Thursday, September 22, 2016

'Geocities' Doily Complete

When you don't know what else to call a design that is not your own, you make something up. In this case, I found it on back in March 2008, so I've been calling it the Geocities Doily. It was the wave of the outer round of motifs that drew me to the pattern.
Motif #18 of 2nd 25 Motif Challenge of 2016
Designer unknown
Retrieved from on 3/30/2008

I apologize that it has been so long since I've posted. I've even gotten terribly behind with blog reading and participation in the Craftree forum, but the demands of work and family lately had to override those of my hobby. (I do think I might have heard my shuttles calling out to me from my bag on a number of occasions, because, of course, they went with me everywhere just in case.)

The timing of this post fits perfectly though with a project that muskaan has been working on. Let me explain what happened with this doily.

First, I remind you that I don't usually care about front sides and back sides to my tatting. I even like the flexibility of being able to display things either side up. However, the option does sometimes come in very handy. Notice the round with the green thread? I wanted to use two colors so that the lighter color would be repeated in the clovers between the purple motifs. This round joins to the previous round with a large ring and has both inward and outward facing chains. Some shuttle switching was necessary to keep all of the chains green. With traditional tatting, those chains were going to be flipping back and forth in direction and that really didn't appeal to me. I wanted them to flow and, to me, that meant they needed to face the same direction. 

Since I like to hide threads in areas of the same color whenever possible, I chose to start with one of those outward facing clovers. When I got ready to join to the doily, I realized I was going to be moving counterclockwise. It took me a bit to figure out where to make that first join and to get myself oriented properly to follow the diagram. 

Several times in the last year or so, I've noticed that my tatting direction fails to match the tatting direction indicated in a designer's diagram. When the pattern is a simple one, I make the adjustment without much bother. With a more complicated pattern, though, more thought is required to figure out where I am and where I need to go. I rarely tat with a proper front and back side, so it didn't seem likely that this was the problem every time.

Muskaan has spent a great deal of time searching for the keys to this by asking the questions of "Why?" and "When?" You don't have to have a passion for searching out the details to benefit from her research because she has come up with some fun little tatting patterns for us to use as we learn from her discoveries. I'm very excited about participating. Check out the comments she has shared in this post just to get us thinking and watch for more in the series of "This Way or Tat." (I think I'm beginning to sound like a commercial, but I did tell you I'm excited about this. I do hope some of you will pull out your shuttles and tatting needles to play. After all, the more the merrier!)

Happy tatting!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Geocities Doily Progress

Both of these images were taken by lamp light, so I apologize for the quality. The fabric they are resting on is white if that tells you anything. Still the variegated colors in the lighter thread are more obvious than in some of the other images I've taken.

In the top image, you see the round I incorrectly tatted. I still love those two variegated colors together and really must do something else that uses them both. Unfortunately, there isn't much left of the lighter one so it will have to be a small project.

I've already started the final round of purple motifs. I'm going to wait to show it to you when it is complete. I think you'll be delighted with the designer's arrangement of these motifs. It is what first attracted me to this pattern.

As you can see by that fact that I'm making progress on the doily, my hands are much better. I'm so thankful the severe pain is gone. It's been eight months since the previous flareup. Hopefully it will be even longer before the next. I wouldn't object a bit if it never happened again. :)

Typing is one of the activities that has not irritated my hands at all, so I've been organizing the tatting files in my computer. I've found so many lovely patterns I'm eager to tat. It's like thumbing through your collection of tatting books. One gets excited again about all the lovely patterns you forgot you had at hand. As I'm about 3/4 of the way through that project, I hope to complete it this week. It has also helped me fill some of the gaps in the Elemental documents. I'll be posting an update to both documents before the end of the month, I think.

Happy tatting!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Just checking in

I apologize for the lack of pictures, but I have very little tatting to show for the last week or so. I'm having some trouble with my hands that make it impossible to tat for more than a few minutes at a time. Very frustrating.

Happy tatting, my friends. I hope to have something visual for you by next week.

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Eighteenth Day of December

Motif #17 of 2nd 25 Motif Challenge of 2016
The Eighteenth Day of December 
from 24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn
Manuela size 10
Measure 13.5 cm (5.25 inches) in diameter 

I tatted this with a front and a back (directional tatting) which means some rings had to be tatted with reverse order double stitches. Then I took a picture of the back side instead of the front. Will you believe me if I tell you that I did that purposely to show you that it looks good from that side, too? (Made you smile!) Of course I didn't, but I learned something from my mistake. 

Directional tatting is a very useful tool, but I rarely bother with front side/back side, because in most of the things I tat, I like that there is no front or back. This time, I felt that, since the pattern is composed entirely of rings, a mix of front and back side rings might be more obvious and less pleasing to my eye. I'm glad I bothered because no matter which side lands up, the look throughout the piece is consistent. It was worth the effort.

Lene provides little arrows in each ring of the diagram to indicate whether a ring is split or traditional. The direction of the arrows in rings 1 and 2, both traditional rings, seemed to me to be reversed. Muskaan mentioned in past post of hers that she sometimes finds that she tats in a different direction than the pattern, and that may be the case here. As I studied the pattern, I also realized that there could be an alternative start to the pattern. I opted to tat ring 2 followed by ring 1, and then proceeded as Lene designed it. 

I really enjoyed this pattern and will definitely use it again. I'm going to use this one as a coaster and it needs some companions. 

Happy tatting!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Doily from old Geocities webpage

Hello, my tatting friends. It has been a good while, I know. You've heard my excuses before so I'll spare you. I HAVE managed to get a little tatting done, though.
This image does not do justice to the colors of these threads, I'm afraid. The image I posted previously shows the lovely subtle shades in the lighter thread to better effect.

At this point, I thought I was ready to start the last round of motifs, but I had not paid enough attention to the pattern. The repeats in this round are all wrong! Instead of an outward facing chain between all of the clovers, there should have been such a chain between every pair of clovers. I cut this all out and started again. In fact, I was almost finished re-tatting the round when I finally realized something I would probably have noticed earlier had I done more of my tatting in natural light. 

As you can see, I decided to try two variegated threads together, and I DO think that part was working out very nicely. The problem? The second variegated thread does not 'go' well with the solid of the center medallion. If I could keep them as far apart as they are in this image, I might have continued, but the next round of solid medallions is going to join to that second variegated thread. The two purples just clash in my opinion. 

I've started that round again with a solid green. No photos so far, but I think it is working out better. I'd like to come back and try these two variegated threads together again in another project. 

Happy tatting!