Wednesday, 29 September 2021

stepping stones

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Life’s paths are strewn with numerous types of stones. Whether we use them as stepping stones is what matters.

Grazia Butterflies (with pattern) from Endrucks' #16

Pina Pinto stepped up thrice, choosing 4 patterns and then a 5th when one of our volunteers opted out, tatting with speed, enthusiasm and sending in-progress pictures. Oh yes, we can safely say that she became addicted, working not just the samplers but also derivatives and adaptations!

Ninetta and I stepped in to handle the presentations, which Pina was not equipped for. Not an easy task, I tell you. When you are doing it from scratch, you can decide where and when and how each step or section would be. Having to work with and work around another tatter's pics and visualization can be an onerous task as both Nin and I can attest. Especially considering some of these elaborate patterns are not easy to portray.

In the end each of the 5 patterns turned into a triumvirate of collaborative effort!

We thanked Pina for her first 3 reworkings of patterns 9, 15, & 16 here - . Since then, she adapted n.9 into a pendant and beaded her blue earrings from a motif extracted from n.16.

But the clincher is this gorgeous 3D butterfly she named after her mother, Grazia, also extracted from n.16. Ninetta has done a wonderful job in presenting the butterfly pattern despite the many travails and tribulations. I hope that effort bears fruit when we see colourful Grazia butterflies taking flight from shuttles around the globe.

After quickly completing her first 2 selections, Pina was thirsty for more! She encountered some trouble understanding pattern #17. It has been a revelation that despite the diagrams and textual pattern, many tatters have been looking at Endrucks’ tatted model and counting off the stitches. I drew the entire pattern by hand, taking and sending her stepwise pics. She sent back progress and final sampler pics.
Pina worked it as a bilaterally symmetrical model which entailed block below tatting (BBT) where the blocks are worked in opposite direction (below previous chains) requiring picots on the core thread. For a visual comparison, see

Both options are included in the pattern pdf.
Endrucks n.17 - (with cornered frame pattern included)
It has taken me close to a year after multiple interruptions (life’s stones!), frustration and apologies to complete the pdf to our satisfaction, doctoring a few of Pina’s pics to fit seamlessly. I also had to resort to tatting a sampler myself in order to get everything straight. Happily, this led to many lovely derivations – the earrings, edging, snowflake, cornered frame (pattern included in this pdf). [There will be a separate post on some surprising design possibilities of n.17. Derivative patterns from n.17 shared or in the works - earrings ; edging/insertion/bookmark ; snowflake].

This is what my partner, Ninetta says -

The patterns Pina chose, especially the n.17, still intimidates me, Muskaan wrote "these patterns are elaborate", I think elaborate is an euphemism.

In previous pattern 9, 15 and 16, Pina used the BBT and at the time of my post (13 March) we hadn't "coined" the acronym yet (and I think that in 15 I even didn't notice it, but it's there, in Pina's sample). She has been particularly accurate in tatting these patterns using strict symmetry, even if in the original models there is only BT in the traditional way. The "strict Eleonore" has been beaten in strictness! LOL!

Then, in the butterfly "Grazia", she showed off all her skill in that BBT technique. I had trouble and definitely I don't like tatting BBT, but in all honesty I had to prepare the document respecting Pina's design. It took me many errors and trials before I got acceptable stepwise pics... but I hadn't finished yet, because the instructions were cumbersome and I didn't know how to write them. Luckily, Muskaan stepped in to rescue me, in two ways: one directly, correcting my mistakes in more than one draft I sent her, and the second indirectly, with her blog post "a pernickety question". Just after I'd finished reading your post, dear Muskaan, I started calling it BBT!

Endrucks n.20 - (with 2 corners, colour alternatives, etc.)with 2 corners, colour alternatives, etc.)

