Friday, 18 August 2017

hiding ends knot-free

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Hiding Ends Knot-free in Rings
aka
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  :-)

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Q squares and flower

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Sharing the square patterns in the Quatrefoil series – 2 versions and a happy bonus !

Quatrefoil Square Flower !

But first things first ….
These are the 2 versions of the square medallion, worked in size 20 and size 40. 

More pics, along with a larger square arrangement - to be converted into a magic square.
I traced out 4 different pathways for a quatrefoil magic square - 
triangulation , squared , zig-zag, and spiral ! 
Tatting trials of the first 2 are shared here. Zig-zag is what I have used for the upcoming bookmark, and spiral is something that popped out when I arranged the 4 tatted medallions for the above pic ! Some of these pathways are rings-only, while some require a short chain to span, especially if one wants to work with 2 colours. But more on that in future posts.

Jane has joined 6 individual triangles to create a circle ! Yet another shape :-)

Each version laid side by side.

Basic Quatrefoil
I have been including a Basic Quatrefoil diagram/pattern with the pdfs. Here is a complete explanation of what a quatrefoil is, and what factors affect and effect the final shapes created from repeating the quatrefoil. The above sheet can be downloaded as a pdf here.
Once the basic working of each shape is understood, the basic pattern for quatrefoil is all that is needed. 

The trial motifs have grown almost exponentially it seems. So I moved them all into a transparent plastic envelop. I took out 2 of my prototype squares when working on the final pattern, and they came out with a phase shift one on top of the other. Voilà it bloomed into a flower medallion ! 
This bonus pattern is included in the pdf. While tatting there is ruffling – an inherent design feature. However, if picot gauge is used as directed, the final piece will lie flat after a bit of blocking.
I tried to add picots to the inner rings, for more of a floral effect. I don't think they add much.

Just ideas if the flower medallion is used as a motif ….
I do want to add a couple of rounds to one of the flowers to create a coaster. Don't know how successful it'll be - my first time !



My next post will be another vintage edging, after which I hope to share how I end my quatrefoil medallions along with the 4 pathways (on paper).

till later then,
 happy tatting always :-)


Monday, 31 July 2017

Needleart 1921 Edging 7

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vintage edging revisited

My 'homework' while the Online class is on summer break was to send in tatted models and diagrams for 7 vintage edgings from Needleart 1921. All (old & new) are indexed in Bellaonline Tatting Newsletter July 14,2017
So while Georgia continues to enjoy her break (;-P) she has permitted me to share them here.
I won't be following the order but stay tuned ‘coz there are some interesting outcomes as each pattern caught my fancy differently !
Edging #7
Needleart 1921 (vol 8 issue 3) 



I like to study a pattern a bit (usually the image or diagram) before starting out. If that row/round has more chains &/or thrown rings, or large rings, then I prefer working it frontside.
The same principle was followed here. Started Row I with backside red rings and the blue chains along with the large thrown ring were done frontside. This also enabled me to work the rest of the rows all frontside, since they are only chains & thrown rings.

The original tatted model shows prominent picots, which is what I followed and it worked out well.
Unfortunately, that vintage pic was taken at a place which has a mistake! Took me a long time of peering closely and studying intently (going back and forth between image, diagram, and text) to figure out and dispel all confusion.

In my first sampler above I worked each row separately in an ombre arrangement. But the 3 separate rows can easily be worked continuously without cutting off thread. 
In order to work all 3 rows in one pass, the sequence of rows has to be changed from that of original. Other minor details and corrections have been included in the new standalone pdf, with corrected pattern and new models & diagram. I have tried to follow the style & format laid out in the article
In this second sampler,in Row I, I added 1ds to the chain on either side on the thrown ring to give it more curvature, as can be seen when the 2 samplers are compared.
Also, in order to the blue header, I used a Reverse Join between Rows II & III. However, the same can be effected by doing a lock join, then switching shuttles.


I hope to convert this edging into a necklace. Wish me luck and stress-free beadwork.

And there are lots more patterns to be shared - both vintage and the quatrefoil series :-)


happy tatting always :-)))