24 November 2019

Square Mat - joining the square motifs

A few photos to show how I joined the squares for the mat.

The side square being joined to the space at the base of the two rings in the corner square.

One joined done

Two joins done. 
As you can see in the last photo, I have made the extra small ring in preparation for when the adjacent square will be attached to it later.

19 November 2019

Square Mat Part 2

This is the next part of the instructions for the mat.

For this, we are going to start over with a new square.  The one that I gave in the first post is to show the stitch count for the basic square motif. it will not be used in the construction of the mat proper.  You can use that basic square as a guide for the stitch count which will used from now on. It is not a complicated stitch count; you will remember it after the first or two repeats of the motif.

The charts that I am giving after this will be without any stitch count.

The first of the motifs for this mat will be a corner square. If you recall the basic square has no joining picots on the outside.
(This is part that I was struggling with previously in trying to write the instructions.  I hope it makes sense).

The first corner square is done slightly different from the basic square in order to provide for a place to join the 2nd motif to.  It is done in  such a way that parts of the 2nd motif are tatted together in the corner square.  I hope this becomes clearer looking at the chart below.

The red rings are part of the adjacent squares, below and to right of the corner square. It has the same stitch count as the ring adjacent to it, respectively which is (6-6).

I have added another motif ti the chart in blue, which I will call the side square. The side square is joined to the corner square at the base of the two black and red rings.

As you can see, the side square is also tatted with the rings for the subsequent motifs included in it. Continue making the side square until you have reached the length you require for one side of the mat.  Finish the side with another corner square, paying particular attention to the placement of  the additional rings for the next motif.

The side square on the other side of the corner motif is similarly tatted, as shown in green in the chart below.

I will stop here for now.  I think you have an idea already of how this progresses as the mat grows.  For the sake of completeness, I will come back again with instructions for the inner square.

17 November 2019

Old design Re-visited

I am re-visiting an 'old' design that I made years ago, in 2011. Some of my readers may recall this rectangular mat.

I am looking back at this with the intention of preparing the instructions for this mat.  I have looked back at it a few times before trying to think of the best way to prepare the instructions. I think I have figured it now.  But it is not a straight-forward share; I will be giving the instructions in several parts over a number of posts.

I am starting off by giving the pattern for the basic square of the mat, and the stitch count for it in the chart below.

The pattern requires two shuttles.  As a guide, if using size 40 thread, you'll need approximately 2.6m of thread in each shuttle. Make all the joining picots small. I count the join as the first half of the double stitch and continue with the second-half after the join.

As you can see, there are no picots on the outside to join to the next motifs to grow the mat. That will be explained in the coming posts.  Come back later to check the next steps.

5 November 2019

JS Masterpiece Round 5 and hiding ends.

I am starting Round 5 of the Jan Stawasz doily and want to share some of what I had done and planning to do.

In my earlier post, Carollyn (Madtatter80) asked about the size difference between size 20 and size 80.  In this photo, I placed the size 80 over the size 20 of the doily that I tatted a few years ago.  A quick measure and simple calculation showed that the size 80 is just under three-quarters the size 20 doily.

I tatted a sample of Rd 5, repeating the red of Rd 4 in the centre of the motif of Rd 5. I felt that it may look too 'dark' with the reds close together and decided to just use the ombre.

I have been using several methods of starting and ending my tatting that leave only ONE end to hide at the end.

I start with the Continuous Thread Method (CTM) wherever possible which straightaway eliminates two ends at the beginning.

If I have two shuttles with the same shade of thread, I can still start with the CTM, by pulling out some amount of the tread from one of the shuttle and start tatting partway from the end that I had pulled off. This thread that I had pulled off (the 1st shuttle) becomes part of the 2nd shuttle thread.  When that runs out, the thread from the 2nd shuttle is added by the easy tatting-over-tails method.

If using to different colours, there is another way of starting by tatting over tails described by Jane Eborall in her techniques page for Starting Ring no-knot Method that straightaway hides the two ends at the start.

As for the ending, Jane has also provided a clear tutorial in pictures of hiding one end in the last chain, Hiding Ends no-knot Method.

These are the methods that I have been using that leave me with only one end to hide, which I usually sew in.

