Wednesday, 21 June 2017

evolution of

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the dot picot on chain, on ring, and now a string !

Who would’ve thought that the dot picot could evolve so quickly, defying it’s initial definition of a 1ds ring thrown off a chain.
In May I figured out how to work a dot picot on a true ring.
And now Usha comes up with dot picots on bare thread - the dot picot string!
Pretty quick considering an evolutionary timeline.
All these are used in this
dot picot bouquet !
This bouquet consists of all 3 basic types of dot picots.

When I was asked to test tat the Exotic Pollen , I jumped at the opportunity – it is such an elegant pattern !
The inner round was a bit fiddly in my stubby fingers, and overlapped a bit. And I forgot to join one of the inner petals. But once the outer round was tatted, it lay flat and nice.
TIP : Instead of joining the pollen string to base of ring, I encapsulated it within the last half stitch of the ring, and closed ring. This was easier to work than fiddle around trying to find space in the base.
I ran out of thread on the pale yellow one, & had chosen a brighter yellow for the outer round, but this looks cute as is.

I was, still am, undecided how/where to use these motifs, hence left the tails unhidden. Any ideas ?

from leaf to stem !
This cluster of flowers needed some greens.
I started with a string of dot picots, joining back at a distance, to create the veins of a leaf. The leaf ring was to be attached to the tips. The working was fine, but I didn’t get the desired leaf shape – the string, tatted in size 20, was disproportionately large for a small leaf (forgot to take a pic). Pulled off the core thread but used the folded string as a potential branched stem.

This, however, gives an idea of the versatility of the dot picot string as the base of any pattern. It can even substitute regular chains in any pattern as Usha will soon show you (I hope).
In the initial stages I had also shared an idea with her to create a double picot with such a string of rings - I never got around to it, though.

a new leaf !
This time, I tatted a complete leaf as a true ring, adding a dot picot for a pointed tip, in consonance with the flower petals.
Then, using size 40 thread, I created the string starting from base to tip and around the leaf for the radiating veins in one continuous process. I think the finer thread and single veins look pretty good, no?!
No stitch count – free-styled it. Lays flat.

dot picot on a ring – a how to pictorial
The dot picot on leaf ring is a nothing but a loop tatted ring on ring (a 1ds LTROR) ! Simple :-) 
This LTROR technique was first shared by Sabina Madden-Carden, and there are many resources listed here, but my favourite is this set of diagrams by Anastasija

To Summarize (at this stage of its evolution):
  1. Dot picot is a 1ds ring (dot).
  2. Dot picot on chain is a thrown ring, hence requires 2 shuttles, and works as a decorative picot or to make an angular tip
  3. Dot picot on ring is a loop tatted ring on ring (LTROR) and can be worked with single shuttle. It can be either decorative or functional.
  4. Dot picot string is a row of dots on bare thread, again worked with single shuttle. It is mainly decorative and also an alternate for regular chains.      

Many many thanks to Usha for sharing her lovely patterns & creativity!
I hope you enjoy them as much as I have J

Let the knot in your tatting be a happy dot J

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

tell the world it's not easy!

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daisy picot star and tatting notes

From now on we tell the world it's not easy. This delightful article was recently shared on Craftree.
It Is true – we generally spend longer than we care on our projects. I usually do share my mistakes and all, but don’t like to make it a sob-story.
This time, though, I stand by the title (no kidding, no fibbing, no embellishing) – this star did not come easy and I spent way too much time.

Daisy Picot Star
Jon Yusoff

I was inspired by Jane's star project to pick this up, and the fear that I'd forgotten how to make a daisy picot. And like her, I joined leaves which should've remained floating ! Too far into it to un-tat. Cut off and started afresh.
I’ve done the daisy picot before. It’s pretty easy once we know how to hold and how to wrap stitches. But rarely used, hence easy to forget. This time I referred to Jon’s own pictorial – excellent directions !

A stroke of luck from Utah made me realise that I the daisy picot stitches are wrapped in what we termed Twist Work in Reverse Stitch (TwW rs) !!!

Clearly I like to make my tatting life difficult! I've gotten addicted to directional (fs/bs) tatting. This star tested me to the limits. Not only did I have to refresh my daisy picot skill, but now I needed to tat them backside as well!
AND join to adjoining trefoil daisy picot backside ! Managed somehow, with lots of retro-tatting. But what's a project without some challenge, right?! And I was adamant. Fortunately I was working with size 20 threads.

