28 November 2008

Flowers of Lace

This post is a bit overdue but I'll post it anyway because it is for a good cause.

Sometime early this year, Georgia Seitz brought up in the Online Tatting Class a fund-raising project by the Palmetto Tatters. The project is to come out with a book of tatted birthday flowers where the proceeds from the sale will go to the Palmetto Tatters Scholarship Fund. And they are looking for contributions for flower patterns representing each month.

Towards the end of the deadline, I received an e-mail from Georgia asking if I'd consider contributing a pattern since they are still short of patterns. I picked to design a poppy because it is almost flat (I don't think I can do any 3-D flowers yet) and it happens to be the flower for August, the month of my birthday.

I made a few tries before finally submitting the one I was satisfied with to Georgia. I was happy to know that my poppy design was accepted to be in the book. And to think that the hardest part was not so much coming up with the design but trying not to talk about it until the book is launched!

Now that it is out, I am free to blog about it.

This photo above are my first attempts of the poppy. Both are flat flower motifs.

The final one that I submitted is this one on the right. It is still along the same line as the first one, except that I added extra double-stitches in the final round so that it appears like petals that overlap.

Looking at the other flower patterns contained in the book, I have to say that my humble-looking poppy is no where close to the beautiful designs from the other contributors.

If you are interested to have a copy of the book, here is the link to Palmetto Tatters site where you can place an order. Remember, this is for a good cause and you'll not regret adding this to your collection.

24 November 2008

The Folded Join

.. or ... How to Avoid a Twisted Picot

A proper join made at a picot should show two parallel thread of the picot and not twisted like an 'X'.
The twisted picot can be avoided by way of making what is sometimes called a Folded Join. I hope the few steps shown below will be able to explain how to make the folded join to avoid the twisted picot.

When you have reached the point to make the join, turn over the piece so that the reverse side is now facing up and the first ring is now on the left side. The picot is now in the correct position to make a join, but we are not there yet!

Fold part of the work over so that the front side of the first ring is facing up. Bring the picot to be joined close to the core thread of the ring being worked. Make a join through this picot as usual.
Straighten out the last ring so that it is in the correct position and slowly close the ring. You have now completed making a join and avoiding a twisted picot.

Below are a few more pictorial examples of making a folded join.

The last ring in the clover is to be joined to the first ring of the first clover on the right.
The motif is turned over.
The motif is folded over to bring the picot to be joined to the correct position for making the join.
The motif with the join made

17 November 2008

New Pattern Added

The pattern for the mat/runner blogged about here has been added to my Patterns Page.

Clover Mat/Doily/Runner

This mat, doily or runner is made up of three separate motifs joined together. Motif A and Motif B are made up of sets of 3-rings clovers, made with shuttle-and-ball. Motif C is a 4-rings cluster maed with shuttle only.

The chart below gives the stitch count for each motif and how they are joined together.

The diagram below shows the placement of the motifs.

While making this, I find it easier to make a row of Motif A, then Motifs B in between the Motifs A followed by Motif C on the outside.

I have not finished making my mat, which I am doing in white throughout. It would be interesting to see variations of colours for this.

13 November 2008

Missed Opportunities

I finally finished opening up all the 20 over rings of the edging for the Knot Garden doily and started working on it again. I've added two double stitches to the chain and so far it is looking good - no curving.

While tatting that, I had an I wish I had moment .. several, actually. You know, one of those moments when your mind went retro and memories of the past comes back to you.

I wish I had continued tatting from the first time that I learned how to do it .......
  • Just imagine how much I could have learned.
  • But it would be rather difficult because at that time I was still in primary school. I wouldn't have saved enough from my pocket money to be able to buy all the thread and shuttle and books.
I wish I had thoughts about tatting when I was doing my A-levels ......
  • I did my A-levels in Hastings, England in the mid 70s. A very quaint little town by the sea. There were lots of retirement homes during my time there. Wonder if it is the same now.
  • I used to take walks along the sea-front, walked out into the sea on the Pier and along the promenade feeling the sea breeze in my face. There were elderly ladies and gentlemen seated on the beach chairs just looking out at the sea. I wondered what were going on in their minds.
  • Now, I believe I could have seen some of then tatting if I had bothered to take a closer look.
A view of one of the blocks at the Hastings College of Further Education viewed from the road coming from the main gate.

