Thursday 24 February 2022


Pin It now!

Yesterday we woke to a beautiful serene sight, unlike today. The teeny tiny barely buds from my earlier post had one bloom! Partially hidden, camera-shy!

But I outwitted this shy lemon bloom and captured it from the front! It has been wonderful watching the plants grow every day.

And this is how much the ajwain plant and leaves have grown. From a small cluster with teeny tiny leaves, in the center of a large pot, they are literally exploding outward and upward.

Besides the visual and aromatic delight, these leaves are supposed to be edible with health benefits. 
I had tried pakoras dipping the entire leaf in batter and deep-frying of whole leaves, but the distinct aroma disappeared. Umm, I prefer spinach.
Next they were julienned and used as garnish on alfredo pasta. Umm, we prefer fresh mint leaves.

So, what to do with this burst of leaves? For now, I've decided to wait and see if they give off flowers/inflorescence and enjoy the calming serene scents.

UPDATE (25th Feb 2022) -
I simply Had to share this sight. 
3 more lemon flower blooms and the change in stamen colour of the first bloom.
And I forgot to mention earlier that surprisingly, the flowers are not fragrant.... considering they are white and from a strongly aromatic plant.
And this is the curry plant (Murraya koenigi) with springtime inflorescence beginning to emerge. There are 5 or 6 such at present. Curry leaves are super aromatic, too, and really spruce up any South Indian dish! And I learned how to manage this plant after a few years of trial and error.

Now we have to wait and see how pollination takes place. When the balcony was open, beautiful butterflies would flit in and out. Remember this caterpillar? -

Saturday 19 February 2022

back to old style

Pin It now!

Whether one is 'on a break' or not, the backroom activity never ceases! 

Ninetta had uploaded her Endrucks' patterns as one-page diagram-only images on flickr (her depictions are so artistic!). As our Project evolved, she decided to convert them into proper pdfs, with written notations. I had the pleasure of reviewing each of them. This doily #40 was the last of them and the pdf link will soon be uploaded to the Endrucks collection here - 

While reviewing her presentation, I got into tatting mode to make sure of clarity and accuracy. Ninetta masterfully modified the original (which cupped) into flat lace. While both patterns are in the pdf, I chose to tat the modified Doily #2.

If you haven't already, I urge you to read her para here (and also enjoy her beautiful tatting) -

Colours simply called to me to highlight the flower shapes and to liven up the days and impel me to tat.
What amazed me is how the black center looks more like a flower when seen from the back! Something to remember for future use as a design element!
My tiny variation includes the addition of these graduated picots on the inner side of the split rings. The negative space seemed too large and these picots add a soft touch.
The final round included block tatting.
All rounds move clockwise from the front and can be tatted continuously (as detailed in pattern - many members have already worked continuously in one colour!). 
I went way back in time to work each round separately, despite using 2 shuttles, for a multicolour rendition. Hence this is not a correct representation of the pattern - both Endrucks' original and Ninetta's modified.
For block tatting, instead of making 1ds after a lock join, I prefer counting the lock join as a half-stitch. This gives a neater and narrower effect on the inner end.
Worked with Anchor Pearl Cotton size 8, the final doily measures 9.5cms across. It is less than 4cms and less than 7cms after rounds 2 and 3 respectively. The threads are a mix of old and new buys.
Techniques - 2 shuttles, continuous (one-pass) tatting with split rings and split chains, mock picot, thrown rings, block tatting, 

It is interesting to note (and confusing at times) that even though a split ring takes the classic tear-drop shape, there is a visual reversal! The broad end is the start and threads emerge at the narrow end. This can become potentially confusing not just in tatted model but in diagram as well. 

I like what Ninetta said about diagrams - they are more "democratic"! Absolutely. And easier to present, too. Trying to get the written notations right can be quite a potential 'hazard', taxing the brain.

One year back Marja did a lovely application or Easter, covering  an egg and sharing her notes here - . 

Many thanks, Ninetta and Marja - keep inspiring and pushing the limits

Wednesday 16 February 2022

a small gift

Pin It now!

derived from Endrucks (1920) pattern #17

We’ve had such a wonderful group of tatters contributing to the Endrucks 1920 Project, and Ninetta and I wanted to show our appreciation in some material form. We finally decided on this snowflake. It is a direct derivative from one of Endrucks’ own patterns (#17) yet has quite a trendy modern appeal and application, and the prototype was very well received. It lacks Endrucks' denser block segments, though.

In December 2021, we gifted it to all our original volunteers who had worked on their respective patterns. Since then, many more tatters have joined our FB group and displayed their skills and shared patterns, too. This gift now goes out to all who participate and show a completed working/adaptation of any pattern from the modern pdfs or the original book.

