Thursday 31 March 2022

a happy day flower

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After the grumpiness last time, this flower seems to have settled down for now as a daffodil, which happens to be the flower of the month! She understands that there is a lot of improvement as well as diversity possible, but this is my little gift to all tatters on the eve of International Tat Day, 2022

Happy Hands 3D Daffodil  (prototype pattern continued)
adaptation of Endrucks' edging #1
The odd one out, but continuing the pattern for this prototype .....
After the first 3 petal fiasco, I chanced upon a superb daffodil pic posted by Coretta L where 3 petals were curved and the other 3 were pointed. This is the reason I chose to go with daffodil and after a bit of Googling, it turned out that it was the flower for March-born, besides having more meanings. Timely, huh!

Some abbreviations : ch = chain; LJ = lock join; fhs = 1st half-stitch; shs = 2nd half-stitch

Corona : Use your preferred method of block tatting. I have followed Endrucks' style, using 2 shuttles, turn work (tw) and switch shuttle (SS). I simply knotted the threads, leaving the tails to add to the stalk.
ch-1: 1 - 4 - 6, tw SS
ch-2: - 4 - 6 LJ 4 LJ, tw SS 
ch-3: [ 1 - 4 LJ 6 LJ, tw SS
ch-4: 4 - 6 LJ 4 LJ, tw SS ]x6

Make one last chain and remember to join it to BOTH the 1st and previous chain at 2 points respectively. This creates a conical structure, with both threads emerging along the top edge. Continue ... 
Corona Frill : is made with a row of Node stitch or Victorian Set chains, lock joined to the picot below. You can choose a different colour. 
Victorian Set Chain: [ 3fhs 3shs 3fhs 3shs, LJ ]x7

This is how it looks after the corona and frill is finished. I simply put in a few pearl head pins in the center. All tails have been inserted through the center space of the petals, and before snipping off, join the base of corona to the base of petals. If desired, we can use one of the tails to sew and anchor it.

TIP: We can add a 2nd row for a wider and more pronounced frill. This could be with sets of 4 or 5 half stitches each.
Anthers : Each is made separately with a bead at the tip of a lock chain. Use leftover thread, short lengths are sufficient, and single shuttle. String bead and work the lock chain below it. You can decide the length of each stamen. I varied the lengths using between 6 to 9 lock stitches, for 4 stamens.

Again, insert the tails through the center space and cut off, leaving a few inches of tail. After inserting the last stamen, make an overhead knot at the base, encapsulating all the tails.

Calyx : Block tatting. Start with a paper clip to hold picot or a lock stitch (without paperclip, which is what I did here). 2 shuttles, ctm. 
TIP: You can make a join to the base of a petal midways through the calyx 
ch-1: - 6 - 4, tw SS
ch-2: - 2 - 4 LJ 6 LJ, tw SS
ch-3: 1 half-stitch - 6 LJ 4 LJ, tw SS
ch-4: 2 - 4 LJ 6 LJ, tw SS   
ch-5: 1 half-stitch - 6 LJ 4 LJ, tw SS 
ch-6: - 2 - 4 LJ, tw SS   
ch-7: 4 LJ, tw SS
These are the 7 chains seen in the image above.
Repeat chains 2 & 3 twice. Wrap the open calyx around all the tails at the base of the petals. Make one last chain joining to BOTH 1st and last chain at both joining points so that we have a cone.
I used a drop of fabric glue to keep the tails and the calyx in place since I had not anchored the calyx. At the base, I made 2 overhand ties, keeping all tails within the knot.
Do not cut threads. Continue for stalk and leaf.
Stalk : Here we are encapsulating all the tails while covering it with unflipped stitches. You can choose to do a Josephine chain or simple direct tatting. I used an odd method to make a Lock Chain for a straight stalk. 
Lock Chain encapsulation : Always keep the tail ends encapsulated while making each half-stitch. Make unflipped shs, slightly rotate the stalk towards you, make a manoeuvred fhs, rotate stalk back to original position, and repeat this process for the desired length.

TIP: We make a manoeuvred half-stitch in Twist Work, as follows : 