And then the n.20 arrived... I got only the bracelet pictures from Pina and had to prepare the document. I needed to understand the pattern, first of all. But, as soon as I tatted the first chain, I saw possible variations in the pattern! That's how the yellow and green insertion started. I really fell in love with the n.20 and visualised very many different adaptations and derivative models and I felt despair that I had not the time to tat them all! (ah, Nin, you echo my thoughts!)


Two corners later, I had the Purple Dandelion Garland and a document of more than 20 pages!!! My dearest friend Muskaan helped to rationalise, shorten, clean up, improve... her contribution to the n.20 doc was decisive. And finally pages went down from 20 to 10, yet respecting all versions and variations and Pina's too! Phew!

The basic pattern is fairly simple and fits in one page. But including off-shoot patterns and options takes up pages but we have more goodies to play with! And perhaps more rounds in the garland, too!

Pina has been a reliable and gracious contributor despite our mutual linguistic limitations. She has now shown interest in learning how to present pdfs! This is her level of enthusiasm, commitment and passion for our favourite lace form! We thank you once again, dear Pina, for making our life temporarily frustrating but eternally happy and hope to see many more adaptations from you over time.

Pina shares a bit about her tatting journey -

Qualche tempo fa, ho dovuto allontanarmi da casa per lavoro. La mia amica e vicina di casa, Giulia, mi consigliò di imparare il chiacchierino, mi diceva: "La mente e le mani devono essere sempre impegnate!" Così ho iniziato e in breve tempo mi sono appassionata. I miei preferiti sono i gioielli e i fiocchi di neve, per farli rubo ogni minuto libero dalle faccende e dal lavoro! Sono entusiasta del chiacchierino e sono in continua ricerca per imparare tecniche nuove.

Some time ago, I had to leave home for work. My friend and neighbor, Giulia, advised me to learn to tat, she told me: "Your mind and your hands must always be busy!" So I started and in a short time I got hooked. My favorites are jewels and snowflakes, to make them I steal every minute free from chores and work! I am enthusiastic about tatting and am constantly looking to learn new techniques. (Google translated)

Look closely – she has inserted an earring hook! She even sent me a beautiful photo of herself wearing another pair of tatted earrings, just as she said above. Because of this old book I have made yet another new friend!

Through the lens of our shared passion, we often don’t see (and show) the underlying stones life throws at each of us. This collaboration embodies that spirit of stepping around stones or using them to fly to our happy destination.

With love and gratitude 
muskaan and Ninetta

Endrucks 1920 Project is a community project, we welcome every one of you to join in! Please let us know where we can find your renditions and derivative tatting!
We created the hashtag #Endrucks1920Project, so please use it!
We all enjoy sharing and the project is awaiting every one of you!
All info and links (original and modern) are in the Endrucks 1920 Project Document, here:
Remember there are many more modernised patterns, derived and extracted patterns/ideas, already listed in the project document, with still more to come! So, do visit and scroll through.


Friday, 24 September 2021

whipping up memories

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Remembering Carollyn Brown 

Diane shared shocking and sad news today –

A virtual friend for real has moved to another realm taking her sweetness to share there.

I have lots of fond memories of Carollyn Brown in the short time we shared in cyberspace. And every time I whip stitch tail ends I think and thank her for finally removing the fear of hiding tail ends, and be neater too! She uploaded some videos as madtatter80  ( including her uniquely long Cluny leaves.

I first noticed her blog ( when I found cute little tatted 3D flowers/sprigs! A flower a month was her personal project at the time and I would wait each month for it. Using fine threads was her forte and we can all recall her adeptness at it and her gorgeous doilies!

She could tat over and around literally anything! Be it real leaves, stones, keys, and the usual glass, baubles, buttons, and beads. But her talents were not limited to tatting. Scroll through her blog to see the wide range of skills she possessed and/or learned and applied!

In 2016, 4 of us participated in the Pinterest Challenge and she never failed to amaze me with her choice and execution of the month-end project. It also gave us an excuse to correspond and get to know each other a bit more. Always smiling always sweet.

