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.