Stalk worked to the point where I now want to start a leaf. Continue without cutting threads.
Leaf : is made with ring (forming a node), followed by a kind of phase-shift block tatting, ending in a folded ring.
ring: 4 - 6. Before closing, pull all tails through this ring and adjust the position.
ch-1: [ 1 - 3 LJ(to ring) 1, tw SS
ch-2: 1 - 4 LJ, tw SS ]x10-12
folded ring: 8 - 2fhs 8 2shs. 
You can either cut and hide ends, or whip stitch them back to the base of the leaf if you wish to continue with the stalk. I ran out of thread despite keeping the shorter length as core thread for the final chain, otherwise I would've liked the leaf to be a wee bit longer.
Having run out of thread, I joined new thread at the base of the leaf....... and continued the stalk for a short length. Then I tied and snipped off all tails and put a drop of glue to hold them together.
The stalk is semi-stiff and when held at the base of the leaf, it can hold the flower up. I have not done any kind of finishing here. This entire flower is as it is when it came off my shuttles.
I wanted more of a slant in the block chains for the leaf, but not quite successful. Will require more trials and testing.
A side view with displaced leaf. Yes, as I said in the beginning, this is a prototype and I have made several mistakes besides not being as neat as I would've liked. But hubby really likes it and I am happy for now. 
If there is sufficient interest, some day I will draw diagrams and create a pdf presentation.
Worked entirely with Anchor Pearl Cotton size 8. The flower spans 5cms, and the complete sprig is 8cms high; leaf is 4.5cms high.
Beware, some of the elements can be a bit fiddly, being small and 3D. Satisfying result, nevertheless.

Wishing you a very happy, chatty, chocolatey Tatting Day tomorrow. 
I have received such a wonderful gift and will share it as soon as I take pics!

All patterns from the Endrucks 1920 Project can be found here as pdfs -

Tuesday 29 March 2022

homemade oregano

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It is unbelievable how profusely and quickly the ajwain/oregano plant is growing! Something had to be done. I didn't want the leaves to grow yellow and wilt! And since the cooking experiments with fresh leaves didn't really work for us, drying the leaves seemed a good option. I do it for other herbs, too, but these leaves are thick and have a lot of water and needed a different approach. 

I snipped off a few twigs, rinsed and dabbed them dry on a kitchen towel. And plucked off each leaf.   

Time for the microwave. Placed the leaves flat on a stoneware dish. At 30%, nuke them for 2 mins, flip, repeat. Do it 1 or 2 times more till the leaves are completely dry. Tweak the time as required. Within a few minutes the entire bunch was dry and crispy.

TIP: In fact we can nuke and flip them twice, then gather the semi-dry leaves and after all batches are similarly done, gather all those leaves and give  or 2 final nukes till completely dry and crispy. Saves time and effort.

Crumble and store in air-tight container. I used an empty herb bottle. 

The one on the left is from my previous batch on the hot girdle. I was experimenting with about 8 -10 leaves and followed this Foods and Flavors video on How to make oregano seasoning - (from 1.00 min onwards) She places each leaf on a warm flat girdle, flipping them frequently. It is fine for a limited number of leaves. But cumbersome for a bunch of twigs laden with leaves.

The colour is darker but would need to be made in small batches; each batch requiring the almost the same amount of time as the mirco-wave ones, along with constant vigil.

I've used the powder in salads, etc. and hubby likes it! Yay!

And this is how the plant is after 10 days! On the right you can see the the snipped twigs, while on the left the leaves are ready for picking and drying.  

Sunday 27 March 2022

a confused flower

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Story narrated by the flower herself! 

"I started life wanting to be a Snowdrop or a Crocus - in pristine white. 

But metamorphosed into a Lotus! For now at least...(sighing deeply)
This is how I looked at the start as a white 3-petaled snowdrop-wannabe. But this lady who thought she knew better, added rings to join the petals. Now which snowdrop has rings or joined petals?! (snickering)
As you can see, my petals took wing and spread out further than the required conical shape. And don't even get me started on the flattish tips. (scowling)
It is good that she recognised her faux pas and decided to manage the mistake. Happy Hands need to be Happy!
This is the next stage of my development. See I've grown new wings, errrr, petals!!! And though late, there is now a bit of a point to the tips. 
And I became a Lotus. Or am I a Water Lily? I can live with either for now, but not for long. My final  transformation has already begun - it's March and I am in time to be a Daffodil! Meet me here in a few days in my new avatar ..."   

So you must've recognised the motif from Endrucks' #1 edging - the one I christened Happy Hands. This flower might not be too happy at present but I had decided at the 2nd stage itself to convert it into a daffodil, hence the slightly different set of petals. It looks like a lotus only because I lifted my first set of hands. If I allow them to rest back, they are a bit flatter - like in a daffodil. .

