Sunday, 29 August 2021

thrown, floating and 8 rings

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Please note that the post and pdf have been updated on 30th August 2021. In case you already downloaded the pdf, kindly click on the link to refresh the document.

Tatting with an international community throws up interesting facts and ideas. All patterns in Endrucks' (1920) book use 2 shuttles and has plenty of rings made by switching the shuttle in hand - you guessed it - thrown rings! However, as Ninetta pointed out, a lot of Italian tatters have mastered the art of tatting with a single shuttle and ball, and adapting any pattern to suit this. It got me thinking about all the various ways in which we throw off a ring and here is the result of that exploration/stream of thought.

Thrown Ring Methods - a Ready Reckoner. click this link to download the complete document - which contains pictorials for each method as well as patterns to practice. Included at the end is a list of Needle tatting resources. 

For several of the patterns, despite having a pdf, I had to give the link to the blog post because the pdf link just wouldn't work the moment I converted this doc into a pdf. Probably some formatting glitch.

Following is a limited glimpse into each method. 

Gapsosis - A frequently asked question is how to avoid any bare thread/gap between the chain and the thrown ring. Above is an old pictorial I had done in response to this very question, where we have a trefoil instead of a single ring thrown off the chain -

1. Using 2 shuttles. I prefer this method except when I want to create a point in the chain where the ring is.

A thrown ring does not necessarily have to be floating above a chain or ring! It can lie above a join, between 2 chains, and can also face inwards.....
While this 8-ring appearance may not use the term thrown ring, the blue ring is made exactly according to any of the TR methods (in above case, with 2nd shuttle). 
Several other effects can be seen in the above model. Can you identify the thrown ring(s) in each?

NOTE: Although not shown in the pictorials, the pink ring need not be alone. We can have 2,3,or more rings below, with 1 or more TRs above!

All the rest of the methods are made with one shuttle and ball. Compare the colour of the TR and the chain curvature between each method. It is very important that chain stitches are snugged properly before attempting the TR.
2.A. Flipped-Up ring is simply a normal ring that is turned upwards before continuing with the chain.
2.B. Since I didn't like the way it sat, I tweaked it by stabilising and centering the TR with on overhand tie and keeping the ball in front of the work.
3. Loop Tatted Ring can be used to throw off a ring as well.
4. We all know that the Self-Closing Mock Ring is often used to deliberately create a pointed chain - whether it is a 1ds SCMR or a larger thrown ring.

Direct Tatting. In certain cases, it is easy direct tat a chain and throw off a ring, using single shuttle and ball. Tatting will move from right to left, but the shuttle will be in position to make a thrown ring.
Even if the shuttle is not in position, it can be brought to where we need it, by the following 2 methods -
5.A. Twist Work - I start by making an unflipped half-stitch but instead of snugging. I pull the shuttle upwards (or downwards, if required) such that the threads now switch position and I have the shuttle where I need it. I had explained it here to switch threads after a lock join - 
5.B. Shoe Lace Trick - we all know this, but I avoid it and prefer other repositioning methods, including twist work. Jon Yusoff has explained this method very nicely here (wish I could get my SLT to behave so well!) -  

6. Changing Course - When another row/round follows the one with thrown rings, one can choose to shift the rings to the next row/round and make them normal rings. Obviously the direction of the rings will change, and sometimes it may cause ruffling/cupping/distortion. However, it worked fine in the above version - those purple rings were supposed to be thrown rings from the previous round, but I wanted this colour here, hence.... 

I tatted this twice! My intention was merely to showcase the different effects when using each of the methods (lower scroll). But then somebody asked whether I had a tutorial actually showing how to do a thrown SCMR. So, I started over, taking stepwise pics for each method. 

And now I'm calling it a Ready Reckoner (RR), because as far as possible, I have included everything we'd want to know about Thrown or Floating Rings. I would love to get your feedback on this format and exercise. I already have another RR on the way that was started in July in response to a friend's request for help. 

Monday, 23 August 2021

more reflections

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Clearly I'm not done with that motif yet! This is the snowflake version from pattern #17 I mentioned here. With this snowflake, we will now have earrings/pendant; 2 square frames/lace (one by Reiko Akamatsu - see below); edging/insertion/etc.; and a hexagonal motif (round 1 of snowflake); all adapted or derived from the same pattern! And yet, it continues to entice me, though I will be holding off for now in order to concentrate on completing the main pattern pdfs for those on my list (there seems to be no end to the admin work on this project) so that we can see the 'completion' of Endrucks 1920 Project in November.

I continue with the name given to the edging by Ninetta - Reflections. Above is both a trial culminating in a prototype for the snowflake adaptation. The 3 arms on the left of the tail ends are the final count. Pattern will be shared for free later.

The snowflake is worked continuously in 2 rounds. Above is the first round and it creates a standalone hexagonal motif! With the right beads, it could be a beautiful pendant.
In Anchor Pearl cotton size 8, each side is 3cms; and across it is 5½ cms.

Techniques used: 2 shuttles, thrown/floating rings, large mock rings, downard/inward facing picots, lock join.

TIP: In order to get the beautifully domed arch as in the topmost arm, it is important to keep the joining picot between chain and end thrown rings longer than usual. This avoids any pull on the chain when the joining picot is small. This same tip works for the earrings, edging, etc.

Unlike the edging, I had deliberately avoided decorative picots in this pattern to gauge the bare look. The picots in the center were there only in case a central ring was needed. So I folded and sewed in the decorative picots in the center. 
Now that's a bit too bare, right?! Looks better with those picots around the central space.

