Friday, November 11, 2016

Tatting Awards, Please Vote! & 19th Day of December

Hello, everyone. I'm going to share some in-progress details about my latest Bjorn snowflake, but I also want to invite all of my blog readers to visit http://www.craftree.com/awards/current to vote in the Craftree 2016 Tatting Awards. You don't have to be a tatter or a member of the Craftree forum to vote. Just enjoy the links to the various works and select your favorites.

19th Day of December
from 24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn
working #19 of 24 in this Craftree Challenge
DMC size 30


I really wanted to share the center of this snowflake with you. In Lene's diagram, the rings, split rings, and mock rings are numbered to progress in a counterclockwise direction. However, if you move from split ring #3 to mock ring ring #4-6, you are going to turn #3 around. The result is that you are going to have rings, SRs, and mock rings that face in different directions. By choosing to tat the center in a clockwise direction instead, all rings, split rings, and mock rings that form the center will be face up because there is no need to do any turns or reverses. (Thank you, muskaan for the TWoT exercises that helped me spot the advantages of making a different choice here.)

I'm not very happy with the appearance of the final split ring in the center. My SR is more rounded at its start than Lene's (see the arm on which I've begun the next round). As I look at the picture in the book, I don't see a gap at the center between #3 and #16 making me wonder if Lene joined to #3 before she began tatting #16. I'm hoping that blocking when it is done will help to make this gap less noticeable, but if I tat it again, I'm going to try joining to the base of #3 before I begin the final split ring to start the climb up to the next round.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Pattern Search (More Details) & Updated Element-al documents

I've remembered a few more things about the lost tatting pattern (see previous post). The berries on the edging pattern I'm trying to find hang beneath the horizontal edging. The berries are tatted separately with rings only (tiny bare thread spaces between them) and the edging is ring and chain. You join the berries to the chain as you tat it. One of the Craftree members has searched her Workbasket collection and several of us have searched Pinterest for possibilities, but no one has found it yet. Remember, I tatted this in the 1990s, so it won't be a recent pattern. I think the pattern for the berries was a diagram of some sort. It would sure be easier if I could find the missing tatted edging sample. :(

I've updated all of the Element-al documents. You don't have to be a designer to use them. The links in the Techniques one should all be hot and you have your choice of pdf or Word version of it. I apologize to you needle tatters. I haven't made any updates to the techniques for you. I confess I don't use my needles very much, but all of you (needle and shuttle tatters) are invited to send me links to add to the documents. My own limited knowledge has guided the development of these documents so do alert me if you see anything that is incorrect. I value your feedback.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pattern Search & Thirteenth Day of December

Tatting Pattern Search - Help Needed!

Hello, my friends. I'm hoping you can help me. In my early days of tatting in the 1990s, I had an edging pattern that featured separately tatted berries (raspberries?). I used it as the idea behind a bookmark I tatted for an exchange, placing one berry on the end of the green bookmarks tail as a sort of charm. I can't even remember who received the bookmark in the exchange. It was tatted with Finca size 16 perle cotton. Does anyone remember ever seeing such a pattern? I'm thinking it was in a magazine, possibly Workbasket, but I haven't found it yet in my stash of magazine patterns.

The Thirteenth Day of December - Thank you, Rachael Mohler!

The Thirteenth Day of December
from 24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn
Manuela size 20
Motif #4 in 3rd 25 Motif Challenge of 2016

I skipped over this snowflake as I was working on the Craftree challenge to tat all of the snowflakes from this book before the year is out. Every one of those chain rounds requires a split chain and I haven't been able to remember how to do it. It seems that remembering seldom used modern tatting techniques is not like riding a bicycle. When I learned it the first time, I was following email instructions (without illustrations) that I received from David Collyer. There are now several wonderful resources out there for learning this technique, but I learned from my own experience in trying to relearn it that you should not give up after using one or even many recommended resources. You just have to find the one that finally causes what you saw in all of the others to click into place. For me, it was the video instructions for tatting the single shuttle split ring in Rachael Mohler's Hen N Chick Square. Thank you, Rachael!

