Thursday, February 27, 2014

Motif #7

Ever have one of those days when nothing seems to go right?  Seems like everything I've tatted for the last week or two had to be cut off, thrown away, or started over.  I've tried THREE times to get this doily center done, thinking it would be a good portable project if I did it in a light color.  The other two are in the trash can.  (Why is it I never seem to notice a really BAD error in the 'early' stages of something until I get almost to the END of it?)  FINALLY got this center finished, and now I don't like my color choices.  I'll probably do the doily eventually, and most likely still use a 'light' color, but it'll be something brighter than this sample.  It's OK - most of the time I really don't care if I have to cut off a mistake or re-do something, as long as I'm tatting.  Whatever the color, whatever the project, whatever the technique, even whatever the weather - if I'm tatting, it's a nice day.
This is the center from the "Lucky Clover" doily in Tatting Patterns & Designs by Blomqvist and Persson.  Patterns in this book are in what I think of as 'shorthand' form.  I don't think there are any diagrams in the book, but it has fantastic photographs, and that helps me quite a lot if I get 'stuck' somewhere in a pattern.  Thread used is DMC 80 Ecru and Sulky #12-wt.  Unfortunately sometimes the labels fall off of my Sulky spools, too, so the color number/name will have to remain a mystery.  For those long chains in the center, instead of doing a regular DS, I used the double-double stitch (DDS).  For my tension, 4 DDS equals 5 regular DS, so where the pattern said '10' of the regular DS, I did 8 of the DDS.  The double-double stitch makes very long chains smoother - they don't look crumpled and try to curl when you compress the long chains. 
Today I spent part of the afternoon tatting while the aroma of baking gingerbread floated through the air around me.  I was working on Renulek's tat-along at the time, trying to finish the 'current' row in time for the release of the next row tomorrow.  The gingerbread turned out very nicely.  The tatting is coming along well, also.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Renulek's Spring 2014 Napkin - ready for the next round

So far there are five rounds on the doily.  Renulek's blog says that the next row will be given on Monday, and I am really looking forward to it.  The whole 'tatting along' idea is great fun, and it makes me wonder what the next row will be.  Once again I am taking a bit of a 'risk,' climbing out with a split chain, guessing that each picot in this round will be joined to an element in the coming round.  The threads sticking up at the top are still attached to the shuttles.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Update on Renulek's Spring 2014 Napkin progress

Just completed Round 4 of Renulek's Spring 2014 Napkin this morning.  This hasn't been pressed, blocked, shaped, or anything - just put it on the scanner, so it looks a bit crumpled from being held while I was tatting.  When I started this round I took a bit of a risk - decided that those picots would probably all join to Round 5, so I climbed out of Round 4 with a split chain - those 2 threads at the top of the picture are still connected to the shuttles. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

This is one of my other projects - another doily designed by Jan Stawasz.  Instead of size 10 thread, I am using DMC 80 (ecru) and Sulky Blendables #12-wt (teal variegated).  I was SURE a full 5-gram ball of DMC would be plenty, since it was not the only color I was using.  I was wrong.  Today I cut several pattern repeats off (I had started the next round).  Dug through all my 'small thread' stashes to find my last ball of DMC ecru.  I am not worried about the difference in dye lot, because the threads are close enough to look alike in the sunlight, and there will be a round of teal rings between the 'old' ecru thread and the 'new' ecru thread.  There are two rounds left before this doily is finished.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Motif #6

Jane Eborall released the last 'puzzle piece' (section of pattern) for the 2014 Tat It And See (TIAS) game today.  If you haven't been participating, it's not too late to start.  Although Jane recommended using size 20 thread, I checked with her, then used Perfect Quilter 17-wt 'volcano' color for the sails and Sulky #12-wt quilting thread (solid color green, sorry, I don't know the color number for this one) for the rest of the boat.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Motif #5

This little shuttle-shaped medallion came from the 17 February, 2014 Online Tatting Class.  It is an 'oval' medallion by Norma Benporath.  I wanted to make a flower, leaves, and an 'edging,' so in this first one, the flower is an unidentified vintage tatting (size 80) thread.  Leaves are Sulky Cotton Blendables #12-wt, color 4015.  Outer edge is Sulky Blendables #12-wt color 4032 'Iris.'

Next I tried the same medallion, this time using tips from the class materials to do it in one pass.  I used Sulky Blendables #12-wt, color 4031 'Country Colonial' for this one.  Class materials showed how to use split rings with some floating rings and a split chain to do the entire medallion without having to cut, tie, and hide ends.  I did half of the medallion using the suggested path, then decided to experiment to see if I could do something similar using self-closing mock rings (SCMRs).  I tried 'stacking' two SCMRs on top of each other, which did not work very well, as you can see, if you look closely.  Finished the medallion anyway - after all, the shuttles were already filled and in my hands - may as well keep tatting.

