Tuesday 29 November 2011

Snowflake Pattern Ready

Thank you to all those who expressed an interest in getting the pattern for my snowflake.  So here it is.  The pattern requires you to know how to start on a chain, make a split ring and self-closing mock rings (I have made videos for two of these techniques, links in the side bar).

I would be most grateful to the first few who will wish to tat this, to let me know if they find mistakes (there are bound to be some!) so I can correct them as quickly as possible.

Yes!  Somebody has already found one and I have just reloaded the pattern!


Here it is in size 20, 40 and 80 threads.

Best wishes,

Monday 28 November 2011

Cardigan Finished!

Here it is for those who were interested in the knitting.  I finally finished my cardigan and wore it for the first time yesterday.  I'm particularly pleased as I improvised as I went, changing the sleeve shape and making up the collar as I knitted (had an idea of how I wanted it to look but just guessed at how I should knit to obtain the shape!).  So all things considered, not a bad outcome.

This cardigan looks mostly blue and green but is actually made up of many
colours (10 in fact).  I particularly like the shades of purple (which can 
be seen better in this bottom photo) 
and how they are incorporated into the design.

Call me crazy but I already know what I want to knit next.  Now you know why I keep saying there are just not enough hours in a day!

On another note, I feel I need to celebrate a milestone:  I am honoured to now count 100 followers of my blog - Thank you so much for your support!  AND I have now had over 10,000 views of my very short tatting video, the first video I ever made, amazing!  I shall have to find a way to celebrate, keep you posted!

Best wishes,

Friday 25 November 2011

My Own Snowflake

Last night I was fiddling about with my shuttles, thinking I must get going on making a few snowflakes (as it's December already next week!) and then I thought... I really need to make one of my own!  So I had a look at some pictures of real snowflakes for inspiration and this is what I've come up with so far:

What do you think?

I might play around with it a bit more with slight adjustments
but I think I like the general shape.

Best wishes,

Sunday 20 November 2011

Orsi's Snowflake

A very pretty pattern by Orsi

I love the shape of this snowflake:  small but perfect.

Again I added beads for a little extra holiday sparkle.

Best wishes,

Saturday 19 November 2011

Cutting the Steek!

I made it to the top!  And have tonight cut the front steek so I can start picking up stitches to make the buttonhole bands.

I know most people would think scissors and knitting shouldn't be brought together, but I always find the cutting part very exciting.  It means you're nearly finished with a long-term project!

Here's just starting to cut at the bottom of the ribbing.

Halfway up...

All done!  I can now try it on.

Next it's picking up the stitches along the edge to make the button bands.

I feared at some point that I had been overly ambitious with this knit.  Because I decided to modify the pattern.  Instead of making a square sleeve (which I never particularly like the fit of), I decided to make it a raglan sleeve.  So it was a bit of trial and error.  I'm also improvising on the collar.  I have an idea in mind of how I'd like it to look.  But no pattern to follow!  We shall soon see if I've been foolish.

Best wishes,

Friday 18 November 2011

Jon's Featherline Snowflake

I know a lot of people will be into snowflakes at the moment.  They make such a nice little gift and I think they look lovely on the Christmas tree.

So here is another:  it is Jon's Featherline Snowflake.  Another pattern I had printed ages ago but not tried yet.  I added some gold beads as I do like a bit of sparkle for tree decorations.

Not a very quick tat but mostly due to being slowed down
with adding beads.

These were all added as I went.  No beads strung onto the thread beforehand.

Photo with flash above, without flash below.  Again trying hard to catch
the sparkliness of the beads, always difficult!

I'm pleased with this.  Apart from a slightly mis-shapen center because I didn't do a very good job of sewing in ends (a job I very much dislike as many of you know!).  So the next time I tat this, I will use split rings and tat it all in one go.  The only problem would be adding the bead between the two split rings... I shall have to give that some thought.

I think it's nice to see things from a distance sometimes.
It makes you more aware of the negative spaces - don't you think?
See how pretty the negative spaces are in this snowflake?
Viewed from here, and because of the beads, it even
looks as if the center is not attached and is just floating there...

Thank you very much Jon for the lovely pattern.

