31 December 2007

Goodbye ... and ......Hello!

Goodbye 2007 ...... Hello 2008.

Wishing all my tatting buddies and all crafting friends a very Happy New Year. May all of us be blessed with good health and happiness, and the new year be full of good tidings.

Thank you for allowing me to get to know you, in person or through your writings and through the e-mails that we have exchanged. I am looking forward to a more exciting 2008 and I hope that this friendship will go on for a very long time.

I have a few plans for the coming year -

1. Properly write down all the patterns for the tatting designs that I have come up with. Right now most are handwritten sketches and notes in my sketchbook.

2. Get a book out on tatting ... maybe.....

3. I will NOT stop designing, I promise.

4. Lose some weight, :-D - say another 5kg and not put it back on ha...ha.... I have to make sure I go for my 30 minutes brisk walking every morning.

6. Finish, yes.... really finish my WIP, especially the big tablecloth.

Yes, this one, and it has not even covered half of this 8-seater dining table. Hmmm... maybe getting a smaller dining table will get it finished faster.

I think I have my work cut out for the whole of 2008. Updates will come throughout the year.

19 December 2007

More pictures

Not much to write - just photos ....

Snowflakes from Tatting with Anne Orr

Medallions - also from Tatting with Anne Orr. The square-shaped one needs blocking.

Two more medallions - own designs

A square doily for an exchange - from A new Approach to Tatting by Yusai Shokoin

5 December 2007

Online Class Homework

Have not updated the pages here for a while but I am still tatting. The pictures here are the homework from the Online Tatting Class

This is Mary Maynard's butterfly pattern #3.

And this one is Nellie H Youngburg's butterfly made from the pattern re-written by Wally Soosa.

The third one is a bracelet using the pattern provided by Debbie Strickland. I used a size 10 thread with rose beads. The length is about 16cm (6.5 in), which can comfortably fit round a girl's wrist.

The patterns for the above are available at the site for the Online Tatting Class 2007 Lessons Index. You need to solve a puzzle first to get to the pattern for Mary Maynard's butterfly. Click on the Nov 27 Special Event Puzzle to get there. It is worth a visit.

I was also tatting more of the snowflakes shown earlier, this time in pastel shade of pink.

12 November 2007

A look at an Old Tatting pattern

This is a scan of an insertion from The Pearl Tatting Book by Mlle Riego.

I took a look at it and thought - this is an easy one to try. Don't have to read the instructions in detail - make the first row, turn and make the opposite side, joining the rings at the centre. But then, I decided to follow exactly as the pattern was written and I made an interesting discovery on how the rings are joined.

I would have thought that when making the first row the two rings in the four-rings cluster are joined together first as the row is made and the other two rings are then joined to it in the second row

But the instruction say to make the first row without any joining of rings. The rings are only joined in the second row.

What is interesting about the join is that the picots cross over each other to make the join, with one picot going through the other. I hope it can be seen clearly in this enlarged scan. There is no gap or hole in the centre where the join is made - as what you'd usually get when several joins are made to one picot.

The pattern stated to use cotton No. 60 but I made this using a size 40. Even then I was struggling with the tiny ring in the middle which is (2-2), :-).
And I cheated a bit - I used a split ring to turn whereas the instructions say to cut after the first row and rejoin the thread to the tiny ring to begin the second row ... he .....he ....

11 November 2007

Anniversary Gifts .................

The NNC group celebrated the first anniversary beginning of the month. We had a small (but very noisy) party and brought along some stitching gifts to be entered in an exchange draw.

I picked these items made by Janet in the draw, a patchwork wall-hanging and crochet coasters. Janet does wonderful patchwork and quilting, something that I have not tried before and don't think I will any time soon. Thank you Janet for the lovely pieces.

My contribution to the draw were these - three small doilies and a pin-cushion. The doilies are crocheted with size 20 thread, and the pincushion is tatted with Olympus Gold #40. The person who got my gifts is Mel, who had asked me to make the snowflakes in my earlier post.

This is a close-up of the pincushion. The pattern is adapted from the book A New Approach to Tatting. The originally pattern is for a potpourri pouch, but I made a mistake somewhere and by the time I realised it, I don't feel like starting over. The only way out that I can see is to turn it into into a pincushion. I think I like the pincushion better, :-)

Here are a few other smalls I received. A beautitful cross-stitch hanging ornament form MW. A pretty and practical flower pincushion from June - it can be tied to the wrist. Two lovely crochet bookmarks from Usha, and another pin cushion from Nik.

A big thank you to everyone for a wonderful afternoon and especially to Nik for being such a gracious host.

31 October 2007


Yes! that is what I have been doing the past few months, making snowflakes for a friend. I started sometime in June. In between then until completion, I took breaks to work on some other things, and finally finished them last week.

