Saturday, 6 June 2009

At the Lo(ose)ing Ends

Today is the official birthday of the King of Malaysia, or the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. You will be interested to know that we have had 12 Kings before this and the current one is the 13th. Amazing but true ....

The system of Government in Malaysia is based on the Constitutional Monarchy, much like the one in Britain. Malaysia practices a rotational system of appointing the King selected from one of the nine states that still have a reigning Sultan or royal Ruler. The tenure of each King is five years. As the fifth year approaches the end, the Conference of Rulers, made up of the Sultan/Rulers of the nine states, will meet to pick the next King.

If you are interested to read more about this, please visit Yang di-Pertuan Agong

Now the tatting part.

I have always wanted to tat something from Mary Konior's book that I have, A Pattern Book of Tatting. Going through the book, I decided to make the one shown on the cover, the Primrose Path. I used two colours, pink for the rings and green for the chains. This is what I ended up with. Not bad actually! ;-) The centre part is made up of four pairs of the flower motif.

This is where it gets 'interesting'. Those pairs of feelers that are coming out from the motif are the loose ends that needs hiding, one from each pair of the flower motif. To make matters worse, at the third round of chains surrounding it, the shuttle ran out of thread - that seems to be happening a lot to me, running out thread. That adds another pair of ends to hide. Anyway, that is only half the story.

After the rounds of chains, there is an outer rounds made up of 12 pairs of the flower motif. That means another 12 pairs of ends to hide.

The magic thread is not working its magic on me when comes hiding ends, so I sew in my ends all the time. Now, I am using size 50 thread for this, and my stitches are on the tighter side. I use a small size tapestry needle to sew in the ends. With 18 pairs of ends to sew, can you imagine how much poking my finger will be going through!

Do I want to continue with this? Naaah ..... I think this is destined to be a UFO which has finished its duty on this planet Earth and has been recalled back to its mothership and decommissioned.

Here are some links on the magic thread -
Debbie Drake's method,
Sharon Briggs demo


  1. Yikes! So many ends to sew in....... Makes me dizzy...!!

  2. If it helps at all I've never liked the MTT and always sew in my ends. I use a fine 'self threading needle' and have a self imposed 'rule' that I sew in ends as I go along. Thus when I finish a piece I only have the last two ends to sew in!!! Psychologically it works for this aged brain!! This gives you an idea of what those needles look like

  3. I've tried the magic thread, but it's never worked for me, either. Like you, I use a needle and sew in the ends. I like Mary Konior's patterns, and wanted to do that one for the county fair. Now that I see those ends, I am reconsidering it.

  4. What a shame that the magic thread doesn't work for you, it's the only thing that works for me.
    the design looks so pretty it's a shame not to finish it.

  5. It's not that I did not try the magic thread. I tried a few times, on different occasion when I thought that it may just work, but it never did and I have given up on it.

    Okay, I'll take Jane's advise and start sewing in the ends as they come and start with the four. Maybe' if I see the design without these ends I may be tempted to keep with it. It certainly is a beautiful design.

  6. hi jon, your motif looks pretty but the loose ends definitely is a put-off. i also sew in ends, and like jane, i do them as i go along. works especially when there are so many. :)

  7. Jon, I feel you pain with the hiding ends and magic thread not being so "magic" anymore. I've taken to sewing thread ends in a lot lately, too!

    Projects like this are good for embellishing other things like an ornament or Crazy Quilt square. This is why I want to learn CQ! LOL!

  8. I hate all those thread ends, too. Like Jane, the MTT has never worked for me, so I just sew them in as I go along. Otherwise, it'll just end up in the UFO bin!

  9. Jon - the answer to this problem is to sew as you go!It's so demoralising ,facing the whole lot at once. The motifs aren't finished until the ends have been dealt with!
    You could try using a larger shuttle for the parts which will probably use up alll the thread - those big coloured Lacis shuttles hold a lot more than the small clovers!
    I speak from years of experience in handling "ends" in knitting and crocheting. I've crocheted Winnie the Pooh rugs for all my grandchildren, intarsia method, and after the first one, where I was left with literally 100's of ends, I made a point of dealing with them after every 10 rows!
    You CAN have your motif and enjoy it too! - or perhaps tat it in one colour........

  10. Ouch on the fingers. I can say I haven't had any luck with the magic thread trick and my end mange to always find there way out! I do like Mary's pattern though! Your tatting is gorgeus.

  11. Yaiks...hiding ends....not my favorite part.
    I've just learnt how to sew it in from Ellen, and now, it's become a "must job" for me to sew it. Fiiuuuh...sometimes I hope I don't know how to do I don't feel so obligated to hide every ends. LOL

  12. You are all great commenters. I usually hide my ends as I go, but I don't snip it off straightaway.
    I was working on this as a side project while working on another one. I guessed I was focusing more on the other one and did not really give this one that much thought. It was after I have finished that other one that I realised what I have gotten myself into, :-}

  13. Maybe the answer this time around is to park this UFO in the maintenance bay of the mothership and work on it a little at a time until all the ends are finished.

    Love your description of it as a UFO :-))

  14. Jon, I just want to take a moment to tell you that I am really enjoying reading your blog. I especially had to laugh hard when I read your comments about the mothership! Too funny! My husband heard me laughing and thought I was ready for the mothership too!


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