31 August 2012

Continuing with the NB Doily

After a slight detour, which I will write about later in the post, I have picked up the NB doily again, to start on Round 4.

This round is made up of scallops (or half-wheels).  To recap from earlier, if following the original instructions, there are many cuts-and-ties in this round.  I have reduced that by tatting part of Round 4 in Round 3, as I wrote here.

There are some interesting observation here.  Based on the scanned image from the website, the scallop should have seven small inside rings and seven large outside rings.  But, the way that the scallop is tatted, I can't see how there can be equal number of inner and outer rings in it.  This is my first attempt of the scallop,
Seven inner rings will only give me six outer rings, where as the pattern requires seven outer rings.  After much thought, I modified the scallop as below to get one extra outer ring to prepare for the next round.  But, int he process, I had to also  increase the inner ring to eight instead of seven.
The finished scallop lay quite flat and not ruffling even with the extra rings so I will stick with this.

Here is a picture of the two version side by side,

I was also trying to see of this round of scallops can be done with one round.  I thought I can tat the last ring on one scallop as a SSSR and jump to the first ring of the next scallop also with a SSSR.  But, I have not found a way of tatting SSSR when there are joins in the SSSR.  So, the scallops here will be done individually and loads of end to hide, :(
In the course of tatting this Norma Benporath pattern, I was inspired to design a new motif which resulted with this design here.  When I see the void on the centre, my first thought was "a doodad!" and who better to test it than the two doodad trailblazers, Fox and Diane.  I think they have done a wonderful job with the design as can be seen here tatted by Fox and this version by Diane.  Thank you ladies! I could not have done it better myself.

26 August 2012

Winning and Winners ... among other things

'Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim readers
Selamat Hari Raya  

Last Sunday was 'Eid-ul-Fitr, the day to mark the end of one month of fasting for Muslims around the world.    During the fasting month of Ramadhan, it was about devotion to Allah SWT, of refrain from all things bad and negative, and about exercising moderation in most other things.  With 'Eid-ul-Fitr, it is about coming together and strengthening family relationships, mending broken ties and making new bonds and holding to new hopes.  It is also about winning the fight against temptation and greed and all things evil within ourselves. It is our hope that what was learned and practised during Ramadhan will continue and take us through the following months until the next Ramadhan comes by again, InsyaAllah.

Final result of the Giveaway

Next, the matter of the giveaway winners is finalised.  As in the previous post, the two names picked in my giveaway draw were God's Kid and Sandy C.  But, only one will get the oval doily.  I flipped a coin to decide who from these two will get it.  Just to be fair, I flipped it five times and in four out of the five, God's Kid's name came out top.
I am pleased to announce that the winner of the Oval Doily is God's Kid.

Update on the NB doily.  

This is where I am currently at.
As you can see, I have finished the current round and blocked it, even though the full doily is not yet finished.  When working on a large piece, I usually block the work mid-way through the  rounds to smoothen out the piece and prepare it for the next round. I find this useful because I will be able to gauge the kind of tension that I need to apply when tatting the next round.

While working on that last round of the doily, I got an inspiration for a new design working with some sections of the design from the doily. This first one was inspired by that part of the doily with the thrown ring in it where  I added a corner to turn it into a square.

 Expanding it slightly by adding a small clover leaf in the middle, I got a bigger square,
I have yet to figure out the shape of tatting to fill in the centre of this square.  This was tatted in size 20 (as I usually do when working on a new design) and the finished size is about 3.5in wide.  Using a smaller thread like a size 40 will give a smaller finish .. hmm ..  one of Fox's doodads will work very well in the centre, I think.

23 August 2012

The winners picked

After going through all the comments, removing duplicates and comments that do not qualify, there were 90 names in the drawing list for the giveaway winners.  Thank you for the nice words that each of you have written in your comments.  They are all very much appreciated.

