Saturday 26 January 2013

More Victorian Trellis Doily - and New Video

I'm still enjoying working on this doily.  I'm now on the 7th round.  I particularly like the fact that it is entirely made of chains - so no reloading of the shuttle required!  And no winding and unwinding of the shuttle to move between chains and rings and vice-versa.  All this makes for quick tatting.

Actually, on row 6, the pattern did call for a small ring but I decided to carry on using mock rings instead so you always work with the right side of the tatting facing you and don't have to flip your whole piece backwards and forwards as you would to reverse work.

The 6th round was not blocked so it looks a bit uneven in the photo but as before, the large rings are now being stabilised by the 7th round which adds more Victorian sets and small flowers between the large rings.  

This last round looks a bit like hearts...

Since I was making Victorian sets and mock rings in this doily, I thought it would be a good opportunity for a new video.  This shows the 6th round.

The embedded video is small but if you click on the
bottom right-hand corner icon (the little arrows), it will
make the video full screen (though the picture will be slightly less clear).
Or if you click on the Youtube icon, 
it will take you over to Youtube to watch it in larger format also.

Best wishes,

Wednesday 23 January 2013

Victorian Trellis Doily - Progress

The items in the Priscilla No. 2 Tatting Book do not have names.  I have decided this doily needed one as you can see from the title of this post.  Its features are the trellis round and the Victorian sets, and the trellis round made of Victorian sets... so Victorian Trellis Doily it will be for me.

I'm sorry I forgot to take a photo before starting the next round.  I was merrily tatting away before I realised it would have looked pretty to have a photo of the first five rounds.  I have now started the 6th round which has more Victorian sets and larger rings.

I think this would also make a pretty collar. And sorry Michelle, but I stuck with the ecru in the end.  Although I have the feeling I may tat this again in the future and will definitely go for colours the next time.

I like the contrast of the fuller rounds with the more open feel of the trellis round.  I'm altogether pleased with this so far.

Best wishes,

Sunday 20 January 2013

More on Vintage Patterns

I will still tat the square from the previous post again but (as is often the case) I was side-tracked by another vintage pattern from a book I've had a long time called "Tatting Patterns" by Julia Sanders.  Now I don't know what the link is with Julia Sanders (perhaps she's the editor?) because this is, in fact, an unabridged republication of "The Priscilla Tatting Book no. 2" (1915).

Luckily for all of us, this is now available for free on the web.  See this link.  The doily is on page 16.  This is a great book with many interesting patterns and well worth having in your collection I think.

I had seen this doily tatted before over at In Tatters and I thought it looked really pretty and unusual with its liberal use of Victorian sets.  In fact Victorian sets are used altogether a lot in the Priscilla Tatting book.

However, I was struggling to decipher the pattern.  I kept ending up with my chains facing the wrong way.  After a few false starts, I asked Monedido (the In Tatters member who had made this doily before and who tats beautifully) and she kindly gave me some help to get to grips with the nice lattice first round of this doily.  Thank you so much Monedido!

Here it is:

What's interesting is that this round is completely made of chains.  So although there is a lot of tatting, you don't even empty one shuttle as you are working with a shuttle and ball and nearly all the thread comes from the ball.  I like that.

The lattice is very stretchy but will be set into place by the next round which places more Victorian sets around the large rings.

I'm slightly tempted to throw some blue in there... or should I stick to the classic ecru?...

Victorian sets, for those who don't know, are a number of first halves of the double stitch followed by the same number of the second half of the double stitch.  For example, in this case, 4 first halves followed by 4 second halves which gives a "frilly" effect to the chain.

Best wishes,

Friday 18 January 2013

Square Motif - Take Two

Here it is, on its own:  the second round of the square motif from the previous post.  The centre is surprisingly small, isn't it?  It wouldn't need much at all to be added.  And I think I could make this into a one-pass motif, which would be even better!

