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 :-)

Sunday, 16 April 2017

back to tatting

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tatted heart, bookmark & kite

I hadn’t been doing much tatting for the past several days, trying to stay focused on completing all the presentations, diagrams and pdfs for the spring garland (hoo boy, it takes way too much time!!!). But the last few days were a bit better. I slowly got back into the tatting mojo and some of the UFOs are turning into WIPs ! While there are a couple of exciting things I cannot show yet, here are a few I can…

Heart for Kay
Nina Libin
The butterfly called out to me ! Just like in Irene Woo’s Heart of the Butterfly. Wish I could've taken a combo pic of the two, except that it has been gifted & happily received. 
This one, too, is tatted in 3 strands of embroidery thread, but I worked the heart in opposite direction to that given in the diagram. If I’d followed the diagrammed sequence, my butterfly would’ve had backside rings.

The 8-ring formation
Here I didn’t use any SLT. Instead I tatted the outer (thrown) ring first, then the inner ring, and continued with the chain. It seems to hold up fine even without any blocking.
This is a pretty pattern and quick to tat up. The pattern, to be shared with OTC tomorrow, can be downloaded here. It is scheduled to be shared with the Online Tatting Class tomorrow. 

UPDATE (Apr 18, 2017): see how I used this lovely heart here .

Chinese Coin Bookmark
Jon Yusoff
This free pattern has been with me for ages, ever since I found this teeming tatting world online. Seeing Fox’s work recently, inspired me to finally take it up. What I can do now, I couldn't have done 4 years back, so the delay was good ;-)
After the first few repeats, I felt bored with the single colour (I should’ve chosen something brighter!). More so because I felt I could've tatted alternate halves, then used a different colour to fill in the missing halves - like 2 sinusoidal waves. 
But now the body is happily completed and am working a tail from part of the pattern itself. No pics yet. The first half took a while to get used to, but the return was a breeze. And I'm pretty satisfied with the look.

Kite with Cluny Tail
Mimi Dillman
I started this cute kite, also from the Online Tatting Class, in March, intending it as a bookmark. Now I have some more ideas that need working out. Should I use this as a charm and combine 4 motifs to create a larger diamond for the main body? Decisions !!! Will take it up again after I finish the coin bookmark.  

Many many thanks to all the talented designers for sharing their work :-)