Tuesday, 20 March 2018

65 + 126 + 24 and one

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Sent and received !
Rather sent and received and sent and received and sent and received and sent and received...

When the hubster realised I was going to send 55 squares, he panicked and insisted I courier them. Cho chweet. 
In the end, though, I sent in 65 squares : 55 from Cathy’s original pattern and the rest from 3 of my patterns (Classic Square ; Heart Square ; & Quatrefoil Square in size 40). I tied them in batches of 5.

Since the rates were same for the first 500 gms, I asked Usha whether she would like me to include her group's work as well. She couriered me the package, & I received it along with a surprise  ....
A beautiful letter and her exquisite lanyards and oh so lovely beads !!! 
Yay. It came in handy almost immediately when my new glasses became a bit loose & I feared dropping them! Very light & beautifully worked - the sparkle of the crystals is not captured here. 

So the 1st sent was by Usha & her group; received by me.

The Happy Tatters group had collectively sent in 126 squares, some from own original designs. 
9 tatters with 126 squares and wishes (scroll down for screenshot).

Even with our collective tatting and stuff, the padded envelop barely weighed 200gms!

Thus 2nd sent was by me (through my BIL); received by Cathy a couple of days later.

Meanwhile I received another envelope from Vrinda, delayed by a day, with 24 more squares
4 each from 6 original patterns! Wow!
We decided to send this by ordinary mail, keeping our fingers crossed.

The 3rd sent was by Vrinda; received by me.
4th sent was by me in a new envelope; received by Cathy about 12-13 days later.

I am so very fortunate to have seen firsthand all the lovely tatting from the Happy Tatters group !!! You can see a lot of their work on Usha’s blog. Above is a screenshot from Cathy’s facebook listing
And Usha’s gift to me is priceless!
I can take credit for motivating Vrinda to share her square patterns ;-P She has used different techniques to create her squares, and given them adorable names, too. Cathy put each pattern up on facebook.

I also have Vrinda’s gracious permission to share them on my blog. So don’t go away – my next post will have her square patterns (in my notation). And also a listing of the various 3x3 cms squares that creative participants have shared (it’s good to have the links all in one place, right?).

The deadline for receiving squares has been extended to the end of this month 
and the tatted fabric will be displayed at Les Halles Saint Gery.

Many many thanks to Cathy for her graciousness and help throughout,
including sharing her personal address for the courier.

Oh, but before I leave there was another lovely sent & received a few weeks back (this has been a hugely delayed blog post due to health reasons). 
This is the latest and sadly last issue of Frivolté(k)ring. This time they included my Block Heart bracelet pattern. If you remember, last year I had the privilege of sharing my Curly Cross pendant pattern with them. Since it is their last, I asked for a physical copy instead of pdf. They graciously obliged.
A very special thanks to Mari-jan !

Between all this sending and receiving, I have made new friends and forged old ones !
That’s what this global initiative represents – a unity of purpose and meeting of minds.

Oops I forgot to thank the men in my family - hubby & his younger brother for their role in the Tat a Monument in Pink ;-P

Tuesday, 6 March 2018


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Lavi has come up with an artistic visualization of the snowdrop flower, ensconcing it in heart-shaped foliage!!!
I already had size 40 white on my shuttles, so got to work right away.

Lavi Damian-Boja (Dandelion Lace) 

It is one of those patterns where multiple pathways are available.
Just like in Coretta's Rose with so many alternate ways of working (not to mention all-chains starting with a mock ring).
Going by her comment, the pattern is still in a bit of development stage. She has 2 versions on her blog.  
I decided to work the white flower first, using a single shuttle. At the end of the 3rd ring, I lock joined to the 1st ring through a tiny space left before tatting over the tail.
This ensured I had an attachment point for the calyx later.

Loaded 2 shuttles CTM, with green. Changing the sequence a bit, I started with bottom ring, and up the inner chain. Then the next ring (calyx), attaching the flower, and down the outer chain.
One can simply move across the base ring using the under-over or alligator join to work the 2nd half. However, since the ring is so tiny, I did a lock join, then moved shuttles to other side.
With my tight tatting tension I ended up with 90 to 100 half stitches in the Josephine chain!

This would look great as a pendant in metallic thread! It will give it the strength to hold shape as well.
Other ways to stiffen this piece :
- diluted PVA or fabric starch
- padded tatting (adding additional core thread)
- padding the stitch (pds).
Perhaps some beads in one of the arcs would work, too?

I tremendously enjoyed working this little motif. It has the elegance of Nicola's Kiss Curl heart, yet with more 'story' within it.