Best wishes,

Tuesday 15 November 2011

Loop-Tatted Rings and Catherine Wheel Joins

For people who like more advanced techniques, this post is about loop-tatted rings and Catherine wheel joins.  I think there is a myriad of patterns that are perfect with just simple rings and chains.  If you only ever used rings and chains, you could still tat a lifetime and not run out of patterns to tat.  Still, there are many techniques out there which I find interesting and I like exploring.

First of all, some people were interested in a video on the loop-tatted ring technique as used in the Candlelight Snowflake (version with bugle beads).

This is a second version of the snowflake which I showed over at In Tatters.
Here I used three beads instead of bugle beads for the loop-tatted rings.

Small question for viewers of my videos:  should I change to a white background?  Is the red distracting too much?

And finally, I've been having a go at Catherine wheel joins.  This is a lovely smooth join which looks really neat.  I've not made patterns calling for it yet but I'm sure eventually it will be exactly the thing I need at a particular spot in a pattern.

On some of them you can hardly tell there's a join, don't you think?  I love how it keeps a nice unbroken curve on the outside chain whilst still making a join.  I don't plan on making a video for this technique because Yarnplayer has the perfect one!  Until seeing her video, I couldn't get my head around this technique but her demonstration is very clear.

How about you?  Have you used Catherine wheel joins before?  And does anyone know WHY they are called that?

(Meanwhile of course, I'm not making much progress on the knitting!!)

Best wishes,

Monday 14 November 2011

Getting Side-tracked...

Still knitting (slowly... - well, not knitting slowly but just not knitting often enough!).  My problem is I always get distracted by other things...  This time it's my beads that had a sudden renewed appeal.  Just had to get them out and play.

Don't know what I'm going to do with these yet.
Hopefully I'll come up with a bright idea eventually.
They are made from 2in long wood beads.

I was wearing a cardigan with these colours the other day
and it inspired me to make this ring.

On another note, I was sorry to miss out on the great Oovoo tatting event (see Michelle's, Diane's and Happy Bluebird's blogs).  I tried everything to get connected but my faithful Mac let me down on this occasion.

Can't believe it's mid-November already.  I try so hard not to think about Christmas too early but it's getting unavoidable.  If I want to have some snowflakes ready for my cards, I'll have to start tatting again soon!

Best wishes,

Monday 7 November 2011

If You Don't Hear From Me For a Bit....

It's because I'm knitting!  The weather is getting colder here and I have this very nice Fair Isle Cardigan which I thought I would enjoy wearing.... if only I got it finished!  Really, there isn't that much left:  body and both sleeves done and I'm now up to the shoulders, knitting in the round.  So I thought I would be "good" and have a go at finishing it.  Just a few more inches at the top, then the collar and button bands.

I struggle to leave my shuttles alone (and still do a bit of tatting here and there) but I will really make an effort with the knitting.

I'll try to be back as quickly as I can - I've got a big(gish) tatting project going on in the background and also there's all those Christmas snowflakes to think about!  So it's a wrench.... but back to my knitting needles I go... for now.

Best wishes,

Friday 4 November 2011

Crowns Scaled Down

I had to have a go at this - I just felt the size of the original was wrong for me and I didn't like too much empty space in the middle and around the top.  So here it is, I've tried to keep the shape as much as possible and just made everything smaller.  The centre ring is now only 20 ds (10-10), instead of 34 which is easily workable and much more pleasant to handle.

I also think the two centre rings (it's actually a ring and a chain around it) fit better together whereas on the larger version, I was struggling to get it to fit really evenly all around (as you can see on the second photo).

Here's the two together, for comparison's sake.
I may add one or two double stitches to the crown curve (the outside top chain),
to get it a bit rounder.

Best wishes,

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Frauberger Crowns

Needed to tat something quick so I could get the pumpkins off!  All finished now, Halloween things put away and pumpkins going in the compost bin.

So here is a pattern by Tina Frauberger.  I really like the shape of it though I find the size a bit big.  That center ring has 34 stitches in it!  And I don't like working with big rings or long chains.  I wonder if I should try keeping the proportions but making everything smaller....

Her book is interesting in that it has many variations on a theme.  These crowns are repeated many times with slight variations and in different combinations.  I will be adding to this for the next post, you'll see what I mean.

Best wishes,