Thursday, 22 May 2008

Double-decker Star

This star design has mock rings in it. To find out how to make mock rings, click here for the tutorial.

The pattern uses two shuttles.

R(6---6), make the picot long enough to join four other rings to it. Reverse work.

(*) C(3-3-3), do not reverse.

The next step is for a mock ring.
MR(4-4 ..) , the .. indicates that the mock ring is not yet complete and will be continued later.

Switch shuttles and make a full ring R(3-3-3-3) and close this ring.

Switch shuttles and continue the second part of the mock ring MR(.. 4-4). Now close the mock ring.

Continue with C(3-3-3) and reverse work.

Then, ring R(6+6), joining to the long picot of the first ring, reverse work.

Repeat from (*) for the other four points of the star, joining the last chain to the ring at the beginning of the motif.
If you make the picot in the first ring large enough, and make six repeats in all you'll get a double-decker snowflake.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

How to make a Mock Ring

Okay..... after the split ring, let's work on the mock ring. Right .... the name 'mock ring' may sound confusing to some but after going through this, some of you will be thinking .... 'is that all that it is?', LOL.

Mock ring is not new. I first learn about it when I was browsing the net on the subject of tatting and came across the GR-8 Shuttles Homepage site with the SCMR (self-closing mock ring) instructions in it.

So, in a nutshell.... a mock ring is a chain that joins back on itself and following are some photos that I hope will explain it better. I can think of two ways to make the mock ring. One is the GR-8 Brothers' way and another is the way that I am going to show below. Others may have their own method of making mock rings, which I'd like to know too.

For the purpose here, I start with a chain, using two colours of thread to show the different shuttles used (left pic) After making the chain, I slide a paper clip to the core thread to make a mock picot on the underside of the chain. After that I tat a few more double stitches and a few picots in between (right pic).

Next, remove the paper clip and make a shuttle join (or lock join) to the mock picot left by the paper clip. Make sure that the end of the chain is pulled close to the join before tightening the shuttle join (white thread). This brings the two ends of the chain together to form the shape of a ring.

Continue making several more double stitches after that and you will end up with something like this (right pic) - a mock ring on top of a chain.

And now, in pictures, the self-closing mock ring (SCMR) the GR-8 Brothers' method.

After making the required number of double stitches in the chain, make a loop in the shuttle thread by holding it with one of your fingers (left pic). I am used to controlling the thread for the double stitches of a chain with my forefinger, so I use my ring finger to hold the loop in the shuttle thread.

While keeping the loop in place, tat the rest of the required number of double stitches (right pic).

Then, remove the loop from the finger that is holding it. Slide the shuttle through the loop and pull the shuttle thread slowly. This closes the ring by bringing the end of the chain to meet the beginning.

Pull it tightly close and you will get a ring formed as in the picture on the far right.

Here is a picture of the the two mock rings together. The one on the left is by the first method and the one on the right is by the second method. If you look closely, you may see a speck of white in the one on the left from the knot made by the shuttle join.

Okay... so now you know about mock rings .... but it doesn't look any different from rings on top of a chain which can be made when working with two shuttles...

Aha!... that's just it .... now you can make rings on top of chains with one shuttle and a ball thread. Isn't that useful to know! But there is more .......

If you are working with two shuttles, you can make this double-decker.

Here's how. Remove the loop from your finger mid-way through making the mock ring. Make a full ring using the other shuttle and close the ring.

Continue making the rest of the mock ring, making sure that the loop is not pulled through the chain. At the end of it, close the mock ring as before.

And now, you have a ring sitting on top of another ring.

A simple pattern for a double-decker star that has mock rings in it is available here. The pattern uses two shuttles.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

How to make a Split Ring

Split rings need the use of two shuttles. For the purpose of clarity, I used two threads of different colours joined with a knot at the beginning. Shuttle 1 is the one with the red thread and Shuttle 2 holds the white thread.
Take Shuttle 1 and loop it round the finger to make the usual ring with, say 5-5, but do not close the ring.