My Notes :
  • In the discarded attempt, I started with the inner daisy picot trefoils frontside. The work progressed in counterclockwise direction, and joining to adjacent daisy picot was easy.
  • In 2nd attempt, with inner trefoils being worked backside, and work progressing in clockwise direction, joining became difficult – it seemed like I was using “picot join to the right” methods. But it could just be some messing around with up and down picots.  
  • To eliminate the space between chains at base of daisy picot, I had to pull real tight, not always successfully. Should’ve had an anchoring vsp !
  • I slipped the yellow thread through the last half stitch of ring before closing in the hopes of keeping the 2 threads as close as possible. I think size of base ring (& thread size?) also has a role to play.
  • For the leaves, I did not use SLT. Easy to make the ‘8’ leaves without any SLT if the side chains face in opposite directions.
  • The arms need careful attention for some unfathomable reason. Perhaps some design-induced mind games coz I faced similar problems with Marilee’s snowflake!

Back to the aforementioned article – delightful read and I agree as a crafter. But she misses one point – not every crafter can fib and market oneself. That in itself is a skill that needs to be acquired :-D

Many thanks to Jon for sharing her pattern and tutorial

easy or difficult, it’s happy tatting time always !

Sunday, 18 June 2017

another colour dilemma

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A situation arose where I needed to start an edging with a picot on a chain.
No problem – go CTM and leave picot space with or without a holder (eg. paperclip)!
But I was interested in making that edging in 2 colours and CTM was not an option. All the tutorials/videos known to me start with continuous thread and there is no mention of another colour.

So here’s my solution to ….
Starting with a Chain (and starter picot)
in 2-Colour Tatting

Ø       Unwind a tail from ball/shuttle 2 (this acts like CTM) to finger-tat the chain;
Ø       Make a starter picot if required (with or without a holder),
Ø       Then add the other color for ring.
Ø       Tat over tails to hide.

With this solution, I don’t need to start with any messy knots, colour blips, or bulk (hiding 2 tails under one chain, making it 4 threads!).
And it is great for block tatting when we use 2 colours and have to start with a picot on chain!

I converted it into a stepwise pictorial pdf (with introduction & links to a few resources) for relative beginners.
This tiny motif was made as I went along, for anybody interested in tatting along.

There was another reason why this solution was needed. Here is a scan of the edging in 2 colours. 
BUT I made the leaves in same colour as stem whichmeant I couldn’t have the purple showing up at the starter and joining picots. More about that in a future post.

This method also works if the chain is tatted in reverse stitch (unflipped stitches as in a split ring) ! But here, instead of ball, we will need a 2nd shuttle, because the tail acts as core, wrapped taut on our hand, and the shuttle makes the larkshead knots or reverse stitches.

Ninetta is my “Hiding Lady” partly because of her numerous solutions to hiding ends! She gave me valuable and instant feedback on the draft I sent her. With her stamp of approval, I’m sure there is some merit to this solution J  Grazie mille, Nin !

happy tatting in every situation :-)

Related posts :
more tutorial links

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

undulating with one shuttle

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single shuttle medallions with tatting pattern

Thought I’d take a mini break from the project I’m working on (forgot to ask permission for sharing, so we’ll have to wait a while longer) to keep my blog alive ;-D
These were done earlier in the month, continuing with the theme of single shuttle medallions.
Undulating !
single  shuttle  medallions
There are 2 versions, with more to come – there is so much scope in the basic idea. What I showcase as Version 2 was really tatted first, but the pink one is pretty generic with huge potential, as seen in the montage below ....

version 1  prototype
This is a simple braid of half closed or half rings (HR), each of 15 stitches.
In size 20 thread, I used a picot gauge of ⅜ inch for bare thread space of half-closed rings.
Reverse work (RW) after each half ring so that alternate rings face in opposite directions.

8 half rings can be joined back into a square.
10 half rings can be joined back into a star or flower.
… and so on.
Add picots for securing the inner rings, and decorative picots on outer rings.
A pearl in the center of each half ring would look pretty for jewelry.

version 2  prototype
This is made in 2 continuous rounds, with a rosette center and half rings (HR) around. A single shuttle split ring (SSSR) is used to climb out.

Leave a tail at the start in order to secure the last SSSR*.