And to give an idea of the size of the 3D carnation in an earlier post -


Many many thanks for sharing the pattern, Lavi.

hope you give it a whirl, too J

Monday, 5 March 2018

the haze is lifting almost

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As we sat down to breakfast one cold winter morning, this ghostly vision emerged! Spooky!!! 
Now these pics were taken in mid-Jan. In our over 20 years here, I have Never seen such a layer of haze in the morning!!! The sun rays through the French doors may show up some suspended dust particles, but never this.
After the initial pic (from top left clockwise), I moved the air a bit & this Casper disappeared for a few seconds only to regroup into almost exactly the same configuration! We thought it might be a dust haze. But that wouldn’t coalesce again in this manner, would it?

It was almost like the clouds on a high mountain – you can walk through them! We had encountered such great clouds in Munnar - ephemeral. They would enter into the room and disappear again all within seconds.

And a time-lapse collage of the Super Blue Blood Moon on the evening of Feb 1st, for a half hour between 1927 to 2006 hrs. 
Taken from our balcony with the smart phone, hence the haziness - no close-ups or sharpness. This is the best we could manage. We couldn’t capture the eclipse in these pics either. 
The black spot in the moon is because of my cut/paste, though. The collage below shows the very first & last pics during that half hour... 
Once while flying to Chennai, we saw a HUGE Orange moon from the aircraft. It was rising and seemed so very close & on fire! One could reach out and touch it, almost. An unforgettable sight.

Now for the haze in my eyes …. well almost lifting.
The blur in my peripheral vision is moving further outwards as my eyes adjust to the new spectacles. It still takes me time to focus on the middle range & I cannot encompass the wide screen of a 17” computer screen. But the strain & ache is decreasing daily. Perhaps another week, but I will try to blog a bit & also fulfill some of my commitments. Thank you for your lovely wishes!

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

I love tatting 3D

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This month’s task was laid out by Renata – my favourite kind of tatting – 3D !!! She has listed some very inspiring projects and I wanted to tat them all !!! Participants have already sent in quite a few completed projects. My apologies for not being able to comment on each blog. I’ll wait to catch up in the round-up.

As soon as I read the task, my mind started building up ideas – it was getting difficult to choose! Time (the 4thD?) always sprints many paces ahead of me. This month it went even faster ;-P 
I have ended up with a medley of past, but as yet unshared, projects.

I Love Tatting / Kocham frywolitke – February 2018

While rummaging for this star flower medallion (bottom right), I came across an old edging. It is actually the center of Renulek's 2014 Spring doily. After 7 rings, I switched direction and repeated thus getting 4 alternating segments (see collage below). At the time I was trying to create an edging but it went awry ;-P

3D Carnation
It coiled easily into a possible flower, though as in the one against black background. Intending to make that 'rose' shape, I needled green thread through all the picots. When pulling tight, I liked the carnation-style shape much better! Worked a 3-sepal calyx (tubular), then carried on down encapsulating the thick threads, with a spiral chain and added floating twisted picots for leaves. For the bottom pair I twisted 2 threads together, then hiding one again.

3D Lavender trial
Next is the overlapping onion rings trial. many of you may recognise my inspiration - a pin from ameba.jp on pinterest.
I think it came out okay, considering it the only trial I did. Need to make time to practice and make more.

3D Star Flower trial/prototype
Remember my overlapping split ring effect I shared here? This is a 5-sided medallion that emerged from that motif.
The later repeats have the right stitch count to show a balance between overlap and negative space. 
Obviously need to change the colours used. But I also want to try it with 2 thread sizes. Would a thinner thread show a better effect? This looks too bulky.

3D Kayak trials
This was a request from a kayaking enthusiast (some of you may be able to identify who ;-P). I started it in early 2015! 
Again, to create a 3D effect, I used overlapping split rings. Notice the single curled ring on the right ? And a twisted picot for the pointed end. I wanted to come back with a straight line to show depth, once the body was completed.
Thinking I had a good idea of the process, I started afresh with the tinted blue. This time I used 4 overlapping split rings for the broadest center and also flipped the overlapping SR. 
Unfortunately this is as far as it sailed ;-( Haven't had time to pick it up again.
I still think the overlapping SRs have quite a potential to create any geometric shape with faux Celtic effect.

Hope these will be accepted by the talented Renata & Justyna. I do love 3D tatting - all my early patterns are 3D freeform! 
And the book from from which this pic was taken .....

happy tatting everybody J

Monday, 26 February 2018

an undesired semi-break

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Hello dear readers & friends

My blog will take a per-forced break for some time.

