Monday 31 May 2021

hopping around

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Bunnies and Tulips for Easter 2021
pattern - Kathleen Minniti

Couple of months back I was in a tatting funk - had lost the will to pick up my shuttles. And then suddenly patterns sprang into my inbox from generous friends! One such was from the very talented Kathleen Minniti. She sent me these bunnies and tulips pattern as an International Tatting Day gift on April 1st!

My shuttles came to life! Tried these, adding a bead for nose. The one on the right has whiskers and a dense tail which was supposed to have been frayed, but haven't gotten around to it yet. These were straight off the shuttles, without blocking or shaping or trimming the whiskers (made from sewing thread)
I still have thread left in the shuttle for a 3rd one, this time with a bead for eye.
Although I made little tweaks - so many what-ifs floating around in my head - there are no notes to share. I went with the flow and pleasure of simply tatting away.....

I Love the sense of movement this pattern has. Almost as if the bunny is about to hop, or is already hopping! Above, the black-nosed bunny is enjoying the fragrance of the tulip while the red-nosed bunny wouldn't be left behind and hops closer ...

... and displaces the smaller black-nosey who switches to the other side, awaiting it's turn again.

Aha, our curious red-nosey has found a new flower to explore, so black-nosey gets right back to it's original perch!

Although tatted around 4th/5th April, it's taken me so long to take pics and post. There's a whole lot more I wish to try out which was one of the reasons for this delayed post. There are lots of little versions to choose from or to tweak for our pleasure! Kathleen's genius in designing is evident in the use of simple techniques and effects to create several versions of swaying tulips and hopping bunnies.
And the great news is that all these patterns are now public - shared with the Online Tatting Class recently - 
You can be sure I'll be getting back to this again some time to make a proper composition!

Many many thanks to Kathleen, a generous friend and constant inspiration !

Monday 24 May 2021

instant soaked almonds

Pin It now! No, I'm not talking about that whole dunk in boiling water then in ice water crap - takes the whole taste & texture out of almonds! I have my own method that locks in the taste, yet can be eaten at a moments notice or slivered for garnish! Freshness guaranteed.

Eating nuts like almonds during winters generates warmth within the body. In summers, though, we prefer to eat soaked almonds which have a cooling effect. They take about 5-6 hours to soak completely, but I often forget to put them in water daily. So, here's my hack -

Rinse a batch of almonds and soak them for 5-7 hours which allows for even absorption of moisture. This batch should last me for about 5 to 6 days. Hubby snagged a few before I could click a photo!
TIP: Rinsing is important to remove any brownish residue, otherwise as the days progress, brown spots tend to appear.
Dry the soaked almonds on a kitchen towel - simply pat dry. 

Then store in air-tight container, in the fridge.

Next day, simply pick out a few of those presoaked & dried almonds, dunk in water for a few minutes (anywhere between 1-3 minutes depending on ambient temperature)....
... and skin them. Easy-peasy. And the taste and texture is Exactly like Day 1.

This batch is on Day 6. Any difference?

Usually they get over by Day 6. But this time I wanted to see how much longer. Finally this is on Day 12. Notice the few brownish spots? This is the only visible sign; the taste remains unaltered!!!

Try it and tell me if it works for you. Munch on them or use as garnish - all at a moments' notice. 

Wednesday 19 May 2021

rosebud heart rings

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Recently a tatter wished to understand how these inserted rings in the Rose Circle doily were made. I, too, had tried to figure it out back in 2018 from which arose this Rosebud Heart. Following is the roughly and quickly drawn sketch I shared in the group illustrating how the rings are interlaced/stacked/inserted .... 

Note that it can be made with one shuttle and ball. It has the Russian ANKARS-style stamp on it.


After a lengthy search in my compy, pen drives, and other storage areas, I finally found my original pictures (haven't looked for the real heart yet) and decided to share the prototype pattern. You are welcome to tweak it and hopefully share the adjusted count so that we can all benefit.

Start with the central ring (each ring is 15-15) and move around, ending with the tiny mock ring at the base.
Design TIP: The central (1st) ring is squished. My tip is to increase the chain segments , thus pulling that ring upwards.

