5 November 2016

Awards Nomination, Tatting and Crochet

I want to begin by thanking Craftree members for nominating my blog for the Craftree Awards 2016 in the best tatting blog category.  I feel so honoured to be shorlisted considering that all the other shortlisted nominees are of a higher standing than I am in the tatting world.

I have added a link in the left side-bar for you to vote for your favorite blog (not necessarily mine) and for all the other categories as well.  Please click on the banner and it will bring the page where you can enter your vote.  Voting is open to all and not limited to Craftree members.

I have progressed a bit with the JS Model 13 Doily since the last time I shared my status here.

I am still on Round VII of the doily with another four repeats to complete the round.
And the reason for the short time spent tatting are these -
Small drawstring pouches dec0rated with felt flowers to be filled with favors.
I tore an old sheet into 1in strips to make rag yarns,

and crocheted into a floor rug.

I crocheted a lap blanket using up yarns from my stash

A close-up of the rochet stitches
and lastly, I tried Tunisian crochet and found that I am enjoying it very much.  There are so many types of stitches that I want to try and experiment with.

I do have a tatting project planned that I want to start as soon as possible, if the crocheting is not distracting me from it.

26 August 2016

Took a break

I took a break from tatting to do other things. Specifically, I went for a week's holiday in Perth, Australia.
Here are some photos of my time spent in Perth and places around it.

View of the city taken fom the air as the plane approaches to land.
I am not a shopping person, so while the rest of the group went to look at the shops, my sister and I took a stroll in the Stirling Gardens.

I wish I could have spen more time along the narrow roads of Freemantle and in the quaint little shops, but here is the customary post outside the Freemantle Markets.  Another sister photo-bombed me here but she is looking so cute doing it, I let her be.

The Pinnacles is one place that I would highly recommend to anyone visiting Perth.  It is worth the 2hr 45min drive up, and there are many other interesting places that you can stop at along the way. 
The obligatory photo at Kings Park for an expansive view of Perth city and of the ocean.
On our last day, before leaving for the airport, we stopped to see the tulips at Araluen Botanic Park.  It was still very early spring/late winter and we are not sure if the tulips have bloomed. We were rewarded with some gorgeous flowers in various colour.  This photo is my favorite from the ones that I took.
One last photo at Araluen, showing the stream in the background.
Oh, also tasted the apple strudel touted as the best apple strudel in Australia. That went too fast, no one remembers to take a photo of it, he he he.

Back home, I continued with Round VI of the JS mammoth doily.  I had finished half-way of the round before the break.

Here is Round VI, done
I came back from the holidays in time for the closing ceremony of the Rio Olympics. Wasn't it wonderful that they had included a tribute to lacemakers in the ceremony?

Most of my crochets had been with thread, hence all my hooks are small-sized ones that I also use for making joins in tatting.  But I have some stash of yarns from long ago that I wanted to use up.  Bought a pack of larger sizes of hooks and started on this. It may be a scarf, or something else. I have not decided.

10 August 2016

Round V

I was so happy to come to the end of Round V.  So happy, in fact that I made a small mistake. I forgot to tat over tail of the thread at the beginning of the last motif.

It may seem strange that I have ends to hide at the beginning since I am using only white throughout hence I could easily start with CTM.

Okay, let me explain. Maybe someone may find this logical or useful.

I am using two shuttles and I am not measuring the thread for each motif of Round V.  I use whatever balance in the shuttle to continue for the next motif.
For each motif of Round V, I did start with a CTM every time but only at the first ring of the clover. I just pulled enough thread from one shuttle and finger-tatted the first ring. Then I added thread from the other shuttle for the next ring of the clover, tatting over the tail of the thread of the first ring. I should have tatted over the thread end of the second ring in the third ring, but I forgot to do that, and that end is only an inch long.

So, it is not technically a mistake but more of an inconvenience.  I almost always sew in my ends.  In this case, there was a lot of threading and re-threading of that one inch long thread to finish off this round.
Oh, I have to say that I have been good and sewing in the ends of the 12 motifs, doing it straightaway after each motif is done.

And here is the full photo as at Round V.
It is now about 27cm wide or 10.5 inches.

Off to Round VI!

26 July 2016

Slight Change in Round V

So, I have completed Round IV of JS Model 13 doily, It seems to lay out quite well right now.

I was having slight difficulty in reading the stitch count for Round V because the numbers are rather small in some parts.  I had an idea to look at JS other patterns from his book because I noticed that he liked to repeat some of his motifs in different doily/mat designs.  True enough, the first six rounds of this doily is very like Doily IV on page 56 in his book Tatting Theory and Patterns.

