Thursday 27 June 2013

Last Round! - Butterfly Doily

I can hardly believe it but I've finally made it to the last round of the Butterfly Doily!  

Here are the first three butterflies of the 18th and last round...

only 53 more to go!!

Best wishes,

Thursday 20 June 2013

New Pattern and New Video

This has taken me muuuuuuch longer than expected!  I tried so many different centres for the square motif but came back to this one with little flowers as my favourite in the end.  I found everything else was distracting too much from the shape of the violas.  So this square motif is called "Viola Posy".

The little flowers in the middle are not attached to each other.  I tried attaching them but it was changing the shape of the flowers and making them uneven.  The downside of leaving them independent is that the distance between the flowers can vary a bit... you could make the petals longer and then they would overlap slightly everywhere and this would be less obvious or you could decide to attach them on the 2nd and 4th petal is you wished.

The pattern includes all five versions of this motif:
two necklaces, earrings,
an edging, and a repeatable motif

And finally, I had a message from a lady who was making the Christmas Tree Edging pattern.  She asked me how I made the shoe-lace trick so that there wasn't a blip of colour when doing two-colour tatting.  It was a little hard to explain in words (as tatting often is!) so I made a quick video.

Here it is:

Best wishes,

Saturday 15 June 2013

Gifts from Afar...

I'm such a lucky person!  I "met" a wonderful lady in New Zealand with whom I started exchanging messages, talking about tatting and other things.  Then one day she said that she was going through her library and she'd send me the booklets/leaflets she had in duplicate...  Well, I can't tell you how surprised I was to see a BOX arrive in the mail!  I was expecting a few leaflets but she sent me an absolute treasure of tatting delights!

I don't think I even spread them out properly enough on this photo and not all the publications are visible.  This includes a couple of Norma Benporath booklets which made me think of Jon straight away in view of her work with Norma's patterns recently and also a copy of Thérèse de Dillmont's little book!  I can't believe I have my very own real book as I absolutely love this publication and only had it printed from the internet.  

Many don't have specific authors and are Semco or Coats booklets but some do have names like Marjorie Willis or Hilary Thornton; there is also a great little book called the Craft of Tatting by Bessie M. Attenborough.  There are so many others and LOADS of wonderful patterns to be found within their pages which I shall be sharing with you in the near future.  I know I'll just have too many bookmarked and on my "to-do" list!

THANK YOU so much my friend!

I was going to end here but felt this post, although about tatting books, was missing... some tatting!  So I leafed through quickly to find a motif I could tat in a short time to add to this post.  This motif caught my eye in the "Learn Tatting" booklet by Coats (1959)... and I thought, mmmm, I've seen this somewhere...  I'm sure some of you will have recognised it:  it can also be found in Mary Konior's Tatting Patterns book (p.61).  In fact Mary Konior does state in her book that the design was originally published by Coats and I'm delighted to now own the original!  Although like many older patterns, sadly no designer name is given.  

A nice little motif... square of course!

The pattern states to tat this with a shuttle and ball.  But when you get to the larger rings on the ends, you realise that you either need another shuttle or that you have to do like what they appear to have done in the photos which is to use just one shuttle but twist the work a bit after the ring so that the threads face the right way to make the next chain.  What I did instead, to make it with one shuttle only, was to use a SCMR on the larger rings.  Works well. 

Best wishes,

Wednesday 12 June 2013

New Pattern - Viola

It was a friend's birthday last week.  I was just going to send her a card... then felt I needed to enclose something with the card.  I didn't have a lot of time as I wanted to send her the card straight away.  So I came up with this necklace (the one in the main photo), and off it went in the post.

The second version, in the oval insert, is one I made afterwards and which I modified slightly from the first.  You can add a pendant to it or not.  In the second version, I added beads on each side instead of a pendant because I find that tatted lace does required a bit of weighting down to stay in place as it is so light.

Then I had another idea and thought it would look nice if the motif was repeated all around but I wanted to find a way of making it in one pass - definitely didn't want to cut, tie and hide ends on each repeat, that would spoil the fun! - so I beavered away some more and here's the third version of this necklace:

I liked the look of it so much that I carried on and made earrings... and then found that it also looks great as a hanky edging.  Because of the way it's constructed, the edging "bends" around easily, making it a very versatile edging which can be used on squares, ovals or rounds.  You can turn the corner on the motif as I've done below or even in between motifs works too.  Here's a small sample which I tatted in size 80 thread:

The shape reminded me of violas...

But wait, wait!  That's not all.  Just when I thought I was about good to go with the pattern, I found I could also make a great little square with this design.  And you know how I love squares!  So I've been frantically working away the last few days at writing this new pattern with all its variations.