There are loads of things ready to share or in process, but they will all have to wait.

I’ve had to change my spectacle lens and it may take at least a week to get used to certain activities. Newspaper reading and desktop work fall in that category. I can easily read on the tablet, so will keep abreast of my blog list, though commenting will take a backseat.

Haven’t yet picked up my shuttles to see if I can tat – keeping my fingers crossed….

Thank you for your patience and support Y

muskaan J

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

beautiful hearts

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First, erratum in Heart Square pattern : I have updated the pdf and also written it out in my previous post here. If you have printed, add the ‘cwj’; otherwise please download the pdf again.

Usha sent me this quote after seeing my heart square :
Y One beautiful heart is more  important than a million beautiful faces. Y
This post is all about beautiful hearts in the tatting world. I have been fortunate to share their special friendship as well their creativity, making tatting that much more pleasurable.
So dedicating this to All my tatting friends, many of who have a presence in this compilation. 

Rose Bookmark
I had the pleasure of testing and diagramming it for her. It is such a fabulous adaptation, extension & application of Vicki's original. In one pattern you have a bookmark, pendant and earrings! 
In diagram – change in colour denotes turn or reverse work. and switch shuttles. The accompanying pics of tatting steps further clarify the process in her beautifully laid out pdf.
Judith reminded us of the reverse join instead of lock join. With the former, the rose can be worked with ball & shuttle instead of 2 shuttles.

I added a bud and some floating twisted picots for thorns
The bud needs some tweaking.

In answer to a question in class – We are using 3 threads for pearl tatting the stem, adding the third thread as directed.
‘Pearl tat in sets of 6’ means you make 6 unflipped stitches with one shuttle then 6 with the other shuttle, over the 3rd core thread (thus encapsulating it). This tutorial & this stepwise pictorial show how to get the sets to face in opposite directions. 
This time I cheated making sets of normal 6 ds by using the ‘encapsulated’ thread in shuttle and alternating the green threads to form the stitch. This made it easier to twist the picots for thorns.

The stitches should’ve been snugged closer to make the chain more compact and stiff. I needed to stiffen it with diluted white PVA. It does work!
I would’ve loved to make a Josephine chain with thorns, but using finer thread for the stitches.

The pattern is free on her blog.

UPDATECheck out Coretta's tutorial on the multiple ways in which this rose can be worked, not including all-chains (starting with a mock ring).


I chose to do the rose in yellow again for my niece for her book.
YA friend is the best gift ! Y
The collage shows the other bookmarks that will go into her big book of 
'what happens after' in popular fairy tale stories ! Clockwise from top left, - 
Morning Glory bookmark (my virtual soulmate, Eliz) ; 
Rose bookmark (creative Coretta from Craftree) ; & 
Jane's bookmark (my hands-on inspiration Jane McLellan)

Rosebud  Heart
The little rosebud effect in this Rose Circle doily posted by Ka-ryun intrigued me. You know I love layers! Initially I mistook it for some kind of onion ring. However, these are simple rings that are inserted inside one another before joining on the way back. I worked a heart shape around it.
This was a quick trial. The ring size needs tweaking to better resemble a rosebud. 

by Anita Barry (my tatting mate)
This belonged with her tip in previous post. But I deliberately saved it for now.
However, I will now add the pic there as well. You can clearly see how the picot between 4 first half stitches (seta) & 4 second half stitches (setb) creates a pronounced dip.

Heart Square
Usha Shah's red heart model!
See the heart square in red & pink, worked by Usha (the friendly dot picot tatter)!
I was sick of working with pink after my 5-day marathon and had opted for a gold and purple combo. I'm glad she did the work for me ;-P

There are so many others, not named here, who have immensely enriched my tatting life in these few short years. Y My thanks to each one of you for your beautiful heart. Y

Y wishing you many happy hours of hearty tatting  Y

Sunday, 11 February 2018

heart square pattern

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My 2nd square pattern is ready, phew. This time I did the presentations for both squares a bit differently. Each is single page, with no listing of techniques, and no real diagrams. I had begun diagramming for the Classic square, but it wasn’t coming together easily. Rather than waste time, I notated counts on the tatted models.
Your feedback will help further improvement.
In time for Valentine’s Day ….
(click to download pdf)

Another 3x3cms square for Tat a Brussels’ monument in pink. Clovers around a central heart. Can be done in single or 2 colours. I prefer the latter. I was quite fed up with pink, so a change of colours was called for!
Worked continuously. 
In CTM, it can be tatted all from the front in clockwise direction.