Back to the original query (may 3rd, 2021) in the Chiaccherieno FB group.... It led to a diligent search for the original designer/pattern. This is Ninetta's summary of all the findings -
'Summary: The pattern of the centipede is by Reiko Akimoto (who signed ©️ April Fool's) and the pattern was granted by the author during a course held in Japan in 2016. This information can be found on the website of Ka-ryun (link is above in my comment). Until now the scheme has never been made available online, neither free nor paid. The pink element, formed by inserting circles into each other, is similar to the one used in a JTatter paid scheme (Celtic 3), on etsy (link is above in Linda's comment -'

If you wish to see the Rose Circle doily by Reiko Akimoto (April Fool’s) taking shape, check this out -


Saturday 15 May 2021

chain reaction

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…and what an explosion – fission as well as fusion!

Meet Paola Bevilacqua, a contributor to the Endrucks 1920 Project and an inspiration ....

Brooch adaptation
This spectacular brooch has been derived from pattern #18a! The base on which beads were added is the pic on right and the scallops might bring a flash of memory....the necklace idea from my previous post. This brooch is tatted in 2 parts, with a chain running all around the outside.

Block Chain Bracelets
What a transformation of a vintage lace to modern jewellery! No wonder it led to an inspired explosion of ideas by Anna Tedesco followed by Daniela Galli
Anna Tedesco's bracelets inspired by Endrucks and Paola
Daniela's bracelet inspired by Anna's

Reworking Vintage Patterns
Let me start at the beginning. When we first asked for volunteers to rework and represent the vintage patterns, Paola Bevilacqua was uncertain what it was all about. But once she joined, her work spoke for itself. Her diligently drawn diagrams for #18/a have been tremendously helpful.
While #18/b was worked by another wonderful tatter, Elisabetta De Napoli, Paola put the 2 together for #18 (above). She sent in a few process pics as well. Both standalone 18/a and 18/b pdfs can be downloaded from the Project doc. Work on #18 pdf in underway and will be published in a week or so).

Interestingly, Paola used a ball and shuttle to tat both. This is one of the few patterns by Endrucks that has very few ‘thrown/floating rings’, and since these are not in the middle of any chain, it is easy to make a SLT and work with the repositioned shuttle.
So, the lock joins notwithstanding, it would be easier for needle tatters, too.

One can hardly predict the path of a free neutron, but it seems everybody was in the same nuclear reactor! A week back when I started #18, Ninetta discovered that Daniela and Anna were each working Paola's brooch pattern with their modified counts and mostly picot-free! 
Anna tells me that the models on the left are test tats and the pearled one will most probably be an insert for a necklace!
Daniela hasn't decided whether she wants to make this a bracelet or a wrist watch embellishment. I loved the pic she shared with a little watch in the center!

Brooch to Bracelet :
Ninetta loves bracelets and in collaboration with the others, this is the beauty that emerged from her shuttles! She has drawn and shared this collaborative brooch/bracelet pattern here :
In her own words - 
"Then, I looked for a way to tat the entire bracelet in one pass, it seems that I have nearly done it. But, to work from one side (start) to the other (end), one last row of chains is always missing (that are the blue chains in my drawing). If you like the asymmetrical effect, you can leave the bracelet without the last chain. But I preferred adding that in my own bracelet.
I tatted 3 repetitions, but it is slightly larger than my wrist." 

TIP: The final scallop chain can be worked as Floating Chains (4 parts), thus allowing for a totally one-pass tatting experience. 

Inspiration Explosion
Impressive chain reaction and explosion, right?! Are you ready to be impressed further? Paola Bevilacqua had a solo exhibition of her tatted pieces!!!! Check her album on Facebook here and be ready to be wowed with the diversity and range of her projects.
Also check out Anna Tedesco’s group – Tatting Art for her spectacular tatted jewellery and Daniela Galli's Cover Photos album for her superb 3D compositions! And we all know where to find Ninetta's blog displaying extraordinary works!

Italian Transilation
And, Ninetta and Anna have painstakingly translated the relevant pages of the book into Italian!  They have meticulously worked on it to make it technically understandable to modern Italian tatters who increasingly prefer diagrams to text. 

