7 October 2015

To Change or not to Change


started as a re-work of this,

but, as it often happens, the mind wonders.

I have some issues with the (lower) pink doily, so I decided to re-work it. It is difficult to try and stick to the original design plan and it turned into the upper design.  I may decide to come back to the pink at some point.

Other tatting updates.
I have finished the Spring 2015 doily.
Size 40 milford in two shades, 16 inches wide.
Tatted a bookmark for a friend who wants to start tatting again,
Pattern by Robin Perfetti from the blog Tating by the Bay
I sewed a few fabrc bookmarks as part of a Crafting for Charity event by the Arts & Craft Guild, KL and Selangor. These were later finished with button embellishments but I forgot to take any photo with the buttons on.

I think this about sums up what I have been doing the past few months.

p.s. the title of the blog refers to the re-working of the pink doily.

p.p.s Oh, my birthday was at the end of August and I treated myself to these goodies.

18 August 2015

Spring, Summer and now Autumn is coming

and I have not fnished my Renulek's Spring 2015 Doily. Here is a report of my progress so far.

After having issues with the small flowers, as in the last post, I snipped off that round and started over and the result is much better. Rounds 6 and 7 went smoothly.

And just when I thought Round 8 was going to be a breeze .....

Opened up the group of rings and chains and re-tatted - took me two days, in between doing other things. Now, this is what I learned from this episode.
If your first thought was to snip the mistake off, do it immediately. Don't even think about opening the stitches because if you do, you will have to do them all. Once you start un-doing even one ring, you'll keep telling yourself "I'll do one more", and by the time you decided that cutting off is the better option, there will be only a couple more left to do. By then you'll be thinking, might as well do them all! Have you had that feeling before?

Anyway, here is it is after Round 9, which was without any mistakes, Yippeee!
This doily will definitely need blocking when done. Notice how the rings in Round 8 have a slant in them.

Now, I tried something slightly different for Round 10, which you can see here,
I decided to alternate the curve of the chains between the rings. Not sure of the end result but I think it will turn out okay.

and next, the happy-dance news.
Remember this post about my yard sale find? When I was at the yard sale, the homeowner mentioned that she came across a few shuttles while sorting out her late mother's things but can't find them. She promised to call me when she comes across them again. I was not placing mcuh hope that she'd remember.

True to her words, she called me last week to tell me that the shuttles are found and would I like to come and pick them up? Would I? Would I? That needs no answer. 

I picked up them up the next day and was grinning ear-to-ear when I saw the shuttles. Wouldn't you too, when you see these?
Now I have three of them.  The first was my mother-in-law's that surfaced during packing when she had to move house. Growing up, I learned tatting using this type of shuttles but that was more than 40 yearas ago and have lost them somewhere.

28 July 2015

It was a long break .....

... from blogging.

We have just concluded our fasting during the month of Ramadhan.  I was keeping low from any blogging activities during that period but managed to do some tatting.  Her are some of what I have finished or in the progress of tatting.

The doily in from the Needlework magazine was blocked and slightly pressed,

I resumed tatting Renulek's 2015 Spring Doily. I stopped at round 5, where the small individual flowers are.  I was very unhappy with how the flowers are turning out, stopped and worked on the doily above.

This photo shows clearly what I am having probems with.  The flowers were twisting all over and looks horrible.  I made a few and joined the next round to it, but it did not get any better,

So, I snipped that part off and started on the small flowers again. This time, I added tiny picots after two double stitches and join the rings together.  They stayed flat this way and I am much happier. You can compare it to the twisted flower in this photo (below).
I am now at Round 7 and I just want to finish this as soon as possible so that I can begin on this doily from Land of Laces blog.  Please follow the link to view it.  I am not posting the photo here because it is not my photo to share.

21 June 2015

Yard Sale Find

Went to my first ever yardsale about a month back which happened to be selling craft-related items. I was lucky enough to find a few tatting patterns from a couple of old magazines and books.

 These two are the Coats tatting booklets (from 1971 and 1977) with patterns for edgings, motifs and doilies. a collar and cuffs, and coaster sets.  The motifs are pretty on its own but makes prettier doilies/mats when joined up together.

A McCall's Needlework magazine from 1954 gave me these patterns - an insertion, an edging and a doily. The doily was calling out to and it took no time for me to start work on it. 

Three weeks later, the doily is done. Here it is being blocked.  I have not cut off the thread ends which I will do after blocking. Thread used is size 20 Milford in two shades.  The doily measured about 26cm

From Stitch 'n Sew (1973), I found two patterns - Pillow for Wedding-Ring-Bearer and a Book cover. Both look like shuttle-only patterns.

The other exciting thing for me is that the article in the Stitch 'n Sew magazine was written by Myrtle Hamilton.  I have heard of her being mentioned in several tatting sites such as one by Georgia Seitzs but have never actually seen or read anything by her.  Reading what is found from the internet, Myrtle Hamilton contributed much to tatting, and this sort of made me touch-base with her, in my own way.

From yet another magazine, Needlework Illustrated of unknown date because it has lost its cover, I found this embroidery instructions for the Willow Pattern.