At first I didn't like the fact that the small rings were attached a bit low onto the corner elements.  Do you know what I mean?  They are leaning down a bit.  So I debated whether to make another sample and move where the rings attach by a couple of stitches...

But that was until I photographed it on a dark background:

I love the diamond shape that emerges within the square one and I think if I moved the join of the small rings, it would alter this lovely shape.  On the other hand, I might trying joining the picots on the chains below the trefoils as they touch anyway and look a bit superfluous like that.

I really like this.  I might tat a few to put together... if I don't get distracted by something else!

Oh, nearly forgot:  here is a scan of the photo of this motif as it is shown in Anne Orr's book.

So yes, the two motifs "fit" together but look at those chains... I don't like to be too critical... but they're a bit like spaghetti, aren't they?!  And see how the outer chain of the trefoil is pulled out of shape as well by being attached to the small rings? 

And we finally had snow for the first time this winter!  All schools were closed today and not many people went to work.  It feels so peaceful with all that lovely soft snow all around.  I went sledging with the family.  Wonderful.

And I decided to let the little blue butterfly fly away...  He was very pretty but I thought he might be getting in the way sometime...

Best wishes,

Thursday 17 January 2013

Vintage Patterns

I don't know if you find this too but sometimes when I tat vintage patterns, the stitch count just doesn't work for me.  It also happens occasionally with newer patterns but less often it seems to me.

I was looking through my books last night and was inspired by this square motif (yes, square, of course!).  It is to be found in Anne Orr's Classic Tatting Patterns.  In my next post, I will also show you a picture of the motif in the book because it's interesting but for now, just look at the photo below.

Nope, this will not flatten out.  No chance.  There is just too much tension between the elements.

I had to stop there and re-consider my options...

... snip, snip, snip...

The centre of this motif is quite simple and traditional:  a good place to start.  But it's the second round that particularly appeals to me.  Now that I've "freed" them from each other, you can see that these two motifs with the stitch count as it is were never going to fit together, were they.  Well, they did for Anne Orr obviously (though you'll see what happens when I show you the photo next post) but not with my tatting.

My plan is to re-tat the second round first and then make a centre for it.  Yes?

And then there is just a bit more on Jane's TIAS.  Still not much to go by to try to guess what it is.  The one good thing though is that it required a split chain which I'd not tatted since making the video for it (this is the method shown to me by Marie Smith).  I was able to do it without having to refer to the video - yeah!- and it worked well!  I know many tatters shy away from split chains but honestly, give Marie's method a try, I'm sure you'll find it's easier than you thought!

Oh, one last thing:  is anyone having problems with the butterfly cursor?  I've had one reader say the links on my blog didn't work with the butterfly...  I like it myself but I won't keep it if it's problematic.  Please let me know!

Best wishes,

Sunday 13 January 2013

Another Primrose, More JS, and Butterflies

After tatting Primrose by Rosemarie Peel which I wanted to try because it used a safety pin to hold the picots and I was curious...  I remade the motif using a centre ring first instead and then joining to very small picots.

Here are both motifs, side by side.  What do you think?  My conclusion is that I'm not sure it's worth using the safety pin which I found fiddly to work with.  Maybe, the chains lie a bit more easily next to each other with the pin but that's about it.  The second flower looks nearly the same to me and was much easier to make by tatting a centre ring of single picots separated by one double stitch and then carrying on with the chain-ring-chain-join of the second round.  Simple.

In my hastiness I forgot to carry on and make the tail on the second motif.  It was too late, I had cut the threads.

Then I decided to try another motif from Jan Stawasz's book "Tatted Treasures.  As you may know, squares always appeal to me so it had to be this one.  In the pattern, he joins these to plain ring squares which I don't like as much so I was thinking I might try joining a few of these together.  I think they'd look interesting.  Not so fond of this colour though (another DMC Babylo).

I'm always fascinated by how different a square motif looks whether viewed on its side or on its point - don't you think?

