Friday 30 June 2023

gifts galore 2

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 Besides all the thoughtful and practical gifts Anita Barry sent me, she also sent several excellent books. My tatting book collection just grew a whole lot! I invite you join in my pleasure .... (listed in no particular order)

Taboo Tatting - Anita Barry. 
This little booklet is a perfect example of the creative fun Anita manages to inject into all her projects. It is one A4 size page folded into four 'pages' (printed front and back) and tied with a ribbon. She had shared it with me years back and I had printed it out. But receiving it from her is special. It has tips, tricks, challenges, little projects, ....

Tatting Times - Karey Solomon
I'd only heard of Karey Solomon's quarterly subscription-based mini booklets/newsletters and now I hold one in my hands! She had been sending these out for 30 long years till 2022. This post is worth reading - Launching Tatting Times Online

Tea is for Tatting - Martha Ess.
Another treasure! Martha Ess holds a special place in my heart for several reasons, not least for uploading Endrucks' 1920 book, ;-D. Martha's books are eye-openers in themselves, taking a technique or theme and running with it, popularising several techniques/effects through fun patterns. And she has a new book in the offing

Tatting - Rhoda Auld.
A must-have in any tatting library! I have already read several pages, but haven't played with shuttle in hand yet.

Tatting Techniques - Elgiva Nicholls.
One of my all-time favourites is Nicholls' 1962 Dover publication Tatting Techniques and History, but this was also highly recommended and desired. I'll be spending many happy hours/days reading and imbibing.

Coffee Classics - compiled by Anita Barry.
Anita had told me that she was compiling her favourite coffee recipes to hand down to her loved ones. She made at least four and these are all hand-written and sprinkled with sketches. I had no idea one of the recipients would be me!

A Collection of Tatted Bracelets - Victoria Clarke.
Blogging and the online world has introduced me to so many wonderful and talented artisans. One such is Vicki who often shares her somewhat quirky but always clever designs. And holds short tat-alongs two or three times a year. This is the time for her next two back-to-back TALs - 

The IOLI Bulletin Fall 2022.
It often happens that my complimentary copy of the bulletin (when my article is published) does not reach me. Anita sent me her copy and she had been thrilled to see the back cover.....
...these are a few images from my 2nd of 3 articles on Endrucks and the Project!

The Complete Book of Tatting - Rebecca Jones.
Would you believe Anita sent this separately because she forgot to include it in the earlier shipment. So, her bundle of gifts actually reached me in three shipments! Another treasure in my library!

This is something she had received at one of the Palmetto Tat Days. These were all done by Phyllis Schmidt! I believe she does some sort of giveaway every year. 

I placed this last as the perfect way to say Thank You to Anita for all her gifts  especially the books, and not least for her solid friendship through the years!

I have made it a point to periodically read from all the books and make good use of the knowledge and perspective. Even cleared out an entire shelf from the wall cabinet in my bedroom to display all my tatting books in one place and keep them within quick reach! And each one has a lace (mostly tatted lace) bookmark.
There might not be enough time to try out stuff from the books at present, but the literature is equally interesting. And there is that beckoning light to try out patterns and experiments and ideas as time progresses!!!

Thursday 29 June 2023

gifts galore 1

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 A few months back I received a bonanza of beauties from my tatting buddy, Anita Barry! She had been wanting to send me gifts for years and I kept declining. Then she got hold of my address and there you have it - unstoppable Anita 💖

The big haul!
This photo gives an idea about the relative size of the items.

Beautifully tatted motif in the key chain. Passed it on to hubby.

Her handmade pin cushions. There had to be lavender and the fragrance is heavenly!

The same pin cushions from the other side!

Lizbeth size 20 threads and a lot of shuttles. I was thrilled that they were all bobbin shuttles with a hook - the only kind that my hands seem to like, LOL

Her hand-painted shuttles straight from the beaches of Florida!

and the same on the other side.
These shuttles are a bit smaller and 'thinner' than the Pony shuttles I use. 
They are more dainty to hold and work with.

Ooo, such a charming pendant! Already strung on one of my chains.

Okay that flamingo scissors is quite the eye-catcher! 
Hand-painted rock/pebble; tatted medallion in size 10; and hand sewn needle case.

The needle book up close - look at all the tiny details!
No amount of trying could capture the tiny handmade lavender flowers on camera. 
One has to admire them in person!

And the inside of the book with special (easy threading) 
needles and pins.

I have frequently seen these scrap containers in blogs (notice the scraps she sent me, LOL?!) and used to think - well they take up too much space, not for me.
Realized only now that they collapse and lie flat!!! 
It is being much used already.

A vintage lace that she suggested I could use as a bookmark, which is exactly what I am doing.
The skein of silk thread is Really very special! It belonged to her mother. I have still not decided how to use it to do full justice to the gesture. In my earlier eyesight I would've started an embroidery project immediately.