As mentioned previously, I will pick two names from the list to receive these giveaway gifts.
Blank cards, tatting-embellished blank card, key fob, phone charm, beads scoop and  Spinning Wheel Glass Mat
I may add some more things from now until the day I actually send them out .... we'll see how it goes.

This is the first name picked from the list of 90 names;

The first drawing gave me God's Kid as one of the two winners.

After removing God's Kid's name from the list, I made a second drawing:
And Sandy C is the second winner.  Congratulations to both God's Kid and Sandy C.

From these two names, I will pick one name to get the doily shown in the earlier blog post. However, I decided that the name not picked will get this smaller doily,

God's Kid, Sandy C, please e-mail me your mailing details within the next 48 hours. If I do not receive anything from either of you by then, I will pick another name from the list.  I will only pick the winner of the oval doily after I received your details.

Thank you for participating in the draw.  I wish there were more gift to give out.  Hopefully there will be other opportunities.

18 August 2012

Six years of blogging about tatting

Next week will be six years from the date I posted my first entry in this tatting blog.  That entry was to mark my participation in the 25-motifs challenge organised by Sharon Briggs. They have been wonderful six years. I am very thankful for the comments made about my entries through the years.  The comments are what made me continue tatting and blogging, sharing what I know and continue to learn from what I read and see from others.

What better way to celebrate than to have a giveaway, and I know everyone loves giveaways.

This will be a part-blind giveaway.  I am not going to show you what I will be giving away (read as: I am still working on it).  I will be drawing two winners in this giveaway.  Besides getting whatever-it-is-that-I-am-working-on, from the two names drawn, I will flip a coin to determine who will get this,
 Mat no. 34 from the DMC Book of Charted Tatting Designs 
To enter the draw is so easy, just leave a comment, one only, in this blog post only
You may read about this giveaway in other places but only comments left in this post will be included in the draw.  I have removed any comments restrictions for the duration of the giveaway.

There is no need to for you be a follower of my blog nor do you need to post about this in your blog/website.

The two names will be picked on 23rd August, which is the date of my first post six years ago, and the winners will be announced soon after. Hopefully, by then I will be able to show what the other gifts are.

I will be announcing the winners through this blog so, please remember to check in here from 23rd August onwards.

Added at 8:45am, 23rd August (my timezone is GMT+8)
Today is the last day to enter your name for the drawing.  I will be making the random selection later today. 

Updated on 23rd August, 8:42pm (GMT+8)
The participation in this giveaway is now closed.  Any comments made after this will not be included in the drawing which I will be making soon.  The two names picked will be announced in my next post.

15 August 2012

Another Progress Update

The work on the doily has reached this stage of Round 3.

The part of Round 3 that I had to snip off is on the right, and the re-work based on the revised pattern on the left.  The picture below explained why I decided to re-do this part.

The three rings that are shown by the arrows form part of the scallops in Round 4.  See here for reference.
If I had followed the pattern to the letter, I would have to tat these three rings individually first before adding in the other rings to shape the scallop; i.e. tat the small ring (top arrow) cut and tie, then the other small ring and cut-and-tie, and the bigger ring, again cut and tie.  This set of three rings is repeated 12 times round the doily, creating 36 ends to hide.  Even if I use the SSSR to hide the ends for the small rings, I still have 12 ends to hide.

Unfortunately, I can't avoid the ends entirely.  Studying the scallop pattern, I can't find any way to tat the scallops continuously all round.  Will write about that in the next update.


On another matter, at the bottom of each post in my blog, I have "You might also like" boxes with  links to my other posts in the blog.  Sometimes, I would click on the links just to remind me what it was that I wrote there, and read some of the comments.

On occasions these comments will take me on a nostalgic trip because they are from people that I, sort of, lost touch with.  But, lately they have made me a little sad because I have been reading comments left by Gina, the Tattinggoddess.  I do hope, and I know they will, remember her when the tatters gather on Tat Days early next month.