Ninetta suggested onion rings for the large empty space - she drew over the pic I sent - and suggested we could have 2 versions with and without the onion rings.

And here are 2 trials on the same flake. I like the one on the right better. 2 picots create an interesting feature, don't you think? 

So, what do you think of this snowflake without decorative picots? Should there be more picots as in the Reflections edging here. And what do you think of the onion rings?

Since I did not post her pic earlier when I shared my Superimposed Squares adaptation, here's how Reiko Akamatsu tweaked the straight lace into a square, adding some points to the originally curved portions and downplaying the smaller points (direct link to her pdf - The block chains create a denser curvilinear garland within!
And check out our gratitude post for a few more pics (and links) of this incredible artist from Japan.
Okay, here is my simple adaptation for comparison. Notice the tweaks she made and the effect has has created?

For all updates and details, scroll through the patterns & arrangements in the Endrucks 1920 Project

Friday, 20 August 2021

ginger fresh

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 Fresh ginger has such an alluring aroma and taste and is good for digestion, etc. However it has a hot essence, and is best consumed during winters when it generates heat within the body. 'Adrak ki chai' (ginger tea) is a staple in most Indian homes during winter months and to ward off cold and cough.

Stephanie Wilson and I have intermittent discussions on cooking and food - she has acquired quite a taste for Indian spices, and dishes! She shared how she grates and freezes fresh ginger (in tiny globs) to simply dump into the dish that is cooking.

Here is what I've been doing since, in order to get the freshness of ginger in my tea! And to understand why I am not a monkey, check out this popular Indian saying/muhaavra for an interesting read - 

I use a planar to slice the root. This time you can see the pink freshness of the new root.

Because it is a new root, there is more moisture.
So anyway, I spread the slices on the tray and left it on the table for a few hours for this extra moisture to evaporate.
Then I place the tray in the freezer. This step ensures that the slices do not stick together.

The next day or so, I fill an air-tight mason jar with the frozen slices and shove it back into the freezer.
Since I forgot to take pics earlier, you can see the frost on the cool bottle.
Slicing gives me the additional option of crushing or julienning them if I need it for any recipe.

Each morning, I pick out a few slices, and along with 1 clove and 2 black peppercorns, and sometimes a couple of tulsi leaves (holy basil) in my mug of water, I microwave it for absolutely fresh-tasting herbal tea!
Yes, we've tried many commercial brands (hubby's choice) of ginger tea, etc. but there is absolutely nothing like this (in my opinion). Freezing the slices reduces my prep time each morning, yet gives me the full fresh aroma of fresh-cut ginger.

So, are you a monkey or not?!

Thank you, Stephanie, for making my life easy 😍 

Tuesday, 17 August 2021


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Hey, I heard that!!! Stop groaning and moaning. Wow, I can't believe it's been almost a month and I have certainly missed chatting with you here. So tighten your belts, coz I hope to belt out a few posts in quick succession.

But first, let me assure all my well-wishers that I am fine, though still a work in progress. However rehab exercises and procedures break into my day and with renewed strength, I am taking on more chores, hence blogging has taken a backseat. I try to tat as often as I can and am very much immersed in the antique book project, which this post is about (yes, again! and I heard that groan again 😁 but I am feeling evil 😈).

Reflections edging - a motif extracted from pattern #17, from Frau Eleonore Endrucks-Leichtenstern's book ‘Die Schiffchen-Spitszen’,1920. All download links, and more are listed in the Endrucks 1920 Project, and the modern pattern, when I finish writing it, will be added there, too.
Do you recall this same motif in the Lace Day earrings/pendant? What can I say - I love it!

This was my first trial and some tweaks are quite visible. I was going to christen it 'Autumn Hearts' (notice the heart that takes shape between the eaves?). 

When I showed it to Ninetta, she suggested 'Reflections' and when I asked her the reason, this is what she wrote -
"Oh my dear, I always struggle when I have to find a name for my patterns, most of them are called number one, two etc...😂
In this case, I love the fact that the heart shape is like hidden, and the gothic effect disappeared with your new colours' choice. Thinking that it was such an old pattern, transformed to a new one, it amazes me. So, I thought "reflections", using the double meaning, it makes the observer "reflect" and the mirror like image is actually a reflection, and it should be done in two colours to let the heart shape emerge, again, reflecting your initial idea. Hope that my reasoning is not too contorted."

A simple decorative picot, deliberately overlaid by the ring picot within the heart, is what I chose to bring out the shape. Unsure how successful it is.

Tatted in Lizbeth size 80 (#180 yellow in shuttle 1 and #100 in shuttle 2), this row1 measures 15cms x 1½ cms for 7 repeats.

I just Had to play with this edging using Paint, in order to see how to return back for an insertion or broader lace ....
The space between the 2 lengths is deliberate; wondering whether a split ring braid or some such can be inserted in between to tie the sides together.

Here they are brought together and can be joined through their respective picots.

And here the other edges form the central spine.

So many possibilities. I had a couple of ideas for the short edges as well, but in order to get a sense, this same motif is now part of a Snowflake, which I can't wait to show you next time, though a trial piece.

When 2nd row is added, the width is now 2¾ cms.  
The edging can be tatted in one pass without cutting. However, I started afresh, because I wanted to design the corner in this piece itself.

The pattern pdf will be uploaded to the Endrucks 1920 Project here, though I will definitely inform here -