Monday, 24 April 2017

layered revelation

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tatted snowflake with Celtic effect

Has this happened to you ? Some patterns tend to reveal themselves gradually, layer by onion layer, despite the fact that the designer has presented the pattern clearly, with superb diagram, instructions and a tatted model ?!
This is one such . And each layer brought clarity, simplification, and joy :-)
I had to retro-tat segments a few times, until the elegance of this design gradually made it into me thick skin.

Sparrow Kelly
I love the Celtic effect and elegance of this pattern! Not for the faint-hearted, but one soon gets into the rhythm & I enjoyed the challenge.
The diagram and presentation is very appealing & the layering of chains is clearly visible in her diagram.

I had started with the maroon and blue, but made a mistake in the 2nd repeat. Following the diagram exactly, this is what we get on the 2nd repeat – an extra chain and a visible picot. Unlike what the diagram says, Ring J is the equivalent of Ring A, where the repeat starts.

I started again, this time with pink hoping that the crossover layers will show better in a lighter colour.

My Notes
  • Overall, the snowflake is worked counterclockwise.
  • For frontside/backside tatting, all grey coloured elements are tatted backside.
  • Ring J is actually the equivalent of ring A, hence next repeat starts from ring J.
  • Her tatted model has one extra ring in the inner circle (13 instead of 12, which caused me a lot of confusion. 13 didn’t make sense, yet it was difficult to locate the extra ring - found it finally at 10 o'clock position).
  • Always remember to bring both threads to the front after ring H so that the chain is above Ch3 (this is a note to myself, coz I had to retrotat on many occasions!)
  • Also important skill required - how to join last ring to first. It is a bit tricky in this pattern, especially when the ring is small (more below).
  • Some rings and chains require switching shuttles to get colours into position. SS after ring B, Ch3, Ch4, ring G, ring H, ring I, and Ch9 .
  • I used direct tatting (reverse stitch) for some of the short chains, especially between the three rings at the tips.
  • UPDATE Shuttles are numbered & colour-coded according to the colour of stitches that show up, not necessarily the shuttle that forms the core thread. Hence green rings will use the green shuttle, but green chains will be made with the grey shuttle. 
Thesee layers revealed themselves gradually. The one layer that remains hidden is how Kelly came up with this synchronised design. Simple rings and chains, no SLTs or Celtic shuttles…. Would be interesting to get a peek into her gray matter, right ?!

Incidentally, I had to peel off layers to find the source of this pattern, too, which I had downloaded a while back. Googled Images, then found Kelly’s blog, (but pattern is no longer there), and her post where she mentioned it was being shared with the OTC. Got the date/month/year and hunted the 2011 OTC index. No image, but thankfully the pdf link was there (April 2011).

Last to First Join
There are many ways to avoid the folded join (and I always avoid). Some of these tutorials are listed here.
But this pattern had a different dilemma. (Not sure whether it was due to frontside/backside tatting, a small ring, or fine thread, hmm or my thick-headedness). :

  1. the ‘first’ ring was on the left of the current ring ;
  2. the rings were facing outwards
  3. avoiding a colour blip and using an up &/or down loop
I rotate the work such that the in-progress ring is on the right of the ring to which it will be joined (and the tapering end is away from me), then pull up/down a loop thru joining picot, pass shuttle through, & snug. It is Still Basically the same as the many tutorials out there, but needs some orientation.

Many many thanks to Kelly for this wonderful pattern !
 happy tatting :-) 

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

quest for a tail

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tatting diagrams for 3 braids

3 Split Ring braids / tails 
derived from and for Jon Yusoff’s
Chinese Coin Bookmark 

I shared the completed body in my earlier post. Jon’s original bookmark ends in a long tassel which looks beautiful. Instead, I decided to make a tail, with a possible short tassel or charm at the tip. 

