Saturday, 19 August 2017

hiding on a whim

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A week back I received an interesting email asking whether we can hide tails without sewing when ending on a split ring, something along the lines of Karen's video 161.
At the time I listed a few options/ideas for her to try while I recuperated….
(many more links listed in Tatting Resources page)
I've been very satisfied with my knot-free hiding using tatting over tails and whip stitching. But I do love a challenge! Couple of nights back I figured out a way (after 2 failed attempts where the ring unraveled as soon as I pulled to test it) to end on a split ring without sewing in tails and today I took pics.
And now as I prepare the post, looking for links, I find that Karen’s method is basically the same as Frivolé's with the addition of a lock join. This join helps to secure the ball thread further. Frivolé’s method was also demonstrated here by mytattingplace.
So my method turns out to be quite similar, too, if you scroll down !

Hiding tails in Split Ring without sewing
a pictorial
1. Start ring with Shuttle1. Tat till about the last 5- 6 stitches remain.
Then switch to Shuttle2 and complete the 2nd side.
2. Going back to Sh1, pull out a loop and finger tat the remaining stitches as in a SSSR. 
(loop-tatting the stitches)
3. Carefully close ring, keeping ample loop length.
4. Pass Sh2 through the loop (over - under) and over it's own thread ...
5 ... to make a half stitch or knot with Sh2 thread.
Make very sure it is on the side of loop that does not slide.
 6. Pull on Sh2 to tighten the half stitch as much as possible. 
 7. Pass Sh2 again thru loop (under-over).
8. Snip off Sh2, leaving a short tail still encapsulated within loop as in #7. 
Pull Sh1 to carefully close loop, trying to snug Sh2 tail as much as possible...
9. Sh1 loop disappears completely and Sh2 tail is flush against the base of ring. 
10. Snip off both tails. Voilà!
Tug all you want but the stitches do not unravel!

I call it whimsical 'coz am unsure how useful it will be. The only scenario I can think of right away is in SR braids where one can safely end with a SR. Or perhaps if one encounters mistakes and needs to snip off to make corrections, then we can minimise tails and sewing.
Anything else you can think of ?

I still hope it may come in handy sometime somewhere.

Till then, happy tatting and hiding without sewing 

ps. I haven't converted this pictorial to a pdf. If anyone wants, please let me know ...or use the icon at end of page

Friday, 18 August 2017

hiding ends knot-free

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Hiding Ends Knot-free in Rings
How to start and end patterns in the Quatrefoil Series

I’ve been meaning to share how I start and end the quatrefoil patterns. There are 4 tail ends to hide, 2 colours, and 2 types of rings at start and finish.
There are numerous methods to choose from, many listed here. So we are actually spoiled for choice.
My personal preferences are  -
  1. to hide tails in separate segments and avoid bulk
  2. to avoid knots while starting or ending
  3. to tat over the starting tails, ending in the middle’ of a stitch ('the middle path').
  4. to whip stitch the end tails.
All these have been incorporated in how I start and end my quatrefoil patterns. Sharing a few process pictures here using Quatrefoil Square -

Leave a very tiny space at the beginning while tatting over tail in first ring. 
This ring is tatted backside (optional).
I follow the middle path when leaving tail
 Reverse work and attach shuttle 1 thread, tatting over tail in the ring.

Leave both tails unclipped for now. 

At completion, cut a long tail and thread needle through shuttle 2 thread. 
Pass needle through the space left on ring 1. 
Tug the old tail to bring the rings closer and to eliminate the space. 
Then whip stitch back through second half of last ring.
This is how the 2 tails look. Give another tug and it is now safe to clip the extra lengths. 
For shuttle 1 thread, pass needle through base of second ring, 
and whip stitch back through the last ring. 
All ends clipped after ensuring they are snugged tightly. 
The starting tails were tatted over ; 
the end tails were whip-stitched back through their respective rings. 

Notice how the space between 4 rings is consistent with the space in other 3 clusters (see lead pic) and there is no visible bulk or tell-tale tail ends.
This is merely my process. What is your preferred method(s) ?

Also, I have figured out a way to hide ends in a split ring without any sewing! I still need to take pics but will hopefully share soon.

happy tatting always :-)

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

designed to be a bracelet

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patterns for vintage edging and bracelet

Continuing with another vintage edging from the 1921 magazine. ), with 3 edgings posted out of 7 patterns. I believe this edging was destined to be doubled up into a bracelet or bookmark !

Vintage Bracelet from Edging #2
Needleart 1921 (Vol 8 issue 3)
Original Article - BellaOnline
New schematics-only pdfs of  Edging #2  & it's Bracelet variation

This is the original edging, with pattern. I used Lizbeth & Anchor threads in size 40 . 
Keep picots normal sized. Elegant scallops with a pretty straight header !
An easy ball & shuttle pattern for beginners and good practice for trefoils. 
This image is converted to pdf. Download Edging #2 pdf here 

Remember the simple tip about counting from tatted models? In this case, the rings are facing correctly, but chains show their wrong side. Hence while counting the chain stitches care should be taken to not count only the bars as 1ds. Hence each chain has 2ds between each picot.

