Tuesday 26 March 2013

Happy Easter

I'm sorry I'm in between two departures and I've not had time to tat anything new for Easter (yet).  So I'm sending my good wishes with a picture from the last one.  I hope to get the chance to make more of those eggs before Sunday!  They look so pretty on the table.

It's a bit early but I won't be here to post later...
The children here get two weeks off so it's family time... some tatting (yes, of course) but no blogging.

See you soon.

Best wishes,

Monday 18 March 2013

Ambitatterous? Moi? Mais Pourquoi Pas!

Ambitatterous...  a neat expression for those who tat with either a needle or a shuttle.

I like the look of interlocking rings.  As most people know,  I'm a shuttle tatter, but my previous experience of making interlocking rings with a shuttle was not enjoyable.  They have a life of their own when made with a shuttle and I got them wrong as many times as I got them right!  After some trial and error, it still seemed a mystery to me when they did work out!

Last night, I was inspired to have another go and thought "why not make the interlocking part with a needle and then carry on with a shuttle?"  Interlocking rings with a needle are easy.  So this is what I did for the motif above.  I made five interlocking rings and then used a shuttle and ball to complete the following two rounds.  I just improvised as I went along.

I'm no expert with the needle and I think I need to firm up those centre rings a bit more so they keep their shape better when making the next rounds but I like the overall look of this. 

So why not use both needle AND shuttle if you can?

And another brief update on the Butterfly doily (are you fed up with it yet?):  I'm now more than halfway through round 15... it has 112 repeats, so that's 336 small rings, two thirds of which are split rings!  It currently measures nearly 20 inches across.

Best wishes,

Friday 15 March 2013

Trio de Trèfles

Trèfles... yes, clovers!  I went for the common three-leaf clover, instead of the lucky but elusive four-leaf one.

They are not difficult to make really.  You barely need a pattern.  With St. Patrick's coming soon, I was doodling and here is three ways to make a simple, small clover.

The stitch count is the same for all of them:  chains are 15ds and rings are 7-7.

The first one is the simplest (first one being the bottom one in the picture above) and can be made with one shuttle and ball.  Tat three 7-7 rings with just a bit of bare thread between the rings (a couple of millimetres), then reverse work and tat C15, join to tip of ring, C15, join to bare thread between rings, and so on.  Join back at beginning and make tail, this one is made with Victorian Sets (3-3).

For the next one, I wasn't sure I liked the open space in the centre of the shamrock.  So I started with a SCMR this time.  You need two shuttles wound ctm.  SCMR1, R7-7, 1-1, R7-7, 1-1, R7-7, 1, close SCMR.  C15 and join to tip of ring, C15, join to small picot, etc.  Join back at beginning and make tail (this one is made with a lock chain).

And for this last one, I decided to reverse the rings.  Chains could be a tad shorter so that the leaf is a bit less heart-shaped if desired.  R1-1-1-1-1-1(5 tiny picots), C15, R7+7(to small picot of centre ring), C15, join to next tiny picot, repeat all the way around.  Join back at beginning and make tail as before.

Best wishes,

Wednesday 13 March 2013

The Reveal: Anna's Doily

A short while ago, Karla started following my blog.  As is usually the case, I go have a look to see if new followers have a blog.  And she did.  On her blog, I saw this lovely doily - a square - and found it for sale in her Etsy shop.

So this is Anna's Doily by Karla Barraza.

Oh, just had a look again to get the link and I see now that there is a photo of the complete doily with the last two rounds.  Because the one I'm showing you here is only rounds 1-4.  I like squares though... and am not sure whether I want my lovely square to become a round!

I hear she will be publishing the last two rounds soon.

Here it is the other side on,
and on a dark background to better show it off.

I think this is Karla's first published design and I'm always happy to encourage other tatters.  I like her original design and interesting construction.

You have to pay attention when tatting this though as there are many changes of direction!

Best wishes,

Monday 11 March 2013

Pretty in Pink?

