22 December 2011

Norma Benporath pattern No. 2

After the Lace Mat Doily of the last post, my 2nd Norma Benporath project is Dainty Border For an Oval Doyley.  I will not be tatting the full doily, only sufficient repeats to be able to understand the flow of the pattern. I must say that this one was a challenge to me.

This lace edging has three rounds.  Following the instructions (edited text), Rows 1 and 2 were a breeze.  When it came to the last row, I had to think as a designer and try to figure out how it should be.  The instruction was totally off.  Where I think there would be a mirror image, one ring turned out bigger than the previous ring.  A join was missing at one point where I thought there should be one.  If you follow the link, you can see that the scan photo did not help at all.  This is what I finally worked out after the 4th try.
I started on another attempt, but this time I made some changes to replace parts that I was not happy with. I replaced the bare thread in the first row with chains. The second row have arches made up of chains with picots. When I made the clovers resting on the arches, the picots in the chains and the picots of the rings of the clover overlap each other and the design sort of got lost somewhere.  So I made the chains curve the other way which I think turned out more pleasing.
Unfortunately the scan of the 2nd try did not turn up so clearly but I hope you can see where I made it differently.

Actually, just these two rows made up a pretty edging by themselves.  And the reason for saying that is, the last row is still giving problems for me, he he he . . . .

19 December 2011

New Mat on the Block

Continuing from this post, the lace mat from Tatting Design for Busy People by Norma Benporath is on the blocking board.  While it is drying out, I thought I'd share how I block my tatting.

First of all, I haven't had the need to block my tatting much.  When I design, I pay particular attention to the stitch count so that the finished piece will required no blocking, at most just a bit of pressing.  But then, it all goes down to the tension.  If your tension is almost like mine, you would find that my patterns doesn't need blocking much.

The only time when I need to block is when the pattern has long chains in it, or when I tat a large piece such as doilies, like this Norma Benporath's pattern.

First, I print a polar graph with the number of spokes according to the rough shape of the tatting.  For example, 12 spokes for 6-pt motifs like snowflakes, or 8-spokes for squares or octagons which I am using for this mat.

You can print the polar graphs off the internet.  I printed mine from here.

Then, I wrap my blocking board with a piece of clingwrap from the kitchen and slide the polar graph paper under it.

Before I start pinning out the tatting, I give it a soak through with a bit of gentle detergent, rinse it out a few times and squeeze the excess water by rolling it in a towel.  If it needs a bit stiffening, I use spray starch on it a few times.  Then, I pin it out on the board.

I adjust the shape following the lines and concentric circles of the polar graph paper and let it dry for a few hours. And here it is, the finished work.
The finished size has a maximum diameter of 17cm, tatted with Lizbeth #40, 114 - Sea shells.
I think the one from the scanner, below is a better picture.

11 December 2011

The Winner for the My Memories Suite Giveaway is

I held a giveaway for a free copy of MyMemories Suite scrapbooking software a few weeks back and picked the winner through a random number generator.

And the number that came up was 4 corresponding to the comment number 4 by Bree,

Congratulations Bree!  I will contact you later on how to collect your gift.

The good news is, even if you did not win this draw, you can save some money by purchasing the software with this coupon code, STMMMS83724 which entitles you to $10 off the purchase price of the software and another $10 off items from the Mymemories Store.

5 December 2011

Tatting Treasures Unearthed

Maureen in Brisbane has found some buried treasures and shared them in In Tatters.  They are tatting patterns designed by Norma Benporath that were published in the Queenslander newspapers from the 1930s, scanned and published digitally by the National Library of Australia.

A little on Norma Benporath (1900 - 1998) is provided by the Powerhouse Museum.

As usually happened for scanned documents converted to text, there are bound to be errors when captured by the OCRs.  A number of tatters in InTatters are editing the text for the patterns and correcting the errors. On my part, I have decided to test-tat the patterns after they are edited.

The first one that I am working on is Tatting Designs for Busy People, edited by Judy.  There are two patterns published in this article, a small lace mat and a serviette ring.  I started with the lace mat, which has four rounds.  The lace mat is turning out quite nicely after two rounds.
Tatted with Lizbeth #40, measuring 9cm across after two rounds.
A word of advice to anyone who wants to tat this.  The centre motif may appear all ruffled up as you join the rings, but will eventually flatten out after you have joined the last ring.  It helps a lot if you block or press the motif a bit before continuing with the second round.