Thursday, 24 May 2018

add new thread to bare thread pattern

Pin It now!
While using the SCMR to add new thread Within a ring, I wondered whether we could also use it in a bare thread or single shuttle pattern. Turns out we can, though it involves a bit of a twist in the tail.

Adding new thread to bare thread pattern 
with self-closing mock ring (SCMR)

I have already described one method of adding new thread, finishing off with a SSSR (link below). This new method is yet another option – very secure; no doubling of bare threads; easy to add new colours frequently; knotless. And it can be sew-free with MTT.

1. Let’s say I’m running low on thread after these 3 rings (each is 5-5-5-5). But I still have enough to make the stitches but not enough for the core thread.

2. Load another shuttle and add fold in the new thread (I used coloured thread for clarity), bringing the tail through as shown.

3. Then leave a loop of new core thread and start working stitches with old thread like a chain. This is the start of the SCMR. Tat over new tail for a few stitches.
(see Variation below)
TIP : In case the old thread is too short to wrap around pinky, tie a scrap/helper thread at the very tip with a weaver’s knot.

4. The ‘ring’ is complete.

5. Pass shuttle through the loop to close the SCMR.

6. Now pull the new TAIL up to close the ring. Notice the pink tail has become longer.

7. Both tails are visible – new thread and old thread.

8. Insert new tail through a tapestry needle and whip stitch back towards the base of the ring. This will ensure the stability and durability of the lace.
I guess one can use the Magic Thread Trick for sew-free hiding but I like to whip stitch the tails.

9.  Next sew in the old tail, moving up the ring on the right side.

10. Pull both tails to remove any slack. Then snip off the excess length in each. 
New thread added with bare thread between the rings!
Pull and tug but the tails/rings will not unravel.


A. A variation is to tie a knot with old thread encapsulated within it, leaving bare thread space before tightening the knot.
B. Leave a loop of the new core thread and start working the SCMR. Tat over the new tail, hiding it within the first few stitches.
Close the SCMR as usual buy assing shuttle through loop and pulling the core thread taut. With the new tail already hidden, we only need to whip stitch/hide the old tail on the right side of ring.
Heather (see link below) tats over both tails thus avoiding any sewing. I prefer hiding tails in different elements/stitches to avoid bulk.

I’m not sure how much this method will help because there are already so many to choose from. However, I did not find this SCMR method/variation and having already taken pictures, I decided to go ahead and share.

For quick reference, here are links to some of the other methods to add new thread to single shuttle/bare thread/rings-only patterns (random listing):

 happy tatting always J

Monday, 21 May 2018

stabbing at tidbits

Pin It now!
A few small pieces, mistakes and all ….

Started with Lavi’s new Wheat Circle earrings. I miscalculated and made only 9 rings. 
Although I liked the small circle I wasn't happy with the teardrop suspension.
With my new bead-stabbing, I was enthusiastic to have another go. 
This time will all 12 rings and the teardrop pierced with a jump ring, 
then suspended on a double chain of beads. 
I also increased the number of seed beads on the bare thread. 
Much better but wish I’d stuck with the earlier shade of green thread.
Both worked in Anchor size 20

In between the two, I worked this long overdue Sunflower in Maltese Tatting by Jane McLellan. I need occasional refreshers for some of these techniques and this is such a pleasant project. But I had beads left – hmmm! Not that it shows much.
While blocking I deliberately went with angular petals and noticed one was way smaller 
– hey, that’s to give it a ‘natural’ look ;-P
Yellow is Anchor size 20 and black is size 40.

Lastly, as I mentioned in my earlier post, I wanted to see how Usha’s Charming Frills looked with beads. Had another stab at it. 
Oh and another reason was that in the last fringe row, I had made 2 CWJs in one picot (since it was not clearly specified at the time – the pdf has been updated now). I thought that was the reason my pendant was broader, with the stitches all neatly lined up.
As it turns out, the last row is a chain with alternate CWJ and double stitch, with long picots between each obviously.
The black beads in the center are in a diamond formation. For this I reduced one long picot 
(only 7 instead of 8 and following with multiples of 7 in subsequent rows).
Too late I noticed the threads were tied off at the wrong point (gap seen on left side)! 
I had worked the first pendant from the prototype while the pattern was still being polished for presentation. So I’m happy to have made it again as per the final.
Worked in Anchor size 20.

many thanks to Lavi, Jane, & Usha for sharing their lovely patterns

happily tatting always – beads and mistakes and all  ;-P

Saturday, 19 May 2018

I love butterflies

Pin It now!

