29 June 2007

I love a Surprise

This beautiful bourse was sent to me by Barbara, a wonderful stitcher who seems to be able to squeeze more than 24 hours in a day to produce many lovely things. She has been playing Santa (in June) to several others and I am one of the lucky ones in her list.

BTW, the crochet lace in the background is another of my WIP, a huge tablecloth measuring 5ft by 9ft which is still less than a quarter done. You can see how far I've done in the progress chart on the right
Barbara wrote that the bourse would be handy for my tatting WIPs - besides being a stitcher she must be a mind-reader as well, because that was exactly what came to mind when I first saw it. Doesn't it look perfect like this?

Now that I know what a bourse looks like (believe it or not, this is a first time seing a real finished bourse, - all this while only seen pictures of it), I think I can make one. I can see a string of tatted edging appliqued on the outside, or maybe a number of small motifs at the sides. Ideas, ideas.

Thanks again BJ

24 June 2007

Square and diamond

This square motif doesn't appeal much on its own. It was something that I designed earlier but just left it at that. Then while looking for patterns to show to some pupils who are learning tatting from me, I decided to make this again.

But, instead of leaving it as a square, I joined up four motifs together. Now, it is looking much better. I really like the way the centre comes together in this one.

Besides that, I also made this simple rings bookmark to explain 2-shuttle tatting to the class.

16 June 2007

A little Bit of Sunshine

I just can't keep this hidden anymore ..... but before that ....

I made this for the Wish List Exchange in the NNC group. It is a cross-craft exchange where you make three wishes of what craft items that you would like and whoever can fulfill one of them will be your exchange partner.

My partner Marian wanted either a teacosy or a purse, but she is also game for a surprise. I decided to surprise her because I don't think I can make a teacosy and I am not sure what kind of purse Marian likes. At the same time, she can make something that I want (tell you about that later when I receive it from her).

Now Marian is going through a sad period when her best friend had just passed away recently. I was hoping that my gift will cheer her up a bit when she gets it.

And yesterday, I read her post that the gift has reached her. She was very happy to get it and likened it to the sun shining over her again ... how sweet and wonderful to know that my gift to her has made her so happy.

Okay ... to cut it short... here is what I made for Marian ....

The pattern for this purse is from the Japanese book A new Approach to Tatting by Yusai Shokoin.

I made this using size 20 Hakelgarn Online crochet thread (yes - the label said 'Online' - not bought online ;-) ) . I used about 480 beads (I think) for this, but you may not see it that clearly in the picture because it is almost the same colour as the thread.

The inside bag was my own addition, and the cord was embellished with Chinese knots, to keep it in place.

I was so happy with the finished result, that I wanted to hold on to it for as long as I can. I even contemplated making something else for Marian. But a promise made must be kept, and delivered in this case. Furthermore, I feel that when you want to give someone something, it must be from the heart and must be something that you want for yourself. So one morning I just got into the car, drove to the post office and had it on its way to Sunnybrow Crook in Co. Durham, where Marian is waiting.

Now I am imagining Marian dancing away the summer evening with the little purse dangling on her wrist. Ahhhh , what a beautiful picture :-)

12 June 2007

How to make a Double-stitch

I am experimenting with writing a tutorial here, so bear with me for a while. I'm using photographs only for this , not clever enough to make a video yet, :-)

Right .... How to make a double-stitch ... here goes -

This is to make a double-stitch on a ring.

1. Wrap the thread around the fingers and pinch the beginning and the end of the thread together so that it doesn't slide. Keep the thread taut by stretching out the middle finger.

2. With the shuttle thread over the hand, slide the shuttle upwards between the loop made by the shuttle thread and the thread between the pinch and the middle finger. Bring the shuttle over the finger thread and outwards to the right.

3. Pull the shuttle thread slightly to get something like this.

4. Now relax the middle finger while pulling the shuttle thread. If you do it slowly, you can see that the thread is beginning to flip.

5. Pull the shuttle thread taut and the loop is transferred to the thread round the fingers.

6. Slide the the loop slowly towards the pinch, controlling it using the middle finger while maintaining the tautness in the shuttle thread.

The first half of the double-stitch is done. Now, for the second half.

7. Now, let the shuttle thread hang over the front and slide the shuttle from the top, between the finger thread and the loop made by the shuttle thread.

8. Bring the shuttle down and you get a loop like this.

9. Again relax the middle finger and pull the shuttle thread to make the flip.

10. As with the first half, while maintaining the tautness of the shuttle thread, slide the flipped thread to wards the first half.

Voila! You have made a double stitch.

This is how a row of double-stitch looks like.

To test whether you are flipping correctly, pull the shuttle thread slightly. If it slides, or is alive as someone I know terms it, then you are doing it right.

Click here for a printable version of this tutorial.

That's it, my little contribution to tatting, LOL. Other tutorials may follow.

Thank you to all that have left comments about this. It certainly is very encouraging and you can look out for more tatting tutorials from me.

4 June 2007

About the blue doily ..........

...... that is taking such a long time to finish, and is still a WIP.

After being sidetracked a number of times, especially by my crochet tablecloth project, I managed to get back to this blue doily and finished the round of split rings. But that is not the end yet, even though it doesn't look too bad if I just stop here.

The thread that I am using for this is DMC Cordonnet special size 30. As it is now, the doily measures 9 inches across. But I have plans to add another two or three rounds to it which will take it up to about 15 inches across.

Considering the other WIPs that I have now, please drop by again in a month or two to see the additional rows :D.