19 Oct 2013

A Mystery and a Whodunit

No secrets that the Mystery refers to the Mystery Doily that have been my obsession these past few months. I had wanted to finish Round 5 before sharing a picture but I ran out of thread in one of the shuttles so I decided to share it at this point before continuing with a full shuttle.

Oh, by the way, I was asked about the amount of thread used for the doily.  I have not set out to measure the thread used so I can only give an estimate based on the number of times I had re-load my shuttles.  I am using Lizbeth size 40 in two colours, a solid and a multi-coloured.  Up till now, I am on the fourth shuttle-load of the solid thread, and  used up five full shuttles of the multi-coloured.

I will be loading the shuttle with the multi-cloured thread for the sixth time to continue with Round 5 and expect another full shuttle will be needed before I finish Round 6.

This is the status at Round 5, with just a bit more to finish the round.  As it is, the doily is laying reasonably flat without any need for blocking - just the way I like it.
The dimension at Round 5 is about 9in (22cm)
Below is a close-up to show Round 5.

While all the earlier rounds were rather smooth (except for that mistake in Round 4), Round 5 has several points to take note of.

Firstly, the repeat in the number of rings in the inner cluster is not as straightforward as the earlier rounds, where it was a continuous repeat.  In Round 5, the repeat is in every three clusters sequence; 6 rings, 5 rings, 5 rings.  This sequence is repeated at the fourth cluster onward, like so - (6 5 5), (6 5 5), (6 5 5) and so on.

Secondly, by the way that the inner clusters were joined to Round 4, the blank round spaces alternates between small and big.

The picture below illustrates the points that I am trying to make.

Another useful point to note is the number of outer clusters for each round, as summarised below:
Round 1 has 8 clusters;
Round 2 has 16 clusters;
Round 3 has 32 clusters;
Round 4 has 32 clusters;
Round 5 has 48 clusters;
I am guessing that Round 6 also contains 48 clusters.

Then, I took a break from trying to unravel this Mystery and was treated to a whodunit - a theatre play of Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap"!  The theatre company performing this play is currently on a tour of this region.  Agatha Christie was one of my favourite authors when I was in school and still is.  I used to catch episodes of the Hercule Poirot series on the cable tv.  It was a rare opportunity to be able to watch the play, which I thoroughly enjoyed.


  1. Wow, the mystery doily is looking really impressive.

  2. I love the way your doily looks! Maybe I should have another go at mine... :-)

  3. Your doily is looking great, and thank you for the notes and hints. I know I appreciate them. I am hoping to start this after the new year, maybe... he he.
    I would have loved to attend the play. I like Agatha Christie as well.

  4. I love how beautiful that doily is!!! :)

  5. The mystery doily in brilliant colors looks so different! Great job.!!!

  6. It's been fun watching you work on this and it is beautiful to see, Thanks for posting measurements That's the hardest parts for me to imagine the size and the thread information love the tips thanks for posting!

  7. I love watching the doily grow. You are doing a splendid job.

  8. It's neck-and-neck between you and Fox! - and a lot of fun for us to watch. Your doily, in colour looks wonderful - so does Fox's in a solid colour.
    I'm guessing that I probably should not begin this one with less than at least a couple of balls of Lizbeth!
    The Mousetrap was here several months ago, but I wasn't in time to see it. I like Miss Marple the best, I love all that knitting!

  9. Your doily is looking beautiful, and with all the hours of work you have taken over it, it's a doily to be proud of. A real heirloom if the future.
    Well done. A master piece of tatting

  10. This just keeps getting more and more spectacular! I truly admire your patience and determination to unlock the mystery of the mystery doily! You've certainly made it easier for those who wish to try it, although it is a lot of tatting!

  11. Continuing to look lovely. I thought I'd jump on the wagon and try tatting this but mine's not remotely lying flat...what size thread are you using?

  12. Red,
    I am using Lizbeth size 40 for the Mystery Doily. I am using two different thread colours; a solid yellow for the chains and a multi-coloured for the rings.

  13. Looks really great, Jon!

    I could not have gotten as far as I have without your help and your trail-blazing on this one.

    As far as amount, I have gone through almost an entire ball of Cébélia #30, but lots of it was wasted through error-making, so I am not sure how much I would really have used up. Also mine is a single colour.

    Fox : )

  14. p.s. I am a longtime fan of Agatha Christie! I am more of a Hercule Poirot rather than Miss Marple fan though... Love an old-fashioned mystery read as well as a tatted one. : ))


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