My Free Patterns

Due to reasons that I am not sure of at this time, my file-sharing account where I keep my free patterns has been closed. To avoid any confusion I have removed all the tabs in this blog that list my free patterns. Please bear with me while I figure out the next steps.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Drawing Templates for Tatting Diagrams

This is not a tutorial about using any drawing program or software to draw tatting diagrams.  The following are more like tips and hints on how to make the drawing process easier and faster.  I am not focusing on any particular program or software.  You can do it with what ever program that you have.  I think most have the basic functions that will allow you to do it.

Okay, here goes ...

The basic component of a tatting diagram is the ring.  The most basic shape would be an oval, but we all know that the ring is not really a circle nor is it an oval.  It most cases it is slightly pointy as the one shown on the right.  Your can play around with your drawing until you get that shape of ring that you are happy with, and save it.


Basically, that is the only shape that you need to pay attention to at the beginning. This one shape can be enlarged, reduced, group, ungroup, rotated, flipped or copied how many number of times that you need to finish the drawing.

From this one shape, you can derive the
Trefoil or clover-leaf,

The daisy or flower shape,
or the 4-rings square

And you can position them anyway you like such as,

Once you have all these shapes drawn, save each one of them.  They are now templates of the basic tatting designs that can be used on its own or as a group to form a bigger design.  You just need to pull up any one of these templates and save the trouble of drawing it from the start all over again.

What I do is save all these templates as a file named 'template' (what else).  Each time I want to start a new design, I open this template file and then "save as" a new file of the design that I am going to work on.

An example is this beginning of a motif made up of a trefoil, copied six times and rotated in increments of 60 degrees to form a circular arrangement,

or this round medallion which is really a ring copied 10 times and rotated at 36 deg,

Let us try and design something by using only half of the 10-rings medallion shape shown above, like this

Now, let us play around with this 5-rings curved design together with the 4-rings square.  Copy, paste and rotate the 5-rings curve by 45 deg, and arrange it around the 4-ring square to get something like this design,

Copy and paste this four times, and you will get another layout of rings.

Now, let us remove some parts of this latest diagram and see what we get.  I have removed the outlying rings and only kept the ones in the middle and kept two rings out of the 4-rings square in each corner.  Then I fill up the blank space in the middle with the 4-rings square.

I reduced the size of the 4-rings square to bring the whole look into proportion.  Next is to add in the chains.  Looking good! I can see a tat-able square motif taking shape.

Copy and paste this a few times to see a bigger picture, and we have designed a square mat.


Sunday, 18 July 2010

A Promise is Made

Last Sunday was a joyous day in the family when my niece got engaged.  In eastern cultures, an engagement is not just about a boy giving a girl a ring and she accepts, end of story.  Here, it is an occasion that involves the whole family, requiring lots of preparation that culminates with a ceremony of placing the ring on the girl's finger.

It begins with a merisik, where a representative of the boy's family meet the girl's parents to enquire is she has been promised to anyone.  Once it has been ascertained that she is not yet betrothed, a date is fixed for the boy's family to come and formally ask for the girl's hand.  This is called meminang where the date of the engagement ceremony is set.

On the fixed date a delegation from the boy's family arrive at the girl's house bringing the ring and other gifts for the girl.   Usually the gifts will be in odd numbers, from 3,7,9, and so on.   On the part of the girl, there will also be gifts given in return, usually two more than received. This ceremony is termed the bertunang. At this time the date of the wedding or the duration of the engagement is decided and the terms of the dowry is set down.  Another interesting aspect is that, if the girl who is getting married has older unmarried sisters, then gifts are also given to the sisters. And, the boy is not present during any of the ceremonies.  His appearance is only required during the wedding.  The ring is placed on the girl's finger by the mother of the boy or any senior female relative.

But in these modern times, a lot of the steps involved are reduced or combined into one ceremony.  The merisik, for example is not carried out because the boy and the girl usually would have known each other much earlier.  How else would they have decided to get married!

Anyway, in the case of my niece, we agreed to prepare seven trays of gifts and receive five trays in return. Here are the gifts from the girl's family. As you can see great effort is taken to dress up the gifts for the presentation. 
As to what make up the gifts depends on the status of the families.  They can be really expensive or simple ones.  In this case, among what we have prepared are a tray of cupcakes, a box of chocolates, a piece of material for the wedding attire later, a basket of fruits, a prayer mat and basket of traditional sweets. And the mandatory one is the ring.  Yes, the boy also gets an engagement ring from the girl.