My friend Mel is very good at a variety pf crafts but has yet to learn how to tat. She specifies that the snowflakes must have some glitter in them, so I add beads in most of them. That itself took up a lot of time because most of the patterns that I used are originally without beads. I had to spend some time studying each one to see where I can add in the beads and also whether to add the beads to the shuttle thread or the ball thread. But, I had a great time making these snowflakes and I hope Mel likes them.

The patterns are a mix from books, free pattern obtained online and my own designs as well.

The top motif in the group below is an adaptation of a motif from the book A New Approach to Tatting by Yusai Shokoin. The bottom two are from Tatting Patterns and Designs by Blomqvist and Persson.

The next set of snowflakes are using free patterns available online.

If you feel like making them, here are the links given in the order left to right, by row.

The next two groups of snowflakes are from the book Tatted Snowflakes by Vida Sunderman, a number of tiny motifs from Tatting Patterns and Designs (Blomqvist & Persson) and some doodlings by yours truly, using up small balances of the thread in the shuttles.

And finally, these are my own creations. I have posted patterns for two of the designs earlier. As for the rest, .........I'll see if I am up to it.

All counted, there are 39 motifs done. Hmmmm ... imagine that ... I completed my 2nd 25 motif challenge with this one posting.

24 October 2007

I've been Tagged ! .... Twice

.. by Laura and Gina and Yoonie-at-home (Mel)

Here are the rules which you must abide by if you are tagged.

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 3 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Does that mean I have to list my 7 twice? I think I'll just do it once

Here goes:

1. About tatting - I first learned tatting in 1968 (yes, that long ago) but I did for only two years because my tatting buddy moved to a different school after that and I lost interest. I took it up again 36 years later and couldn't stop after I 'met' all you nice people.

2. I am a tea-drinker and couldn't start the day without my first cup - blame that on the years that I spent in England.

3. I am picky when shopping for stuff. I can spend hours at the shops but still come back with nothing. That is why I don't go shopping much.

4. I have a soft spot for books and crafts, especially needlecraft, and I wish I have all the money in the world to indulge in these.

5. I love flowers and plants and gardens but the grassy spot at my house is still a mess.

6. I love my school buddies from more than 30 years ago, they have been great support to me all these years.

7. None of my children is showing any interest in tatting. I don't know who I am going to pass down this craft to, sob.. sob.. :-(

And I am tagging -

1. Wendy
2. Melissa
3. Barbara

21 October 2007

Daisy Picot Snowflake

I have not made anything with daisy picots for a while and was wondering if I still remember how to do it. I searched Riet's blog for the instructions because I first learned it from her, but I couldn't find it there anymore. I have lost the paper with the instructions that I printed earlier. So, working from memory, I managed to produce this simple snowflake.

And, so that I'll know where to find it again, I am putting up a how-to for the daisy picot, using the instructions for this snowflake as a working sample.

First, the pattern for the snowflake -

Wind two shuttle with different colour thread for each shuttle.

The centre Daisy - 6 rings altogether.
R(5-3-2-2-3-5). You can make the centre picot slightly bigger for decorative purposes.
R(5+3-2-2-3-5), joining to the last picot of the previous ring.

The last ring is joined to the previous ring and also to the first ring with the folded join.

Round 1
R1(6+6), joining to the 3rd free picot of any of the rings in the centre daisy.
R2(6+6), joining to the 1st free picot of the next ring of the centre daisy.
Reverse work.

Make a chain C(2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2) Do not reverse.

(*)Now make the daisy picots with 3 petals, where each petal is (5-5) and 2ds between each petal.

Close the ring, do not reverse and repeat the chain.

Reverse work and repeat the two rings of R(6+6), joining the 1st ring to the 3rd free picot of the previous ring and the 2nd ring to the 1st free picot of the next ring of the centre daisy.

Reverse work and repeat the chain (2+2-2-2-2-2-2-2), joining to the last picot of the previous chain.

Repeat from (*) to complete the snowflake.

And how to make the dasiy picot -

1. After making the first chain, do not reverse work. Loop the thread from shuttle 1 (blue) round the fingers and make 2 ds. Drop shuttle 1 but keep the loop round the fingers.

2. Now. flip the chain so the the picots are now facing to the right. Here, you can see that the thread of shuttle 2 (pink) that makes the ds of the chain is on the right.

3. With shuttle 2 (pink thread) make an unflipped ds onto the loop thread, starting with the 1st half like the normal ds, followed by the 2nd half.

The completed set of 5 ds on the loop thread should look like this.

Complete the first daisy picot with (5-5).  Make sure the ds are snugged up close before starting the next step.

