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!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Doily for This Thread

I like to keep some simple-to-tat projects going as much of my tatting time is done with the children underfoot or on the go. You've probably noticed that I've posted several small projects lately. Those are nice in that they provide a quick feeling of having produced something, but I find that lately I  prefer projects that I can work on for days, weeks, or even months. With all of my larger projects completed or on hold for some reason, I needed another one going.

I'm also trying to work primarily with the threads in my stash this year. In spite of that, my projects usually start first with a design I want to tat, then the selection of thread. This time, it was a thread I really want to use. I just love this softly colored variegated thread by Manuela, but I've really struggled to find the right project for this thread.

I finally settled on a doily pattern and paired it with this lovely Lizbeth color. The final round is made up of more of the center motifs. I've got a third color I think I'll introduce in the next to last round. If I don't like it, I'll just cut it out and tat it again in this Manuela color.

This pattern was shared in the form of a diagram and a picture through an old Geocities website. I don't know the designer or the name of the person who shared the pattern. The person who posted it said he/she used it with beginners as it is made up entirely of rings and chains. If you recognize the design, please let me know.  I will share the old link when I post the final picture of the doily.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Learning Filet Tatting with Mandatory

If you compare my latest tatting of this project (top image) to my first (lower image), you’ll notice that some of the squares are rounded in the latest one. I really want to master this technique, so I challenged myself this time to select the striver position at the corners without referring to Amanda’s chart. As you can see, I made a number of bad choices, but I’m okay with that. I often learn best by trial and error. In examining my errors, Amanda’s excellent instructions finally clicked into place for me. Striver position A is used when no shoelace trick was needed to get the threads into the correct position to proceed. Striver position B is ALWAYS preceded by the shoelace trick which got the threads into the correct position first. Did Amanda tell me this in the tutorial? Yes, she did. But until I took a chance and made the mistakes, it didn’t fully sink in.

Some of you will understand that while I just couldn’t make myself proceed with those horribly large picots in my first effort, I’m content to move forward with this latest effort. The sloppy, large picots would have been just that, sloppy and large. These rounded corners are markers on the learning curve for me as I move forward. I took a chance to test my understanding and learned from it.

The Catherine wheel spider I made up for my grandson (see earlier post) really helped me with the Catherine wheel joins to the tops of the picots. I also switched to Lizbeth size 20 thread and wore a second pair of glasses over my daily ones for some extra magnification as I worked. 

I did struggle some with the modified Catherine wheel joins that created the picots for the next round as I joined to the picots of the previous round. It wasn’t the picot or the join, but the use of the picot gauge. I found it a bit fiddly, but managed pretty well for the first picot, but it kept getting in my way and creating some confusion for me as I tried to form the first half of the double stitch for the successive joins. I finally decided to use my crochet hook and the previous picot as a guide and created the remaining ones in this block without the gauge. They are pretty even (though they don't look it in the picture), so I think it will be okay.

I’m really enjoying learning this technique. Amanda tells me that the next part of the tutorial will contain instructions and samples of some of the different ways you can fill the blocks which I was very excited to hear. If you would like to give this a try, your first step is here

Happy tatting!