Detail of the lace and thread.

The gifts came at a time when I was very ill and I couldn't use and enjoy them properly or fully. It took a while to even take photos. However, if you notice the lead pic, you'll see some books peeking out. They require a post all to themselves! So please come back tomorrow to celebrate my good fortune and treasure!

Tuesday 27 June 2023

bigger flower

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 Over the years it has often happened that in response to a technique question or a blog post generous tatters have sent me scans of relevant portions of tatting books. While I saved them, I don't always remember who shared them. One such is the following - 

This is the Big Flower pattern from Anne Dyer's 'To Boldly Go Where No Shuttle Has Gone Before', 1995. I have scans of some of the technique pages from a while back and stumbled across them recently while organizing my digital storage.

I invited Anita Barry to work through the pages. This was back in April when I wasn't feeling too well. She agreed immediately - she owns a copy of the book! We started with page 13 - Lines for Chains or Rings and had a lot of fun with the chains, effects, and tossing ideas. I'll share those some other time. Already the book was worth it's name! 

Above is my first attempt at the Big Flower pattern using Anchor size 40. But I was dissatisfied with those unseemly 'thorny' points and discarded it.

Started afresh with Anchor Pearl cotton size 8, using one shuttle and ball - after all it is a chains-only pattern. Much better and smoother, right?!

I had to write the pattern to suit my preference - the short notation format. The frequent turns due to inward/downward picots was quite confusing to keep track of.
Later, Anita found an alternate way to write the pattern!
We also noticed several omissions in the original which were included in our notes. 

Anne's diagram (only half drawn) would have 9 or 10 repeats. At 7 repeats mine seems only halfway there. The reason is the shorter picots I used.
This is a very springy/elastic piece, reminiscent of a 'samvadini' or hand harmonium being played. 

This reminded me of a collar I had once crocheted using a single strand of white silk thread on a printed silk top/blouse. It was a chains-only scalloped rounds and was large enough to cover my shoulders, yet so delicate and lacy.
Of course, the crochet collar was worked in a circle, rojnd after round. 
This tatted motif is cleverly worked outward-inward for the desired width, ending in a broad circle. A clever construction where the width can be increased easily.

Like I said it is such an elastic pattern that I finished off at the 12th repeat and it still lays flat! I have been waiting to fill in the center before posting, but didn't get around to it.
Those are mogras (Arabian Jasmines) from my potted plant. It has given us so many fragrant flowers these past several months! 

Anita completed her flower, too, and also tatted a center. I'll share her pics after seeking permission.

I continued with page 14. While many of the effects are already known to us by one name or the other, there is one stitch that was absolutely new to me and I loved how it came out! Hopefully I'll remember to use it in future.

With other projects jostling for attention, we haven't continued further. But it was a good decision to work together with exchange of ideas, tips, trials, and the fun element obviously! Working together also ensured we read the instructions correctly with inherent motivation.

So I did manage 4 posts in as many days! And there's still so much to share. 

Many thanks to my unnamed benefactor for sharing the scans!

Monday 26 June 2023

autumn fireworks

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 I should've posted this last night since I managed to complete the entire tree motif I had set out to do for the ILD. Hadn't expected to, so this was a huge deal. Of course it meant taking a digital break the entire evening.

The one behind is the new motif tatted correctly with 10 rings. Fresh off the shuttle, you can see that it does not lie flat. I had to stretch and tamp it down into submission since there was no time to block and dry.
Worked in Lizbeth (shuttle) and Anchor (ball) size 40 threads.
Pattern is #14 from Endrucks (1920) reworked and presented in modern format by Ninetta. Link to main EP doc is in the right panel of my blog. 

Angie pointed out that this could well be a fireworks display. I love the idea as it offers so much scope for frivolous colourfulness! 

This morning I have rolling pin blocked all motifs. They are drying at present and I will take pics tonight playing with arrangement. Then starts the next part which is still a bit amorphous.

Hope you had a wonderful day and weekend. Who knows after this hat-trick of posts, I might continue with a 4th one tomorrow ;-P

Sunday 25 June 2023

refresher samplers

Pin It now! Another quick post with refresher samples. It feels good to refresh one's memory and skills.

There was a time long back when I found it difficult to do a SCMR (self-closing mock ring), let alone Interlocking SCMRs! Hence my trials and study focused on interlocking with normal rings but with shuttle instead of needle -
Over time I have come to adopt the SCMR as a convenient and often useful 'technique' and effect. And the above sampler is tatted following the pictorials by Sue (His Kid) and Umi & Tsuru. Sue's instructions are clearer while the latter's images are sharper. Hence my model utilizes both instructions.
The bare thread between rings should be long. If you look closely, a couple of segments don't lay flat because i used a relatively shorter BTS.  

