Friday 30 September 2022

dilly dally doily

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Well, not dilly dally in the literal sense, more in the lack of frequency and smoothness sense. Perhaps some fogginess crept in besides general fatigue....

I can't remember when exactly I started tatting it - perhaps 2 months back? Remember Erika's doily I made for my hair bun net?
It didn't work out for the purpose. My hair thinned down (thank you meds); the doily was not only large, but I somehow no longer liked the thread thickness. It felt bulky against my smaller bun. Hence it continues to sit prettily on my dining table.

Yet, I still needed one in red/maroon and chose Daniela Mendola's Tatting sharing MIX
And you wouldn't believe the amount of trouble it gave me especially in the initial rounds, through no fault of the designer.

Started with Lizbeth size 80, but kept making mistakes. Thread is too tiny to keep un-tatting. 
Switched to Anchor size 40.
I behaved like a novice in Round 1!!! Kept forgetting to work the ring as a SCMR, and kept having to undo the initial stitches. I could've worked it as ring-on-ring, but ....
Then the thread started to break and have now labeled the ball as unsuitable for tatting. It will be interesting to see whether keeping the ball in the freezer will help (I came across this tip somewhere)  
But I was so adamant to see it through that I persevered. 

It spoiled my future colour composition; at one stage I couldn't find the ball I wanted and had to choose another shade; but I'm happy with the way it finally turned out.. 
There were more heartaches along the way which I don't even remember now. Sometimes I could only manage a single ring; some rounds needed close attention to the count; the going was slow and unsteady. Didn't even feel like taking pics after each round, despite the beautiful design.

I took this pic because it needed to be blocked after round 3.

It measures a tad over 7 inches at the ring-to-ring tips.
These are only 6 of the 9 rounds. If only the size 80 had worked out, all 9 rounds could've been accommodated and it would've looked so much better.

All's well that ends well and it is the beauty and utility that will remain in front (and back ;-P) of me. The journey is already a dim memory. 

Many thanks to Daniela for sharing such beautiful patterns!

Thursday 29 September 2022

joy of succumbing

Pin It now! The joy of succumbing to temptation - a temptation resisted for years! Well, a little guilt colours the joy, but the thread colours brush it aside!
This is what arrived on Sunday. Opening the carton and this is only the top of 2 layers, with a total of 52 balls of thread!!!
A gift from Madhur Dadlani of the Unending Doily fame - a master tatter and admin of an Indian whatsapp tatting group (of which Usha Shah is also an admin).
Madhur has been gifting threads to tatters for years and offered to send me several times. My refusals finally wore out and this time I succumbed because several of the shades/variegates are not for sale.
These are 16 balls of size 40 and 2 metallic in size 20 on the right. 
Love the variegates! And there's a grey too!

And these are the remaining in size 20.
Brands range from Red Rose to Gopal.
I still haven't tatted from this stash, but my first impressions -
  1. There is no sheen to the threads - similar to Anchor threads which have lost their Egyptian cotton sheen.
  2. The size 20 is thinner than the current size 20 from Anchor. This is a huge plus because the Anchor 20 now is more like Lizbeth size 10.
  3. I like the feel of the threads - they appear soft.
More observations after my trials ....
My Unending or Scrappy Doily adorns my dining table and is visible in several recent pics.

Sorting and storing took up half a day but I managed to fit everything in clear boxes. But the size 20s,  got separated and are now lodged in 2 boxes - reds and yellows in one box and the rest in the original large box.

Thank you so very much, dearest Madhur! 💖 Hope I can do justice to the shades.
Hat's off to India Post, too.

Tuesday 27 September 2022

palm or plant - help

Pin It now! I'm in a quandary ... can't see the wood for the trees kind of..... and would appreciate your input.

If you remember ( ), I had extracted and adapted the pea pod motif from Endrucks' pattern #25 to make fronds for a palm tree. I also had most of the layout in my head, barring the minute details.

I have 6 fronds and the question is whether I should continue with the Palm Tree idea or switch to a Snake Plant?

Please help me decide. At this stage hubby thinks it looks like a snake plant, and I agree with him. However going ahead I see the palm tree take shape, too.

Over 10 days back I had shared this collage in our FB group -
The 4th frond (below) looks like a banana, doesn't it? Or an orange slice. Or when arranged together, it could well shape into a pumpkin! 
Inspired by this, one of our members has tatted a pair of sweet peas and carrots which will be shared here once the event is over.
Stephanie W really got the creative juices flowing with her harvest theme idea! Thank you 💕

Sunday 25 September 2022

balcony diary

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 It's been a while since I last posted pics of my some of my plants. Itching for an update. 

Meanwhile my annual SQUIRREL made a cozy home for itself in our bird house, stuffing it with what-nots, prancing around, lying atop the roof, entertaining us, and in 3 weeks or so before I could rouse myself to take pics, it left overnight taking all its what-nots with it! I have never understood how the sheer net it manages to snag from somewhere every year, does not get snagged in it's claws.