I have no plans to embroider it but it is kind of interesting because Pam Palmer has translated it into tatting patterns in her book Tatting Treats Three, which I also have.  Having these two with me sort of completes everything.

All in, it was a great find at the one and only yard sale that I have been to. I doubt if there will be another opportunity like this again.

13 May 2015

A ha! It is all about the joins

I have had this little daisy motif in my to-do list from I-don't-know-when and only now got around to attempting it.

This is my first attempt.  I had no trouble with tatting the rounds and rounds of chains but, as you can see, I struggled to get a good-looking shape for the loops over it.

My first two attempts came out horribly misshapen.  Put it down and had lunch.  Picked it up later in the day and it dawn on me where I was doing wrong.

It is in the joins!

Working with chains, naturally the first thought of joins would be the lock join.  That was what I did for the first two attempts. Using lock join forms kinks in the chains whereas I wanted a continuous curve in it.  That can be achieved by making use of the regular join, i.e. by pulling the ball thread through the picot of the centre ring. I also used the regular join for the outer part to achieve a smooth flow of the chains, moving on to the next part of the daisy.

Having decided on the methods that I wanted to use, This is my second attempt. There are some issues with the tension though because the size of the loops are not even but I am happy with it..
Thread is Altin Basak 3053

9 May 2015

The Tatted Wheel

The tatted wheel is one of a number of basic tatting motifs, tatted with shuttle only. This motif is common in the early tatting books/booklets.  It can be with a small ring in the centre or without. What I can say is that it is not as simple as it says in the pattern.  This post is about tatting that wheel with a ring in the centre. This is a sample that I tatted recently,

Now, I don't know about other tatters, but there are a number of things here that is a pain to me.

First, I dislike tatting motifs with bare thread spaces. I never can guess how much of the bare thread to leave before starting the next ring. Then, there is that small ring in the centre. I always fail in trying to figure out what size picots to make for that small ring in the centre.

That small ring sometimes also make an appearance in patterns with rings and chains, as seen here;

Most early patterns would ask you to tat that small ring, cut the thread and tie into a knot to complete the number of picots required.  Then you tat the outer round and join to that small ring as you go.

While I have not really found a fail-proof solution for estimating the bare thread space, there are now ways of making that small ring in one go as you tat the outer element.  Here are two methods that I have used to get out of having to cut-and-tie for that small ring.

First, if there are chains joined to that small ring (as in the red motif), I will work the pattern with two shuttles. I start the pattern with the outer round that will be joined to that small ring. I tat the chain as in the pattern but stop at the point where the patterns says to join to the small ring.  Here, I take the other shuttle and make a thrown ring off the chain following the pattern for that small ring. I make sure that I leave a mock picot space at the start of the ring, and make the other picots in it about the same size as the mock picot space.  Close the ring and continue as per the pattern.  The next chain will then be joined to the picot of that small ring.  No more cut-and-tie.

For a ring attached to a ring as in the firt picture, it is not quite as straightforward. Thankfully, there are are wonderfully clever tatters who have come out with a method of avoiding the cut-and-tie for this case. There is now a technique of making a ring on a ring with shuttle only, also referred to as loop-tatted ring.  With this technique, I was able to do this,

and this,

Here are links to tutorial for this techniques available online,
Karen Cabrera's video and Jane Eborall's tutorial in printable form.

However, I ended my loop-tatted ring in a slightly different way from the ways shown in the video and in Jane's instructions.  In both, the shuttle is passed through the final loop and the end result is the thrown ring touches the ring that it is 'sitting' on.  (I hope this makes sense).  In the case of the small centre ring, I need to leave some space to make up the number of picots in that ring.

If you observe the photo above, you'll notice that I have left a small bare thread space before starting the loop-tatted ring (with picots). This bare thread space will complete the number of picots needed in that small ring in the centre.

I anchored the core thread of the loop-tatted ring by bringing the core thread over the loop-tatted ring, as you would close a single-shuttle split ring.When the loop-tatted ring is closed, I leave another small bare thread space before tatting the next doublestitch. This second bare thread space completes the mock picot.

No more flimsy small rings to cut-and-tie and ends to hide.

5 May 2015

A couple more tatting pics

This one is a 'what if I do it this way..' tatting and it turned out quite alright.

Thread is Olympus Gold label in teal and brown.
Finished size is just over 10cm
I don't usually find the need to block my tatting, suffice with pressing under several thick books. When I lifted the books to place this piece, this Amusement Doily (below) surfaced. I can't remember when I placed this doily under the books.  There are several books stacked together and I can press more than one piece at a time.  I guess this amusement doily was the one that I forgot

The thread is Lizbeth size 40 but I cannot remember the name.

26 April 2015

Been quiet but still tatting

It has been a long time since I wrote anything in this blog, but I have not been quiet.  Here are a few of projects that I have done since my last update.

Larned how to make and sew hexies together, turned into a pincushion and embellished with a small tatted motif.

Most of of my time was spent on this finger-less glove for my niece to wear for her wedding next week.  Was having a frustrating time putting it all together when I had to re-tat it three times and still make the same mistake at the same place each time.  Finally decided that I am leaving it at that - mistakes and all.  After three times of repeating the mistake, I took it that it was ment to be, and finished it off as that.

