Friday, 17 November 2017

a star is born

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Another new pattern for the, ummm, Medallion Series …

Penta Fleur medallion

This was made over a week back. Nothing much to write here. I wanted to throw off the central ring from a chain and this pattern was the result of that quest. It is tatted in one pass.

I do like the way the long/double picot completes a ‘petal’ and a 5-petalled flower emerges from the confines of a pentagonal star. Based on this I decided on the name and when I Googled it, found that Pentas or penta fleur really is a flower ! Also called Egyptian Star. How opportune is that! Except that I'd already completed it in green otherwise perhaps a red or pink would be more appropriate.

I used Anchor size 20 but we know that it is thicker than Lizbeth 20.
Measures approx 6.5 cms at the broadest points.
Tats up real quick but a picot gauge is required for the long picot. I used a 3/8” gauge held vertically ie. perpendicular to the core thread.

The first trial in tinted blue. Not all chains of same length; other minor tweaks also went on.

Incidentally, while making this, if I had joined the chains differently I get another pattern. I’m really eager to see if the idea works!

This is a diagram-only presentation. In case of any difficulty, you know where I’ll be ;-D

happy tatting always !

Monday, 13 November 2017

binging on picots

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Who would've thought !
What can I say, it happens....

Remember adding picots to the doily challenge?
My plan was to repeat dot picots in the 3rd round of Frywolaga’s Doily#10. After tatting 3 chains, it just did not cut it for me. There was no enhancement - quite the contrary – almost tacky.
Out came the snippers and, hey what the heck, I fell back on our trusted, time-tested regular humble picots!

Why not go the whole hog? And it seems to works, doesn't it ?!
Measures just over 6.5cms in size 40 (without taking picots into account).

The unintentional upswing is how all linked rings (rounds 2 & 3) form continuous garland around.
Just like in my clover wreath pattern – when tessellated, the pair of rings from each motif form a floret! It was unplanned - the florets just emerged.
It amazes me how every little experiment offers learning, discerning, and designing opportunities!

This is turning out to be quite a fun learning experience :-)

binging laced with no calories – happy tatting J

Friday, 10 November 2017

Am I the right person?

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Especially where picots on tatted lace are concerned?
I generally go for minimum decorative picots, preferring clean lines that show the design clearly. Not that I don't admire the lacy, airy effect of picots.

A couple of weeks back Agnieszka (Frywolaga) invited her readers to a fun picot challenge.
She usually makes 2 versions of her beautiful patterns – one with and other without decorative picots. This time she shared a picture of her Doily #10 without free picots and those interested need to put in picots where they wish. She sends out instructions for the next round when the previous is finished.

When I first set eyes on her doily I loved the simple lines and didn’t want to muck or clutter it up with picots (sorry, dear picot-ists, no offence ;-D). But when I received the 1st round pattern, I had to think slightly out of the box and came up with the following …

Here are my first 2 rounds worked in Anchor size 40 …
I used a double picot in round 1 enhancing the floral effect.
Measures 2.5cms
She shares her suggestion here

Dot picots in the 2nd round.
Measures just over 5cms

I hope to repeat both type of picots in later rounds.

It really is fun! And knowing the complete design, it becomes easier to plan ahead. Just hope I do a good enough job while enjoying the journey. If you wish to join in, the links above provide all the information.

What I did muck up, though, was this simple pattern - the Onion Ring Magic Square #2. I had no problem following the pattern or direction, yet stumbled on simple joins! Thrice rings are attached incorrectly. Noticed only in the picture when the negative space seemed wonky. 

Since I wanted only the one square, most joining picots in outer chains were discarded. (Next time I might even discard the free picots on inner rings ;-P)

Onion rings were tatted with same shuttle. Inner ring from backside, turn work, outer ring from frontside. Outer ring is looped from Behind the inner ring as I had done for the marigolds here.. I found it much quicker to work especially when not using 2 colours. This is the onion ring join used - very effective.

with or without picots, tatting is always lacy fun J

Wednesday, 8 November 2017


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Conflicting forces abound – centripetal, centrifugal – turning my brain mushy with overload at times and my hands work faster at others.
Randomly sharing some of the medallions I’ve been tatting over the last few days … Can you see them in the center of a larger design? 

My latest pattern – The Pinwheel !
There are few patterns with a central picot on chain and they usually have ‘spokes’ like the one here. I wanted something with curved chains and sketched this. But with the very 2nd chain I realized why they had to be spokes, unless one enlarges the picot vastly or one layers the chains as I resorted to here.
The little picots were meant for joining adjacent chains which was not logistically possible, but I kept them. I kinda like the sense of swirling, spinning motion in this piece.
Incidentally, I worked it with single shuttle attached to ball thread! The outer chains are Direct tatting ie reverse stitch (unflipped). All picots are very small. Lock join to the ring picot. Stitch count is notated on the image.