Rosette (worked in clockwise direction from front)
Ring1  : 3 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 3 DNRW
Ring2  : 3 + 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 3 DNRW
Ring3  : 3 + 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 3 DNRW
SSSR4 : 3 + 5 – 5 / 5 – 5 + 3 . Pass tail through the loop before closing ring. DNRW

Outer round of half rings (worked clockwise from front)
[HR1 : 15 RW    (⅜ inch bare thread space in each half ring)
HR2 : 15 LJ , RW] x 4

* The last SSSR has to be joined to first ring, and I chose to do it Takeda-style, passing the starting tail through the SSSR loop before closing it finally. 
Tug on tail and then sew it under caps of ring to hide. 
One can use Dora Young’s split ring technique, too. Some SSSR tutorial links are listed here.

Add decorative picots or beads as desired. These can probably make nice pendants & earrings ?

I was hoping to make many more variations of the above, and more versions. But all that is taking a backseat.

Okay I’ve had my rest, unwinded a bit, and some of the blocked pieces must’ve long dried. Back to my secret project, then…

More from single shuttle medallion challenge - PART 1 ; PART 2

Happy Tatting !

Thursday, 8 June 2017

the middle path mantra

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Tatting over tails is a common method of hiding ends when we start a project or when we add new thread.
Continuing from the previous post where stepwise and comparative visuals demonstrated where to leave off the tail when hiding it within double stitches.
Part 2 demonstrates the same principle but in case of directional tatting, when we are working stitches from backside – where half stitches are in reverse order or sequence.

Since tail was hidden in a ring in Part 1, this time we show it on a chain.

RW – reverse work
DS – double stitch ;
FHS – first half stitch ;
SHS – second half stitch.
RODS – reverse order DS, where sequence of half stitches is reversed. 

Tatting over Tails
Part 2 - backside 

This time I chose to tat a chain, working from the backside with RODS (reverse order of stitch). Here, SHS is made first, then FHS

RW after ring made previously. We are now working from the back/wrong side.

1. Joining new thread (green/blue).

2. Start chain. 2 stitches (RODS) already made, encapsulating the tail.
Starting the 3rd stitch with a SHS.
Notice the position of tail – it lies to the ‘front’ of the stitch being formed.

3. SHS snugged

4. FHS being made. Notice position of tail – it tends to lie ‘behind’ the half stitch

5. FHS snugged.
3 RODS completed

6. Continue till 4 RODS and 1 SHS made. Then leave tail and tat 1FHS normally.

7. Continue chain - more stitches made after leaving the tail
This is how it looks from the backside of work

8. View from the frontside of work

9. Snip the extra tail lengths as close to work as possible. Arrows show where each tail was snipped
NOTE : It is advisable to defer this step till a few more elements have been worked. Then pull the tails one last time and snip.

10. Tatting over tails frontside for ring and backside for chain, and leaving the tail in middle of a stitch, completed. 

So, here is the simple mantra to remember ...

the  middle path mantra
leave tail in the middle of a stitch !

Stop tatting over tail between 1st & 2nd half stitch when tatting a double stitch 
(frontside tatting);
Stop tatting over tail between 2nd & 1st stitch when working a reverse order double stitch (backside tatting).

This mantra also holds true for the reverse stitch (unflipped),  
as in 2nd side of a split ring or direct tatting.


happy tatting always J

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Tatting over tails part 1 frontside

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Sewing in ends is arguably the least favorite task of a tatter. The easiest way to avoid this is to tat over the tail ends.
We have plenty of good resources showing us how to accomplish it. See annotated list here. Yes, we can start any element, or add new thread in shuttle tatting without a knot. It is called Tatting Over Tails – basically encapsulating the tail within newly-formed stitches.

All tutorials I have come across so far simply stop tatting over the tail after the first few double stitches – specifically after the 2nd half stitch.

This pictorial is to demonstrate and compare why it is better to leave the tail in the middle of a double stitch, rather than at the end. This holds true for directional tatting - whether one is tatting frontside or backside.

Part 1 illustrates where to leave the tail in frontside ring.
Part 2 will illustrate where to leave the tail in backside chain.
Contrasting colours are used to show the difference. Focus is on the process and concept.

DS – double stitch ; 
FHS – first half stitch ; 
SHS – second half stitch.

 Tatting over Tails 
Part 1 - frontside

In traditional and frontside tatting, FHS is followed by SHS to complete 1 DS.
Frontside tatting : 1DS = (1FHS,1SHS)
Most tutorials simply leave the tail after the 4th or 5th double stitch.
Here the tail will be left after the FHS of 4th double stitch.