And this is what was received from the boy's family,

The most important item from the boy's family is the tray shown right in front.  A bigger picture is shown below.
This is the tepak sirih or a betel leaf set.  The tepak sireh is an important part of the Malay culture. It has been used in all customs and traditions since way back when, as an opener to what will be discussed.  If you imagine having a discussion over a cup of tea, then the tepak sireh is that cup of tea.  In olden times, the folks would actually prepare the betel leaf and ate it as they conduct the meeting or discussion but that is not done anymore.

This is a photo of my niece with the engagement gifts, anxiously waiting for the arrival of her future in-laws.

If you have managed to stay on this far, you must be wondering, "Is there any tatting in this?'  after all it is a tatting blog.  Well, there is, a teeny tiny piece here.
Where?
Here is the close up.  It is the tray that holds the engagement ring.  I made the ring holder and decided to add a small circle of tatting to surround the ring.

The sequel to this post will be about the wedding.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

I didn't make these, but aren't they pretty?

Just a quick one that I just have to share.


I received this lovely shawl from Radha, a crafting buddy from Alor Setar, a city in the north of Malaysia.  I have only met Radha once before when she came down to Kuala Lumpur to meet with a group of us for a stitching bee.  During that meeting, Radha gave a demo of hairpin lace.  Hairpin lace is something that I have always wanted to try, especially with tatting thread, but never got round to really making the effort of learning how to.  I was very, very surprised to received this a few weeks back.  Thank you Radha.


This piece was also made by someone from Alor Setar.  Jacee and I got to know each other through the internet but we have never met.  I asked her if I can view some of her work but she does not have a blog.  Instead she sent me a picture of this 'Patchwork' mat made from a pattern by Mary Koinor.  It is too pretty not to show it to the rest of the tatting world, so I asked her if I can post the picture in my blog.  Lucky me and you, that she agreed.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Oh Darn! Not at this point.

Another exasperated tatter!  Can you see what is causing this?


I was so eager to finish this last repeat of the motif.  When I reached the last chain, then only I realised that I had made it short of one picot.  That chain should have 5 picots and I made this one with only four.  Worse still, I started the next round at this 4-picots chain.

If I had noticed it early on, I would have saved the time (and thread) and start the first round all over again.  I don't think I could have corrected it because I had cut off the thread after that first round.  This is destined to the bin ... after I have salvaged the beads, that is, :)

In case anyone is wondering,
"Now, why did she leave the centre gaping and empty like that?"

Well, I started this with Round 2 followed by Round 3.  Round 1 is to come after I had completed Round 3.  I suppose you can say that I am working this motif outside-in as opposed to the usual working of inside-out.  This is a sketch of what it would have looked like when finished, drawn on a polar graph paper.


I deliberately started on the middle round because by doing so, I will not be restricted by any stitch counts.  If I had done the centre first, I had to really gauge the stitch counts of the next two rounds so that they fit in with the centre.  If they are small in number, the motif will cup up and if more, I will end up with ruffles. It is possible for me to do that here because the rings in the middle round are not joined to each other.

If everything had gone as planned, when I finished the outer round, I just need to see how big the gap in the middle is and close it up with a suitable design.  Looking at the tatting that I had done so far, before I realised the blunder, the centre may turn out different from the sketch.

Oh well, tomorrow is another day!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Raised Beads in Tatting

I was working with some beads and chanced upon this method of using beads.  I don't know if anyone had used it before but I am sharing it here anyway.  This works for joining picots only.  Sorry for the quality of the photos.
Add the beads to where you are going to make the joining picots, following the pattern. Make the beaded picot loose, i.e. don't pull it close to the double stitches
 When making a join to this beaded picot,  pull the joining thread as usual when making a join.  It can be an up join or a down join.  It works both ways.  I am used to making down joins.


When closing the join, make sure that the bead is in the centre of the loop of the join.  Close the join fully and continue with the next set of double-stitches as per the pattern.

This method gives a raised effect in the beads when added to tatting
 The view of the front side with the beads

......   and the back side without the beads showing.

It raised (pun intended) some interesting ideas for front/back side tatting.  Here you will get a flat back side, which would be applicable when making tatting bracelets or chokers or pendants.

Raised Beads in Tatting

I was working with some beads and chanced upon this method of using beads.  I don't know if anyone had used it before but I am sharing it here anyway.  This works for joining picots only.  Sorry for the quality of the photos.


Add the beads to where you are going to make the joining picots, following the pattern. Make the beaded picot loose, i.e. don't pull it close to the double stitches
 When making a join to this beaded picot,  pull the joining thread as usual when making a join.  It can be an up join or a down join.  It works both ways.  I am used to making down joins.












When closing the join, make sure that the bead is in the centre of the loop of the join.  Close the join fully and continue with the next set of double-stitches as per the pattern.













This method gives a raised effect in the beads when added to tatting
 The front side

 The back side

I find this rather interesting.  It raised (pun intended) some ideas for front/back side tatting.