Garden soil had been split open to sow seeds and now those seeds have split into plants with lovely blooms, attracting butterflies to split open the pollen sacs and carry on the circle of life.
Hey, don’t split!!! Promise, I’ll behave … Just trying to clue you in :-D

You have already enjoyed & appreciated the lovelies made by friendly tatters. These are my versions of make me pretty butterfly fun. And the ‘split’ comes from this month’s I Love Tatting task set by Justyna – split chains, curlicues, etc. She has compiled an incredible list of tutorials and free patterns for inspiration!
I actually have something more in mind for the task, but till I find time to tat it, this will have to do. 

Tutorials for most of the prettifying techniques mentioned here are listed on these pages -

In chronological order … I have literally used scrap threads for most.
Venetian Picots for antennae, dot picots and graduated picots
Here, I made the same mistake Lavi made, but didn’t bother to rectify it. 
These were my very first venetian picots!!!
3¼ x 2½ cms in Anchor 20 cotton

Graduated picots and twisted picots (floating)
2 x 1½ cms in 2 strands of Anchor embroidery thread

Venetian picots for antennae & 4 picots
2 x 1½ cms in Anchor size 40 cotton
The Venetian picots worked out much better in this finer thread.

Right after posting the pattern, I tatted the above 3 versions. Some of the following versions were inspired by the butterflies flying in (Anita, Denise, Ninetta).

Twisted (floating) picots and seed beads
3 x 2 cms in 3 strands of Anchor embroidery thread.
This was inspired by Denise’s 3 beads in the lower half.

Dot picots and decorative picots
This is based on Anita’s stitchcount. I like the broader span of top wings.
2¼ x 1¾ cms in Lizbeth & Anchor size 40 cottons

Since this project was a spin-off from the Common Mormon caterpillar, there just Had to be a couple of butterflies in black and yellow ...
Beads and floating beads in different arrangements
I tried something different – beaded string wrapped around the lower rings. 
These are longer than I had visualized, but let them be.
The antennae uses floating beads (FB) or fringe on chain method.
2½ x 1¾ (or 2 with bead string) cms in Anchor size 40 cotton

The wooden black bead was too large and unseemly. So I decide to remove it. 
Wasn’t as easy as I’d thought. The FB method really does hold the beads in check ;-P
Then I remembered a tip on Jane McLellan’s blog about breaking unwanted beads. 
Yes, that worked! Once broken, I inserted a scrap thread for better grip, and knotted the tips.

Onion rings (Josephine rings inside the upper & graduated picot rings inside the lower halves), twisted (floating) picots, and Curlicues (dead end chains or SSSCh) for antennae.
3 x 2¼ cms in Anchor size 20 cotton
I started with a knot for each curlicue, serving to hold in pinch, 
and worked back with unflipped stitches.

Inward picots, decorative picots, long picots, a head ring, and Venetian picot for body. 
I followed Ninetta’s directions
2 x 2¾ cms in 3 strands of Anchor embroidery thread.
A couple of side views to show the 3D effect.
When making the Venetian picot, I left the scrap thread in it and 
this served well when joining the next ring to it.

I include the Venetian picot in this month’s kocham frywolitkę task because both the curlicue and this picot are standalone or floating chains. Although in the former the stitches are unflipped and wrapped manually, in the latter each half stitch is flipped but moved in place manually over the previous stitches.

I couldn’t resist a couple more pics.
The background is Monet’s White Clematis an oil he painted in 1887. 
The image is in this amazing book The Life and Works of Monet by Susie Hodge.

Do stop by to welcome this batch of butterflies :-)