It is such an honour that she tatted a few of my patterns and etched them in my memory forever. I had to poach this image from her blog, where she is modelling earrings from my wreath pattern. Before that she had made and modelled a brooch from my poppy pattern which became quite popular at the time.

Another admirable highlight of her blog has been her skill at calligraphy and of displaying her work in a variety of settings and placements, bringing in knickknacks in an aesthetic backdrop.

So much to learn from her, so much inspiration to emulate, so much diversity to soak in! Thank you for gracing my world, Carollyn, and leaving your indelible imprint. Keep spreading your sunshine beyond 💝💝💝

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

go round once

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 I don't like such long periods of silence in my blog! So here's a quick peek into how I tat 

Like many tatters, I have an individual way of tatting and of all the videos I've watched so far, none comes close. Some day I might make a video to show my tatting hold and movements, but here's one uploaded by Beth Vawter -  I, too, follow my knitting style for both crochet and tatting! 

In answer to a query, I had shared these 2 pics in Craftree many years back showing how I wrap the ball/knotting thread only once around my pinky when tatting a chain! 

On rare occasions when I cannot get the required tension, I wrap it twice (below). The spacing out is deliberate to illustrate the wrap clearly.

But watch the initial portion of Beth's video to get the correct picture.
I find this very comfortable and those who have arthritis might find it similarly comfortable. My pinky has never to date been starved of blood or felt tired 😁 and I save time by that single wrap.

For crochet I was taught to wrap thread multiple times around my index finger and it used to put me off because the blood supply would be hampered. Until I used my knitting wrap around pinky and now I don't mind crocheting!

Do you wrap thread multiple times around the pinky or just once, when tatting?

Thursday, 9 September 2021

700 and promises still to keep

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7-year itch? What’s that? Almost 30 years into marriage and over 7 years into blogging and still scratching the surface of goodness. 400 weeks, 2800 days, and 700 posts - 1 every 4 days?!

But these numbers hide the other equally good spin-offs from my hobby – the company of good friends in cyberspace. Yeah, I don’t need a shuttle to travel into outer space – the shuttle in my hand does the trick right in the comfy of my home!

LacingLOVE Program (article published in IOLI Bulletin, Spring 2021)

And one such friend with whom I soar is Anita Barry. Her middle name could well be Anita ‘Cool’ Barry! See what she says about herself here. Her smile translates into messages, never failing to brigthen my day!
When we started the Endrucks 1920 Project, I asked if she would like to participate. I strongly suspect she said yes only as my buddy otherwise she would not have given it a 2nd glance. She chose and immediately worked on pattern #3 straight from the model image before discovering the diagram and written pattern pdf. And her reaction –
”Wow! What different paths I took and Endrucks took! Oh! She’s a clever girl! She took a much easier path. I so admire her (Endrucks’) creative mind!”
And soon after …. “Enlightening! Truly enlightening to work this.
I’d love to use it as a teaching aid. It’s been really fun for me!!!
Discovering Endrucks is heartwarming.”

Anita did just that and taught pattern #3 at the recent Palmetto Tat Days. Here's her feedback -
“Students thought Eleonore Endrucks was clever! ... All were interested in seeing and printing her book with the diagram & instructions and seeing your revised shorthand/diagrammed online site. All were excited. All were grateful to you for your extreme efforts with E’s pattern and Martha Ess."   
And we cannot forget my partner in crime Ninetta Caruso, without whom this project would have remained a personal endeavour instead of involving the community! We have worked together through the year to see this project through.

Anita had the pattern test-tatted by no less than Martha Ess, to who we owe our thanks for scanning and putting the book in public domain!
“Martha test-tatted different versions of what Endrucks may have wanted depending on following her picture or following her diagram, or using RW or using SS, etc. Very interesting."