The CROTON had 3 main stems. Very soon leaves of the 2 shorter ones withered, browned and drooped. The way it happened (all together instead of single leaves) sent alarm signals to my brain. Started looking under the leaves, and sure enough there were tiny brown spore sacs and even one tiny green leaf-shaped bug! I wiped the underside of each leaf down with vinegar and it worked. Saved this and you can see the new green shoots.

The CHILLI plant gave off 30+ blooms at one count, with an equal number of buds-in-waiting. Not a singe one turned into a chilli! Then noticed the top leaves of our chilli plant crinkling. shrinking and twisting. Yes, there were those same pests. So we bought Neem Oil and hubby sprayed it on all plants (including the croton). Worked like a charm and new leaves sprouted.
Eventually I pruned off the tips and some of them are arranged in a tiny pot adorning my study table above. You can still see some distorted older leaves.
We'll wait till end of winter and might replace this plant altogether.

The FICUS is thriving! So many new sap green shoots and some random figs/berries, too. Aerial roots have anchored in soil.

LEMON TREE - We've harvested 4 lemons from our tree and there are 3 more waiting to ripen. At present there is a stagnancy in growth. Growth hormone spray is on it's way. We're hoping it will make a difference.
The arrangement above has a couple of lemon twigs I snipped while pruning back in August. Like I said, I find it difficult to simply throw them away.

The JADE or ELEPHANT BUSH plant has shed most of its old leaves, though the twigs were lengthening with new leaves. I've cut off short lengths and planted the cuttings in another tiny pot for our bathroom in a spot where we get sunlight. 
This same spot has seen Money Plant cuttings in water in several past seasons.

The ASPARAGUS FERN is lush and some new fronds displayed pretty little white flowers. No new fronds for a while now.

The OREGANO/AJWAIN is another sight of beauty. I haven't dried leaves in a while, happy to watch the shape it takes, however one of the twigs will be planted for the 2nd bathroom later.

The GUAVA plant died off fairly quickly (in late August). For sure it wasn't the same pest because leaves dropped off one by one. It did however give us one ripe guava. There was some brown spotting on one side, but the fruit was sweet.

Meanwhile hubby bought a few more plants last week, totaling a dozen now.
This is the MOGRA (Arabian Jasmine) plant with it's first bloom and such a heavenly scent! I went around like Emperor Shahjahan (he had a rose, though) with it between my fingers, sniffing in the aroma all day and night!
We've had this in my earlier gardening stint and simply love the flowers. 2 more bloomed today.
You can see our next-in-line to ripen (5th) lemon on the left-center there.

This is a SNAKE plant variety we've never seen before. Despite what the camera shows, there is not a spot or tinge of yellow anywhere! It feels like snow. Love it.

On the left is a tiny portion of MINT (Pudina). This is the 3rd time we've bought mint and are hoping 3rd time lucky. I have my doubts because it does not get enough sunlight. In my earlier 'garden' when the mint thrived even from home cuttings, the pot was placed on the balcony parapet. It is no longer an option. So let's see - perhaps the growth hormone will play a role?

Our RAM TULSI (Holy Basil) plant has weathered the fall and is again giving off new leaves and shoots.
And the CUURY Leaf plant is in good condition, too.

This is my house plant diary for now - a way to keep track of their progress or otherwise.
Gardening brings such fun, joy and satisfaction, but a few disappointments and heartaches, too.

Saturday 17 September 2022

playful hearts

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Hearts want to play, organise themselves into groups and shapes. Well it's not new in our tatting world (see links at the end of post), yet each arrangement takes on the characteristics of its component hearts. So, let's see what the Eye Spy (extracted from pattern #3) or #prettymeEndrucks hearts are playing at ....   direct link to the pattern pdf -

And do scroll down to the bottom of the post for some new spy work!!!!
Also, we have another participant who sent her pretty me heart. I have updated the round up post here -

Anchor Pearl Cotton size 8 is similar to Lizbeth size 20;
and Anchor crochet cotton size 20 is similar to Lizbeth size 10.
I Love this arrangement for an elegant bracelet or bookmark.
The hearts can be tatted continuously in pairs of 2 (like the 2 in the center) with split ring tips.

Another arabesque arrangement for a quilt block or a frame.

4 friends together form a square.

The 4 hearts at the bottom can be arranged alternately for an insertion or bookmark.
These, as well as the earrings are worked in Anchor Perle Cotton size 8. Each earring heart measures about 2.5cms x 2.5cms, and the skewed arrangement gives an earring measuring about 4cms wide and 7.5 cms long (without the teardrop).

The body of this bookmark (Margaret Davies' adaptation), also worked in Anchor Pearl size 8 measures 3.5cms x 12.5 cms.
After adding the braid and tassel, it almost touches 30cms.

A couple of my Indian tatters directed me to where I could purchase the bookmark sleeves online! And I did! Thanks, ladies.While for personal use, I still prefer bare lace (hence the tassel is attached to the bookmark, not the sleeve), the sleeves will keep them protected and flat when not in use or when gifting.
I pulled the tassel through the hole at the tip, thus anchoring it.

The maroon prototype was worked in Anchor size 20 and is 3.5cms wide and 3 cms high.
The other 2 are the enlarged hearts .....

