does this look like, with the motifs turned under? I couldn't resist the sensation of autumnal forest floor.

ROUND 11 (a variation) with butterfly (Cedronella) and leaflet motifs
Oh, the heartache of having used that dark green! None of the lighter colours worked for the final round. Following are the 3 trials I did ....

Hubby gave me a lecture that the final round should be a dark shade, DUH (the all yellow was his choice)! But in 20/20 (or was 2020 at work?) hindsight, the flower motifs should have included cream, leaving me with the dark green or brown for round 11.

I was so disgusted by the end of this that, with the gracious permission from Ninetta, I worked on a different final round which was required in order to link the adjacent flowers. I visualized inserting cream leaf and flower motifs (from the earlier cream rounds) on the outer margins. 
But when Ninetta sent me her idea of placing the florets on the inner side, I loved it. And the free butterfly I had fit perfectly! So I made 7 of these between the 14 large flowers. I attached the wings directly to the green chains in a bid to decrease the darkness.
And then inspiration struck. What if I make an EPJ (Grace Tan's encapsulated picot join here). Even though there is no layering. The one on right neat, but the one on left shows the picot - my insertion was incorrect, but I didn't re-do.
Always options!
On the outside, I went with my original idea of leaflets linking adjacent flowers. This is similar to the ones on round 4, with an extrapair of rings. One shuttle. Attach thread with a luggage tag loop, tatting over tail. The 1st ring is joined to the next green chain. On the way back from the tip, 5th and 7th rings are joined to adjacent motif. I deliberately layered it slightly to hide some green.
Again 7 such motifs. And love the gentle swirl they create.
Going for minimal instead of inserting 14 motifs inside and outside.

UPDATE : For a continuous swirl, the leaflet motif can be worked between all 14 motifs.
But if one works 7 motifs in the opposite direction, they can appear like a laurel wreath over Motif A (the ones without butterflies) - like those on Roman Emperors!
It was fiddly to insert these motifs, though. And my scissors had a field day! There are still 2 butterflies I'd like to change, but it's a wrap. Hence if a tatter wishes to make this variation, it is advisable to do it simultaneously rather than at the end. 
After soaking to block, I remembered a snipped chain! Oh well, Mr Downplay decided to let it be! Can you spot the snip?
But in a moment of weakness, Mr Meticulous took over and I fixed it ;-P

The final doily just touches 14 inches across the widest part, worked in Anchor cotton size 40.

This is the colour palette. The black labels indicate the threads are about 15-20 years old - vintage. 
It was already late night and I 'threw' the doily on my dining table in order to keep it flat. And suddenly the swirls and butterflies came to life! Quickly took a couple of pics. Hubby is happy, too, and approves the choices ;-P

My sincerest thanks to Ninetta for choosing me to tat this wonderful doily. It kept me happily engaged (except for the last stages where it kept my scissors engorged ;-P) as a tatter and learner. Hope some of the learning rubs off in my future designs. 
Her pattern presentation (in Italian at present) is Stupendous! What an eye for detail - both in the text and and the schem She also included detailed pictorials of elements and techniques used here (many of which are already shared in her blog). I just wish my colour placement had been a bit better. Oh well ...

Complete list of posts so far (chronologically) (click on blue link) : 

My posts (including the tat-along) -

Friday 16 October 2020

for want of a needle

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 a load was bought!

See that little fella on bottom right? Yup, that's the reason this basket is overflowing. But who's complaining?!
My size 24 & 26 tapestry needles were down to 1 or 2. I use these for hiding ends in finer threads and also for beading.
As long as I was ordering the needle set, might as well add a few more items to my basket. This is called efficiency ;-P
All from my trusted online store - Pony Craft, and trusted brands Anchor & Pony. (no affiliation, simply an endorsement from a very satisfied customer for decades). 
Even though some items were 'sold out' or not listed, I enquired and they filled my order splendidly!
The jumble includes pearl crochet cotton size 8, mercerised size 40 & size 20, and knitting cotton size 10. So far I had knitting cotton only in cream which I used for tutorials. The contrast colourways I used were not of same thickness. Now I have 3 balls in contrasting colours, so watch out ;-P

This is the same wicker basket for which I want to tat a square mat. Remember Ruth Perry's bookmark that I wanted to expand into a square? Can't say when I'll get back to that project. I decided to discard that colour and have chosen a different palette for it. 

Doing the happy dance, but also secretly wondering Where I'll store all these (there's a lot of eye-rolling from you-know-who ;-P). And unfortunately they didn't have tapestry needles. These are coloured eye Chenille needles, but I think they will work fine. Will keep an eye out for the tapestry set, LOL.

Saturday 10 October 2020

bonding with butterflies

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Together, we tamed the butterfly - Bandini and I !!!

The story goes back to July when I posted the Lock Join Plus series... 

We spotted a potential butterfly in the 4 individual motifs and Bandini Maisheri on FB took up the challenge to create a proper tatting model/pattern. She and her mother both tat and sell their wonderful work under the name Harsha Creation. Do check out the range of their tatted lace appliqued on purses, tableware, hankies, etc. - some are spectacular, some are elegant.

These are the 4 models she tatted, tweaking and improving with each as is clearly visible.

Each of the models has 4 white filler rings in the wings tatted separately and then the body and wings were worked around. The lovely antennae are tatted and joined later. 
This makes the pattern easier to tat, using up scraps (in multiple colours, if desired) for the individual rings, but more tails to hide.
I can't thank her enough for all the work she did in breathing life into the butterfly! If it wasn't for her initiative and perseverance, this project would've remained in the ever-growing to-do-someday pile. 