And finally, Umintsuru said in a previous post that she'd like to see the butterflies better.  So here's a close-up that shows the 1st round of butterflies and a bit of the second round.  They are similar but slightly different.  Personally, I think the eye is distracted by the round that follows the butterflies.  If it was me, I'd have made a more full band to enclose the butterflies rather than those long chains which mean that you loose the shape of the butterflies a the top, I think.

Just realised, looking at the photos that I said above I wasn't fond of the colour for the Jan Stawasz motif and my doily looks the same colour!  But the doily is made in Lizbeth Mocha Light and in real life does look different than the DMC Babylo colour which is darker, browner and with a strange pink tinge to it.

I finally updated my patterns page.  I was trying to add to it yesterday and accidentally erased a big chunk of it and it took me AGES to find all the photos again and put back all the links.  The layout is still a bit weird as the images keep jumping about the place and wanting to misbehave for some strange reason I don't understand.  But now all patterns and all links are there.

One last thing to say for today:  I'm all excited, I've finally had a taker for tatting lessons!  A friend is coming over on Tuesday and I will show her how to tat.  I hope it goes well, and she takes to it!

Best wishes,

Saturday 12 January 2013

A bit of this, a bit of that...

Been going through some books yesterday and today as I was looking things up to answer questions I'd been asked.  Came upon this motif in Occhi Schiffchenspitze Frivolité by Marianne Langwieser and Tatiana Scharowa (you know, the book with the peacocks).  It reminded me a bit of the posy pattern by Mary Konior.  It was a bit fiddly to tat but I think it turned out pretty.

Tatted in Lizbeth, size 20, Wildflower Garden and Antique Blue Med.

And yesterday I received in the post a booklet of patterns by Rosemarie Peel called "20 Tatted Motifs". I found it on Ebay and bought it just because I had seen someone (sorry, I can't recall who!) writing about making a design where the picots and chains were slipped on a safety pin before joining them with a final ring in the centre.  The technique interested me so I had to see that particular pattern for myself. 

Funnily enough, after I bought the booklet, I found that this same technique appears in the German book though it doesn't seem to be linked to a particular pattern and unfortunately, I can't read the page of explanation about it!

Anyway, here is a pattern called Primrose.  The centre ring ended up being a bit tight for me and may have benefitted from a few extra stitches... on the other hand I quite like the slight overlap of the petals. And I like the technique!  Might come in handy for future pattern designing... you never know.  I'm still trying to think though what's the difference between doing that or just making a centre ring with picots first and then attaching the petals to it afterwards.  I will have to try both versions and see.

 And finally, I decided to join Jane Eborall's TIAS this year, for the first time.  So here is the first instalment... not much to go by yet so really curious to see what the next bit will be.

Best wishes,

Thursday 10 January 2013

Rose Bonbon

This little motif on Renulek's blog caught my eye a while ago.  She has quite a few motifs like that available on her blog (thank you Renulek!) as well as the larger doilies many people have been making lately.

This is the first round:

And the completed motif:
Kind of pretty and frothy isn't it?
Makes me think of candy floss...

And... I FOUND IT!

I was getting quite concerned that this butterfly doily (from the "Tatting from Burda" book) had gone missing for weeks (months even!).  I thought I'd looked everywhere for it (but obviously I hadn't) and finally found it this morning.

It is now so big,  I have to put it on the floor to photograph it.  It currently measures 48cm (19in) across.  I'm not too happy with all the long chains that are in this design.  They need to be pressed into place or they "frill".  So this is not a doily I'm going to enjoy washing too often.  I've now put so many hours into it that I feel I ought to finish it... but I'm having a bit of a Fox moment I think (as she was having with her honey napkin)... luckily I've not had to cut any bits off (though there was some untatting going on in the last butterfly row) but I keep debating whether I like it enough!  I'm currently on round 14.  There is a smaller option that ends on round 16 - so just two more and I'd be done... but there also the GRAND version which ends on round 18 with a final round of butterflies...  will I make it?