However, Rd 5 of this masterpiece doily has 12 motifs and I don't fancy sewing in 12 ends of size 80 into tiny double stitches that I can barely see.  And so, I decided to re-visit the other technique of hiding ends, i.e. the magic thread trick. Again, I am sharing Jane's tutorial because she made it so clear and easy to understand.  The only thing is that, the loop of the magic thread must be added at the beginning (where you started) and I tend to forget to do that in previous cases.  You can see this loop (the red loop) in the photo above.

Who knows, this technique may grow on me and I will continue to use it for other projects.

30 October 2019

Masterpiece doily again

After looking at several options I decided to re-visit Jan Stawasz's Masterpiece doily and tat it a second time.  And to make it different from the 1st tat, this time I will be adding colours and an added challenge of using size 80 thread.

I have just completed Rd 3 and at this time the doily is only just about 11cm wide.
A little something about the thread.  Size 80 is the smallest thickness that I have tatted with so far.  I am using DMC for this and all I can say that it is a wonderful thread to tat with.  There is only very slight twisting (almost none at all) and the rings close very smoothly.

I have always been happy with my tension in whatever thread that I use for my tatting, but I noticed a slight difference when tatting with size 80 thread.  I seem to be loosening my tension a bit with this thread but the rings and chains still manage to hold their shape well.  Well enough that I do not need to block after each round; suffice to have it pressed under several books from my reading list.

p.s. This is my first JS Masterpiece tatted with size 20. The finished size is about 70cm wide.

19 October 2019

Doily and night-blooming flowers

Still un-decided on my next big project, I worked on a small doily by Jan Stawasz from his book Tatted Treasures.  It was quite an easy tat and quite enjoyable.  There had been a lot of waiting time this past few weeks and this project helped to pass the time.

I also spent some time to familiarise with the drawing software Inkscape to draw my tatting patterns. I had been using Serif before but my computer went kaput on me and I lost that software.  I am now on a different computer and decided to try Inkscape.  There isn't much differences in the functionalities between Serif and Inkscape. I think I am going to be comfortable using Inkscape for now.

At the time of writing this post, I am also following the blooming stages of my epiphyllum oxypetalum, also known as Queen of the Night, or Dutchman's pipe cactus. The plant has given me blooms several time before but this is the most number it has blooming at the same time. Previously, I only got two blooms each time but I was happy to see seven this.  Only five flowers bloomed tonight.  I am expecting the other two to open up tomorrow night.

This was two weeks ago (7 October)
The petals started to open up at 8.20pm today.
The following are the flowers at different times photographed during the night. 

This is a close-up of one of the flowers.

30 September 2019

Ruth Scharf, Blatter, Tischband .....

I recently completed a project from one of Ruth Scharf's two books.  I have had the Ruth Scharf's books for a while now but have not attempted anything from it. I guess I was slightly intimidated by the look of the leaves pattern.  As it turned out, it was quite easy after all. I just need to refer to the stitch count frequently though, to make sure I did not miss anything.  It did not help that the book was written in German.

 The pattern above is from the book on the left in the photo below. 

I had not anticipated the flurry of interests it caused when I posted about this in my Facebook page, Tat-a-Renda, because it was not a newly-released book.  In fact, there was a tat-along of one of the patterns from the book organised by blogger Umi & Tsuru way back in 2012, the Tischband Tat-along. A number of tatters participated in that Tat-along but I didn't.

As far as I know the books are out of print but one of my Facebook page readers contacted Ruth Scharf's family and received the good news that they are still available upon request. This is the reply that Harriet Pollak received from Volker Scharf on her enquiry about the book.

"There are two different of my mother’s tatting books for sale.
1) Occhi - Blätter, Streifen, Pfeile, Bänder, Zacken (german)
2) Occhi - Neue Blätter (german, translation in english as inlay)

Each 20 € plus 8 € shipping cost. Payment via paypal.

If you like to order please please let me know which one and how many you like and send me your paypal email address and your postal address"

If anyone reading this is also interested in the book, please contact Volker Scharf for more information at this e-mail address, Volker.scharf@t-online.de

A little more about the book that I have:
The two books are written in German but an English translation was provided as insets for the 2nd book, Neue Blatter. There are only minimal diagrams/charts in the book. The charts are for the construction of the leaves and similar panels.  The instructions for the actual pattern (doilies) are not charted.

25 September 2019

Tat-a-Renda Tat-along Doily

This doily was first posted in my Facebook page as a tat-along.

