My Free Patterns

I am still sorting out the blog entries for my free patterns, so there willl still be patterns that are not accessible. My apologies.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Yard Sale Find

Went to my first ever yardsale about a month back which happened to be selling craft-related items. I was lucky enough to find a few tatting patterns from a couple of old magazines and books.

 These two are the Coats tatting booklets (from 1971 and 1977) with patterns for edgings, motifs and doilies. a collar and cuffs, and coaster sets.  The motifs are pretty on its own but makes prettier doilies/mats when joined up together.

A McCall's Needlework magazine from 1954 gave me these patterns - an insertion, an edging and a doily. The doily was calling out to and it took no time for me to start work on it. 

Three weeks later, the doily is done. Here it is being blocked.  I have not cut off the thread ends which I will do after blocking. Thread used is size 20 Milford in two shades.  The doily measured about 26cm

From Stitch 'n Sew (1973), I found two patterns - Pillow for Wedding-Ring-Bearer and a Book cover. Both look like shuttle-only patterns.

The other exciting thing for me is that the article in the Stitch 'n Sew magazine was written by Myrtle Hamilton.  I have heard of her being mentioned in several tatting sites such as one by Georgia Seitzs but have never actually seen or read anything by her.  Reading what is found from the internet, Myrtle Hamilton contributed much to tatting, and this sort of made me touch-base with her, in my own way.

From yet another magazine, Needlework Illustrated of unknown date because it has lost its cover, I found this embroidery instructions for the Willow Pattern.

I have no plans to embroider it but it is kind of interesting because Pam Palmer has translated it into tatting patterns in her book Tatting Treats Three, which I also have.  Having these two with me sort of completes everything.

All in, it was a great find at the one and only yard sale that I have been to. I doubt if there will be another opportunity like this again.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

A ha! It is all about the joins

I have had this little daisy motif in my to-do list from I-don't-know-when and only now got around to attempting it.

This is my first attempt.  I had no trouble with tatting the rounds and rounds of chains but, as you can see, I struggled to get a good-looking shape for the loops over it.

My first two attempts came out horribly misshapen.  Put it down and had lunch.  Picked it up later in the day and it dawn on me where I was doing wrong.

It is in the joins!

Working with chains, naturally the first thought of joins would be the lock join.  That was what I did for the first two attempts. Using lock join forms kinks in the chains whereas I wanted a continuous curve in it.  That can be achieved by making use of the regular join, i.e. by pulling the ball thread through the picot of the centre ring. I also used the regular join for the outer part to achieve a smooth flow of the chains, moving on to the next part of the daisy.

Having decided on the methods that I wanted to use, This is my second attempt. There are some issues with the tension though because the size of the loops are not even but I am happy with it..
Thread is Altin Basak 3053

Saturday, 9 May 2015

The Tatted Wheel

The tatted wheel is one of a number of basic tatting motifs, tatted with shuttle only. This motif is common in the early tatting books/booklets.  It can be with a small ring in the centre or without. What I can say is that it is not as simple as it says in the pattern.  This post is about tatting that wheel with a ring in the centre. This is a sample that I tatted recently,

Now, I don't know about other tatters, but there are a number of things here that is a pain to me.

First, I dislike tatting motifs with bare thread spaces. I never can guess how much of the bare thread to leave before starting the next ring. Then, there is that small ring in the centre. I always fail in trying to figure out what size picots to make for that small ring in the centre.

That small ring sometimes also make an appearance in patterns with rings and chains, as seen here;

Most early patterns would ask you to tat that small ring, cut the thread and tie into a knot to complete the number of picots required.  Then you tat the outer round and join to that small ring as you go.

While I have not really found a fail-proof solution for estimating the bare thread space, there are now ways of making that small ring in one go as you tat the outer element.  Here are two methods that I have used to get out of having to cut-and-tie for that small ring.

First, if there are chains joined to that small ring (as in the red motif), I will work the pattern with two shuttles. I start the pattern with the outer round that will be joined to that small ring. I tat the chain as in the pattern but stop at the point where the patterns says to join to the small ring.  Here, I take the other shuttle and make a thrown ring off the chain following the pattern for that small ring. I make sure that I leave a mock picot space at the start of the ring, and make the other picots in it about the same size as the mock picot space.  Close the ring and continue as per the pattern.  The next chain will then be joined to the picot of that small ring.  No more cut-and-tie.

For a ring attached to a ring as in the firt picture, it is not quite as straightforward. Thankfully, there are are wonderfully clever tatters who have come out with a method of avoiding the cut-and-tie for this case. There is now a technique of making a ring on a ring with shuttle only, also referred to as loop-tatted ring.  With this technique, I was able to do this,

and this,

Here are links to tutorial for this techniques available online,
Karen Cabrera's video and Jane Eborall's tutorial in printable form.

However, I ended my loop-tatted ring in a slightly different way from the ways shown in the video and in Jane's instructions.  In both, the shuttle is passed through the final loop and the end result is the thrown ring touches the ring that it is 'sitting' on.  (I hope this makes sense).  In the case of the small centre ring, I need to leave some space to make up the number of picots in that ring.

If you observe the photo above, you'll notice that I have left a small bare thread space before starting the loop-tatted ring (with picots). This bare thread space will complete the number of picots needed in that small ring in the centre.

I anchored the core thread of the loop-tatted ring by bringing the core thread over the loop-tatted ring, as you would close a single-shuttle split ring.When the loop-tatted ring is closed, I leave another small bare thread space before tatting the next doublestitch. This second bare thread space completes the mock picot.

No more flimsy small rings to cut-and-tie and ends to hide.