I wish I had come across a shuttle or two somewhere, during my time in Leeds while attending Leeds University....
  • I could have looked up books about tatting in the huge Brotherton Library
  • Or search for shuttles and tatting paraphernalia in those little shops in the towns of the Lake District.
  • I am sure I could have found something if I tried.
Within the Leeds University campus - I think this is the School of Mathematics where I had my lectures -- oooh it was so long ago I can barely remember and one of the two walking could be me, :-)

A view from my room at the Henry Price Building in Leeds University Campus during one of the worst winters I had ever experienced.

I wish I had re-discovered tatting much earlier than when I did ....
  • I was lucky that I had opportunities to travel when I was working. I have been to several places in Europe, to India, Japan, the US and visited England again a few times after I finished my studies. And I have means to spend too.
  • I could have started to put a collection of tatting treasures during these visits and if I did, imagine how many I would have by now.
I wish I had found out about the tatting groups on the internet around that time too ......
  • Wouldn't it be fun to be able to go to these places and meet up with tatting buddies at every stop?
  • My situation is different now and I have begun to dismiss any thoughts about traveling.

But I don't see my I wish I had thoughts as regrets, more like missed opportunities. I am glad that I found tatting again. Through it I have found so many new friends, near and far. I get to meet the ones near me occasionally and I can 'talk' to those far away through my computer as though they are right in front of me.

If not for my wonderful friends, I would not have realised things that I never imagined I could do. I am still continually surprising myself in certain aspects and discovering yet more things to learn.

Thank you dear friends.

6 November 2008

Another Eye Candy .....

.... which I forgot to include with the previous post.

This heart was tatted with the Apple Blossom HDT that Pamela Myers sent me together with her Rainbow Bright. Below are the two previous designs that I had shown in my earlier posts -

This one on the left was the first one, which I made in 2006. It was one of the motifs for the 25 motif challenge. I don't have many beautiful colored thread at that time.

The one on the right was the first variation made with Altin Basak 50 that I received from a thread exchange. I remove the extra rings at the top centre and made just one thrown ring at each of the two tips. This one needed blocking to form the shape.

For the Apple Blossom variation, I decided to put back the two clovers. It turned out that I did not have to block the heart with the clovers at the tips. I think this is the most beautiful variation so far, thanks to the thread that I used for it. Hmmmm ..... maybe I should make another one with the Rainbow Bright and see how it turns out.

Before anyone ask, this pattern is special and I want to hold on to it for as long as I can. So, the rest of you can just drool over it for the moment, LOL

5 November 2008

Unpick, Unpick, Unpick .... Grrrrrr

I had to do something to calm me down a bit. And why am I unsettled?

I had a lot of unpicking to do, a little over 20 rings. And in size 50 thread, that is not a quick job. Oh .. alright... any unpicking of tatting stitches is not a quick job whatever the number is. That is why, that all famous adage in tatting is very important.

Count Twice, Close Once .... remember that!

Except that in my case, it not about counting and closing. I though I had the right count for the next round of the Knot Garden Doily, the one for the round of edging. But as I made the corner, I noticed that the edging is turning into a slight curve, which I feel will not turn out right even with blocking. I think the ds count for the chain may not be enough.

The perfectionist (some times) in me cannot stand the look of it. I considered just cutting it off. What? Cutting my precious HDT? That is another scary thought. He ... he.... he..... So there is no other way ..... unpick, unpick and unpick!

Like I said earlier, I need calming down and what else to do but tat. I made this lovely flower doily from the book Easy Tatting by Rozella Linden. This is tatted using Olympus 40 in green and multicolour . It measures 4 1/4 inches (12 cm) across, so it can't really be called a doily, I suppose, more like a snowflake. A snowflake garden?

I was so lucky to receive this book from Fox. She wrote in e-tatters that she has an extra copy of the book and is willing to give it to the first person who responded to her offer. And I did! Thank you Fox. On reflection, October was a lucky month for me.

The doily was a quick one, but I still didn't finish the unpicking. So I decided to start on a longer project. This time it is a mat made up motifs joined together. I like joining up motifs for a doily or mat because I am free to decide when I want to stop.

The mat is made with DMC cordonnet size 30 in white. I have not decided how big this going to be. I suppose it'll be as big that one ball of DMC will let me because I only have one ball of size 30. I designed this up myself. If anyone is interested, I may put the pattern up in my Patterns Page

Right! Now back to unpicking..........