Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Vintage Square - Take Two

I tatted the little square again.  With two shuttles this time instead of with shuttle and ball as in the previous version.  It worked out much better for me.  I didn't have trouble with gaps between the corner rings as Ninetta mentioned when she tried it with two shuttles (see her comment in previous post).  I tatted this FS/BS and attached all three rings where they meet on the inside.

I like it a lot.
A perfect little square.

Shall I try it again with traditional tatting?  Not FS/BS?  Just out of curiosity and for the sake of experimentation.  I sometimes feel like I treat tatting not only as an art… but as a science too!  All options to be tested.  :-)

Best wishes,

Sunday, 19 October 2014

In The Pink

Ah, squares.  Love them.  Found this one on Ninetta's blog.  She made a collar based on this little square design.

Intestingly, she made it with just one shuttle and ball.  I tried it as she suggested and the result is not bad but I did wonder if it would still not be easier to make it with two shuttles.  For me there is a little bit of twisting going on where you would have switched shuttles though I must admit it's not too visible on the finished motif.  The one thing that is noticeable though is that I forgot to join the last chain to the starting one!

I think I'll try it again with two shuttles, just to see.

And as we're talking squares, here are some shortbread biscuits I just made.  I'd been looking for a long time for just the right recipe - they have to have that perfectly crumbly texture, that's how I like them.  I tried many different recipes but they were never quite right.  Then last week, I tasted some at a family gathering and thought they were just great.  I was sent the recipe and gave them a try.  Very happy with how they've turned out.  At last, I think I found the recipe I'd been looking for!

Do you like shortbread?
Join me for a cuppa and a biscuit?

Best wishes,

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Motif #7 Completed

Here it is.  Motif #7 from the book "Festive Tatting" by DMC.  As mentioned in the previous post, I didn't follow the pattern instructions for the onion rings round (found them hard to understand!) and/but I'm not altogether happy with how they look… the top part is fine but it's where the rings join in the middle that is slightly unbalanced and not completely satisfactory.

It's not too bad looking at it from a distance but if you look up close, you'll see what I mean.  There are a couple of things I'd like to point out (if you're interested!) :-)

First is what I said about all the rings join at the base of the onion ring.  It's a bit messy when you look at it up close, isn't it.  You make the small ring, reverse, make the large inner ring, reverse, make the chain that goes around the inner large ring, join, make the last small ring, reverse, make the chain that will go to the next motif.  The particular example I'm showing you even suffer from "gaposis" - shock, horror!!  Anyway, I wasn't sure how else to complete this particular series of elements so that's how I ended up doing it.  If anyone can suggest a better solution, I'd love to hear it.

The second thing I'd like to mention is the little ring at the tip.  There should be two stitches either side of it.  But when I tatted the first one like that, the gap looked bigger on the left of the tiny ring than on the right.  To make it look balanced, I ended up making 1½ stitches on the left and 2½ on the right (actually starting with the 2nd half of a stitch first to pull the ring in and give it stability and then two full double stitches).

I think that way, it looks visually balanced.  

Ok, enough of my ramblings?

Best wishes,

Friday, 10 October 2014

The Difficulty of Old Patterns!

Following on from my previous post, I have continued with the second round of the motif (from the book Festive Tatting by DMC).

First of all, I found the way the second round was written to be incomprehensible!  I had a couple of goes and then decided to ignore the instructions and re-write my own.  I also found the chains which join to the first round were too short and I had to add a few stitches to make it fit.  This is a problem I often find with older patterns:  their tension was much looser, especially in chains.  I like tight and neatly-curving chains but in old patterns they were often so loose they could be straight or nearly like spaghetti!  These weren't so bad but obviously looser than mine because I couldn't reach with the stated number of stitches.

And for once, I didn't forget to add a magic loop at the beginning!
(which is the fine bit of black thread you can see in the photo)

I like the shape of the onion rings on the outside.  There are 14 repeats so I don't think I'll have time to finish this today!

Best wishes,

Thursday, 9 October 2014

The Importance of Joining Picots

I started another motif.  The pattern stated "small" picots (marked by -) in places and "medium" picots in others (marked by --) which is a notation I also use.  Working this pattern has made me realise how problematic this notation can be!  The first round of this motif has 14 repeats.  As you can see from my first attempt, after 10 repeats, I realised there was no way I was going to close the circle even after I made 14.

This was due to the picots on my large rings being too small.  I started again with longer picots and this time it works.

Small, medium, large is a subjective definition, isn't it?  What's small to one will be someone else's medium, and so on.  It's made me wonder whether I should be more specific when stating picot sizes, as in giving an actual measurement.  What do you think?  Is it a problem?  I guess I'll often just look at the picture and gauge what size the picot should be although in this case, the picots on the picture in the pattern didn't look as big as I ended up having to do mine to make this fit.

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Star - Motif No. 20

I liked the look of this one in the book… but I'm not so sure I like it now I made it.  This is Motif No. 20 from the book "Festive Tatting" by DMC.

I like the shape of the "arms"… but I'm not so keen on the centre part I think.

Best wishes,

Monday, 6 October 2014

Handmade Journal

Of course, I couldn't leave it there.  I had to make a second one.  I like the coptic stitching and open spine but I wasn't completely happy with the execution, with too much movement between the covers and the book… I had to have a go at a complete cover with spine.

I realised I had too many sheets in each of my signatures for the first book so I made more for this book with fewer sheets in each.

Here they are, stacked up, holes punched through,
ready for sewing

About half-way through the sewing process.
I got myself a curved needle which makes it easier
to sew between the signatures

Book block completed.

For some reason though, I forgot to take pictures as I was making the cover!  You have to cut two pieces for front and back covers and then another piece for the spine.  You place those on a backing thickish paper and glue everything in place before covering with your decorative paper.  Then glue the fly sheets of your book block into the cover.

And… TADA!

(oh yes, Jentle with a "J" because it's the name of the ink…
in case any of you thought I can't spell!  :-))

Knowing me, I'll no doubt get the urge to make yet more of these journals - I think one with a cloth spine would be cool to make next…

But I have to many other things to get on with!  And it's Monday morning so I better get to work!

Best wishes,