Ah, squares!  I can't help myself.  When I see a square pattern, I have to have it!  I shan't tell you what this is just yet...  I will complete the last round and show you the whole thing first.

K., shhh!  Please don't tell!

Best wishes,

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Weird & Wonderful Stuff! (Ankars & Leichtenstern)

Ok, maybe not that weird... but unusual!  Upon Marie's recommendation, I joined Georgia Seitz's Online Tatting Class.  They are currently working on Ankars tatting - had you heard of it before?

The first one is just one strand of DMC Babylo 20 (which works up a bit smaller than Lizbeth 20), the second one is Lizbeth 20 with one strand of Guttermann metallic thread added, and the third one is the same thread combination but done on a needle!

The most difficult part of this is that there are very large rings - I mean VERY large rings:  the largest ring in the motif above has 70 double stitches in it!  That makes it difficult to handle and to close.

Ankars tatting is really a rings on rings technique such as I used in my butterfly pattern for example.  But here many superimposed rings are used for an interesting layered effect.  Beads will be added afterwards I understand.  So I hope to have more to show you eventually.

The other pattern we worked on is by Eleonore Endrucks Leichtenstern and was wonderfully re-written by Martha Ess so we didn't have to struggle to decipher it!

As you can see, quite a complex pattern with lots of changes of direction.  I'm showing it to you but I won't be making a long length of it.  It's interesting in its construction but I don't really like the open spaces which are too big for my liking.

The yellow and blue thread, which was recommended to me by Frances, is Coats Puppets Eldorado in size 16 (no, it's not a typo, the thread with the unusual name comes in sizes 6, 10, 12 and 16!).

And lastly, just for Michelle, I made this quick shamrock with Jess's Forest Dusk from two posts ago.

Works for a shamrock, doesn't it?
Do you like it Michelle?

Or how about this one?
This is also one of Jess's threads,
it's a Messy Jessy, just called "green" I think

Best wishes,

Tuesday 5 March 2013

Engineering Improvements & Butterfly Doily

Still happy with my home-made swift and how much quicker I can now wind my HDTs, I did make a small improvement to the design though.

I wanted my swift to come apart so it wouldn't take too much space and I could store it away easily.  So I wanted the two blades to stay as two parts and I had just pinned them together when in use.  Today, I used my swift again and thought I could improve...  I added some pieces of cardboard so that the top blade can now slot down into the bottom blade.

I'm happy now.
Works well and stores away neatly.

And an update on the butterfly doily.  Inspired by Fox's perseverance with her own large project, I am now working on row 14 which is lots of small split rings so it's a bit slow-going.  The doily now measures 19 inches across (or 48cm).  There are 4 more rows left after this one.  I only work on this project here and there, not continuously,  so it may be a while yet before it is finished!

The next round is also lots of small split rings and the doily is now so large that it does take a long time to go all the way around!  And it's starting to frill at the edges again so it will need a bit of pressing soon.  I have to admit that I don't like tatting designs that require a lot of coaxing into place like that!  The long chains are troublesome because they need to be flattened into a sharper arch than would be naturally achieved.  Not one I'm going to want to be washing too often - too much work to iron it flat again afterwards!

Best wishes,

Monday 4 March 2013

Four Ring Snowflake and HDTs

Here's another lovely pattern I found along my cyber-travels...  It is Wendy Durell's Four Ring Snowflake.  I think it's really pretty.

All my winding from the previous post (I wound ALL the HDTs I had - three thumbs up for the home-made swift!) enabled me to use some beautiful threads I'd had sitting in my box for a while.

The ones used below are both by Jess! at Tat-ilicious.

This is Punk Princess:

I like this colour even more than expected!

And this is Forest Dusk:

Now I knew I'd love this one (just my kind of colour)
and took the precaution of buying two skeins.
I always love greeny-blues or bluey-greens...

And I always particularly like her "messy" colours,
like this one, where there is a more random
but homogeneous colour blend.

The motif itself I like a lot.  It's made with splint rings in the centre and tatted all in one go - well, two rounds but continuous.

Best wishes,