Sunday 28 August 2016

Lucky Clover Completed

It's finished!  I'm pleased with it.  Though if I was being a bit critical, I would say that I think the centre is slightly incongruous in this design.  The doily is all lovely curves and then you have these very straight long chains in the middle that look a bit out of place.  I'm thinking of designing a new centre...  I like the second and third rounds very much.

Makes me think of ship's wheel in the centre...

A bit closer up...

A lady was selling beautiful sunflowers from her garden in a village nearby.  We were just driving past when we saw them at her gate...  We took a few stems home.  Most were all yellow but we had a stem of sunflowers with red in them like this one.  They are very striking.  Mind that red background was a bad choice - red is always so hard to photograph!

Best wishes,

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Round Three Progress and.... a mushroom!

I'm making progress on round three and am now about half way through.  Took a little break to make this small mushroom.  I don't know why.  I just saw it and was inspired to make it.  It's from a YouTube video.

Mine doesn't look quite like the one in the video as I modified the edge of the cap a little bit.  Instead of sewing it like in the video, I crocheted the edges together which makes a better shape I think.

In another department, I am now on the 6th flower block of my Frida's Flowers blanket.  I have just completed the first of six of these called "Ring of Roses".  I'm really impressed by Jane Crowfoot's design:  her flowers are so interesting and colourful!

Best wishes,

Tuesday 16 August 2016

Round Two Completed

Making progress.  Here is round two.

On another note, I like to see what Lucy of Attic24 is up to.  She and her team are busy organising Yarndale, a yarn festival which is in its fourth year and which happens in September.  The year before last I joined in with everyone making mandalas for the festival.  This year, they are making sheep!  The sheep will be sold and proceeds donated to a local hospice.  What a great idea - I had to join in and here is my sheep.  He's not perfect by any means and I found the face features particularly difficult but I hope he's nice enough.  I'm pleased with the little embroidered roses on his coat and I hope someone will fancy him!  

He will be in tomorrow's post to join the flock.  In fact, I was talking to my husband about this project and he even suggested we might go see the Festival ourselves.  It's in Yorkshire, in the lovely town of Skipton.  Ooh, that would be fun.  I'll report back if we do end up going!

Best wishes,

Wednesday 10 August 2016

This is the reason...

... why I bought the Persson and Blomqvist book in the first place.  I had seen this doily in a few places and I fancied making it one day.  So after Ice Crystal, I thought I'd tackle it.

This is Lucky Clover.  The beginning of it at any rate.

Now I must tell you that when I first completed this last night, I doubted whether it would turn out right; it was cupping so badly!  I'm not sure my photo came out too well, but the motif was really a bowl!

However, after pinning and light pressing, to my surprise, all was resolved.

These are really long chains to keep straight!  Chains naturally want to curve...
So you have to loosen your tension just a bit to prevent them from curving too much.

Now on to round two...

Best wishes,

Sunday 7 August 2016

Lovely Lavender and the Wheels Again

We were tidying a lavender bush and mother-in-law had cut some of the flowers and was throwing them away!  No, no, no, I had a much better idea:  I made her a little crochet lavender sachet.  I'm away from home at the moment so didn't have my stash of wool/cotton to choose from so all I had was this minty yarn.  Made two quick circles with double stitches, crocheted them together on the next round, leaving a small gap to fill it with the lavender, finished crocheting them together and then completed with a decorative edge.  Instant gratification.  I have enough to make a second one which will go in my own drawer.

I did also work a bit more on the tatted wheels.  You know these are very simple but at the same time deceptively difficult to do well!  My first one was a bit tight and this meant the rings were pulled out of shape when I pressed the wheel slightly at the end.  So next time I thought I'd make a slightly longer joining picot between rings and changed the stitch count by one stitch.  And now?...  it frills!  On the next one I would need to adjust the joining picot ever so slightly and that's what I mean:  it's quite hard to get the spacing just right with the bare threads and the joining picots.

So yes, simple, but not quite that simple!

It does flatten easily with a little pressing but I'd like to get it just right.
At least on the second version (on the right)
the rings have their nice teardrop shape and the bare threads
look better too.  They were a bit distorted on the first version.

The other problem with these little wheels is what to do with the ends and how to finish it.  It's much harder to finish neatly when you are working with bare threads.  How about you, how do you complete the last ring with its bare thread?  There is no chain to hide into.  I ended up putting two magic loops in the first small ring and hiding both ends into it but you need to actually knot the last end before pulling it with the magic loop otherwise it would fall apart too easily.  Am I missing something, do you have a better solution?

Best wishes,

Monday 1 August 2016

Eye of the Sun & Traditional Tatted Wheels

I decided to continue exploring the book "Tatting Patterns and Designs" by Blomqvist and Persson.   I started making Coppelia, a small doily I really like the look of... but the rings are really large: 5 picots separated by 6 stitches and I was not enjoying it.  I may try to make a scaled down version of it.  Instead, I made one of the wheels called Eye of the Sun.  This is a very traditional design which can be found in many tatting books.  

What's interesting is that in old books, the centre ring is always tatted separately after which they say to cut and tie.  Nowadays though, there are different ways to tackle this design and thankfully, there is definitely no need to cut and tie after the centre ring!

This brings me to this post by Tat-a-Renda which had caught my eye... The ring-on-ring method (like a loop-tatted ring) that Jon describes is not for the faint-hearted!  I can do loop-tatted rings and have used them in one of my snowflake designs but I think they may be a bit daunting to many tatters... although this method really enables you to tat the wheel in one go with only one shuttle.

But there are other ways:  you can also tat the centre ring and then use a split ring to move to the next round.  You would only need a second shuttle to make the split ring and then the rest of the wheel is tatted with one shuttle only.  

Or you could also start this motif with the first ring of the second round and make it as a self-closing mock ring which means you could then throw the centre ring off this SCMR.  You would also temporarily need two shuttles to do this but after closing the SCMR, the second shuttle can be removed and the motif completed with one shuttle only.  You would use your full shuttle as the core thread for the SCMR and just wind a bit of thread on another shuttle, just enough to complete the SCMR.

And if you put two magic loops in that first SCMR, you can pull both ends into that first ring after tying them and your wheel is completed and ends hidden.

Which way would be your preferred way to tat this design?  I'm curious to know what's the most popular option!

And finally, I'm making another blanket.  I couldn't help myself.  We're on holiday at the moment and I have other blankets on the go at home but they are too big to bring with me so they stay at home when I travel but I just felt the need to make a simple blanket, just one colour (a dark green that my mother-in-law will like).  The design is Victorian Lattice Square by Destany Wymore which can be found free on Revelry.  I think it's a very pretty design which looks effective in one colour.  I now have 12 squares done.  

I hope you are all enjoying summer!

Best wishes,