Happy Hands Flower Variations Pattern (prototype model)
adaptation of Endrucks' pattern #1

Some on FB asked for the pattern so while I work to finish the Happy Hands Daffodil, you can choose to start tatting the petals. The petals are worked exactly like the main edging pattern with minor tweaks. Hence, download the pattern here and follow the diagram and instructions incorporating the tweaks as follows -  [for stepwise pictorial, refer - ]

  1. Round 1 petals are exactly like the main pattern. Except that there is no chain L between the motifs/petals. I deliberately left the tails hanging below (for a thick stalk later).
  2. Snowdrop/Crocus variation : For a more conical shape, skip the thrown rings E and J. Make 4 unlinked petals. Also, make the petals tapering/pointy - see r-C and also Note below.
  3. While making the 3rd petal of the flower, make sure the threads are on the outer side so that we can continue the next 3 petals without cutting.
  4. Lotus or Water Lily : For Round 2, follow the same sequence and basic pattern. Except
  •  ch-B: 4 LJ 4 LJ 5 - 5 rw
  •    r-C: 8 vsp 2 - 6 dnrw SS
  • ch-D: 5 LJ 5 LJ (Tr-E) .....   Make similar changes to ch-G, join r-H to r-C, and ch-I.
  • ch-L: 1ds or 1 reverse (unflipped) stitch. Join to base of Round 1.
Make 3 such petals, leaving the thread tails at the back of work. Slightly twist these petals so that they lie between the previous ones. Lotus or Water Lily is done. You can work the leaf, stalk, etc. as desired.
Note: For a more pointed petal tip, we can make a long double picot in ring-C and later stiffen it into points, or make a twisted picot while joining. Twisted picot will hold it's shape, but ensure the double picot is long enough to accommodate the twist.

Daffodil : I will continue with the corona, anthers, calyx, and stalk patterns for the daffodil pattern as soon as I finish tatting the leaf. Eager to show you and hoping you like it, too.

The flower is worked in Anchor Pearl Cotton size 8 and measures about 5cms across.

In case of doubt, please don't hesitate to ask ..... Enjoy 💗

Friday 25 March 2022

bowled over

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Can you imagine an edging taking on the shape of a bowl?! Paola Bevilacqua did just that! For the life of me I still cannot imagine how she visualized it in the first place!

free pattern (pdf link below)
This is the prototype she shared in the Endrucks 1920 Project FB group in January. She also uploaded stepwise pics with the pattern and I was immediately tempted to tat it. If you remember, I posted my version here - along with my notes. And now you can see how horrible my bowl is compared to this, since I did not tension my long chains properly. 
Paola tatted another version in metallic thread, and has removed the 2 side 'branches'. So we now have a choice to work it either way. 
The bowl can hold anything you wish to make it unique. Fill it with colourful eggs - it will make a good motif for a handmade card?!
It was so gratifying when Paola loved my idea of placing flowers in the bowl and immediately adopted it by adding these freeform sprigs and flower!

And here's the good news - the pattern is now in pdf and available to enjoy. It is a one-page diagram-only presentation. 
Fruit Bowl pattern by Paola Bevilacqua  (click on the link to download)

Many many thanks to Paola for continuing to share her creativity with us! Grazie mille, amica.

Find all modernised and adapted pattern,s in the form of individual pdfs, from the Endrucks 1920 Project here - 

Wednesday 23 March 2022

linked hands trial

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 I had finished this prototype bookmark soon after this post ( but look how long it has taken me to upload the final pics! Too much going on ....

In Anchor size 40, it is 12 cms long and 4 cms wide, all tatted in one pass.

Since the linked hands are not joined, look how they can stand up like an elongated teepee! One could also imagine hands joined in prayer?

Simple bookmark without a tail. 2 side chains (on the bottom right) are shorter (count the 5 picots instead of later 6). This was the start and I didn't like the soft stretch of the chain. Hence from the 3rd repeat onward, I added another 3ds for a better curve. 
I had made the edging for the pattern pdf here -
Playing with a filter. This is how it looks horizontally, in case someone is thinking of an insertion. I haven't blocked it to shape. This is merely my trial piece after all. I like the simple chain trim around. A balance between dense motifs and airy edge.

What's a bookmark without a tail?! Several ideas had been spinning through my head as I worked the body. However, when it came time, here's how I went about it - made a Happy Hands motif, linking it through the top chain.
Then followed these shell-shaped blocks. The first one wasn't a nice shape, but eventually they took on a better shape. The final 'charm' is simply a larger version of the smaller shells, with a final row of picots for a wavy effect. I was playing a tight game of thread chicken at this stage.

UPDATE (July 2023) - Pattern for the tail 
pic showing tail detail and charm
Start with a ring (4 vsp 5), then a graduated block of 3 chains (6, 7, and 8) (the last chain has a decorative picot), and repeat. Please note that I used Endrucks' method of climbing to next row of block chain, viz., 1ds vsp, followed by chain stitches.
The charm at the end follows the same principle but with more number of chains (5 or 6) of which the final chain has adjoining decorative picots for a dense frill.

I would've like to continue for a longer tail, but was running out of thread on one shuttle. And sometimes one just isn't in the mood to find the ball, wind the bobbin and ....

What do you think? Should I add this tail in my final bookmark or should I add a  long tassel? 
I have a colour scheme in mind and am hoping it will work.

Hoping to post a few more blogs in quick succession ....