1. Blue is the tail to be hidden; orange/pink is thread from the shuttle to start a ring and hide blue tail within.

2. Start ring. 1 DS made encapsulating the tail.
FHS being made, with tail being encapsulated.
Notice the position of the threads within – they tend to remain behind.

3. FHS tensioned.

4. SHS started with tail within.
Notice the position of threads within – they tend to be come in front.

5. SHS tensioned

6. I stopped tatting over the tail after 4DS and 1FHS ; then continued to complete with 1SHS and 1DS. Thus 6DS made in all.
Tail is not visible in front

7. Now, IF I had stopped tatting over tail after 5 DS ie. after a SHS, this is how the tail would look – it emerges from the front !

Compare #6 & #7

 8. Tail hidden and ring completed as viewed from front.

9. the same when seen from the back. 

These last few pics clearly show how the tail automatically stays at the back of the work when we stop tatting over it after a first half stitch in traditional or frontside tatting, whether it is a ring or a chain or any other element.

Backside tatting over tail on a chain will be published in next post.
Do try it for yourself, and see the difference.
This is the way I like to do it and it works for me. Hopefully some of you will find it useful, too.

happy tatting always :-)

Sunday, 4 June 2017

cross my heart

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tatted square, cross and heart with patterns

I was bullied into testing this enchanting square - ‘expected’ not ‘requested’. ;-P Aye, aye Cap'n !
This post is also about the mistakes revealed through photography – too late to undo and too lazy to redo L

a square ...
The Enchanting Square by Usha Shah is a pretty small square, cleverly vinstructed, and quickly tatted up. The little dots and short chains make an interesting frill as an octagon.
Taking photographs is both a revelation and a headache. I could immediately see a cross emerge from this square if one of the arms were elongated. But it also revealed that I had wrongly sewn in the last chain. Oh well !

The motif ruffles while tatting but settles down with blocking.

a cross ...
Set about tatting the cross. Again, pretty easy. But I tatted with medium tension to prevent ruffling in next round. Ooofaff,  not a perfect circle. Deal with it. 
Unsure about the length required, I tatted the 3 short arms first. This gave an idea of proportion,. 3 repeats on the long arm were sufficient,  going down one side and then back up with chains only. 
I’m ashamed, but yet another mistake reared it’s ugly head in the pics – yes, yes, the inner ring of top arm has uneven number of stitches. No wonder it skews a bit. But I’ll just jot it down to design element coz thankfully it is on the top arm, not on one of the sides :-D
And yes, the cross ruffled too, but settled easily with blocking.

I must apologize to the designer for these inadvertent mistakes. If I had more time, I would certainly tat these up again.
Many many thanks, Usha, for sharing another lovely pattern J

and a heart .
I spoke about this single shuttle challenge in my earlier post (check out some of the lovely tatting displayed by the group here) .Hadn't realised that the challenge was to tat, not strictly design. But I like the create-own-design & already have another almost complete) that I had started a fourth medallion. I had a different path and design in mind, but shuttles – even a Single one – have a mind of their own ! It just would Not follow my command, and decided to turn into a heart.

I am sharing the prototype pattern (for the record, completed on June 1st) …

 Have a Heart!
prototype pattern of a single shuttle motif
A single shuttle motif with split rings (SSSR), half rings (HR), & curled rings (CR).
Showing sequence and types of ring
Round 1 -
Start 1st SSSR with a tiny picot.
SSSR 1-4 : [3 – 10 / 5. post shuttle front to back]x 4. Join to picot. 

Round 2
R1 :3 + 3 – 3 – 3 DNRW
R2 : 3 + 6 – 3 – 3 DNRW
HR3 : 3 + 9 vsp 3. LJ DNRW
HR4 : 3 vsp 9 – 3. LJ DNRW
R5 : 3 + 3 – 6 – 3 DNRW
R6 : 3 – 3  – 3 – 3 . LJ 
BTS, Rotate
CR7 : 12 medium p 12. Pull ring thru nearest SSSR from under – over. LJ to curl. RW
HR8 : 2 – 2 RW
CR9 : 12 medium p 12. Pull ring thru nearest SSSR from under – over. LJ to curl.
Can you see the head of an elephant, too ? Or a tatted impressionism of Lord Ganesh. Elongate the bottom half ring into a trunk and we have an elephant!

Don’t you agree that this heart needs tweaks?
I welcome your suggestions on how to improve this.

happy tatting mistakes and all J