26 February 2007

Finishing up - mostly

Thank you for all the comments that I received upon completion of my 25-motif challenge. I am now writing up the patterns for the designs that I have made for the challenge.

I have reworked one of the motifs because the stitch count was not quite right the first time round. I think it looks better this time. I have to start over one of the bookmarks because I had given it away before I wrote out the pattern completely.

At the same time, I am working very hard to finish a table-topper that I am making with one of the doily motifs that was put up in the challenge. I added a few other smaller motifs to fill it up. I need four repeats to make a square piece and am now on the fourth one. Then there will be one final round to tie up all the motifs together. This will be given away as a gift, and I have to get it done by end of March.

I have also started on another rework, a circular lace which will be about 14 inches when done. This is the first large lace that I designed, when I took up tatting again. At that time I didn't know about split rings and split chains or even about tidying up the ends. So there are ends at every round which are all in knots. While working on this, I learned about split rings, and incorporated it into the design .
This is the first two of nine rounds. And I made some changes to the original design along the way, to make it better, hopefully. You'll see more of this as I add more rounds to it.

15 February 2007

It was Fun - Snowflakes in February

It has been a rather exciting and wonderful time for me these past six months. Sometime in August last year, I took up the challenge posted by Sharon to tat 25 motifs within a year. I wasn't sure how long it will take me to finish the 25 motifs, and added to that I wanted to put up my designs where possible.

Well .... I have completed my 25-motif challenge. I managed to put up 24 of my own designs. The only one out is a snowflake that I made from a pattern by Vida Sunderman.

I want to thank Sharon for this challenge. I've gotten to know so many wonderful tatters from all over the world, and learn new tricks and tips and techniques in tatting. But most importantly to me, I have surprised myself - that I am able to produce my own designs. What makes it much more heartwarming is the positive comments that I received from every one about them.

I know it is one day late for Valentine's Day, ... and snowflakes in February?

But I want to share this with everyone anyway. You are all wonderful! I hope you can see the hearts in the snowflake, and I know certain countries are still snowed over at this time of the year.

Hearts Snowflake

Round 1

R1(3-3-3-3-3-3) cl R and RW.
C1(3-3) RW.
R2(4-4-4-4) cl R and RW.
Repeat C1.

Repeat from R1 until you have 6 rings of R1 and 6 rings of R2, and join the last chain to the first ring.

Round 2

Make a clover as follows, - R1(2-4-4-2), R2(2+4-4-2), R3(2+4-4-2). DNR
Switch shuttles and make a chain C(2+4-4-4), join to the last picot of the 3rd ring in the clover.
Then, shuttle join to the middle picot of R1 of Round 1, and continue with the next part of the chain with (4-4-4-2).
Switch shuttles and repeat the clover. This time, for the first ring in the clover make (2+4-4-2) where the join is to the last picot of the previous chain.

Repeat the clover and the chain until the round is complete. Join the last chain to the first ring and tie and cut.

No.25/25 - A Square Doily

This is it! My final entry for the 25-motif challenge, as promised a doily.

BTW, when someone say doily, I always have the image of something round or oval. Are square shapes also called doilies?

This one is different from the usual ones - it is made in rows rather than rounds.

I was playing with some ideas on this last one and a thought struck my mind. If we can have crochet blocks starting with rows as well as rounds, I'm sure we can have the same with tatting. So here it is - something that begins at the edge and worked upwards to form a square.

The first row are all split rings, and I also make use of split rings to move to the next row. When all the rows are done, I made one last round of rings and chains to soften the effects of the edges.

Hmmm ....... have to think of what to do next ........

10 February 2007

Love is in the Air

This being the month of Love, I sent Ruth the pattern for a heart and she has put it up for February 10th in the Tatting Calendar

What a coincidence - I had a meet-up with a group of stitching friends this afternoon sharing our love for needlecraft - be it tatting, XS, quilting, crochet, patchwork and more.

There must be 15 of us altogether, some I've met before and for a few others it was for the first time. We are all members of the Needles and Craft online group. We had a great time admiring and appreciating each others' needlework. My show-and-tell is a housewife which was the homework for the Online tatting Class . I wrote about my housewife in the earlier post.

One thing I know is true - all are stitched with lots of love put into it.

8 February 2007

I made a Housewife

I did it!! Yes ..... Finally!
I have wanted to make one ever since I know about it from Georgia Seitz’s Online Tatting Class. In case you are not familiar with this, a housewife, or the correct term a hussif, is a purse/bag/pouch or whatever that you call it, that is used to carry needlework stuff. Here’s what my housewife looks like.
The fabric that I used is songket. It is a traditional fabric of Malaysia spun from cotton and interwoven with gold or silver thread to create beautiful motifs. The motifs are mostly inspired from the flora of the country. In the past songket was used mostly by the royals but has become more common now. But because of its rich and heavy texture, it is not a common daily wear. Garments made from songket are worn on special occassions and for very formal functions. It is a favorite fabric to be made into wedding attire by newlyweds to wear during their wedding reception.
Hmmm.... looking at it now, I just realised that the motifs of the fabric is perfectly centred. That is a lucky chance because I wasn't really paying attention when I cut the fabric.
In fact, this particular piece that I used was from the remnants of the fabric that was used for my wedding dress. It has kept well over the years, considering that I will be celebrating my silver anniversary this year!
I started with these – fabric for the outside and the pocket, 2 other fabrics of different colours for the inside and the pocket, interfacing material and some batting. Oh! the Il Divo CD? It is providing the background music while I sew.
I love Il Divo. I heard them once on the radio when they were promoting their first album a few years back and went to get the CD straightaway. Beautiful voices. They had a concert here in Malaysia early this year to kick off their Asian tour, but I didn’t go. How I wish ……. Well forget about what I wish.

Okay …. Back to the housewife.

I took that pic because I thought I wanted to show the step by step of how I made the housewife. But … reality check …. why re-invent the wheel …. I was following someone else’s instructions anyway, so credit should be given to the right person. So here it is – the tutorial for the Housewife prepared by Hope Green, which to me, was very well done - and Hope is a wonderful lady too. Or you can view it as a slide show.

My housewife has one large pocket and four smaller ones. Because of another ‘lucky’ mistake, I had two additional slim pockets (which shouldn’t be there actually) by the sides. They are just nice for my crochet hooks. Hmmm…. Sometimes mistakes are not bad at all. And I attached a felt fabric to keep my needles.
I have added some tatted embelishments. The one above, over the felt was a design that I picked from one of Mlle Riego tatting books, which was obtained from the public domain archives. The original instruction was to tat with four shuttles. Now you know that is really old … the split ring was not invented yet at that time! Thankfully, with the split ring technique, I did it with two shuttles. The one on the pocket was an antique design from a pattern provided by Georgia Seitz for the Online Class.

When filled, the housewife looks like this. 
The shuttles fit prefectly into the smaller pockets and so does the small pair of scissors. And the WIP goes into the big pocket.

Perfect to carry around for doing tatting on the go.

4 February 2007

No. 24/25 - Doily

I'm getting closer to finish this challenge. This is the penultimate piece, one of the two doilies that I have to make before I reach the finishing line. This doily was tatted using a size 40 thread and measures 5 inches in diameter. I am finally satisfied with it after two attempts. The finished doily was a bit ruffled and needed to be blocked. But I took a shortcut and have it pressed under a thick book .... ;-)

But, if I am were to make it again, I think I will make some changes to the ds count in the chains for the last round, and maybe not have so many picots in them.

Now, off to start on the final one!