There are a number of other ways to make 'flat' IRs - scroll down for all the links here -

Jane Eborall left a comment and link in my previous post about an Alternate Way to make Josephine Rings. I had tried them back in 2014 and used them to create 3D buds (above) for the Tiny Heart Poppy -

However, it was time for a refresher! And this is what I made last night - 
This time I made the half-stitches in such a way as to leave 'picots' . They create a lovey twist! And they are more stable than Interlocking Picots and can be used for joining with care. However tatting them required a bit of calisthenics and keeping all the loose half-stitches under one's pinch meant the size of the ring was limited. This is not an issue if we remove all slack and snug the stitches without 'picots'.

UPDATE: Is this similar to Mark Myers' Dizzy Double Stitch (DDS)? It certainly appears so. He seems to use the same movement for the half-stitches but makes normal (double stitch) rings instead of Josephine rings. 

And today is International Lace Day. In the morning I wound my shuttle with Lizbeth (s0ze 30), sought out the brown ball (Anchor) and will tat the E14 autumn tree again. The one in the pic has mistakes as I had pointed out here -
Kind of refreshing the model, huh?!
With the reworked tree I would've finished the tatting part of the #colourmeEndrucks project.

Wishing everybody a very creative and happy ILD!
and many thanks to Sue, Jane, and Wendy for their wonderful tutorials!

Saturday 24 June 2023

simple samplers

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 Like I said in my previous post, I'm trying to do a bit of everything so as to make progress on each simultaneously instead of letting one project get left behind totally. Following are samplers I did for Interlocking Picots. When one needs an extreme close-up of a model, the warts show up, LOL. So, try and try again! And use them as a SOUP idea.

I've done these before and even compared similar picot styles at least twice. See list of related post links below. Yet the interlocking this time didn't seem as obvious as before. 
Interlocking picots are picots made after every half-stitch in a Josephine ring and they should be within a certain length range for the interlocking to show up clearly.. 
Watch Karen Cabrera's video
and my Measuring the Picot -

Anchor size 20 threads were used. I intend to glue them on a card, adding in some greens and perhaps a ribbon. They cannot be sewn down neatly because the lovely ornamental picots are easily pulled out of shape! These are certainly handle-with-care picots, for show only ;-D

Saturday 17 June 2023


Pin It now! Another gapsosis in my blogging! However, this time I have been busy with editing, reviewing, proofing, pdf-isation, and yes, actual Tatting! I try to juggle both my time and my tasks to accommodate and make progress on each front.

This is what I am currently tatting, although there is a lot more to come.... I couldn't resist showing you a little peek. This month's game in our EP FB group was to use at least two colours in a select range of 7 edging patterns, where the motifs resembled a tree. 

I intended to add beads for additional colours and symbolism, but found they were mostly too large for the size 40 threads I chose.

However, I did use symbolism in terms of shades and picot numbers and sizes. 
All tatted with one shuttle (with green) and ball (brown), using reverse join or simple transposing of threads to keep the shuttle in play.

Can you identify the impression I am trying to convey here? Pretty straightforward I would think ;-P

Mind you there are mistakes in three of the motifs; only the topmost center is correct. I don't know what my issue was - eyesight, maths, or the chains. Thankfully trees don't have to be symmetrical and I doubt anybody can identify the mistakes at a glance.
Perhaps it is a phase I am going through, 'coz I miscounted the number of repeats in a doily/coaster I was test-tatting and reviewing for Ninetta! Fortunately the 7 repeats instead of 8 worked out fine, too, and it turned into a variation.

The above pattern is the modern reworking for Endrucks' pattern #14 by Ninetta Caruso and the pdf can be downloaded from the EP doc. She has done an excellent job of diagramming and writing the pattern, including a corner adaptation. (links on the right panel, top).

Monday 5 June 2023

yet another heart

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We can never have our fill of heart motifs especially if they provide us a means to empty our shuttles! This one is derived from Endrucks' doily #28 and the pattern pdf can be downloaded by clicking on this link -

Remember my Crown Jewels? ( )
On the left is the prototype and on the right is the bejewelled version. I could see a heart shape if the chains were elongated and just had to give it a whorl resulting in the heart at the center.

This is cute little motif to use for learning and applying techniques and effects (this one has CWJs and dot picot string); to embellish with beads or decorative picots; to use as a charm; to use as jewellery; .... Let loose the imagination to play and decorate!

I sent Ninetta the pdf for a quick scan and she surprised me by quickly tatting it too! In her own words -

"Thread is S-lon 0,5 usually sold for micro-macramè, it is thicker than a size 10. I'll use it as a charm. At the end of the heart I tatted a chain with 40 first half stitches and finished it with a ring with 12 ds."

So what are you waiting for? Use up the scraps.

💖 Many thanks, Nin, my partner in crime in the Endrucks Project 💖