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.