I was also aware, from the discussion thread in Craftree, that there may be errors or misprints of the chart for Round V, so I was very cautious as I began to tat this, more so with my plan to reduce the number of free picots in some of the rings. But, I think I have figured it out. A marked difference are as pointed out by the red arrows in the photo below.

I made a slight change in the shape of the rings joined to Round IV.
My stand here is, any change done consistently throughout becomes a design variation. In this case, the change is too minimal to alter the big picture and that is how I will continue for this round.

21 July 2016

JS Doiy Model 13 Round 3 Completed

But not without a slight hiccup just before the end.

So, as in the previous post, I started over Round 3 because I noticed a mistake right at the beginning of the round.  The re-worked round looks much better.

As it seems to happen often to me, I ran out of the shuttle thread real close to the end,

There was only 5 inches of thread left for two rings and two chains.  I could use the SLT at this point and continue tatting but it would distort the shape at the base of the trefoil. So, I loaded the shuttle and finished the round.

After so many years of tatting, I don't particularly pay special attention to the amount of thread needed for any project.  I just loaded the shuttles and start tatting.  For a large project such as this JS doily, you can't escape running out of shuttle/ball thread.

But, it does help a lot to know the different methods of adding new thread.  I think knowing the techniques of adding new thread is one of the basic skills that every tatter should know. There are many tutorials available online showing the various method.
I wrote a tutorial on the knotless method in my How-To page here,
Jane Eborall included one in her techniques page as well.
Karen Cabrera shared a video tutorial of another method of adding thread.

Tatting is suppose to be enjoyed and running out of thread is not going to spoil that for me.

3 July 2016

Round 3 and 1st mistake made

I started on Round 3 of the Model 13 Doily and made my first mistake.

There was something wrong in the rings of Round 3 as I looked at them. I looked at the pattern a few times and was very sure they were all correct, until I noticed that the rings at the base of the trefoil has an additional picot and three extra doublestitches.
I could undo all the stitches if I want to, seeing that I am still at the beginning of the round, but I decided to cut it off and start anew.
Having lots of this particular thread is another convincing factor to cut off, :)

The 'after' looks much better to me.

I am not very fond of picots with a single ds in between.  Somehow the picots get squashed when I do it like that. That is why I have altered some of the rings to have two doublestitches between picots, while still keeping to the same total number of stitches in each element.

28 June 2016

Short Update

I should be sewing so this is a short one.

Just completed Round 2 of JS Monsterpiece.  There a very slight cupping which I think will flatten with pressing.  I was making small joining picots because I think that was how Jan Stawasz made his from photos in his two books.  For the next round onwards, I may make make the picots slightly bigger. I have also removed/rearranged some of the decorative picots for this project.

Seven more repeats to go for this crochet doily.  
The pattern for this doily in in Moje Robotke Nr 7 2009, for anyone who is interested in this.

One sewing project done, except for attaching buttons on the cuffs.
Another one is waiting at the sewing machine.

So, bye for now.

21 June 2016

Jumping in with Eyes Wide Open

Yes, open-eyed, looking at all the beautiful Monsterpiece Doily, how could I not jump in!

I have been putting this off for so long. When Ginny Weathers showed her almost done Doily in Facebook recently, I finally decided I have to start on it.  If I am going to take a year or more to work on this Jan Stawasz doily, I might as well get cracking.  The longer I delay, the longer it will take to get done.
Hmm ... can you get my logic?

It was a toss up between a size 20 thread or at the other end a size 80. Common sense prevailed and I chose size 20 because I have already have lots of that in one colour, which happens to be white. No problems with matching the colours here.  This thread is German Hakelgarn, a soft 6-ply thread which is one of my favourite to tat with.

Oh well, just have to make sure that I wash my hands each time I want to work on it. I am not going to think any farther about what shade it will be a year from now, ha ha ha...

I should be doing a lot of something else around this time.  We are already half-way into Ramadhan and I have not sewn my garments for the celebratory 'Eid festivities.  Boxes of stuff from the re-painting of the house are not totally cleared and I have yet to think of the food to prepare for 'Eid.

Instead, if not tatting, I am doing this,

This crochet piece is from another Moje Robotki magazine (not the same as the one that has the Monsterpiece Doily in it)  This is crocheted with Omega thread size 50.

Oh, how wish tatting can be work up as quickly as crochet.
Okay, off to ponder what I should really be doing.

Oh, almost forgot ... I finished a UFO as well. A small doily, 19cm in diameter.
Thread is Milford mercer size 20.

30 May 2016

I have been quiet from this blog for a while, sorry..