We have been discovering that Endrucks’ model, diagram and text sometimes vary slightly from each other and the tatter has to make an educated guess. Further, she focuses only on switching the shuttle in hand, and reverse or turn work is implied. Linguistic barrier plays it’s role and we have to turn to the model picture to decide which path to take depending on where the chains face.
"There are several ways of interpreting this pattern. All good. None that are wrong. Just different from one another.
Exactly! A tatter always has options to create the effect they desire - be it with colours or direction. Most of these options are covered in Lock Join Plus series and in the Thrown Ring Methods and more can arise by combining them.

Anyway, moving back to November 2020. Within days of working on #3, Anita was interested enough to move aside all her other projects and ask for pattern #27.
She felt "happily blessed to get" it on her first attempt, choosing “to tat it in contrasting colors so tatters can see where the threads are in the project.”

In order to avoid frequent reverse work (RW), her blue version uses shoelace trick (SLT) and switch shuttle (SS) to work mainly from the front, and the chains are mirror-imaged. Another option is to use direct tatting (reverse or unflipped stitches) as in one form of block tatting. 
Endrucks' modified #27 as a bracelet
I love the accordion effect of those ‘block tatting’ chains. Endrucks has created many interesting effects using chains and lock joins! This is one of the few patterns that has ‘onion rings’.
NOTE : None of these terms are used in the 1920 book – they are simply chains and rings made with 2 shuttles and the 2 basic joins.

One of a handful to complete both the Tatters Across Time (TAT) and IOLI proficiency programs, she is now an evaluator and has been teaching at Palmetto Tat Days for several years. She also volunteered at the Lace Museum when in Virginia. Having shifted to Florida recently, we can expect more ocean-themed designs such as these ….
Moby-D, the Tatted Whale, spectacular minimalistic tatted Flamingo, Painting and tatting by Anita Barry  

Anita is an accomplished tatter, sewer, handcrafter and ideator, and enjoys learning new stuff, including bobbin lace.

Pin cushion with varied thread crafts, bobbin lace, hand-painted shuttles, lavender-based items for the farmers’ market

She is also a rescuer of vintage items, lace, and tools/machines/accessories, donating/auctioning items to raise scholarship funds at the Tat Days.
Vintage hanky pouch, Rejuvenated vintage butterfly, Vintage shuttles rescued

The following is a another tiny selection of her diverse designing skills in tatted lace.
Bettina Triangle (simple tatted quilt block using thread she dyed herself),
The Corn Harvest Basket (a tatted transformation from crochet), Miniature Hand-Tatted Baby Items, an artistic necklace.

Tatted Lavender Heart on a Card
She frequently sends me patterns she’s working on preferring to use simple elements (as in the heart above) and methods to create quick and beautiful patterns. I tatted and shared a few, but there are still many that need uploading or tatting. You might remember our joint Buddy Hearts where we followed different designing paths. She initiated and encouraged me to send articles/patterns to the International Organization of Lace bulletin and Chapter gift CD. I have often relied on her professional expertise for diligent proofreading!

At the recent IOLI UnCon 2.0 Anita did a table talk titled “Fear Knot? Fear Not” based on our experience with Carin Jansen’s Angel Choir doily tat-along sharing numerous fixes.
"At the end of the talk I spoke about your Endruck’s 1920 Project. People were intrigued & interested! They asked quite a few questions."
Anita, you have become a true ambassador for this Project, besides being an enthusiastic and valued contributor and reliably fun friend. Ninetta joins me in thanking you for all your contribution!

With love and gratitude
muskaan & Ninetta

Ninetta reminds us this 100 year old book by Frau Endrucks has brought us so much pleasure, taking us on diverse paths, making us reach for the stars .... with the promise of still more to come! And hopefully I will continue to tat and blog, fulfilling my past promises and 'miles to go before I sleep ....  '
Endrucks 1920 Project is a community project, we welcome every one of you to join in! Please let us know where we can find your renditions and derivative tatting!
We created the hashtag #Endrucks1920Project, so please use it!
We all enjoy sharing and the project is awaiting every one of you!
All info and links (original and modern) are in the Endrucks 1920 Project Document, here: