29 October 2008

The Knot Garden

The Knot Garden - a garden of formal design, with detailed patterns of flowerbeds

That is the name that I have chosen for this doily. The idea for it came from Tattingchic when she commented that the colour combo that I picked for the motif looks "garden-like". It reminded me of the garden of the Versailles Palace in Paris that I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit a very long time ago.

As for the doily itself, I have completed four squares and it now measures 7.5in square or 19.5cm. I used up two skeins of Marilee's HDT size 50, one each of Fern and Golden Glow. There is enough thread to make one more square.

I had thought about adding another two squares, making it a 2 x 3 rectangle but decided not to. If I do that I may not have enough thread to complete this doily. I plan to add an edging to round up the squares. Still working on the design and the stitch count so that it can fit nicely round the squares.

More to come in Doily Part 3

22 October 2008

Jon's Heart

Did you notice that I have changed my profile image? This is the new one.

It still follows the same design of my earlier one with some slight differences. This heart uses one shuttle only and there is a split ring in the middle at the tip of the heart.

Jon's Heart

This is the pattern for the heart that I use in my profile image.

This heart pattern uses one shuttle only.

All rings have the stitch count of R(4-2-2-2-2-4) with joins made where indicated in the chart.

Ring with different stitch counts are numbered accordingly in the chart.

Reverse work to make the 8th ring.
The design would look better if you make this ring and the next seven rings in the reverse order double stitch (RODS), i.e making the second half of the double stitch first.

Also, I find that while making the ring with RODS, the closed rings look better if you drop the shuttle through the ring loop before closing it.

There is a single-shuttle split ring at the tip of the heart, shown in green in the chart above.

I don't have a link to any tutorial on single-shuttle split ring. The only one that I know was in Georgia Seitz's site and that is currently not available. But I will describe it as best as I can on how to make it in this pattern.

To make the single shuttle split ring.

Make one side of the ring as the normal ring. In this case R(4-2-2/..). Then close this ring but not fully. Leave about 2/3 (of the length of the other half of the ring) of the core thread exposed. Next, make the thrown ring at the tip of the heart R(2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2), closing it fully.

Now, to complete the other half of the split ring, use the method for making the double-stitches on a split chain. Here is the link to my tutorial for the Split Chain.

20 October 2008

HDT - Highly Dangerous Thread

I started playing with Yarnplayer's Fern and Golden Glow .... and I couldn't put the shuttles down. I am moving into dangerous territory now. And I have not even laid my hands on Tatskool's Rainbow Bright, or LadyShuttleMaker's silk thread.

Anyway, like I said earlier, I plan to use the Fern and Golden Glow together to make a doily. It is not going to be round by round doily but a motif by motif. Sometimes I've seen it referred as a mat rather than a doily. Here is the motif that I'll be using.

Don't know yet if it's going to be a square or a rectangle. I estimated, one skein each of the Fern and Golden Glow together will get me just short of 6 squares. I am using size 50.

With some computer magic, this is what I hope it will look like when the squares are joined up together.

It may not end just like this. Still having ideas working in my head for this, so pop in again sometime to see what next.

15 October 2008

Woo Whoooo.... Lucky Me!

What used to be like this ..

has now changed to this .....

I am so lucky to receive this from Janet, a wonderful stitcher and quilter from Ipoh, Malaysia. Instead of rolling over each other in the tin box, my crochet hooks are now properly organised in this neat fabric folder. There is even space for my tiny hooks and my tatting needles.

It was a surprise to me because I was not expecting it at all. What I was waiting for are these ....

There are wooden thread winders from Tattycat. Aren't they cute? :-)

She wrote about them in her blog and I asked if she could get me some - and she did. It took almost three weeks to arrive. That was fine with me because there was a long holiday during that period.

In the picture above, two of the thread winders are loaded with Yarnplayer's HDT, the Fern and the Golden Glow that I have received much earlier. I am using these two shades together to make a doily. Here is a peek of what I have tatted so far..

Talking about HDTs, ... keep a chair for me in your TA (Tat-aholic Anonymous) circle, will you Tattingchic ? I may need it later, he ... he... ;-)

And the clincher is from the Tattingoddess. To celebrate her blog anniversary, Gina has been giving away goodies to one lucky person for each month. I have been following it since the first draw in March and seen all the wonderful things that she had put together for each winner. I wasn't really hoping for anything because I have never been lucky at any kind of draws.

I guess I got back some of the luck off Tattingchic because ..... I am the winner for the month of October Yipee !!!!

13 October 2008

Two Hearts Entwined

Since I had given the one I made earlier to Arlene for the HBT Summertime Exchange, I made this heart again to keep .... or ... to give away again?...

There are however, slight differences between this and the one that I made for Arlene. The long chains on the sides gave me some problem and had to be blocked into shape.

7 October 2008

Split Chain

Based on my observation of the tatting patterns available in general, split chains are seldom used as a design element. It is more commonly used as a way of jumping into the next round of tatting without the need to cut the thread. And ... tatters hate dealing with thread ends.

Well .... to help you along, here is a tutorial about split chains.

Let's start by making a small medallion/snowflake. You'll need a shuttle and ball wound CTM. Begin with R(5-2-5), reverse, followed by chain C(6-6).

Then R(5+2-5) joining to the picot of the previous ring. Continue until you have six rings in all. You should have something looking like this.

The point to begin the split ring

In the usual way, you would make the last chain and join to the first ring, cut off, tie and hide ends. With the split chain method, for that last piece of chain make 6 double-stitches and stop there. This is where we start the split chain.

Make a lock join with the shuttle thread to the base of the first ring. Do not pull the double-stitches of the chain close to the join. Instead, leave approximately 2/3 to3/4 of the length of the remaining chain that you need to do. You'll end up with the picture below. The bare thread will be the core thread for the double-stitches for the split chain.

Lock join to the beginning ring, forming the core thread of the other half of the split chain.

What we are going to do next is make the double-stitches from the other end of the chain and work backwards to meet the other half. Bring the shuttle thread up from under the bare thread and pass the shuttle through the loop.

Making the second half of the double stitch

At this point you must be thinking that you have made a mistake because what you have is a thread that is looping around and doesn't look like a double stitch at all. Don't worry, we are not done yet. Next, bring the shuttle thread down under the bare thread and slide the shuttle through the loop that is formed.

Making the first half of the double stitch

Pass the shuttle through

Loose form of the double stitch

First double stitch on the split chain formed.

Split chain done

This straightens out the twisted thread earlier to form the shape of a rather loose double-stitch.Tighten up the double-stitch by adjusting and pulling the thread. This completes the first double stitch of the split chain. Make five more double stitches by the same method and finally what we have is the completed chain (right) with the thread from the ball and the shuttle meeting at the centre.

With the thread in that position, you can start the next round by making the first ring, or a chain depending on the pattern that you are following. No need to cut the thread!

In my example here, it will be a split ring. Common sense says you'll need two shuttles to make a split ring as I had shown in an earlier tutorial. But, this time I had asked you to use a shuttle and ball! Don't worry, there is a way out of it.

Make the first half of the split ring with the shuttle R(3-3/..). Leave a small space from the chain when making the first double-stitch to form a mock picot.

Now, we are going to use the thread from the ball to make the other half of the split ring. If you are using a big ball of thread, I can see that it is going to be difficult to move the ball as a shuttle, and you may have to enlarge the loop of the ring to slide it through.

Now that you know how to make the split chain, there is another way. Right! The split chain way! Before you start, I suggest that you tie a rubber band (or something) round the ball to avoid excess thread coming off the ball.

With the first half of the split ring out of the way, make the first half of the double-stitch for the split chain by bringing the ball thread from under the core thread of the ring and over it to form a loop. Then pass the ball through this loop coming from under it.

You'll get a twisted first half of the double-stitch (right). Then, bring the ball thread down under the core thread and slide the ball through the loop that is formed, this time coming from the top. The thread round the ring loop will straighten it self out to form a loose double-stitch. Tighten it as you did earlier for the split chain. The first double-stitch for the split ring is done.

Complete the rest of the double-stitches and close the split ring.

Just a note:

Most patterns won't tell you where to make a split chain. Sometimes, the point where the pattern starts makes it unsuitable to use a split chain. My suggestion is that you study the pattern carefully before starting. A pattern with a chart or a clear picture of the design would be very useful. You may have to change the starting position of the pattern to be able to use the split chain to climb out into the next round.

For all the trouble, I think it is still useful to know this technique. Have fun trying.

5 October 2008

Pattern for the Purple Star

It didn't take as long as I had thought to draw the chart for the Purple Star. It is now posted in my Patterns Page. Of course, it will not be a purple star if tatted with different shades of thread.

Star in Clovers (Purple Star)

Another remake of an earlier design which I finally got round to writing out the pattern for. I had earlier called this Purple Star because of the thread that I used. But it would not be appropriate if tatted with other shades, hence another name for it.

The model was tatted using size 20 thread and measured 8cm from the centre to the point of the star (about 3.25 in) or 16cm across (about 6.5 inches). I suppose it can be considered as a small doily with this size thread or a star if made with finer thread.

The pattern uses two shuttles.

Clover 1, R(4-4-4-4), R(4+6-4-6-4) and R(4+4-4-4). Do not reverse (DNR).

Switch Shuttle (SS), C(4+4-4-4 vsp 4-4), where vsp is very small picot. Join to last picot of previous ring (lppr), RW.

Clover 2, R(4-4-5-3), R(3+5-5-3) and R(3+5-4-4), RW.

(*) C(4-4), DNR.
SS, R(3-3-3-3), DNR.
SS, C(4-4) RW.

Clover 3, R(5-5+6-4) join to last ring of Clover 2, R(4+4-2-2-4-4) and R(4+6-5-5), RW.
C(4-5-5-4), RW.

Clover 4, R(4-4+4-2-2-4-4), R(4+4-2-2-2-2-4-4) and R(4+4-2-2-4-4), RW.
C(4+5-5-4) join to last picot previous chain. RW.

Repeat Clover 3, joining as shown in the chart. RW.
C(4-4), DNR.
SS, R(3-3+3-3), join to middle picot of opposite ring, DNR.
SS, C(4-4), RW.

Repeat Clover 2, joining as shown in the chart, RW.
C(4-4), DNR.
SS, R(3-3+3-3) join to the vsp of the opposite chain. DNR.
SS, C(4-4-4-4), DNR.

SS, repeat Clover 1, joining as shown in the chart. DNR.
SS,, C(4+4-4-4 vsp 4-4), join to the last ring of the previous clover. RW.

Repeat Clover 2, joining as shown in the chart.

Repeat from (*) to complete the other four points of the star.

I think I have covered all the points for this pattern. Please let me know if there are any errors in it and I will make the corrections.

3 October 2008

Purple Star

I managed to finish this purple doily/star before I started the Eid holidays. This is a remake of a doily that I designed a few years back. I thought the first one I made had been lost and decided to make it again.

This was tatted with Flora size 20 and measures 8cm from the centre to the point of the star. The star was tatted in one pass using two shuttles.

1 October 2008


Today is the last day of the fasting month, correction.... yesterday was the last day .. since it is already past midnight when I am typing this post. In that case ....

Eid Mubarak to all Muslims readers of my blog.

Yes Ramadhan has left us. And I pray that Allah gives me the chance to greet Ramadhan again next year.

And now ... it is time for celebration.

The celebration of the successes that we have been able to achieve during the month of Ramadhan. How we have been able to fight off the bad temptations and stick to the true path and become a better person. However, the fight continues to ensure that we do not stray again. I think that would be a bigger challenge than the fasting itself.

The end of the fasting month is celebrated on 1st of Syawal of the Muslim calendar. The celebration is also referred to the Eid-ul-Fitr. Click here to read more on how Malaysians celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr, or Hari Raya Puasa, as it is called in Malaysia.

But.... I have another reason to celebrate.

If you read my post earlier on Ramadhan, I mentioned that it is the month of giving. Well, I have received some things myself.

First to arrive was this wonderful book, Boutique Tatting that I ordered from Marilee Rockley, aka the Yarnplayer.

I have not made anything from it yet but just by looking through it I love it already. What I appreciate most is the description on how Marilee adds beads to her beautiful tatted jewelery. I have always wondered how she does that and now I can try it myself. This is a beautiful book and is a must-have for all tatters

These arrive next, the lovely HDTs also from the Yarnplayer. I've been eying the Fern for so long and finally made the order. I have a doily in mind for this thread, using it together with the Golden Glow.

The third reason for a celebration is the swatches of fabric that I received from Sue Hanson. There was talk on HBT about crazy quilting and Sue offered to send to anyone interested, a selection of pieces of fabric to be used for CQ for the cost of postage only. Now, that is a chance that I cannot miss. I have never done any crazy quilting before but I have seen beautiful CQ blocks especially the ones that Melissa has in her blog. I know I have to try it myself.

Here are what I received from Sue. Aren't the colours gorgeous?

With these bits of fabric, Sue also sent me some ribbons, braids, beads and buttons.

Thank you so much Sue.

I am expecting another package coming in from the US. With the holiday on the occasion of the Eid, I'll have to wait a bit longer for that. More about this when I receive it.

I know what I'll be doing in the coming months. Progress pics will be put up as and when they are available.