It is always so tough to estimate the length of a central picot (which is why we resort to other means). Moreover, according to Elgiva Nicholls a central picot should not be visible. 
I wanted to check out my Central Picot measurement tip/formula, hence chose a pattern from Lyn Morton’s ‘Tatting Patterns’Simplicity.
Central picot is all but invisible as it should be, but the earlier formula has been changed. If someone volunteers, we can give the new formula a quick test run. Please let me know – I realise it is busy-tatting season, yet…. 
This is round 1 of Simplicity .... and

my Layered Extension of Simplicity (round 1)
Using the same stitch count and central picot length as in original, 2 more rings were added, layering them consistently. This is how it looks. I have sketched an outer round for it. 
Or with a bead in center and more seed beads around, it could become a pendant, brooch or earrings!

ANKARS was another technique I wanted to revisit and chose this pattern by Verbena Creazioni.
This is the basic pattern for a pendant with beads. I think it works well even without beads.
But perhaps next time I will add beads. I’d like to add more rounds to this one and see where it goes. It is a modern variation of enclosed space medallion .

Finally, a central ring pattern from some Coats and Clark book
Worked in Anchor size 50, it is only the first 2 rounds. Worked in different colours, it shows the central ring clearly and I like how chains dip due to the small rings, creating a floral outline.

Here is the complete 3-round pattern - 3 motifs were linked to make a broad bracelet or bookmark. This was tatted and photographed 4 years back - when I rediscovered tatting. It has taken over my life since then ;-P

So, any volunteers, then, to try out the central picot measurement? 
Please leave a comment or email me

whatever the forces, center in on your tatting J

Sunday, 5 November 2017

layering effects

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I’ve been revisiting a few techniques – both using layered or stacked rings - to refresh my memory.

Ninetta’s modern adaptation using a floating layered ring was my first stop. I converted it into a flower pattern. DH thought it looked like a lotus! Lotus motif is a fairly common sight in temple architecture, decorative ceilings in buildings/rooms, Jaipur-style paintings, etc. That settled the name ....

Lotus Medallion
In Anchor size 20, the finished flower measures 6cms across.

The inner medallion uses the same stitchcount and process as Dillmont’s original motif. Except that I made 6 rings instead of 4 – which meant I had to add 2 more picots to the floating ring. All details hereThis center can be made with a single shuttle and a long tail pulled out to work the floating ring and 2ds of split ring.
This is a modern variation of the rosette or enclosed space medallion.

I hadn’t planned anything specific. But this looked so forlorn that I had to do something to cheer it up ;-P
I continued with the layering theme, this time with chains. When did I last use 4 shuttles? Time to set them up :-D Tried out my idea with some scraps and ran out of the red at this stage. 

Starting again, I used light and dark shades of the same colour - this contributes to the 3D effect. 

Yes, those are dot picots in a diamond arrangement! Can't stay away from experimenting ;-P Here's how I worked it ... Dot Picot tutorial links here

Work a string of 3 dot picots with shuttle 2, and 1 dot picot with shuttle 1.
Note : When making this dot picot with shuttle 1, leave a very tiny bit of thread on both sides.

In order to make the make the single picot clearly visible, 
I used the Floating Beads with tatted rings method, tying an overhand knot around the base of the dot picot. 
The faux bead now rests at a slight distance from the chain.

Now start the chain close to the faux beads. 
When the chain is tensioned, the 4 dot picots form a kind of diamond shape. 

If one is using beads instead of dot picots, this round can be worked with 2 shuttles attached to respective balls. Pre-string 18 seed beads in each ball, and 6 seed beads in each shuttle.

Chains on either side of the faux beads have 10 stitches each. But this can be changed to suit one's taste.  
Chains are lock joined to the picots on inner medallion. But remember to overlap the new chain Before making a lock join with the previous one. Also keep the overlap direction consistent throughout. An under/over overlap as in the model helps when making the final chains and joins.

If using single colour throughout, one can climb out of the inner round with a split ring.

So what's your verdict ? And suggestions ? Colour choices? 
Once I have your opinion I will work another model and present the final pattern. 

happy tatting always J

Friday, 3 November 2017

not enough?

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I’m pretty much engrossed in some other stuff but here’s a quick peek into what I did last week.

Clover  Wreath  Mats
(DIP - design in progress)

This is the one with 3 strands of embroidery thread I shared here. I’ve stopped here and will decide what to do with it later.... 

Instead I started one in Anchor size 20 (thicker than Lizbeth 20) in 2 colours. I wanted to try a swirl join in the center of each medallion but kept forgetting. So finally I remembered while tatting the 3rd motif and used it for the center.
What do you think? The swirl seems to round up the motif, right?

I was still too focused on the original 2-colour version that demarcated the inner clover ‘flower’ surrounded by arching ‘stems with leaves’. But when tessellated, these leaves formed another small 6-petal floret which gets lost in 2 colours because the eye is drawn to the yellow flower. 

Time to try it in single colour - this time in Anchor size 40. Also, picots on the chains seemed to add some clutter, so out with them! I didn’t want to change the chain stitches, though – they arch beautifully to form a larger petal outline, don’t they?!
This one has swirl joins in all motifs.