4. Bring the thread of shuttle 2 (pink) to the left.  Now pick up shuttle 1 and make two more ds (flipped) onto the loop thread. Bring these two ds close to the first two ds and you can see the first petal of the daisy formed. To test whether you are making it right, pull the thread from shuttle 1. If it slides, then you are on the right track.

5. Repeat step 3 and 4 for two more petals of the daisy picots.

6. Finally, close the ring by pulling the blue shuttle thread. You can see the that the blue ds forms the shape of a tiny ring and the rings made by the pink thread are like picots to this tiny blue ring.

I hope you find this beautiful technique useful and I want to thank Riet for showing me how to do it in the first place.

30 September 2007

Wrapping a plastic ring with double-stitches

This is a simple tutorial on how to wrap up a plastic ring with double-stitches, like I did for this snowflake.

The snowflake is a remake of the Hearts snowflake which I had posted earlier, which you can get through this link. I made it again and added a plastic ring with a tiny motif in the centre. A few tatters have asked me to explain how I did it. I hope this tutorial helps.

I first make the tiny motif with 6 rings with a ds count of (5-5) each. I used size 20 thread for this, and the plastic ring measures 2cm diameter which is suitable with the ds count that I am working with. A different thread size and/or plastic ring may not work with this ds count. A paper clip is a handy tool to make picots.

Leave a length of about 4 inches before starting.  Holding the thread end and the ring together, so that it doesn't slip off, bring the thread up from under the ring and slide the shuttle through the loop of the thread. This makes the first half of the double-stitch, though it doesn't look like it yet. This is the same method used for making split chain.

Next, for the second half of the ds, bring the thread down under the ring and slide the shuttle through. Make sure that the loop does not twist when passing the shuttle through it. Pull the thread close and you will see that a double stitch is formed.

Next, to make a picot.

I find it easier to use a paperclip when making a picot because I find that my picots become smaller when I tighten to close the ds on the ring. Slide a paper clip onto the thread and make the ds following the steps explained above. When made, it looks like this with the paper clip on. The paper clip can be removed after a few more ds are made.

Now is the part where the tiny motif is attached to the centre of the plastic ring. The paper clip is used if there is a picot on the outside of the ring at the same position where the tiny ring is attached, as is the case in my snowflake above. If not, there is no need for the paper clip.

We are still using the same method of making the ds as above. But this time, for the first half of the ds, bring up the thread through the picot of the tiny ring - you'll need a crochet hook for this. Then slide the shuttle through the loop made.

And for the second half of the ds, bring down the thread, going through the same picot. Again, make sure that the loop of the thread is not twisted when sliding the shuttle through. Tighten the thread to close the ds.

A completely wrapped plastic ring with the motif in the centre looks like this. Leave a length of about 4 inches and cut off the thread. The thread ends can then be hidden in the ds of the plastic ring - the beginning thread end into the last few ds, and the ending thread end into the starting few ds.

A tip here - when you start, make the first ds somewhere in between the picots to make it easier for you to hide the ends. For example, if the ds count between picots is 5, start with 3 ds and finish with 2 ds, unless the design allows you to climb out of the ring with a split ring or split chain, then you can start where the picot is.

Now that you know how to add the tiny centre motif, try and design something of your own, like this, maybe? This was made in one pass (except for the tiny motif, of course) with shuttle only - even the long loop.

30 August 2007

Today ... 50 years ago

The headline in the national newspaper was about a Singapore banker rescued from a kidnapping.

The Duke and Duchess of Gloucester were given a grand welcome when they arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Airport.

The threat of communist subversive activities was very real
The Merdeka Stadium was opened by Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's first Prime Minister, our Father of Independence.
The cinemas were showing among others, Island in the Sun starring James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge and Joan Collins. While on Shaw, the local movie was Kaseh Sayang which starred Neng Yatimah, Saadiah and Haji Mahadi.
The Rex cinema had Unholy Wife which starred Diana Dors. And this was the attraction for movie-goers to watch this - exactly as was printed in the papers a few days before –
Ladies! Do your measurement compare with Diana Dors ... 37-23-35? If so, one months guest tickets will be awarded to the first 6 ladies attending tonight's premiere. Also - all ladies with blonde hair will be guests of the management tonight
We all know what will happen if such words are used today, don't we?
Dignitaries from the world over were in town for a celebration. And the whole country was waiting eagerly for 31 August 1957 when the Union Jack will be lowered and the flag of a new nation will be raised.
… and I was born today, 50 years ago, on the eve on Malaysia's (previously Malaya) independence from the British.
Happy 50th Anniversary of Independence, Malaysia - MERDEKA!

To know more about Malaysia, click here

24 August 2007

A First Using Needle

I first learned tatting using shuttles and don't know any other way, until I found tatting on the internet. That was when I found out about tatting with needles ... I also found out about cro-tatting, but that is for another time.