  • Thread: Olympus Gold Special, 2 balls. 
  • Tools: Shuttle, 2 shuttles in certain rounds. I tatted this with shuttles but I believe needle-tatters should be able to tat this with no problems. 
  • Techniques: Rings, Chains, Thrown Rings, Split Rings (Optional), Split Chains (Optional), lock joins (besides the regular join). 
  • Finished size: 28cm.
This tat-along doily can be tatted with shuttle-and-ball except for rounds 4, 9 and 11, where two shuttles will be required because there are thrown rings in these rounds. Additional techniques used, besides rings and chains, are thrown rings and lock joins. You can cut and tie after each round but you can continue into the next rounds without cutting by utilising split chains and split rings where suitable.

Round 1:
All rings are (7+3-3-7), joined to each other as shown in the photo.
All chains are (4-4-4-4).
Round 2:
The rings are all (4+4-4-4) and joined where shown.
One ring is joined to the middle picot in the chain from Rd 1, in a three-rings repeat.

Round 3:
All rings are (2-2-2-2+2-2-2-2) joined to the chain in Rd 2, as shown in the photo.
Round 4:
This round is slightly different and needs two shuttles because there are thrown rings in the chain.
The chains are attached with a lock join to the middle picots of the chains in Rd 3.
The small thrown ring is (2-2-2-2).

Do Not cut the thread after this round as you can continue into Rd 5.

Round 5:
This round is made up of all chains.
The stitch count for each repeat is (7-4-4-4-7), and a lock join to the space at the lock join in Rd 4.

Round 6:
All rings are (4-4+4-4) and joined as shown in the photo.
Round 7:
All rings are (2-2-2+2-2-2) and joined to Rd 6 as shown in the photo.
All chains are (5-5).

Round 8:
All rings are (2-2-2+2-2-2) and joined to Rd 7 as shown in the photo.
All chains are (3-3-3-3).

Round 9:
This round require two shuttle because of the thrown rings in it.

It starts with a join to the centre picot in any chain of Rd 8. For cases where I have to start this way, I make a lock join to the picot I am starting from and the subsequent picots.

Do not cut the thread after this round as you can continue into Rd 10 after this. (See notes for Rd 10 below).

All small rings are (2-2-2-2).
All chains are 5 ds before and after the small ring.
Round 10:
This is another all chains round that is joined (with a lock join) to the small space where the lock join is in the previous round.

Continue from where you end Rd 9 without cutting the thread.

This is a "tight round", meaning you'll have to snug up the double stitches in the chains real close before making that lock join.

Make small joining picots in the chains so that the chains before and after the lock join stand up well against each other.

Round 11:
You will need two shuttles for this round because of the small thrown ring in the chains.
Rd 12 is as Rd 10 with same stitch count.
The small rings are (2-2-2-2).
The chains are 5ds before and after the small rings, lock-joined to the picot in the chain of Rd 10.

Note: there will be a slight cupping of this round but it will flatten out when you do Rd 12.

Round 12:
This round is similar to Rd 10 with a different stitch count.

This is an all-chains round which I started by making a lock join to the picot in any chain of Rd 11.
The stitch count are (8-5-5-5-8) joining as shown in the photo.
As I wrote above, this round will flatten the cupping in Rd 11. The full photo up to Rd 12 was snapped without the need for blocking.

Round 13:
This is another all chains round.
Start with a lock join to a picot in the previous round and follow the stitch count given in the photo.
Note where the (3-3) chains and the (6-6) chains are in relation to the arches of the previous round.

Round 14:
This is the final round of the tat-along.

Moving right-to-left in the photo; reverse work after each ring/chain. Please refer to the photos on where the joins are.

1. R(2-2-2+2-2-2), C(4)
2. R(3-2+2-2-5), C(4-4)
3. R(5+2-2-5), C(4-4-4)
4. R(5+2-2-5), C(4-4)
5. R(5+2-2+2-3), C(4)
Repeat from step 1 for the next pattern repeat.

Hello again

I have been neglecting my blog for a some time now - almost two years. I have been spending a lot of time on my Facebook page, Tat-a-Renda (https://www.facebook.com/tatarenda.my/).

I have no reason to explain my absence from here but I hope to update this blog more regularly from now on.
For starters, I will be posting pictorials of this doily that I created as a tat-along in my Facebook page. It will be a post after this entry.