Sunday 13 March 2022

one month several years

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It's been a month since I last picked up my shuttles today, and boy did it feel good! All my time away from life activities was being spent on the compy trying to complete presentations, diagrams, reviews, or other backroom Project stuff.

This is a prototype of Linked Happy Hands Bookmark - an adaptation of Endrucks' pattern #1 edging. If you remember, I always felt they looked like arms extended above a head, and linked together, which is why I gave it a name.

I first tried the idea of cross-linking in 2015, using size 20 Red Heart thread. Too thick, but the contrasting colours bring out the interlinked 'hands'. 
This time I picked up the straight edging in Anchor size 40 ( to continue and see how I could turn the corner. 
I have deliberately kept it simple for now, with lots of picots to provide choices for whatever might follow later.

Because, my goal is to tat each motif in a different colour to represent the collective diversity of our Endrucks 1920 Project, like I explained in the last para here -

So what do you think? Any ideas or suggestions?

There is a lot of pattern #1 related activity and adaptations going on in our FB group. It is the pattern I have chosen for the next article to send to IOLI Bulletin. It was chosen after consulting with Ninetta and a lot of thought, for various reasons, one of them being that many tatters had gotten involved with adaptations from this motif, including needle tatting. It was also 'modernized' while still retaining the 100-year old flavour. Thus it seemed like the perfect reflection of what our Project represented - a community effort to modernize patterns from the 1920 book. There are some spectacular models that have come in but a couple are under wraps for now. Hopefully I'll be able to showcase them all in my blog a few months down the line.

Endrucks 1920 Project details , links, patterns, ..... - 
This doc is also in the process of being updated and reorganized. Takes time, though. And this time I have a deadline to meet, hence tatting will continue for the next few days, yay!

Thursday 10 March 2022

girl interrupted

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 Despite the best of intentions, commitments can fall by the wayside. Usha Shah and Ayşe Özgür were among our original volunteers and started tatting immediately after selecting their respective patterns, sending in the first trial pictures.

Then life intervened, interrupting their commitment, and we lost their participation. However, their trial samplers are inspiring and a wee bit different from the original pattern, making it a pleasure to share with everybody. Both ladies are highly accomplished and talented and we expected nothing less, right!

The other commonality lies in the way the tatted they ‘block’ without switching shuttles, seemingly like a continuous chain. Hence despite working with 2/3 colours, their block chains remain the same colour.

Ayşe Özgür worked pattern #7 in 3 colours! Her sampler resembles oya mekik or Turkish lace, partially because of the thread used. If we compare closely, this sampler is a modification of the original pattern not merely in colours but also techniques, direction of chains, etc. A possible variation to keep in mind when tatting.

This is the pattern that went through many hands before landing in mine and the pattern was shared here -

Ayşe tats a range of flower motifs, both 2D and 3D. These original designs are very pretty and colourful and impeccably made – a mix of tatting and Turkish oya. However she uses shuttles instead of needle. Besides her Facebook profile, she hosts a FB group (Tatting Ayse), has a YouTube channel, and an etsy shop. Do check out her inspiring work. 

Usha Shah of Shuttle Creations is another talented tatter, designer who needs no introduction. All one needs to say is Dot Picot! She chose pattern #39 and sent in this trial sampler.

Again, if one examines closely, it is a modification or variation of the original, with the block chains worked continuously without switching shuttles or turning work. The vertical segments stand up straight, providing a nice symmetry.

The way her chains stack up, reminds me of peacocks! Do you see birds with open plumes, too?

When Usha could not return to this project, despite wanting to, I was at a stage where it was easier to do it myself than request for volunteers and review their work. (We wanted different names on the modern pdfs than repeating the same). The entire review process is very time- and energy-consuming, without the pleasure of actual tatting ;-D If you remember, I had tremendous fun doing the pattern and adaptations -

Usha has shared many lovely original and unique patterns for free in her blog - She, too, is on various social networking platforms including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp. If you haven’t yet, do check out her inspiring work.

We are grateful to both ladies for their attempts, even if they could not see their projects through to the end.

muskaan and Ninetta


Endrucks 1920 Project is a community project, where patterns from Endrucks’ German book of 1920 were converted to modern-style presentations and pdfs. We welcome you to join our Facebook group “Endrucks 1920 Project” (please read the group’s description and rules before joining :  where the fun continues with derivative tatting, new variations, activities, etc. all within the gamut of Endrucks’ patterns.

Using the hashtag #Endrucks1920Project when posting in FB or Instagram, ensures that your pic will show up in a search.

If you enjoy sharing and experimenting, or even test-tatting, the group is waiting for you!  All info and links to patterns (original and modern), including model images, are in the Endrucks 1920 Project Document, here There is still a lot to explore and extract, derive and apply and scrolling through this document will give you an idea of the possibilities and beyond.