As you can imagine, with such a large circumference (about 1m60 or 64in!!), it now takes quite a while to tat just one round.  And I get so easily distracted by all the other small things I can tat quickly!

Best wishes,

Wednesday 9 January 2013

Queen of Hearts

There has been some discussion about this design over at In Tatters since the publication of Jan Stawasz's second book because this heart (only ever so slightly modified) appears in it.  I don't want to start a debate here too but it inspired me to tat it.

I had never tatted it, though it is a well known and loved heart.  So I thought it was time I did.  Here is the original, Mary Konior's Queen of Hearts.

And in a pretty pale pink...
you don't often see pink on my blog, do you!

Tatted in DMC Babylo "Light Dusky Pink" (224)
from Mary Konior's "Tatting with Visual Patterns"

I like it.  Another great design by MK.  It's only the same elements repeated 9 times but all the shaping is done by where the elements are joined...  clever.  But it also means you have to pay attention!  Easy to get one of those joining picots wrong.

Best wishes,

Monday 7 January 2013

Small Doily Completed

Tada!  Finished it last night.  I like the shape of the points.  It's a small doily which only just fits on the bed of my scanner so about 8.5 inches across.


I like the way he uses that curve of chains to get a lot of width in just one round.  This is a recurring theme in his patterns.


And can you see that gorgeous pair of pea pod earrings?
Aren't they sweet?
I just received them in the post a couple of days ago.
A lovely gift from a thoughtful friend.
I've been wearing them since.


I recently started scanning my tatting - don't know why I didn't think of it before...  especially useful when I complete things in the evening and I struggle to take good photos in artificial light.  But as I said, this doily was nearly too big to be scanned, you can see there is a little bit missing from the edges on the scanned image above.

What do you think?  Do you scan or take photos of your tatting?  Which works best for you?  I suppose the advantage of scanning is that it's so easy!  You don't have to worry about lighting or background or fuzziness... just place it on the glass, and press the button.  The advantage of photography is that you can vary the angle and the composition, add objects for a more interesting photo, take it outside, etc. so obviously, a lot more flexibility with the camera.

Now I must tear myself away from the tatting and go do some jobs!!

Best wishes,

Saturday 5 January 2013

More Jan Stawasz... a doily?

I have a couple of long-term projects on the go (one doily and one hanky) but I couldn't help myself and felt compelled to start on this small doily from Jan's new book "Tatted Treasures".  This is the first two rounds.

Not too happy with the look of those small centre rings... partly because I couldn't make up my mind whether to tat this FS/BS or not so some are and some aren't!  I carried on with traditional in the end. But they're still not lying quite right though...  yes, I'm fussing again.

I'm not even sure of my colour choice but I'll continue on with the next round and see what I think of it then.  I'm tatting this in DMC Babylo (size 20) which is softer than Lizbeth but nice to work with.

Best wishes,

Wednesday 2 January 2013

Jan Stawasz Flower

First tatted piece for 2013!  Inspired by Diane...  I decide to tat one of Jan Stawasz' flowers from his new book.  This one caught my attention when I first leafed through - I liked the shape of it.  When I tatted some of his designs before, I ignored what he calls "his method" of tatting because it seemed complicated the way he explained it and it confused me trying to read the pattern... until someone at In Tatters said "it's just front-side/back-side tatting"!

So I tatted this flower using his method (ie. FS/BS tatting).  It does look nice.  Though I'm still torn as to whether I always want my tatting to have a front side and a back side.  I quite like having a lace that is "reversible", which looks good whichever side you look at it.  I'm not sure if I want one side to look better than the other.  In the case of a motif which will only be viewed from one side though, it's a great idea.  But for tree ornaments for example, I like to think they look as good from both sides.

Anyway, back into the perennial traditional vs. FS/BS tatting debate!  I conclude that sometimes I like to use traditional, and sometimes I like to use FS/BS tatting, depending on circumstances and usage of the piece.

Ok, a long enough introduction for this little flower.  Hope you like it.  

I think I'll go try another.

Best wishes,