Endrucks 1920 Project
It has been such a Huge pleasure collaborating and corresponding with all these cool talented ladies. We cannot thank them enough for all their work, enthusiasm, and inspiring ideas. This international collaborative project has brought in so many friends in its fold – such a wonderful ‘blockchain’ of common interest and goals! It is a pleasure and honour to thank you all, mie carissime amiche di chiacchierino.

Feel free to join us any time whatever your tool of choice! Be a test-tatter or an adaptor, or simply enjoy the modernised versions of this 100-year old book, ‘Die Schiffchen-Spitszen’ by Frau Eleonore Endrucks- Leichtenstern. All links can be found in this downloadable Endrucks 1920 Project doc
Send in your work (to Ninetta or me) for display and/or inclusion or use the hashtag #Endrucks1920Project on Facebook so we can find you. 

Many many thanks Paola for all your contribution. 
And thanks equally to Daniela and Anna for participating tangentially. 💖

muskaan and Ninetta

Saturday 8 May 2021

tears of joy

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 Oh yes, tatting brings tears of joy sweeping aside all those moments of frustration so that we plunge into yet another project! In this case, I continued tatting and look how the first part/row looks! 

UPDATE : direct link to pattern 18a -

This is #18/a pattern from Endrucks' 1920 book. I have deliberately curved it because these bright colours and pattern make me think of a broad necklace. 
Of course, it needs beads and imagine it in gold metallic thread! 
The 4 horizontal yellow rings along the top edge can be smaller with 4 less stitches to ensure the curvature remains in place. Or replace them with crystals!

Just the block tatting segments can be worked into an accompanying bracelet!

In Anchor Pearl Cotton size 8, the necklace is 4.5cms broad and 19cms wide.

So are you inspired? You can find the modern-style pattern (worked and diagrammed by Paola Bevilacqua - thank you, Paola💖) and much more from the Endrucks 1920 Project doc here. I will also be presenting this later within the larger #18 pattern, in a slightly different format; 4 rows tatted continuously.

Thursday 6 May 2021

has tatting made you cry

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 Oh, I've had plenty of frustrating moments over the years - be it figuring out a technique, perfecting my work, designing and subsequent trials, even creating pattern pdfs. But this one takes the cake! For numerous days now, I've been working on presenting a pattern and it has left me on the verge of tears almost every night, sigh. Each time I felt I had it all figured out, I would discover yet another issue and so much of my day's work would go to nought. Ninetta has been a solid and helpful shoulder to cry on, though, preventing me from actually shedding tears which would've agitated hubby dear 😉. 

Finally, I took up my shuttles (which I had avoided for so many weeks in order to stay focused) and have begun tatting it myself. Now I am happy with hands that are tatting instead of typing every evening and eyes that are gazing at cheerful colours.

Quick Tip: Notice the starting tail at the bottom? I leave it there till the end of project for many reasons, one of which is that is helps me identify the frontside from the backside at a glance.

The straw that killed the camel's back was when, after days and hours of intense drafting, I finally noticed this -

the original model
the original diagram

Notice the difference? Add to this the fact that this pattern can be worked entirely in one pass as a combination of 2 standalone laces 18/a and 18/b, with a few tweaks to climb around/over. And each of the 2 parts was beautifully tatted and presented by 2 talented tatters with hugely different styles of working and presenting. Using those to present the combo lace meant frequent references back and forth - confusing and demotivating to any tatter attempting it. Reconciling pics, patterns, diagrams, styles, and synchronising them all took up way more of my energy and power not counting a new issue cropping up daily. 

Perhaps it is just my own shortcomings that led to all this turmoil or perhaps I have this sense of TWoT that makes me want to present a pattern that is the easiest possible I can think of.

Whatever the case, I am grateful for all my friendly tatters, their sincere efforts and enthusiasm. And a huge hug to Ninetta!
    1. So has tatting ever made you cry? Why?
    2. Which way do you think the lace should face - like the model or the diagram? Your response will help us decide.
    3. What shapes and designs can you see in this lace that may lead to future patterns?
Eager and curious about your answers ....
All relevant links can be found in the Endrucks 1920 Project document here