Friday, 5 February 2016

Reverse Stitches?

Following on from the previous post, I'd like to have a discussion on what people call "not-flipped stitches" or unflipped stitches such as the ones you make on the second half of a split ring.  Those stitches are like a lark's head knot or also like macrame knots.  What do you call them?

Is "Reverse Stitch" the most common way of calling those stitches?  Do you like it?  In some ways I think it makes it simple:  double stitches (ds) and reverse stitches (rs) and would work well for pattern writing.  So far when I have needed such stitches in my pattern, I have explained what was needed rather than using a name.

Here are two samples that show the same piece of tatting, the first done with regular reverse work where you work the chain stitches on the back side and the second with using the method mentioned in the previous post where you do not reverse work and tat the chain stitches from the the front but unflipped, the order of these stitches is reversed when they are not flipped and you do the 2nd half of the stitch first, followed by the first half; hence I suppose, they are "reverse stitches".

A few things strike me as I examine the photo above of a very simple row of rings and chains.  First of all, I'm always surprised by how pretty I think even really simple tatting looks!  That may seem like a silly statement but it always reminds me that you do not need to do anything fancy or know complicated techniques to produce some very pretty lace.  Don't you think?

The first three chains are tatted in the traditional way by reversing work and the last three chains are tatted from the front with reverse stitches.  The second thing that strikes me is that the curve of the chain is slightly different.  It's only very subtle but it's there.  And the third thing I noticed is that the picots when done with reverse stitches have a slightly different shape to picots done in with double stitches.  Can you see how picots in the last three chains appear closer together and a bit more elongated whereas the ones done with double stitches (first three chains) are more rounded.  

One disadvantage I can see of this method is that it always requires two shuttles whereas on a simple pattern with just plain rings and chains and the traditional method, you could work with only one shuttle and ball.

On the other hand, one big advantage is that you have automatic front-side/back-side tatting (that's if you like fs/bs tatting of course!).  I tend to find counting my stitches confusing with fs/bs tatting, but not when doing it this way.

In conclusion, I'd like to know if those stitches are to be called "reverse stitches" - is that the most commonly used term?  And what should the method be called (of doing rings with regular stitches and chains with reverse stitches)?

Thanks for any input!

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Winter Frost At Last

Not in my garden (we've had very little of it this winter in fact) but from my shuttles.  I started tatting this... before Christmas!!    But then too many things got in the way and I never got around to finishing it... until now.  I found it again and decided it was time I completed this very pretty design by Robin Perfetti called "Winter Frost".

Annoyingly I managed to miss a ring on one of the repeats!  I'm sure you can spot it (clockwise, third repeat from the top).

This pattern reminded me to talk about a technique that I regularly use when tatting short chains:  and that is NOT to reverse work and tat the chain with not-flipped stitches.  This means you always work from the front so you don't need to reverse work and have to wind back your shuttle between elements.  This makes for quicker/more efficient tatting, particularly when short chains are involved.

I made a new video illustrating this.  I have a new camera set-up and I hope that both image and especially sound are much better now.  Any feedback would be most welcome.

I still find it incredibly hard to speak without hesitating, saying the wrong thing or forgetting to say what I did mean to say!!  So yes, still much room for improvement but I'll keep working at it!

You can view this video right here, on this page, in small format
or you can either click on the "YouTube" logo
or on the "full screen" icon to see a larger version of it.

I'd love to read any comments on how you think I could improve and/or what you'd like to see in future videos.  There are already lots of videos available, do you think there are enough perhaps even??

Best wishes,

Sunday, 24 January 2016

"Winky" Heart

I'm calling it like that because it is tatted in an AlenAleaDesign shade called "Wink".  I realised after tatting the last heart that I was working from an old version of the pattern, and not the one that is in my shop.  But after tatting both, I'm wondering now if I don't prefer the blue version...  It's taller whereas this one is wider.

I'm not completely satisfied with this design if I'm honest.  I like the heart in the centre... but it's the negative spaces around it that I'm less happy with.  Maybe it needs reworking.  Or maybe I could make a new one altogether?  Yes, that would be nice.  Now, to find the time though!  :-)

Best wishes,

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Blue Heart

A lady contacted me recently because she was having some difficulties with this heart pattern.  It's funny but sometimes I just can't visualise all the twists and turns of a design in my head, just reading the pattern, and I have to tat it to make it clear.  It was the case with this one because she wanted to know which shuttle to use for particular elements and I couldn't work it out without tatting it.

So here it is.  I'd not tatted this heart for a long time so it's always nice to re-visit designs.  I even found a couple of things to correct in the pattern so it was time well spent.

I do rather like the smaller heart inside...  
a heart at the heart of the heart!  

Best wishes,

Monday, 18 January 2016

Quick Post...

Sorry, feel a bit bad, but no new tatting to show you!  Instead spare time is taken up with knitting a waistcoat for my mother-in-law for her birthday coming up.

As mentioned in previous post, she loves green... so this is green too!

I hope to find time for tatting again very soon.  It's been so busy since the return from holidays.  I hope 2016 is off to a great start for all of you.  January can be a bit dreary... it certainly is weather-wise here!  So it's nice to have new projects and ideas to keep us cheerful.

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Little Green Bag & Tatted Necklace

My mother-in-law really liked the blue bag I made for myself sometime last year.  Perfect - I could make her one as a Christmas present.  I took photos before giving it to her.  She loves green so it had to be green.  I found a really nice matching fabric to line it.  I'm also pleased with the straps:  I used my faithful old Prym Knitting Mill to make a long strap into which I inserted a cotton cord to give it body and prevent it stretching.  It's worked out well.

Prym Knitting Mill
My children and I have loved playing
with this over the years.

And I've been looking back at some of my designs that I have not published and decided to re-visit this necklace pattern.  Can't think of a good name for it yet.... Ideas anyone?   This design makes a nice frame for any pretty flat stone or bead... or you can even add a dangly ornament as in the apple version.  I'm going to make one for a friend whose birthday is coming up so that was a good excuse to re-work it.

I like to add beads to tatting for jewellery because it gives a bit of weight to the lace and helps keep it in place.  This is tatted in one round, so the whole necklace in one go... just the way I like it!

How about you?  What are your new projects for 2016?  

Best wishes,

Sunday, 3 January 2016

First Post of the Year

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a fabulous holiday!  It all goes by too quickly though, doesn't it?Now it's time to get back to work, get organised, children to school, etc...

Whilst away I re-visited a pattern:  "Twinkle Twinkle".  After Bentley, I fancied trying it with crystals.  Although I first made Twinkle Twinkle as a star pattern (with five points), on this occasion,  I preferred the snowflake version with six points, which gives a better shape to the centre chains, more curved.  I made variations.

Apologies for the lesser quality photos from my phone
(I didn't have my camera with me)

Below is the version with crystals.  I added a stitch to the chain on each side of the crystal (so 6 ds instead of 5 as in the pattern).  The one in the photo above, 2nd row, left, has 5 ds each side of the crystals.  The photo doesn't do it justice.  The crystals and added filament do look lovely and sparkly IRL.

Then I tried it with a pointy chain instead, using my 1SSCMR technique and I do like that version too.  This one doesn't have the added sparkly filament that I used in the version above.  I think the 1SSCMR on the inside round combined with the SCMR above on the points gives it a nice shape.

This is a quick motif to tat and the pattern is available for free under the "Patterns" tab above.   That was about all the tatting I made during our holiday.  The rest of the time was spent knitting socks!

I hope 2016 will be a creative one for every one.  I have ideas already and patterns I want to write up.

Best wishes,