27 March 2010

A first ......

This is a first for me in tatting the front/back side tatting.  It is a small motif/snowflake using the Yarnplayer's Snowflake HDT.

Here are my first thoughts about the front/back side style of tatting (is that the correct term to use?)

First, I find that my picot size is not regular when I do the back side.  I don't use a picot gauge but I have managed to make my picots of consistent size when I do the front side (i.e. when starting with the first half-stitch)

When making a join, I make the second half-stitch after the join and count that as one double stitch.  When working on the back side, I find that I have to keep checking myself to make sure that I make the correct half-stitch after the join.  In this case, the first half-stitch.

This design was worked using two shuttles, and I used a split chain to climb out from Round 1 to Round 2.  I thought it got me here because I had to do the split chain on the back side.  It stumped me for a minute (yes, just a minute) because I am not sure if the split chain double stitches can be started with the second half-stitch first.

Then the light bulb moment came  .....
Hey! just flip the work and you are on the right side of the tatting.  Now do the split chain as usual!
It became obvious then, that the split chain can be worked from any side - front, back, left or right side of the chain in progress.

I might try this style on a few more designs to get the routine right.  I might use this for all new projects after that.

24 March 2010

Translate this blog

Now you can read this blog in several other languages besides in English.  I have added the Google Translate selection menu in the sidebar on the left.  The languages that I have chosen are based on the number of visitors to this blog.

I added the translation to Malay, my own language, just for the fun of seeing how the blog will look like, but decide to take it out.  The translation was out of context and quite literal in some places that require some mental acrobatics to understand.

I suppose this will also happen with the other languages, but something is better than nothing, right? he he he

To round off this post, here are some bookmarks from Mary Konior's pattern Read, Mark, Learn.

21 March 2010

Mary Konior's Cloudburst

The Cloudburst is my first completed tatting after I was out for a few weeks due to the dengue fever.  I have not tidied the ends and it needs a bit of blocking and pressing.  The thread I used for this is Altin Basak #50.

As mentioned in my earlier post, the doily was tatted using the pop-a-bobbin shuttle.  I know it is a bit late to give my review of the shuttle, ... but I am going to do it anyway.

First of all, I was quite surprised that the shuttle was rather 'plump' and rounded.  Being used to the trimmer Clovers, I needed a little bit if time to adjust to the size.  But it didn't take very long for me to do it.  Among the thing that I like is that it doesn't have an appendage at the end like the Aero.
This is how I hold my shuttle.
When I tat, I slide the shuttle under and over the thread around my left hand.  Not having a protruding end certainly makes this shuttle easier to manage.

I also like having a hook at the other end, though not so much the type of hook that was attached to this shuttle.  The surface of the metal where it had been flattened to shape the hook rubbed against the thread and fuzzes it up a bit.  I can hear the rasping sound when the thread slides along the flattened surface.  Using a 3-ply thread of the Altin Basak for the doily did not help much either.  Some of the joining picots in the doily are very small picots.  I find it rather difficult to pull the thread with the hook for joining to the very small picot.

But the good news is that, Sally wrote in her blog that some of the issues raised about the shuttle by other tatters who have used it are being addressed.  One of which is the plumpness of the shuttle. Aside from the hook, I had no other problems with this shuttle and quite like using it.  But I am not sure if it will replace my favorite Clover shuttles.

Okay now ... about the doily.

I wrote before that I tatted the doily slightly different from the way the pattern was written.  The original pattern was such that eight separate motifs are joined together to make up the main body of the doily.  The finishing touch was filling up the centre with sets of chains. My aim was to be able to tat the main body of the doily in one round. To be able to do that I made a small change to the chain at the inner end of the individual motif.  This small change allows me to move to the next part of the doily without cutting the thread and starting over for the next motif. To illustrate it further, here is a picture of where I make the change.  If you have Mary Konior's book, A Pattern Book of Tatting, you can make a comparison with the original photo from the book.

 Because of the change in the work flow, I also had to change the starting point of some of the rings for ease of construction.  As with the original pattern, I finish this off with a series of chain for the middle part of the doily.

Before I sign off, I want to apologise to those who feel that what I had done amounted to desecrating the memory and creativity of Mary Konior. I assure you that this design will forever remain that of Mary Konior's.  What I did was finding a way out of what may tatters would rather avoid - hiding ends.

12 March 2010

Apologies and Making Peace

I want to apologise for the nature of my previous post.  It was a case of WUI - Writing Under the Influence, muahahahaha .....  shush .... don't let the men in white coats hear you ... shuust.

Anyway, I made peace with the pop-a-bobbin shuttle.  It will not press assault charges if I promise to tat a doily using it.
This is the beginning of the Cloudburst doily from the book A Pattern Book of Tatting by Mary Konior. I'll be writing more about this in another post. It is tatted with a slight difference.

The reason for my feeling so down was because I caught the dengue fever.  It was really draining on my body.  I had blood taken from me five days in row while the doctor monitor my blood platelet count. At one time, the count was as low as 60.  If it had gone any lower, I would have to be hospitalised.

Hmm .... I think my altercation with the shuttle was because when they took the blood out, they forgot to put some back in, hahahahahha ..... Maybe, that also explains the wierd taste in my mouth all that time .... hmmmm.... *licking the lips*.

Actually, instead of whacking the shuttle, I should have whacked the doctor who took my blood.  She left a bruise in my arm that is still visible until today.  Just look for yourself,

I was advised to drink lots of liquid, water and juices.  I think I have become addicted to isotonic drink.

Once again, I apologise for the violent nature of the post.  
Normal tone of writing will resume after I return from rehab.

10 March 2010

Down in the dumps

That was how I felt more than 10 days ago, and how I am still feeling now.
I had been sick, couldn't even keep my eyes open or even get my body up the first four days.  Didn't eat anything and only survived on water.

Then, when I felt I needed cheering up, I opened the package from JaneE to play with the pop-a-bobbin shuttles - and the plug ganged up with the rest of the world against me. It was stuck and wouldn't budge a micron.  I gave it a good whack, partly to nudge it out and partly to vent my frustrations for feeling like I felt all week, ....... and there was a slight give.

If anyone reported to the Tat Police this case of grievous bodily harm on a shuttle, I am going to plead temporary insanity ....muahahahahaha  *evil laugh*

The matter of the pop-a-bobbin has been cleared after exchange of e-mails between me, JaneE and Sally. I can assure you that the pop-a-bobbin stood the test of the whack and credit to "I'm in the garage" for coming up with a sturdy tool for a crazy person ..... that's me.

But the matter of feeling crap is still there. And, after all that, I still did not manage to get any tatting done at all.

Let's  see ... who or what is going to be my next victim ......

p/s - if you have send an order for anything from me, please let me know if you want to cancel the order.  I can not be sure when I will be strong enough to ship out the items to you.