I think I am getting along okay with using shuttles so I decided on the next thing that I should try, learn how to needle-tat. I couldn't find any needles in the local stores and had to order them online (from Georgia's store). It was not that difficult to learn the basics of making the ds, rings, chains and joins, i.e. after I got used to holding the needle and how to handle the thread. Well ... it is different from the way of using shuttle.

And ta... da.... my first completed work ... a simple rings-and-chains bookmark.

The pattern for this is from Dreams of Lace site. I used Manuela size 10 for this which fits the needle that I am most comfortable with right now. I dare not try the two finer ones .... scared that the needle might break, :D. I still need to get my tension right for needles, because I tend to close the ds tight when shuttle-tatting.

This is a start, woo.... wooo... can't wait to work on patterns with those beautiful Celtic designs. But that won't be so soon. Have lots more to learn about needle tatting. But one thing for sure, unpicking is very easy, he ...he ... he

14 August 2007

Thread exchange

I participate in a thread exchange organised by Kathy Lowe and was given five exchange partners. I have received some wonderful thread most of which I have never used before for the the simple reason I cannot find them here except on the INS - and I don't buy stuff online very much.

Bridgitte sent me some Valdani thread in perle cotton # 12 and and Valdani quilting thread 35 wt, and so did Kathy. There was also a spool of buttonhole silk (Amann) from Brigitte which was heaven to tat with.

From Sylvia, I received some Gutterman pure silk, Altin Basak 50 and Manuela 20 in beautiful gold colour. And Abby has also sent me two samples of Altin Basak 50 in beautiful pink and pale blue-pink combination colours.

I have not finished trying out all of them yet, but here is a picture of what I have. The motif that I used is from the book Tatting Pattern and Designs by Blomqvist and Persson. As I was working them, I realised that they are very much like the motif of the pyramid orchid mat that Laura has made. It is a beautiful motif. Now I can understand why Laura can't stop making them.

The second from the top is the Valdani 35wt from Brigitte. It was difficult working with it at the beginning, but it got better and I quite enjoy working with. In fact, I enjoyed it a lot that I bought a spool of quilting thread to try working with fine thread. The thread is Sulky 30wt and the motif from this thread is the one right on top.

This dark coloured one is using the Amann buttonhole silk from Brigitte.

This pink one is using the Altin Basak 50 from Sylvia, which is another wonderful thread to tat with. The other Altin Basak that I received from Abby are in close shades of pink. I think I can make a bigger mat using all these together.

This purple-green variegated is from Kathy, a Valdani Perle cotton size 12. I have never tatted using perle cotton before. I think the shape holds up very well.

There are a few more thread that I have yet to try. The vibrant multicoloured Manuela is from Dorcas, who also sent me some beads in the same colour shades. I don't have a motif for using this yet because I want to put the beads in. The gold-coloured Manuela is from Sylvia and the green variegated Valdani is from Kathy. The two samples from Abby is in the middle.

Thank you to all my exchange partners. And thank you, Kathy for organising the exchange.

8 August 2007

Earrings and sofa bed

Someone took a look at my hanging ornaments and asked if I can turn one into a pair of earrings. I did, and came up with this pair.

Still working with the idea of tatting up a plastic ring but, instead of putting a tiny motif in the centre, I strung up some beads for the picots. I know this is no where near the beautiful jewelery pieces that Marilee is making, but it is a start.

And, during one of those (rare, :p) spring cleaning sessions, I found this picture.

It is a picture of my room in the Henry Price Building when I was at the University of Leeds so many years ago.

But the thing that I wanted to show is the bedspread which I made. And the bed is really a sofa-bed and there were no bedsheets - we were only given sleeping bags to sleep in at night, sob.. sob. During the day, the sleeping bag was to be stashed away in the cupboard and the bed pushed against the wall to be turned into a sofa.

But sometimes, during the middle of winter when the snow was heavy and the central heating wasn't really working, I'd just feel like curling up in bed with a book or something - and a sleeping bag just didn't work so well. So, I crocheted this bed cover which I also used as a blanket. I can't remember what type of yarn that I used but it was made up of many hexagon pieces joined up together.

I wish I can remember where I put it now.......

23 July 2007

Pattern for Diamon-Square Motif

I have received requests for the pattern for this Diamond-square motif that I showed in my earlier post. I tried to make the diagram as clear as possible, I hope it can be read.

The pattern uses two shuttles. The motifs are joined at the two rings on the clover for each side.

This pattern has not been tested so if there are any problems with it, please e-mail me.

22 July 2007

Rosette Doily

Just a short one this time. I designed the motif for another project that I am working on. I felt that it would make a beautiful doily. And so, here it is.