With the loop still round the fingers, turn the palm of your hand upwards. This position is usually called the dead spider position. Imagine a dead spider with its legs in the air.
Now, with Shuttle 2, begin by making the 2nd half of the double stitch onto the working thread but without flipping it, followed by the 1st half, also unflipped. What you will get is a set of double stitches made with the thread from Shuttle 2 in white, (right)

But I've never felt comfortable holding it by the dead spider method. Instead, after making the required number of double stitches with Shuttle 1, I take the working thread off my fingers and turn the work around so that that doublestitches of Shuttle 1 are now at the bottom. Then, I place the working thread back on my fingers. You can try either way and see which suits you best.

Just like earlier, I use Shuttle 2 to make the other half of the split ring with the double stitches unflipped.

This is how the double stitches on the core thread should look like when done and before the ring is closed.

To close the split ring, pull the thread from Shuttle 1, and you will get a ring with the threads coming out at the opposite side from where the ring was started, as shown on the right.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Update on the Anne Orr 'Square'

Here it is .....

All in, there are eight repeats of the triangle motif joined together in one pass. I have decided to stop at this point for two reasons .....

# 1, I am getting bored :-( with this thread and want to move on to different type, and

# 2, the more practical reason, the amount of thread that I have left will not be enough to make the square any bigger than this unless I get some more .. and ... I am not in the mood to drive all the way across the city to go to the only shop that is selling this thread.

But, there is good news .... I have sent this out to some one as a surprise. Just look out for the mailman ... :-) It might be YOU!... :-D

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

Tatting and Knots

This bookmark was made using HDT in size 80 that Zarina was kind enough to pass to me. She said she was not yet comfortable using fine thread for tatting. If you visit her website, I think you'll agree with me that she has done great working with the HDTs.

This is a simple shuttle-and-ball edging design joined back-to-back. At the end of it, it was either making a tassel at the end or weaving a lace through the centre.

To make a tassel, I will have to use more of the HDT - and I felt that would be a waste of some wonderful thread. To weave a ribbon in I have to start the car and drive to the shop and get the ribbon first - and I soooo wanted to finish this as soon as I can.

Then, I remembered that I have a lenght of satin cord that I bought a long time ago when my daughter wanted to learn making chinese knots. So, I used that to weave in the centre. And instead of a tassel, I made a chinese knot for the end.

This is a close up of the bookmark and the knot that I used. The name of the knot is the Good Luck knot.

And below is a scan of one of my current WIP, using a pattern from Tatting with Anne Orr tatted with size 80 DMC Dentelle. The Anne Orr motif is originally a triangular shape. I am working it into a square working continuously without cutting the thread. I reached this far with a bobbin full of thread and scanned this in when the thread ran out and before starting again with a new bobbin.

Laura asked me to explain how I am making the square in one pass. I felt it is better to reply in the post here because it will be easier to refer to the picture above.

You can see the shape of the original triangle motif in the top left which is a right-angled triangle, starting at the pointed corner at the top and ending with the corner on the right. The pattern ends with the last two rings joined together just like at the beginning.

At this corner, I have added one extra short chain (in blue) and one extra ring (in yellow) followed by another short chain (in blue). This brings me back to the starting point for the next triangle motif. The second triangle is joined on the straight side to the first triangle as I tat.

At the end of the second triangle, instead of making short chain-small ring-short chain, I made a long chain. This positions me for the third triangle. The third triangle is joined to the slant side of the triangle (the hypotenuse).

The process is repeated any number of times until you get the size that you want by deciding whether you need to make the short chain-small ring-short chain or the long chain at the end of each triangle.

Hint: It would help if you make a sketch or plan of the shape and size that you want, using the triangle motif as a template. Mark on the sketch the direction that you'll be working the triangle. This will help to determine whether you need to make the short chain-ring-short chain or the long chain on completion of each triangle.

I hope the explanation is clear enough to follow.