I made a couple of rough sketches, which are now converted into the following diagrams: 
These were my initial thoughts –
Split ring braid #1 rejected right off.
Couldn't decide between #2 & #3 (although I preferred the latter), neither whether I wanted a tassel or a charm.
Nothing to it but to start tatting one side ...
... and the shuttles decided to go with a single coin motif as charm :-)

The stitchcount for the entire tail is same as for the original bookmark.

After completing the charm, I tried to see how split ring braid #2 would look - after all it would be a miniature coin...
Nope, didn’t like it – seemed too angular.
Un-tatted and went with #3 and am very happy with the phase shift in chains !

As with a few other patterns, it was easier and quicker to switch shuttles and tat the chains with reverse stitch (unflipped) – no need to unwind & rewind main shuttle !
With direct chains, all tatting is from the front side, hence no reverse work, which adds to the confusion in such serpentine or magic square-type patterns.

TIP : I also discovered an easier way to join these RS chains with a down join. A down join, followed by the unflipped 1st half-stitch, creates the visibly complete stitch.
Pull loop of SH2 down through picot, pass SH1 through loop and snug. Make sure thread slides freely. 

These tails (and the bookmark itself) can be used as edgings and insertions or beaded jewelry.

Following the Chinese theme, I picked out a few related books ...
Peony was my first Pearl Buck book, and also my first literary window into Chinese culture. It was one of a few books that my friend gifted when she left for the US. While not in good state, I treasure it very much because she spent a lot of thought into which books to be given to which friend.
One thing I always remember from Peony - they wake a sleeping individual with soft music or songs, giving the 'wandering soul' time to return to the body.

Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud  This book I read a few years back and it was real eye-opener. Retracing Xuanzang's journey along the silk route in search of Buddhism in the 8th century, Sun Shuyung has woven a beautiful picture of the past and present. We studied a bit about the monk (our history books called him Huen Tsang), but to actually be brought to life in that era was a whole new experience. And to think all this was lost till an interested British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham rediscovered Buddhism in India !
The only thing I missed in this book were photographs. A few more photos would have done wonders, especially when the author was visiting and talking about real monuments, etc.

happy tatting and happy reading always :-)

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

a central harmony

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Merry Christmas Snowflake
Sharon Briggs

Some patterns have an inherent harmony. I believe this snowflake is one such – elegance personified.

Clearly, there’s a flower within (remember the flower within series of snowflakes?). But this time I went with pristine white.
Tatted in one pass, in size 40, it measures a tad over 2 inches.
Tatted up so quickly, too - all in one sitting while supervising the AC servicemen ! Errr, I did have pre-loaded shuttles – so that’s a huge time-saver right there :-) 

Entire snowflake is worked clockwise.
If we start the daisy with shuttle 1, and climb out with split rings, then because we are moving clockwise, shuttle 2 becomes the main shuttle for all subsequent tatting (rounds 2 & 3).
With fs/bs tatting, the rings in both outer rounds will be worked backside (RODS) and these are cross-hatched clearly in the diagram !
Sharon’s diagrams are so self-explanatory. There are a couple of symbols (on top right of each pattern) that I am not very sure about, but this is no way hampers the working.
UPDATE : The explanation of symbols used in her patterns can be found here. Thanks Sharon :-)

Techniques :  2 shuttles, CTM, fs/bs tatting, daisy, split ring, mock picot, lock join.

I thoroughly enjoyed working this pattern and the actual result is better than what the lens or scanner captured !
This, and many more of Sharon's patterns can be found here
Besides patterns, and the inspiring display on her 25 Motif Challenge blog, I have learned a great deal from the design lessons she posted !

Many many thanks, Sharon :-)

And here’s what I did with the heart I tatted in previous post – made another SOUP ribbon bookmark charm! (tatting SOUP : Sewing On/Using Pieces of tatting)

  I did start reading this book a long time back, but never completed it. Should pick it up again...
Nina Libin's Heart for Kay acting as a ribbon bookmark charm ! All is harmony, all is peace ...

wishing you many stress-free harmonious hours of tatting :-)