On the left is Margaret Davies' enlarged version, with 16/0 beads. In Anchor Pearl size 8, it works out to 3.5cms x 3.5cms.
The right one is my slight variation with longer top chains and a beaded loop to insert a chain or findings. It now measures >4cms x 3.5cms.

Now for the exciting part ----- Look closely at the center .....
Eye Spy a Pentagon in this coaster ....
[In Anchor size 20 the diameter is 7cms]
.... and Eye Spy a Square in this pendant!
Both pentagon and square can be worked in one pass. Can you figure out the pathway?

It was Carol Liu's colour placement which first brought out the pentagon clearly.

UPDATE (Nov 2022): Check our Paola B's arrangement of the heart motifs to create a beautiful collar! -

All pattern pdf links are listed in
And of course, you can go to the EP doc for the entire collection of modernised and adapted patterns and ideas -

Thursday 15 September 2022

idea in progress

Pin It now! When we opened the new game for September (, I wasn't sure I'd be able to participate myself. However after finishing off a few tasks on my list, I was suddenly energized by an idea, by a mental image, and got right down to work. 
Do you see what I see? Do these motifs work as palm tree fronds? These are the first 3 each one different, with quite a few more to make in a darker shade, perhaps even a 3rd shade.

The trunk will incorporate another extraction of block tatting motif.
At this stage I have no idea how far I will be able to progress towards a composition or scenery ...

This is the original motif from Endrucks' pattern #24 and #25.
Pattern #25 now updated -

My imagination swirled with possibilities with merely this pea pod motif(s) -
  • Dragon fly wings
  • Angel or Butterfly wings
  • Thatched roof
  • Flower petals - colour, number of petals, single or multiple layers will determine what flower emerges.
  • Gown
  • Bow (for neck or hair)
  • Flying bird ...........
What do You see or imagine? 

My intention was to work the fronds continuously if only I hadn't been lazy at the beginning ;-P I had wound one shuttle full with 3 strands of Anchor embroidery floss, pulled out a yard or so for CTM and worked only with that one shuttle using direct tatting, etc. 
Anyways, I'm happy for doing them separately - gives me more flexibility to arrange them later.

I am thoroughly enjoying this somewhat free-style winging after what seems like ages of structured tatting. Very relaxing and quick to tat.

Wednesday 14 September 2022

aug roundup 3

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 I'm sure you must have enjoyed the hearty spread in my 2 previous posts. This is the final serving for our 'pretty me aug 2022' FB event. While all our participants are on Facebook, some joined us through blogs and Instagram, too. They encompass a diverse set of tools, experience, and skills, besides imagination. 

11. Marina MadJar Tatting - shared her key chain pendant adaptation pattern

12. Margaret Davies - Margaret really went to town with her hearts - trials, patterns, and all! I've lost count of the number of trials she posted, including a discarded attempt at a butterfly within the heart.
Besides sharing her enlarged heart and bookmark patterns, she tatted this earring and pendant set, adding a tiny ring at the tip to hold findings. The pendant differs from Lella Loops' pendant in the previous post, in the number of joins between motifs.

13. Meenakshi (muskaan) Jain - While preparing presentations for the original pattern and for the spin-offs, I had plenty of opportunity to tat more hearts, starting with my Indian Flag earring version;

Ninetta's coaster which I am using daily;

Margaret's enlarged heart - in the 2nd one I increased the chain length;

and finally Margaret's bookmark. Would look lovely as a bracelet embellished with beads.

14. Mela Cabo followed my example and worked a pair of mirrored earrings in metallics.  

15. Ninetta Caruso had tatted her coaster in size 80 (4cms) and inserted it in this key chain

16. Paola Bevilacqua had worked her earrings as soon as the notated pattern was shared in the blog in June.

17. Ruth Palsson (stitchingbushwalker) has been tatting for only about a year and kept working on the heart motifs till she was finally satisfied with her joins, her bead/crystal sizes, etc. 

In the trio below, Ruth added a metallic machine embroidery thread to add that bit of sparkle. She will be using the heart(s) for a lucky door prize.

18. Sharada Rajan worked in size 80 for a pair of earrings before the event;

and encapsulated a 3rd heart within the key chain.

19. Stephanie Mc (Tattimic) shared her butterfly pattern.


And there can be no better words to express our sentiments, than what my partner in this crime, Ninetta Caruso, has to say -

I'm very happy to see all the prettyfied hearts shared for the August #prettymeEndrucks event. Thank you very much, Muskaan and everyone of you! It was amazing how many of you felt involved and actively participated. 😘 This was only our first event -  there's an Italian expression that sounds like: "a good day can be seen from the morning". Hence, this cascade of creativity is exactly what we had hoped for our group!

We are preparing many more events, besides the current #extractmeEndrucks game. It seems this book is like magic, an incredible and endless source of inspiration; when you think you're done, there will always be another rabbit to be pulled out of Endrucks' hat!

Dear tatters, keep creating and happy Endrucks' tatting!

 Till our next roundup for the current game, then!

💖 Many many many thanks for playing! Keep inspiring us 💖 

Round up part 1 (pattern pdfs) -