I have to apologise to my blog readers for I have been neglecting my blog for sometime now.

There had been no crafting for about a month since we decided to re-paint the house.  There had been a lot of sorting and giving-away and throwing out of lots of stuff. Took the opportunity to turn the backroom into my workroom.  It is not a big room but sufficient to store my threads and place a couple of tables for my machines as well as a small cutting top.  The huge dining table will still be needed if I need to cut fabrics for making garments.  In the process fo sorting stuff, I put together all my tatting books in one place and realised that I don't have that many books.

This box contains all the books that I have on tatting.
Among the items that I gave away to clear the house for the re-paint, were some board games.  I received these delicious thread and a patterns magazine from Zarina in return. 

Also happened in the last two months ....
Attended the annual general meeting (AGM) of the Arts and Craft Guild, KL & Selangor.

The AGM was held at a member's arts studio, hence a lot of paints and palettes and brushes in the picture
Spoke a little about tatting during the AGM
I started on a tatting project before the workers came to re-paint the house but put it aside for until all the work is completed.  However, it was brought out earlier than expected for a special group project. This is the motif that I started,
This is the motif that I started.
A friend helped to sew it into a block
which made up part of this quilt.
In the photo of the completed quilt were some of the other ladies and gent who contributed the other blocks.  There are others who were not in the picture who could not make it on the day this photo was taken.  Some of the blocks came all the way from Switzerland and the US.  This quilt was made for a special friend who had not been well.

That's it for the updates
Once again, apologies for not regularly updating this blog. However, you are all invited to my tatting page in Facebook, Tat-a-Renda, where I post snippets of what I am doing.

13 March 2016

Beads on a string

So, I wanted to clean my craft area and get rid of some of the clutter. .... and, you can guess what happened.

I found this string of beads inside one of the many boxes.

I just had to do something with it before throwing it out. So, I made this,

It started to get interesting and I tatted a few more,

The above were tatted with shuttle and ball, except for the bottom-most, which was with shuttle only.

Then I continued some more and tried with two shuttles, with the result you can see below,

There is a lot more that can be done with this string of beads.

What? ... The clean-up?  ... Did I say I wanted to clean-up the craft area?
Now, when did I say that?

Here is another photo before I close this topic. Tatted a couple of cloverleaves to the sample (with two shuttles).

There should be enough sample for you to try experimenting on your own.

There were requests for patterns, here and also on my Facebook page.  Not sure how to prepare patterns for these because the stitch count will depend on the size of the strung beads. Some of the techniques that I have used for this experiment, besides the double-stitch and regular join, is the crocodile join, roll join and double-stitch on split chains.

7 March 2016

Hearts All Done


A number of tatters have asked for the pattern when I posted my progress on my FB page.
The pattern for the doily is from the Land of Laces blog.  It was published bt the blog author in several parts.  You may have to scroll down several pages to get the pattern since it was published a while back.

The thread that I used for my doily is DMC perle cotton no.12.  Not really a fan of perle for tatting but I had to try it at least once to find out how it feels.  Well, still not a fan.  The thread fuzzes up easily, understandable since it is loose twist 2-ply.  The picots splits, which made it harder to join, especially if the picots are small.  May not consider using it again for future projects.

Photo on the grid mat to show the actual size after blocking
On white, to show the colors of thread used.
Close-up of the hearts

29 February 2016

Tatting and sewing

I don't know if there is a name for this doily, so I have been calling it the Hearts doily. it is from the Land of Laces blog,  The penultimate round was taking ages but finally finished all 20 repeats of it.

The lighting is not very good in this photo, sorry
The final round is actually the 2nd last round which joins the last round to the rest of the doily. This should work up quickly enough since it is all chains except for a tiny ring for each repeat, but it is rather fiddly. I still have loads of ends to hide.  I still have the bad habit of not hiding ends immediately after each round - very bad habit. This doily will need to be blocked later.

I will be very happy when this is done and over with.
I am using perle cotton no 12 to tat this, and I don't plan to use any perle again for any of my tatting, Just don't like the feel of it on my fingers, though the final result does look rather pretty.

Not much tatting done because I have been sewing prayer cloaks. These are like what I wore in my photo in front of the Kaabah in the previous post. Here it is again to refresh, My sister-in-law had asked me to sew them for her.

I know it is not tatted edgings, but it will take ages for me to tat 4m of lace multiply by three because I sewed three pieces of the cloaks.

The left-over fabric was sewn into drawstring bag to store the cloaks when travelling.

A few friends have asked me to teach them how to sew these cloaks as well as how to sew garments. So, I am doing that as well.

And that is how I spent my time these past months.