26 June 2011

Almost Done

It dawned upon me that I started this project more than two years ago.  I can feel a sense of great relief now, knowing that it is coming almost to the end. Here is a peek at what it is all about.

They are snowflakes for my new book.This is the longest tatting project that I have worked on.  The other thing that is taking much longer is a crochet project, and there is still no light at the end of the tunnel for that one.  One of the reasons that it took that long may be because I wanted to come up with patterns that uses only the basic techniques of tatting.  And by that, I mean only double stitches, regular rings and chains, regular joins and shuttle joins.  Most of the patterns are two shuttle patterns which I would consider one of the basics of tatting.

A group of wonderful test-tatters have been working together with me on this project.  Without them, I know this would have taken  much longer.  Thank you my testers.

22 June 2011

Pointed Chain

I have read all your comments to my previous post, where I first wrote about the subject.  At that time I didn't have a name for it.  I wasn't sure if it made any difference or if it is worth pursuing.  However, encouraged by your comments I looked at it further, and for discussion purposes I am calling this a pointed chain.

I made another sample motif again with three different version of chains joining the rings,

The first chain is a regular chain and the second is the pointed chain.  The third chain is made with lock stitch at the top, as per Miranda's comment (copied below)
Miranda said...
Oh yes, I can see the difference. It's like a Gothic arch. I sometimes achieve this look by doing a lock stitch at the top of the curve. Is that what you did? 
I can see differences in the three chains by the different methods.   The regular chain is rounded and the pointed chain has a point, of course.  The lock stitch method also creates a point but the curve is not smooth where there is a slight jump before and after the lock stitch is made. (The fifth chain is also with a lock stitch and you can see the jump better in it)

Here is my explanation of how I put in the point in the pointed chain. The basis of it is to add extra thread width in the caps of the double stitches.  This is the opposite of adding extra thread width to the legs, as in the double double stitch, to straighten the curve of the chain.

You can add the extra thread width in any stitch of the chain, either the first half-stitch or the second half-stitch, but the second step must follow immediately in the next half stitch.  In my example here I started at the second half-stitch of one double stitch, followed by the first half-stitch of the next ds.

Make the second half-stitch as normal but do not tighten the half-stitch
Bring the upper shuttle thread (or ball thread) through the loop ..
.... resulting in a knot made with the upper thread over the core thread (lower shuttle thread

Tighten the upper thread slowly and slide it very close to the previous half-stitch. Be careful not to allow the knot to tighten before you position it.
Close up of the second half-stitch with extra thread width in the cap of the ds.
Next, to add a second thread width to the next half stitch make the stitch as normal but do not tighten.
As before, slide the upper shuttle thread (ball thread) through the loop .....
... and form a knot.  Slide the knot to the previous half-stitch slowly, as shown earlier. to tighten the knot and finish with the second half-stitch.
A close-up showing the extra thread width in the upper part of the chain.

I hope you can see the extra thread width added to the upper part of the chain even with the picture being blurry due to it being highly enlarged.

20 June 2011

A Turn in the Chain

We tatters know that the chain is always a curve. If you need a straighter chain, then it can be straightened somewhat through blocking. Alternatively, you can do it by following the technique shown by Jane Eborall in her techniques site called the Double Double Stitch.

I, for one, try to avoid the need to block any of my tatting.  I made that a point in most of my design.  I don't know if it had that effect or not when someone else tat my patterns, the need to block, I mean.

Here is a picture showing the natural shape of chains in a small sample motif.

But, I am working on a pattern where I think a subtle turn in the chain would look quite nice make it a little bit pointy. Something like this,

I know I can tat the chains as normal and block it to achieve the look that I want. But, I think I may have something here.  Can you see the point in each chain? Or am I the only one who can see it.

16 June 2011

What is the term for this thread?

I have been tatting for a while now, just about to reach 10 years.  I have learned many things, and I know that there are many more to learn.  I have come across tatting techniques and tatting terms that makes tatting so much easier. 
But, for the life of me, can someone please tell me what is the term for that loop of thread that is place round the fingers in shuttle tatting?
Is it a
  • finger thread?
  • hand loop?
  • working thread?
  • flipping thread?
  • thread round the fingers?
Now, the thread that is holding the flipped double stitches is the core thread, I think, and the shuttle that holds the core thread is the working shuttle (?)  Now, by my confused logic, is this core thread also the working thread, since it is from the working shuttle?

Please, I am not about to create any confusion in the tatting community. I am just getting some patterns written out and want to make sure that I get the terms right, something that can be easily understood by most tatters.

12 June 2011

Photos of the Wedding

Finally, I managed to go through photos taken of my niece's wedding and made a slideshow of selected ones.
Hover the cursor at the lower part of each slide for captions.

10 June 2011


I was in a couple of bookmark exchanges and made a few bookmarks.

This bookmark is adapted from The Hedgerow pattern by Mary Konior from the book Tatting in Lace. As mentioned in an earlier post, I was the first stop of the Mary Konior travelling book organised by Martha Ess. In that post, I shared pictures of tatting that was from the book but I did not include this bookmark.  It was a surprised for Tatting-Marie, who is the next person in the list.
Adapted from the Hedgerow edging pattern from the book Tatting in Lace by Mary Konior
For the bookmark exchange in The Tatting Forums, I sent these two bookmarks to my exchange partner, Tattin' Kat.  The bookmark at the top is The Stumpy by Kersti Anear, with a slight variation.  I made the outer parts of the rings in roll tatting.  The bookmark at the bottom is the Gemini bookmark by Mary Konior from the book Tatting Patterns.
top: The Stumpy by Kersti Anear done with roll tatting; bottom: another pattern by Mary Konior
My other bookmark exchange is in In Tatters, I had to send the bookmarks all the way to Argentina.  I was getting worried that it may get lost because it had to travel so far.  Luckily, my partner, Soyloquesoy posted in the forum that she had received them.

For Soyloquesoy, I made two bookmarks (below).  
left: a random pattern of my own design; right: an adaptation of an edging pattern by Mary Konior
The picture above is not very clear, so here are enlarged photos of the two bookmarks.

The one on the left is an original design. I started this bookmark with the five rings at the top and work my way down.  I think I'll call this Cascade bookmark because I visualise it as water flowing down from the top.

The second bookmark on the right is another adaptation of a Mary Konior pattern, Jack and Jill edging from Tatting With Visual Patterns.