Still in the 'experimenting' mood, I started another one, this time using 2 colors, the pink 'unknown' vintage thread and the Sulky 'Country Colonial' thread.  Color choice was entirely based on "which two shuttles have the most thread left on them?"  I started with the flower, leaving enough of a 'tail' to be able to use it to climb out of the flower and into the next 'round' with 2 split rings.  Once I was on the 'outside' of the medallion I changed to pink thread for the outer chains and hid the ends as I tatted that first chain.  This time I used SCMRs, but did not try to 'stack' them - just did 1 SCMR with a floating ring, finished the SCMR, and continued tatting 'normally' until it was time for another SCMR and floating ring.  The actual placement - WHICH ring should become the SCMR - in each case is probably not all that important as long as you keep track of where you are in the actual pattern.  I added a tiny picot - not much more than a bump - to the first floating ring where the rings of that 3-ring 'leaf' group would have originated, and as each subsequent floating ring added another 'leaf' to the inner group, I tried to make the join as invisibly as possible. 

In the process of experimenting, I discovered that in some ways the split ring/floating rings/split chain method was easier, and in some ways the SCMR/floating ring method seemed easier.  I think it probably depends on which technique a person feels most comfortable with, and possibly what sort of mood one is in at the time.  I still like my old-fashioned 3-color cut, tie, hide ends version the best.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Renulek's Spring 2014 Napkin - Round 3

Finished the third round just as the sun was heading over to the other side of the house.  To tat with these dark colors, I really need the sunlight coming in the window over my shoulder.  I am looking forward to Renulek's next row.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Renulek's "Spring 2014" napkin (what I would call a doily, mat, or - if it gets really large - a centerpiece) is posted on her blog.  She gave the pattern for the center on Monday, 10 February (2014) and the second round today (Tuesday, 11 February).  This is such a pretty, lacy bit of tatting I really couldn't resist.
Here are the first two rounds, done in Sulky Blendables 12-wt cotton thread.  Color is #4022, Midnight Sky.  Sulky #12-wt works out (for my tatting tension) to be about equal to a size 80 tatting thread.  It is intended for quilting and machine embroidery, I think.  It is softer than 'the usual' tatting thread, but I love the colors and the 'feel' in my hands.  Picking out mistakes can be difficult, not just because it's tiny, but because it is more loosely twisted than a thread made specifically for tatting.   I can hardly wait for the next round.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Motif #4

I had tatted an edging for the sleeves of a long-sleeved blouse last fall, but it needed something more.  Since it was a 'mock-turtleneck' blouse, anything I edged the neckline with would have to stretch enough to pull over my head, then go back to it's normal size so it would sort of 'hug' the neck.  Finally decided to make a medallion, then decided instead of a medallion to sew on, I would try making a pin instead.  I plan to wear it pinned at or near the neckline, but here you see it pinned to one of the sleeves so you can see the edging. 
This is Perfect Quilter #17-wt cotton thread, color name is 'volcano.'  It's approximately equal to a size 80 tatting thread.
Happy tatting to you all!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

For this first 25-motif challenge I decided to count only things I'd tatted this year.  I'd started this doily in the fall of 2013 and completed it just this week.  It's from Jan Stawasz's first book:  Tatting Theory and Patterns.  It was tatted using Valdani 35-wt. cotton quilting thread.  According to the Valdani website, their 35-wt. thread corresponds to US 24-wt thread.  I did a size 'guesstimate' using a medallion I've tatted so often that the pattern is memorized, and my best guess is it's somewhere around what might be considered size 90-100 in 'tatting' thread sizes.  The doily turned out too large to fit on the scanner bed, even using tiny thread.  Can't imagine how big it would be if I used the thread size recommended on the pattern.  It needed to fit on a quilt block, so I kept trying smaller and smaller threads until I got a good 'fit.'

Motif #3

This medallion is Wally Sosa's 'birthday/Superbowl' 'snowflake/medallion' for 2014.  It was featured in the Online Tatting Class 'Special Event' session on Sunday 2 Feb.  Wally's patterns are always fun to tat.  Thread used was size 30 in pink and very pale blue.  This is another 'anonymous' thread - labels are long gone.  At least I'd written the size on the inside of the spool.


Motif #2

The pattern for this bracelet came from Edwige Renaudin.  It was Monday's (3 Feb) Online Tatting Class lesson.  Another 'lost label' thread - I used Lizbeth size 20 in black and a purply-pink ombre.  Clasp is tatted so I can wear it - I'm allergic to some metals.  Bracelet is interlocking split rings.  There were two versions - one with the rings sloping upward, the other with the rings sloping downward.  I did the downward one. 

First motif of my first 25-motif challenge is a cupcake designed by Nancy Tracy.  Used vintage size 80 threads because I was determined to have a CHOCOLATE cupcake, and a nice, red cherry.  That was the only thread size with both colors.