We finally agreed on her 3rd version and she sent me the count for testing. I've taken a break from the doily to test this (it's been waiting for over a week!) and it was quite an enjoyable experience tweaking and improving the models further. Hubby weighed in with his ‘expert’ comments, too! We are all now pretty happy with this. 

I started with the 2-colour version, working with 2 shuttles following the exact counts Bandini sent. It can be a good practice pattern for the various Lock Join Plus techniques
All 4 methods (LJ, Reposition, SLT, Reverse Join) were used judiciously to get the colours in place, yet work it all continuously.
collar, necklace, or doily anybody?!

Next came the pink model with certain tweaks and finally the purple one to everybody's satisfaction. That does not mean there aren't more tweak/decorative variants running through my head ;-D But everything will have to wait.

Named it Butterfly Bandhan aka Butterfly Bonding. 'bandhan'  means bonding in Hindi and it not only reflects the bonds that got this butterfly flitting, but also sounds similar to my co-designer's name. And if you are interested, we call butterfly 'titli' with soft sounds (a soft 't' sound does not exist in English).

Pattern for the purple one will be shared as soon as I complete the presentation. Will you be interested in tatting it? Please leave a 'Yes' otherwise I can spend that time on other projects ;-P
Love to hear your thoughts, which model(s) you prefer, etc. .....

Wednesday 7 October 2020

14 times 3 minus 14 times 3

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UPDATE : Oops, the equation should read 14 times 3 minus 7 times 3!

Continuing Ninetta Caruso's Girandolina di Farfalle Swirling Butterflies doily - Round 10 without the butterflies!

All my previous rounds and notes -

How slow am I?! Ninetta started much later and finished way ahead - check out her exquisite 2nd version here.   

Round 10 : without butterflies - 33cms/13" in Anchor size 40
Techniques I used: fs/bs tatting, treble stitch, spiral rings, lock join, direct tatting (for brown chains only, hence 2 shuttles)

Giro, giro, giro (round, round, round)! 
So, Round 10 requires 14 motifs comprising 3 rounds. Half of these motifs have 3 butterflies, the center butterfly (Cedronella) being a separate motif joined later. Hoping to work at a faster pace, I decided to make all 3 butterflies individually and join later. Hence the 3rd round of each motif (green) could be worked with ball and shuttle instead of 3 threads.

Farfalle (butterflies) 
I did a trial to see if they could be tatted separately, and without tail ends to hide. In the pic they are joined to picots, but when I make them now, I will try to place them on the chain directly - to lower the height, and to decrease the overwhelming green.
And none of them will need any hiding ends!!! Although I think one might have to apply some fabric glue to keep the antennae from curling and distorting when washed. We'll see ....

TIP : Since adjacent motifs are unattached except at the base, they are floppy and interfered with my tatting. I solved this by tying with scrap threads and holding them together as a unit. Worked beautifully!
The scrap threads will be snipped after I finish with the butterflies.

Girotondo (round dance)
Despite the huge amount of tatting required, I did not get bored at all. There is so much variety in terms of techniques, directions, sequence, and colours, that it keeps me happy and engaged! And instead of doing the same round consecutively 14 times, I did them in batches of 3 or 4 motifs, working lighter colours at night.

Lasagna (yummy ;-p)
I enjoy playing with in-progress lace, especially layering. Ideas swirl around and spring out! So, this is the 14 motifs folded inwards, overlapping. Not sure what idea is swirling, but I do like the effect :-D
This is the same folded round against a white background. It is so difficult to get the colours look as good as in real. A photography course?

Minore (minor) TIPs :This may be unimportant, but sharing nonetheless since it is part of my journey. 
For the spiral ring round, I did not make a lock join for the last ring. Instead, when it came to joining the last to 1st spiral, I passed tail through the 1st, and back to the space where lock join was required, and then made a knot/lock join.
As with most of my knitting, etc., I try to avoid starting at the same point. Ditto with the light yellow rings. I started by joining to the 2nd/3rd last spiral ring instead of the last. 

Errori (mistakes)
One glaring mistake reared it's head all the way back in Round 3 (the green round)! Despite all the pics I've taken and worked on, the missing ring revealed itself only when I was attaching the the 1st motif of Round 10! 
Can you spot it in the above pic? I can't 'unsee' it now ;-/ Should I add it or let it be?
There are 3 other minor errors - 1 in the light yellow picoted spiral ring round (a picot short of the required 14); 1 less tds in one of the tds spiral rings; and 3rd in one of the 14 motifs where I made a ring (3-3+4) instead of (3+3). But neither is apparent. Oh, and not using a picot gauge means my picots are not all symmetrical.

The blue and cream really stand out against this polished wood background, although all other colours have dulled down!

Nessun picot, nessun aggancio (no picot, no hooking)
As in my 2018 tat-along version, I avoided the picot and joining between the 2 green rings. The joining picot did not seem to add any value. Instead it slowed me down, trying to join such tiny rings in this dark colour. 
Keeping the count same, here's how I worked them -
    small ring : 3 +(to 2nd round) 4.
    large ring : 5 +(to 2nd round) 6.

Okay, I'm trying to show off some Italian terms I learned (or Googled) from the pattern! Hopefully some recognition, retention and recall will happen in future ;-P One can only admire how wonderfully adept Ninetta is at English - all self-learnt! 

I think this is my penultimate post on the doily. The next will be when it is all completed.