I love how little changes go a long way in altering one’s focus. 
Colour, texture (swirl join), clean chains (picot-free) are the 3 tweaks made in this 2nd version.

Which one of these do you prefer and why ?

Hexagon is my favourite shape, and especially so for tessellation – so many possibilities ! Reminds me of quilting. One can go 'straight' or go round, with numerous in-betweens.

3 hexagons in each version for a quick comparison -
Each medallion/motif tats up pretty quickly – one a day without stretching oneself. But I wanted to experiment with an edging. I’ve sketched a few simple ones trying to outline the chain arches and even started tatting one idea. But this project is stalled for the present. Any ideas are welcome.

And before signing off, please do check the lovely earrings Carollyn made using the poinsettia  version !!! I was thrilled to see them and the model too :-)

happy tatting always J
Related Posts -

Sunday, 29 October 2017

switch the core !

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I have a few pictorials concerning split rings waiting to be shared for some time. To get things moving, I am uploading as a post now, and will convert to pdfs soon, including the sew-free hiding of tails in SR pictorial.

When working a pattern with numerous split rings as in a braid, the shuttle that is used for the core thread empties faster than the 2nd shuttle. Despite starting with equal lengths in both shuttles, the core thread uses up an extra length, hence the mismatch in usage.

In another scenario, we may have just enough thread in shuttle 1 to make the stitches of the ‘last’ ring but not enough to form the core.

If we are working with same colour in both shuttles, we could use an overhand knot or shoelace trick (SLT) to switch shuttles, thus emptying both shuttles equally.
But what if it is a 2-colour braid? The SLT will cause a switch in colours. It also creates the tiniest bit of knot which I personally dislike.

Following is an alternate way to optimize use of both shuttles whether working with one or more colours. I haven't seen it anywhere, and it works for me....

Switch the Core Thread
Optimizing Thread Usage in Split Ring Patterns
muskaan  © Oct, 2017

Each split ring in this braid is 8ds/8ds. There is a very small mock picot between rings.
Shuttle1 (red) – cream thread ;  Shuttle2 (blue) – variegated thread.

1. I tatted over tails on either side for a knot-free start to split ring. 
Middle path mantra was followed. 

 2. Complete the ring, tug and snip off extra tails.

 3. Next split ring is also made using shuttle1 core

 4. Continue tatting split rings normally, using shuttle1 for core thread.

5. When we get to the point when either shuttle1 thread is running out 
or we want to use up some of the shuttle2 thread, Turn the work over
(notice the shuttles have now switched positions).

We will now be working from the backside.

 6. Start next split ring with shuttle2 (1st side of SR made - notice core thread). 
In case of fs/bs tatting, use reverse order of stitches (RODS) - 
ie. second half stitch, first half stitch. Stitches are flipped.

7. Now work 2nd (unflipped/reverse stitch) side with shuttle1.

Make discretionary changes in case of directional or frontside/backside tatting. 

 8. Pass shuttle2 over-under, through the ring.

 9. Shuttle2 is now on the ‘front side’ and ring can be closed.

10. Continue working a few rings with shuttle2 to use up same amount of thread as shuttle1, 
or add new thread (2nd scenario) as the case may be.

Notice there is absolutely no difference in and between split rings 
whether they are worked with shuttle1 or shuttle2 !!!

Hope this is of some help. 
No doubt I will inform (and update with link here) when this is converted to a pdf; but in case you miss the notification, you can always check here.

I look forward to your feedback and suggestions, or tips on how you do it. Please do share.  

I like switching options in tatting and hope you do too.
happy tatting J

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

pattern and idea

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Pattern for the Poinsettia is ready!

My life has been quite scattered this entire month. Hence my disappearing acts ;-P
I do try to follow along, but leaving comments has been stymied due to erratic server on my desktop. Even this pattern and it’s conversion to pdf has been through a circuitous route through multiple devices. But I’d promised Carollyn! And the silver lining is that I learned something new!

This enclosed space medallion is constituted of inward facing clovers connected with chains and thrown/floating rings.
All beads are pre-strung and moved along the picot thread (not the core thread) – Nina Libin calls them “up’ beads.

In case of any doubts or questions, feel free to leave a comment or email me.
I hope you enjoy tatting this as much as I did.

UPDATE (Nov 3, 2017): Check how Carollyn adapted the pattern into lovely earrings using size 80 thread !!! I was thrilled to see them and the model too :-)

Meanwhile, I’ve been spending time joining the clover wreath medallions into mats. One coaster is complete & I have sketched a tentative edging for it. Need to put it to shuttles.

But here’s a peek into a bunting formation – just right for the holiday season if the colours are changed. Add a ribbon or straight header for hanging.  And if one wants triangles, simply join another medallion at the tip.

Here’s wishing I get more good days out of the server connection than bad ones :-D

My apologies for delays in responding to emails … 

happy tatting and  hope to stay in touch J