Sunday, 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.


  1. Very pretty doily. I think any tatter is within their rights to alter a pattern. After all, it is your creative expression, too. Just as two musicians can, should, and will find ways to play the same piece off of printed music completely differently, different tatters will find ways to tat the same pattern differently.

  2. That is such a pretty doily!
    I love how you've made it to go in one pass.
    Hope you're feeling well now.

  3. Your stitches are so even. And I think what you did (changing the pattern) shows design genius. There are some patterns that I've avoided due to the immense number of ends but I don't have the skill to edit them like you have.

  4. Beautiful work, and made with my favourite thread!

    I hope that your health continues to improve at a rapid rate

  5. I think you did Mary Konior credit with 'cloud burst' doily. It is beautiful and how ever it worked for you to get the end result is all that matters. I personally hate hiding ends, so the fewer there are the better.
    Glad you are on the mend! Don't know much about the fever you had, but it didn't sound pleasant.
    Jane Eborall has a 'slip-n-slide' technique on her pattern page ( that shows how the pop-n-bobbin is threaded. The bobbin thread comes over the top of the bobbin, with the hook facing away from your left hand. I think it will help not to catch thread or cause it to get fuzzy.

  6. I've always been amazed at the patterns Ms. Konior was able to design without using a split ring or split chain but for myself, if it makes it easier and with fewer ends to hide, I'm all for making the changes needed. Great job on this!

  7. Glad to see that you are feeling better. If you have the ability to make a pattern suit you better why wouldn't you? That's part of what makes the doily yours and not just a replica.

  8. Well, what you ladies have all written are very assuring. I don't want to be stepping on other tatters toes.

    Vinnie, Vanessa, I am feeling my old self again, but it had been a terrible three weeks or so.

    It is not so much the way I hold the shuttle that is the problem with the hook. It is the way I pull up the thread through the picots.

    When I want to make a join, I use the hook to pull up a bit of the thread through the picot. Once it has passed through the picot, I use the barrel of the hook to pull more thread to make the loop large enough to slide the shuttle through. It works well with a tubular hook like the crochet hook, but the flattened hook of the pop-a-bobbin shuttles doesn't work like the way I am used to.

  9. Glad your feeling better Jon. I actually love the Altin Basak thread and have quite a bit of it. I will definitely get some out to use now that I see how pretty it really does look. At least on your piece...! Now, back to bed for me...


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