My tatting of this wonderful floral snowflake is not without mistakes. I was so focused on the split chains that I failed to follow the stitch counts properly for the outer round, but the chains are long enough that it still has a nice look to it. 

TWoT notes: I tatted this snowflake using traditional tatting. When I reversed work after the central ring, I started tatting the design from the back so progression was in a counterclockwise direction. However, each split chain segment moves in the opposite direction so there is a small segment of chain in each of the inner chain rounds that moved clockwise again before I started the next chain round. 

Woo Hoo! I can be a bit obsessive sometimes and I hated skipping a number. :) Now I can move forward again with confidence that the next split chain is not going to trip me up.

Happy Tatting!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Laurel Leaf and Mirror Image

Spoiler alert: If you are working on muskaan's This Way or Tat series, and wish to complete the challenge of creating a mirror image of the Laurel Leaf on your own, read no farther!

Motifs #2 & #3 in 3rd 25 Motif Challenge of 2016
size 20 Cecelia, sage green

The tatting is still damp from spritzing and finger pressing, but I'm so excited I just had to post this right away. 

Have you ever persisted in doing something just to see if it could be done? Some of you might have figured this out right away, but it would have spoiled my fun had I asked you how to do it. (Hence the spoiler alert above.) 

The background: You see, it's obvious to me that there are a lot of tatters who prefer to use traditional double stitches. That's fine. It's my own preference most of the time, and there is no right or wrong method.  I knew that I could use RODs to create a mirror image. (Muskaan shares more about this method in her blog.) My challenge to myself was to do it with traditional double stitches only. 

I won't tell you some of the many things I tried before it suddenly occurred to me to tat it from the bottom up! I began with a true ring just as I did with the first one, but I was actually starting the tatting from the back. The tatting of the double stitches in the rings must be in reverse order, but that is really easy to see in the diagram--instead of that bottom ring being tatted 3+6-9, it had to be tatted 9-6-3 with the last picot being very small for joining the bare thread as I worked my way up. That same rule holds for all of the rings. I left the shuttle thread attached to the top ring of the mirror image so you can see where I ended. The final thing I needed to do was to bring up the starting tail and join it to the bare thread between the two base rings.

Notes: 

1) By starting both leaves with true rings and reversing work as instructed in the pattern, when the leaves are posed as above, the outer rings of each leaf are 'face down' and the inner rings are 'face up,' making the top ring of each leaf face up. 

2) TWoT direction in this project is very straightforward. Movement is down in the original leaf and up in the mirror image above.

Happy tatting, everyone.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Candle from Mohler Square & TWoT Observations


Candle adaptation using Rachael Mohler's Hen n Chicks Square
Threads: Green size 20 Cebelia, Red size 20 Manuela, 
Variegated Gold/White size 20 Manuela 
with strand of Gold Kreinik Blending Filament

This was my first attempt at Rachael's square which uses her alternative method for a single shuttle split ring. You might remember that I've been struggling to relearn the split chain, but the knots just clicked for me in Rachael's square. Maybe I've ended my split chain problems. I certainly hope so.


I experimented by starting these squares at different places. Both of the efforts to the left in the image above began with the large ring in the corner. As expected after my previous ring only experiments as part of muskaan's This Way or That Set 1, the work after this ring progressed clockwise. 

In the red square that I've attached to the green one, I decided to start with an inner ring. As you can see from my arrow in the above picture, the work progressed counterclockwise as in my previous experiments with beginning with inner rings. By choosing to begin at a ring that is a SSSR in Rachel's original design, I was also able to test how the split rings look compared to a true ring in the same location. See if you can find the ring in the candle picture above. I'm very pleased with the result. 

I considered tatting additional squares to make a bookmark or a square mat. I even considered laying the squares on their sides and adding little bows to the top of each so that they looked like gifts. I finally settled on the candle ornament above, adding some blending filament to the variegated gold and white thread to create a flame on the top.

Conny Pheiffer's Angel
Motif #2 of 3rd 25 Motif Challenge
White size 30 Cebelia

I got one other item tatted this week. Cornelia Pheiffer gave me an opportunity to test tat this pattern for her. It is a well-done design, and she offers the pattern for your free use. Thank you, Conny!