This is a combo picture of how I tatted the beaded flower in the photo above.  Some may already realised that the 'rings' are actually mock rings. 

Having done with the finger-less gloves, I picked-up my Renuek's Spring 2015 again and managed to add a few repeats this morning, tatting at the car service centre while waiting for my car to be ready.

Oh,, I finally decided to create an Instagram account under my name.  There isn't much there yet but I have started on a project there - an ambitious one, methinks. I plan to post a photo of a piece of tatting each day for as long as I can keep it going.  I have only started early this week and here is a sample for a couple of days that I have posted.

I will try to design something new each time but failing that I will have to resort to patterns already available with credits and links given as available.

Another thing - I have received my copy of the magazine containing the pattern for the 'monster doily'.  I don't have any plans to start on it anytime soon but it is there now for whenever I want to.
(don't know why the photo is not upright)

28 February 2015

Always .......

Early this year, I was feeling upbeat about greeting 2015 as written in this post here, despite some tragedies that had befallen the country.

Well that did not last long ... I lost my father recently. He would have been 83 in April.
My father suffered a stroke 15 years earlier which resulted in dementia or short-term memory loss. He did not lose his mobility from the stroke and was still bouyant, although there were depressive moments. He had good recollection of what he did many, many years before but nothing at all about what he had for breakfast.

My usual conversation with him would be about his exploits when he was younger.  He liked to tell that to anyone who is willing to listen.  I followed along with him as if I had only heard it for the first time, even though he had told them numerous times before.

His favourite to tell was the time  he went to Honolulu to teach Bahasa Melayu to future Peace Corp volunteers.  That was in the late 60s.  From Hawaii, he went on to San Francisco and then to New York, before returning home.  I was about 9 or 10 yo at that time. Later, after he had returned, I remembered that a few of the volunteers that he taught visited us at home. Unfortunately, I can only remember one that we used to call Uncle Bill; can't remember his actual name now.

Our last conversation was about how he was made to learn Japanese when the country was occupied during WWII.  He rattled off some Japanese pharases that he could still remember and even sang a few lines from the songs that they were taught to sing.
I will cherish those moments.

Goodbye and al-Fatihah.

25 February 2015

What's 'shuttling' out at the moment

Yes, 'shuttling' is a made up word at first, but the online dictionary gave this meaning,
"to cause (someone or something) to move to and fro or back and forth by or as if by a shuttle"
So, it may be a valid word after all.

I am tatting a finger-less glove for a special person to wear for her wedding next month.  This the portion of the lower arm.  I am designing as I go and have yet to think of the design to be placed over the hand.

There are beads in there, white seed bead with size 20 thread.  I am adding the beads to the picots as I join. Naturally, there are many coil-less pins in use to hold the beads before I make the join. Due the bead size, I used my 0.4mm hook to place the beads when I mke the picot but a slightly larger hook when I make the join. 

During breaks from the finger-less glove, I worked on Renulek's Spring 2015.  Just started on Round 3.  There is no rush on this one.  As for Spring 2014, it may be well past summer before I finish this.

Fox, do you recognise the shuttle? Thank you for it (them).  I had to sand the tips slightly because they were to tight and difficult for the thread to pass through. No damage was done to the shuttle in the making of this doily.

11 February 2015

Beads in Rings

I wanted to try a pattern that has beads in the centre of rings. 
It started with this sample. 

I was ambitious hence the extra beads in the chains.I was not happy with the way the rings closed - I can see tiny gaps in the top of the rings where the beads are attached. 

The second attempt is in white with pearl glass beads. Well, the gaps are still there.  In fact, the gaps are even clearer in this white version.

Karen Cabrera's video showed that I was closing the ring the wrong way, which resulted in the gap. Back to practising by just making the rings on its own.

Finally, happy with this -

I was at a local craft store a few days back and found this coil-less pins.  The should come handy for holding beads in picots and marking where to join.  They are metal pins and the label on the reverse of the pack stated that it is a Prym product.

3 February 2015


A very short post - something that I plan to use for teaching, 
a simple all rings bracelet. 

The thread used is Milford mercer size 20, 
with 5mm glass beads and several seed beads in a shade of gold.

with a crab claw for clasp.

16 January 2015

Close call with the RR Doily

Finish the 2nd stage of Pam's RR doily, with a very, very close call, I must say.

The 2nd part of the RR doily is made up of three rounds of chains.  I pulled what I felt was enough for the core thread for all three rows and started with CTM.  There is no need for tie-and-cut after each round. Things got frantic as a approach the last few repeats in the last row with only about four inches of thread left on the shuttle.

After tatting the last repeat, there is only just under two inches of thread left.  I usually sew in my ends, and that much of thread will not be enough to sew in.  Had to resort to the other method of hiding ends, the magic thread.  I don't use this much but it is good to know for cases such as this.

This is the state of the RR doily afer stage 2. One end hidden with magic thread and the other (ball thread) sewn in.

Here are a couple of links for an explanation of the magic thread method,