13 August 2012

Update of the NB Doily (closing large rings)

This is an update of the Norma Benporath doily (doily no.2 in this post here).

As I wrote there, I had to cut off the yellow part of the doily because of the reasons stated.  After being distracted with some other tatting project, I picked it up again and re-tat that round.

This particular round is made up of individual 4-rings clovers. The rings are huge with two having 45 ds each, (the actual pattern has 54 ds).  The smallest ring has is 33 ds which is quite manageable.  But for large rings, they do cause some problems when closing.  .

Each of the 4-rings clovers is tatted and joined to the previous round individually.  I don't like the thought of hiding 12 pairs of ends, so I used split rings to go to the next set of rings.   After, working this round, I think I have the issue of large rings down pat.  This is how I do it;

My usual problem would be, the ring thread becomes all twisted as it grew smaller and end up in a knot.  What I try to do is to minimise this.
Before I loop the thread round my fingers, I let the shuttle hang to straighten any twist already in the thread.
Then, every 10 or so double stitches, I let it hang again to remove new twist that occurs as the knots are made.
After the last ds is made, I smoothen out the ds, form the shape of a ring and bring the last ds close to the first ds.
I hold the shape of the ring between my thumb and two fingers and start to pull the shuttle thread to close the ring.  When there is only about one cm left of the loop, I hold the shuttle thread closer to the ring and start pulling it  in a circular motion clockwise.
Following this method, I did not get much twist in the loop thread and the rings close quite smoothly.
Round 3 started
Round 4 needs a bit of thinking because it is another round of individual pieces and I want to see if it can be done continuously.

Added later:
I had a feeling that I should not be too eager to start on Round 3, and I was right.  As soon as I read the instructions for the second ring of the next round (Round 4), I realised that I should have done Round 3 differently.  So, whatever that I have tatted as shown in the pic above will be cut off and I will start again.

9 August 2012


After finishing the doily of the last post, I thought I'd carry out some tatting experiments before picking up the Norma Benporath doily again.

An idea came to me to tat the 2-layered flower motif in two colours.  Here are the two that I tried.
On the right, I did  the two layers in alternating colours, while on the left the bottom layer is in one colour and the top in another.  I prefer the one on the left for its clean arrangement, though the one on the right may be okay too if I can arrange it so that the top and bottom rings are aligned instead of skewed as in the picture.

Exploring it further, I joined up three motifs together and I think it would made a pretty bracelet with beads in them.  My idea was to keep it simple and just have one bead in the centre of each flower.
I remember an instruction on making a 3-layer flower but I can't find it anymore.

Added later:
Fox and Charlette pointed the instruction to make the layered flower, which is by Jennifer Williams and you can find it here. It is the bottom-most on the right column and clicking on it will give you the instruction in pdf file.

Then, another light bulb flashes - Can I alternate the colours in an interlocking ring?  I think I can, and I did but only after numerous tries.
The tension is uneven and there is a big blob in the centre where I knotted the two threads together, but I think  it is possible.  Still need to polish up the technique some more and try and get it simplified.

The experiments were successful.

7 August 2012

Mat N0. 34 - complete .. almost

This is Mat #34 from DMC Book of Charted Tatting Designs all finished.
well ... almost complete.

As you can see, the tails are all over the place, in fact five pairs of ends to hide.  It does look like there are more than that but they are the ones that I have tatted over.  I usually leave the tatted-over ends as they are until I complete my piece and will trim them off after blocking.

The doily is not properly blocked yet.  There was a little ruffling effect as I finished the outer round made up of all chains, and I laid it out on the board to see how much I need to stretch out the doily to get it to lay flat.  As it turned out, not much.

This is the one that I wrote earlier where I had run out of the HDT that I started with and I continued with a different thread to finish it.  The was a slight variation of the yellow in the solid compared to the yellow in the HDT, but overall I think it turned out quite nice.

I will be taking it off the board, hide the ends and after giving it a rinse, do a proper blocking.

I am very happy with this project.