 In order to avoid gapsosis, fold the trefoil before starting chain. Stepwise pictorial here.

I turned the corner using split rings. I like how the black continues to outline the contours.
My intention was to use this as a bookmark.
But findings can be added to the ring at the tip for jewellery, as I eventually did.

Notice how there were no beads initially (top left). 
Not that I minded the gaps along the middle, but beads would make it more ornamental. 
First sewed on large beads (top right), then added smaller beads. 

This is how the bracelet looks lying flat.
Size 4mm wooden beads & size 15 seed beads. 

I did a little Paint and Inkscape switcheroo with the scanned edging 
to see how a phase-shift return would look. 
What do you think ? Would you like to give it a go ?

We are celebrating 70 years of our Independence and I had a few ideas to tat with the colours of our flag. But time slipped away. This spring garland is probably the closest , though not in right order! Hopefully next year .....

I hope you enjoy tatting the bracelet as much as I did ! 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

a huff a puff and a tuft !!!

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Comparing Picots.

Did you miss me ? Yes ? I missed me, too !!!
When one’s head is in yo-yo mode, bobbing up and down – sometimes light sometimes heavy – one becomes mindful of being mindless! No ‘shuttle’ can transport you across and all one can do is play some mindless jigsaws on the tablet or read sappy stories.
So yes I missed me, my tatting, and most of all I missed You !!! Shutting out the net only meant I have much more to catch up on now (I read an occasional post, but couldn’t leave a comment). I apologise for these theatrics, and hope you will patiently wait as I plough through your emails and blogs in the coming days.

On a couple of good days I did manage to adapt a pattern into jewellery (first trials only) but that’s a secret for now. And I also figured out, on my own, a way to add beads exactly where I wanted them! Unbelievable.
Meanwhile, what’s a post without pics …

So Ninetta finally shared her Tuft Picots along with an excellent video demo & application ! I had the immense privilege of being the first to try them out – it was a quick tat where I tried to use them in chains and also compare them with interlocking picots (in size 40 tinted red sampler below). Served as a good study then.
But in her post she has also mentioned Mrs Mee’s Picots which I hadn’t tried before. So the new sampler in blue is a comparative study of 3 types of picots …. 

Comparative Study of Picots -
Interlocking Picots, Mrs Mee Picots, Tuft  Picots

Some basic characteristics are outlined below, along with direct link to tutorial :
Although samplers are rings, all these picots can be made on chains.
Size of thread doesn’t seem to matter. I’ve tatted them in size 40 & 20, and Ninetta in size 10.

All rings start with 4ds, p, 1ds followed by 8 picots using a 7mm vertical picot gauge, and end with 1ds, p, 4ds.
fhs – first half stitch ; shs – second half stitch ; ds - double stitch

·         Are long picots on a spiral or Josephine segment.
·         Here I made them between fhs.
·         Picot gauge is held above core thread.
·         The picots have a tendency to radiate & spread out, seen more clearly here  where the entire ring has picots.  
·         They, however, overlap or interlock with each other. Hence these are merely ornamental and cannot easily be used for joining later – there is a tendency for the cluster to distort if tugged.

Mrs Mee Picots (Rings 2 & 3)
·         Here the stitches are complete ds. Longer picots tend to twist. 
·         Picot gauge is held above core thread.
·         In ring 2, the picot is made while forming the shs ie. tat fhs normally, and form the shs around the gauge.
·         In ring 3, the picot is formed with fhs.
·         Notice the -
a)     change in direction of twist (see below)
b)     the stitch at base of picots. Ring 3 gives a complete stitch effect.
·         There is an even greater tendency to radiate outwards and each picot is separate. Hence joining new elements is easy, without any distortion.

Tuft Picots (Rings 4 to 7)
·         These picots are also made on a spiral or Josephine segment, similar to interlocking picots.
·         But the most important difference, and the unique feature of tuft process is that -
Picot gauge is held below the core thread.
·         Ring 4 uses shs between picots  ;  Ring 5 uses fhs
·         Notice –
a)     the interlocking/overlapping of picots
b)     their tendency to clump together – a neat outer line is visible (especially if picots are shorter).
c)     the illusion of ring being smaller than in previous ones
·         Not good for joining as tugging causes distortion.

These separate pair of rings above with only tufts are 6ds, 12 picots using ¼inch gauge, 6ds. But these 12 picots are a combination of tufts in 4 & 5. viz, …
·         Ring 6 has a combination – first 6 picots use shs, followed by 6 picots with fhs.
·      Ring 7 – order is reversed – 6fhs picots followed by 6shs picots. And I deliberately left some extra space when switching, giving it a crested effect.