The finalization of this snowflake pattern is another reflection of joint effort. I wanted a test-tatter to try it in cordonnet cotton, but because it was to be a surprise gift, we couldn’t ask for volunteers. Ninetta finally suggested Anna Tedesco, who jumped right in with her characteristic enthusiasm and speed.
Using Sanbest 6 strands, she worked 5 complete samples, systematically sharing her feedback and even altering her style to improve on her previous samples till she was satisfied!
While the first round can be a standalone or tiled motif, with one arm of the 2nd round, it looks like an earring or pendant! She had to shorten a chain segment in the inner round, which might be due to the thickness/metallic nature of the thread or a longer inward picot.
These tips/links for inward-facing picots in both regular and direct tatting might come in handy-

Ninetta, herself, got into the exercise, tatting 2 models, and we have a tweaked count for the inner rings and padded stitch (BDS) version for outer chains from her!
Notice the thicker chains on the arms. 
It is amazing that between the 3 of us, we had a total of 8 freshly tatted snowflakes within 5 days, including 2 variations! The power of the collective. This was in early November and the gift went out to all our original contributors in December. Now we are gifting it to anybody who completes a pattern and actively participates in our group.
As feedback poured in, I started a new model (mustard/gold in Anchor size 20) and much later I finished the earlier incomplete model in Lizbeth size 20, which is seen in the last photo here -

While I worked on presenting the pattern, Ninetta composed a beautiful letter of thanks. She also translated the entire pdf into Italian because the largest contingent of volunteers was from Italy (followed by the USA). Pattern is diagrammed as well as written. And the composite diagram shows all 3 versions/tweaks. I’m getting to like this style of diagram!

Not merely did I get such diligent testing, there were a few design lessons to be learned along the way! A very satisfying and happy experience.

Remember the newsletter I spoke about? Well, one tatter already completed that doily, joined our FB group and has started more patterns from the project. Yes, she, too, has received her gift.

There is one very exciting news to be shared in future about the past!

All patterns from the Endrucks collection can be accessed here (feel free to innovate and adapt) -

Ciao for now and many many thanks to Anna and Ninetta and our Endrucks community

Friday 11 February 2022

calm after the storm

Pin It now!

 Let's say the storm has settled and I am at peace. Enough people in the tatting community now know the 3 sides of the story and hopefully it will dissuade the person from spreading falsehoods. I have no desire to bring an excellent and fair administrator into the eye of that storm, hence have removed the entire post, not merely the screenshots. 

I want to take this opportunity to thank all my well-wishers and friends who either left comments or spoke with me privately, in full support. I am trying to respond to each. You have restored my temporarily faltering faith in the goodness of the tatting community 🧡💗🧡

Now, after many long weeks of extreme cold and no sun, we are basking in the warm sunshine these last few days (and forecast for the next 7 days is similar). These are a few pics I took this morning.

Ajwain ('bishop's weed'). When we bought it a couple of months back, the leaves were very tiny and clustered in the center. Now they are proliferating and enlarging at a rapid pace. And the aroma that wafts out by simply ruffling the leaves is something exotic and calming. 
All attempts to grow it over the years had failed. 
Ficus - the new leaves it sprouted a month back are already quite big, though still retaining some sap green colour.
Lemon tree - this was my hubby's ardent wish because of the aromatic leaves. Lo and behold, the flower buds are already in sight!
From a slightly different angle. This plant, too, has grown splendidly during the cold months, almost doubling in length. 
The reason is the glasshouse effect since we glassed over the entire balcony to avoid pollution and lizards.
Now is this a moth or a butterfly? It was absolutely static for the longest time (hence I veer toward moth). This is as close to the vibrant rust shade and scales as could be captured. 
The moth had landed a couple of days back and was resting on the lower shaded side of the window frame. It was barely 1 to 1.5 cms and the photos are heavily cropped.

At one time I used to be the 'gardener' of the house. It included watering, aerating, manuring, propagating, pruning. This time all watering duties are delegated to hubby. My role is to make sure the pots are rotated every week, 10 days to receive sunlight distributed to each side alternately. We are fortunate to find this excellent plant seller and have decided to call him every few months to manure and buy any new plant we might want. He's already made one such trip.
Now to see how these plants fair during the coming summer months. Hoping for the best...

Wednesday 2 February 2022

in a pinstant

Pin It now!

Literally! Yesterday started and continued as a bad day where I barely got through my household chores and had no oxygen or energy for focused thought. I haven't been active on Pinterest for ages now. Thought I'd pin a couple from my recent posts.

As I mulled over which board to pin it on, a thought crept up- why not have a dedicated board for the Endrucks 1920 Project with all models in one place. And lo and behold, there it was in an instant! 


This was just the kind of mindless activity that nevertheless led to a feeling of fulfillment. It was quick and easy work through the app on my tablet. I also discovered that we could pin multiple images in one go without affecting the link back to original source. I have scoured all posts from Ninetta's blog. Lots left to pin from mine.

So we (as in Endrucks' modern-style patterns and projects) have been digitized (pdf), talked and taught, exhibited, grouped (FB), published/featured, and now pinned! Not to mention the new interest in Frau Endrucks and her patterns.

That reminds me I need to send my article about this Project to the IOLI Bulletin. It is the same one I sent to Judith for their newsletter. She condensed it and changed it to 3rd person. 

I asked on Facebook and the unanimous response (from a wide range of tatters) was that they preferred reading such articles in 1st person. Phew, no need for any extra work. It will be the 1st of 2 or 3 articles I intend to submit (if accepted, hopefully); something I've been working on for the last year. Wish me a good, usable, and reliable head ...and maybe I will wait for another foggy head day to complete the Pinterest board, LOL

Check out the Endrucks 1920 Project pinterest board here -  I think it might be an interesting bird's eye view to experience the diversity from our talented community. Remember to click 'visit' or the text below the pin and it will take you to the respective post where you find pattern links and other details.

Direct link to our patterns - Endrucks 1920 Project doc -