29 September 2013

It may not be a whodunit ..

.... but I was almost done in by this Mystery.

So happy with what I see after rounds 1 and 2, I started on Round 3.  And, would you know it, the ruffling start to appear, again.  That really put me off for a while.

Add to that, I closed the round one repeat short, and had to un-tat and re-tat the end.  Luckily, this time I use the 6-ply Lizbeth thread.  I think I would have cut it off if it had been the Cebelia that I used the first time.

Then, while trimming off the thread ends where I added new thread, I wrongly snipped of the one of the thread that should be hidden.  Ughhhh ... must remember to do something about that later, like dabbing a dot of glue over the knot.

This is how it looks after Round 3.  The colours did not turn out properly, it was taken in poor lighting.

But, the day was eventful.  I had my five minutes of fame appearing on national television talking about tatting.  It was a segment in a lifestyle tv program and I was giving an introduction to tatting, without going into details of the techniques.

It was not live tv, but a recording made a few weeks earlier but was only aired today.  Please excuse the poor quality of the video, it was recorded off the tv.

The beautiful ribbon embroidery and tatted edgings that you see is the work of my lovely friend Umi Kalsom Ismail.  She has a page in Facebook where you can view many of her other work at Umi's Embroidered Gifts.

21 September 2013

And the Mystery Continues

If you read my earlier post, you would know that I have decided to start over with my quest of the Mystery Doily.

That's right.  Not just cutting off Round 4 as I had first intended but to begin it all over again.

Early on, I had contemplated adding some colours to the doily, as this post here.  By now, I think I have enough understanding of the way the doily is constructed to use colours in this re-tat, while still bringing out the distinct feature of the doily.

This is Round 1.

Lizbeth 615 (yellow), Lizbeth 127 (multi-coloured) size 40

It got off to the good start. Notice how the clusters of outer rings have alternating colours in them?

That was beginner's luck.  It would be quite impossible to replicate this in the subsequent round. Anyway, this is Round 2 in progress.

Excuse the slightly blurry picture, but I think you can see how this is going.
I like it, so far.

Also read Fox's blog and her issues with the last joins of Round 1.  I know that last join can be a bit of a bother.  You can choose to begin at a different point to avoid this.  If it helps at all, I have prepared a pictorial explanation on how to go about this.

The letters in black, which I hope you can see, denotes the sequence of the rings.  The numbers in white give the sequence of making the joins as you tat the rings or chains, where applicable.  To make join #1, you may have to fold the work to avoid a twisted picot. Joins 3 and 14 are lock joins

19 September 2013

Mystery Doily boo boo

Round 4 is going to be snipped off!

I did not read the pattern carefully and miscounted the sequence in the number of rings.  In fact, I just took a glimpse of the picture and thought I had it, after all the sequence of construction is the same for all round.


Never mind, it is another good reason to quickly use up this thread which I am not particularly fond of.  So, I don't feel so bad snipping the round off (if you understand my quirky reasoning).

Added later (after I slept on it and read all the comments that came during the night)

Yeah, I know I am crazy sometimes ... oh wait ... I can be stark raving mad to make my tatting perfect, but
I decided to start over from Round 1.  Hopefully, I can fix the ruffling in Round 2 because I think the mess started from there.  Further, Maureen had left a good point in her comment that she wrote early this morning.

Oh bother! - but if it's almost a whole round you're cutting off, you can put it in a box and one day it will be Useful for Something. That's what I've started to do,with all my mistakes, and my 5 year old granddaughter loves rummaging through it.

So I am leaving the white version as it is and use it as a 'what-not-to-do' reference for this second try.

17 September 2013

Mystery Doily Round 4

Completed Round 4 of the Mystery Doily.  I pressed the doily a bit before taking the photo so the rippling of Round 3 is not so visible. I think a bit of blocking and stiffening may solve that issue.

But, the ending of this round was not without a mistake, as you can see below.

I did not feel like opening up six tiny rings just to correct it.  Since there are only four double stitches in the ring to reach the picot, I can easily sew the picots together, when I sew in the thread ends.

Two more rounds to go.  I am really enjoying tatting this and seeing the end result.  I like that there are no free picots in the design, except for the decorative part in the final round.

14 September 2013

What Price Your Tatting?

This post came about after reading a thread on the In Tatters forum.  The gist of it is, one of the members there was asked by a casual friend to tat a round tablecloth.  At the writing of this post, she has not decided whether to proceed with tatting the tablecloth or not.  If you are a member of In Tatters, you should be able to read all the responses by clicking on this link, Tatting Tablecloth.

I have also been asked a number of times, if I would consider tatting a piece though not as large as a tablecloth.  On each time, my response can be either of the following:

A) I do not have the time to work on anything new at this time.
B) I don't take custom work and would prefer to teach you (the person asking) to tat so you can make your own.
C) I don't think you will agree with the price that I am going to ask from you for the piece.

I know response C) sounds patronising or condescending, but I usually say it with the sweetest of smile. Harsh though it may sound, I think it is still the most to the point.  Let me illustrate this using the Mystery Doily that I am currently working on.

I have been working on this doily for 24 days now, averaging one hour daily.  That makes it 24 hours of tatting.  I am only at one-third of Round 4 and there are two more rounds to go.  Assuming that I may take another 24 hours of tatting to complete the whole doily, that takes me to 48 hours of tatting altogether.  I am assuming the final measurement, using size 40, to be about 24cm wide or 10 inches.

Based on a conservative rate of RM9.00 (USD2.80) minimum hourly wage, I should be charging at least RM432 (USD135) for my time spent.  I am ignoring any material costs for the purpose of this illustration.

Now, another tatter would easily understand the calculations but, to a non-tatter, these charges may seem rather exorbitant.

Now, are you willing to bring down the charges to the expectation of others, or keep to what your worth is?

I am not!

6 September 2013

Slow progress

Still at Round 3 of the Mystery Doily.  Progress is rather slow, which is expected as the round increases.

This round is showing some ruffling even though I have reduced the stitch count somewhat and also made smaller joining picots.  But, I pressed it a bit and the ruffling disappears (below).

I am getting comfortable tatting this doily once I get the rhythm of the rings and chains.  Just a point to note for anyone working on this.  Make sure to pay attention to the number of rings in each round, because the number is different for different rounds, as well as where the joins are made.

Even at this point, I can see that it is going to be a lovely piece.  I am glad I decided to stick to one solid colour for this.