Besides the joining/not-joining issue, these picots do consume lots of thread. More importantly, blocking them would probably pose some colourful situations - haven't attempted it yet ;-P 
Amazingly, I found Mrs Mee picots the most difficult to tat because every alternate half stitch has a picot and I had to retro-tat many times due to forgetfulness/errors.
For tuft picot, it is fun to 'lift them up' to the edge of the ring/chain - sometimes they simply want to 'lie low' ;-p

It would be interesting to see how these picots look if used all around a ring !
In general, though,
·         regular picots 'stand straight';
·         interlocking picots tend to radiate but overlap;
·         Mrs Mee picots radiate even more but remain single & perhaps with a twist;
·         while tuft picots tend to converge. 
And Floral or Ruffled Picots give us a picots facing inwards and outwards ! These have 2 same half stitches between each picot,  alternately.

For more on Tuft Picots and their possible application, please read the very talented and innovative Ninetta’s complete post. 
And many many thanks for always coming up with something new & fun,
and sharing with us lesser mortals :-))))

do it with a huff, a puff and numerous tufts !!!!
happy tufting :-)

Some more interesting picot effects/techniques :

Sunday, 6 August 2017

celebrating with a pattern

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It’s that time of the year when a sister ties a rakhi on the wrist of her brother celebrating the bonds of love and protection. I shared my first tatted rakhis in 2015 (links at end).

I was using up threads already on my shuttles from previous projects. 2 strands of Anchor embroidery thread/floss, that roughly measure up to size 40.
Final measurement – approx 3cms across.

This layered rakhi bracelet is an adaptation of 2 single shuttle medallions – the tiny wildflower and star of halves.

Rakhi Bracelet 2017 pattern
2 shuttles with 2 different colours

Round 1 : a 2-colour adaptation of Tiny Wildflower
[Orange ring : 5ds switch shuttle (SS)
Purple ring : 1 vsp 8 p 8 vsp 1.
Work chain of 1 unflipped stitch (reverse stitch) with purple. SS] 5 times, joining adjacent purple rings.
Note : In order to work the purple ring comfortably, ‘fold’ the orange ring forward.
Instead of 1 reverse stitch, reverse work and tat 1ds chain using orange shuttle.

Round 2 : a 2-colour adaptation of Star of Halves.
Picot gauge of 6mm or 7mm for double picot (dp). ORJ – onion ring join
[Orange ring1 : 6 vsp 4 dp 6. DNRW
           ring2 : 6 +(dp) 4 vsp 6. SS
Purple half-ring : 2 vsp 4 ORJ 12 p 12 ORJ 4 vsp 2. Close ring partially, adjusting shape.
Work chain of 1 unflipped stitch (reverse stitch) with purple. SS] 5 times, joining adjacent purple rings.
Pull the outer part/bar of double picot to get 2 distinct arches.

Sew 1 bead in centre through both layers and attach twisted cord, satin ribbon or any tatted cord/braid for tying. (the cord didn't twist properly, hence I cut it off & used the satin ribbon).

The pattern can be worked with a single shuttle in single colour substituting a tiny half-ring or dot picot string for the chain. Bead can be inserted while tatting round 1. I decided later, hence had to sew it in.

My initial idea was to make 2 tiny wildflowers at either end, but ran out of threads on both shuttles – just barely completed the main body.

I like how the flower turned out and it is up to you to use in how and where you want :-)

stay protected in the tatting bonds of love :-)

Related posts :

Friday, 4 August 2017

Needleart 1921 Edging 3

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free vintage to modern tatting pattern

Edging/Insertion #3 Bookmark
Needleart 1921 (vol 8 issue 3) 

This is a very simple insertion – rings and chains that can be worked with one shuttle and ball. Good practice in trefoils and chains for beginners. It is a slight variation of Edging #2 which I will share later, along with a bracelet variation.

The original bellaonline article has lots of tips including how to avoid gapsosis in trefoils, and the importance of picot lengths.
I tatted it in size 40. A ⅜ inch picot gauge held horizontally is used for the central picot to which 3 other trefoil rings will be attached.
Thought about using a Swirl Join instead of central picot. But impractical to leave all those rings dangling for entire length till they are joined on the way back (see also beaded version below).

4 repeats measure about 5 inches long and 1 inch wide.

The satin ribbon is ¼ inch wide. I double-backed the ribbon and tied a simple knot at the other end.

This time the pdf does not include any written pattern. It can be accessed directly from the article. Only keep in mind that all chains are 3ds separated by picots.

TIP : when trying to figure out the stitchcount from an image, be mindful of the type of tatting. In vintage patterns we usually have traditional tatting with no distinct front or back sides. While some elements will show complete stitches, others may show half stitches at either end. Picots, or more precisely the stitches adjacent to a picot, give away the secret :-)

Had an idea to tat a bracelet, adding beads. Hmmm, size mismatch. These seed beads were too large for size 40. Abandoned and haven’t yet been able to work it in 20. Hopefully in future.

I went for a bookmark. But I’m sure you can see the numerous applications for this pattern ? Bracelet, choker, belt, .... and much more !

'Silk Ribbon Embroidery' by Ann Cox is a lovely book full of floral techniques illustrated stepwise and scenic compositions. I really did intend to embroider a few, but couldn’t find silk ribbons. Then tatting came back into my life and everything else went out ;-P

keep tatting, happily, merrily  :-)