I'm just not happy yet with the centre of the square... it feels just a bit too big to have nothing but all the variations I've tried so far were not quite right either...  This latest pink one has a little circlet of tiny flowers; thought it would look like a little wreath to go with the violas...  mmmmm....  I'm thinking some more...

All five (six even!) versions of this design will be available on the pattern.
I hope you like it!

Best wishes,

Saturday 8 June 2013

Brooches... for your glasses

This is an idea that came to me over the last Easter holiday.  I was making things for a craft market (the one that didn't go very well if you remember) and I had a few of these interlocking ring motifs which I really liked.  I kept wondering what to do with them and then came up with this very practical idea:  I'm starting to need my reading glasses more and more and thought this would be a nice way to keep them handy.

The loop is made with strong jewellery wire which is covered in double stitches in a coordinated colour thread so it all matches.

Pretty and practical - yes?

Although some of you may have seen these in my shop, I had always intended to do a separate blogpost about them.  I just never got around to it until now!

Just another idea of what you can use your pretty tatting for.

Best wishes,

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Tina Frauberger Crowns Revisited

Do you remember this post when I first made Tina's crown edging?  I then modified the crowns and scaled the edging down in this post as I didn't like the big empty spaces in the original or the very large ring in the centre.

I recently had comments and questions on this edging so I thought I'd revisit it.  I had always wanted to tweak it anyway as the curve wasn't quite right on the top of the crown and it still needed improving slightly overall.

We are very lucky that Tina's books are available online, both her 1919 Schiffchenspitze and her 1921 book (many thanks to Georgia Seitz).  I therefore think it is ok to share my version of it.  I had been asked before so I'm pleased to do it now.

The green and pale blue are made in Altin Basak 50
The purple is made in Lizbeth 20

I tried lots of different things on the green and purple versions, even extending the bottom chain so that you could use it to join to fabric but then I didn't like the space it created so I went back to the shorter chain.  I'm showing you these as they came off my shuttles, not pressed or blocked in any way so some of the rings are crooked... I just quickly scanned these samples as they were!

I've discovered something though whilst making this:  when making a thrown ring or a Josephine Knot, there is a tendency for it to flop about (too much for my liking, especially if it's not subsequently attached to anything) but I found that if, after making the TR or the JK, you start the chain again with the 2nd half of the double stitch first, it adds a lot of stability to the element.  Makes tighter, neater work.

So on this edging, after both the bottom and top TRs and after the JKs, I did that though it is not marked on the pattern.  I leave that up to you to choose to do this or not.  Try it and see what you think.    So the blue version is the one I wrote the pattern for - I used a JK on the bottom chain but you could use a small ring as in the original Tina version if you prefer.  The rest is all very similar to the original pattern, just smaller!


Ok, nothing fancy for this one, I'm just going to write the pattern right here in this post.

Scaled down by Frivole

R10vsp10, rw
C3-3, TR3-3-3-3, C3-3, join to vsp
C3, TR4-4, C3, TR4vsp4, C3, TR4-4, C3, LJ to base of R10vsp10, rw
C3-6+*6-6, LJ to vsp of centre small ring below, TR3-3-3-3, C6-6, TR3vsp3, 
C6-3, LJ to vsp of R10vsp10, rw
C4-4, JK12, C4-4, rw
Repeat from beginning.

* This join only applies on subsequent repeats, not on the first.

Hope you enjoy making these small crowns and hope there are no mistakes, do let me know if you find some and I'll correct the pattern.

Best wishes,

Saturday 1 June 2013

Summer Posy

For the first time ever, I found a tatting publication in a charity shop.  I often look to see if I'll find any vintage patterns and last week I found the Ring of Tatters "Tatting 2000" publication.  Not really vintage as such but just nice to find some tatting at last!

Here is a motif from it.  It is called "Summer Posy" and is by Marjorie Hanson.

I tatted this in Altin Basak 50.  It's a very nice thread.  I only had one ball of it which I had liked before but had kind of forgotten about.  Whist placing an order for something else, I thought I'd try another few balls.  I really like the pale blue (slightly lilac) colour of the motif above but I also really like the other two colours I got:  a nice lime green and a bright pink (a bit like the pink I'm currently using for the hanky border).

It's a nice smooth thread which is very pleasant to work with.  The size works out a bit finer than a Lizbeth 20...  I'd have to test it to see if it's as fine as a 40 or something in between (I think probably something in between).

I'm still not completely happy with my tatting.  The "flow" is not quite back yet but I hope I'm getting there.

I'm also making progress on the hanky border:

Hope you're all having a nice weekend
and that the sun is shining wherever you are.

Best wishes,