I deliberately chose a dimpled ring for heart, though my preference is for the folded style 
to be certain that the shape would hold well throughout.

The picot thread can be seen across where the dimple is made. 
If you don’t like it, a bead/pearl on the picot can hide it.
Heart can also be worked as a mock ring/SCMR.

In the right model, I brought the top chain closer to the dip. 
But I don't like the look. An oval/spndle around the heart looks better.

There are clovers around the heart bridged by chains that are linked to the heart below using a Catherine wheel join (cwj) to keep the curve smooth.
NOTE: When using cwj, the core thread in the chains remains free to slide from start to end. Hence take care while snugging stitches.

UPDATE (FEB 13) :  
PLEASE NOTE : the chain before Clover4 ends with a cwj. 
4 cwj 5 cwj (for Lizbeth),  
3 cwj 4 cwj (for Anchor).
The 4th clover is again made with 2nd shuttle.

Depending on one’s tatting tension, adjust stitch count such that the outer chain 
is flush but flat around the heart. I have a tight tatting tension.

The last clover is linked back to the first clover using a picot join to the right.
TIP: Before making the join, ensure that Both shuttles are on the same side – preferably to the front – because there is a short chain still to be worked at the end.

Since we needed a specific dimension, the pdf contains instructions for 
size 20 threads in Lizbeth & Anchor both.


A Valentine’s Variation of Classic Square :

As promised in last post, here’s what Anita did – ‘tis the season after all! Hearts instead of plain ol’ rings, and layered to boot! Rest of the square pattern remains same.

(heart variation) : Ring: 6 – 6, 4fhs – 4shs, 6 – 6

TIP: The picot between seta & setb “emphasizes the point of changing directions”.

Now how about interlocking the 4 hearts – I’ll have to needle-tat it some day!

happy tatting J

Saturday, 10 February 2018

classic square pattern

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Honestly, tatting takes much less time than writing and presenting a pattern !!! I’d venture that even designing and trials take less time!

I created 2 patterns for the Tat a Brussels’ monument in pink and was going to make a combined pdf and post. However, it is taking forever, and I realise how late I already am. So, here’s my first pattern for now and the other will follow shortly.

(click to download free pattern)

It is a 2-shuttle adaptation of my single shuttle Inchie-Two, and made slightly larger to comply with 3x3cm size and to have 4 free picots in the corner.

I was going to name it flower/floral square because there seems to be a rose blooming between 4 corner leaves. When I showed it to my friend she said it was a ‘classic square’ and explained it as follows:
I use “classic” as a term for tatting that appears to be a simple, pleasing rings & chains project. Not a brain-twister. Something that has a timeless appearance.
 – Anita Barry.

Truth be told, there is a bit of pitfall. When joining the 2nd inner ring to 1st, I kept linking to the wrong picot! We are so used to joining to a free picot, that my hands automatically did the same. However, the linkage is to the same picot where the previous chain is lock joined. Beware :-D

I worked it in Anchor size 20 as all the other squares. But most tatters don’t use this thread. So I pulled out my single size 20 Lizbeth and adjusted the stitchcount. Mostly adding 1ds to each segment
Hence the conversion is fairly easy. It worked in the 2nd square pattern as well. I am keeping this ball for future conversions - more work, but it will make the patterns more universal.

The pdf contains stitch count for both threads as well as for single and 2 colour versions.

Wanting a more flowery look, I increased the chains slightly. 
But it ruffles and needs blocking to flatten out. 

There are many alternate square patterns already shared on respective blogs and Craftree. I didn’t need to create more. It is merely a personal challenge – “Can I?”.
And since the logistics of mailing my original squares changed, I had time on hand. I will now be couriering them on the 19th.

Stay tuned for the next square pattern – in time for Valentine’s ! Along with Anita's variation of this square which she sent me last night (need to ask permission).
Meanwhile I hope you enjoy working this square and adapting it to your pleasure.

For more squares, scroll down to Motifs/Medallions here.

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

55 in 5 and 1 in 15

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No, no, please don't leave... This is not an equation !
Just my frivolous statistics.
If you enjoy puzzles, go ahead & decipher before reading further J

my newest buy - Lindsay Rogers' 'Mastering Tatting' !
When I made my 1st one way back, I wasn’t sure about mailing it. It had worked out larger than the required dimensions (see pic below) and I was too caught up in loads of other projects, among other reasons.
loosely tatted original square with reduced stitch square
which now measures 3cms in Anchor size 20
Both factors (& the other reasons) remained the same but I don't know what exactly changed my mind. An email from Usha probably. DH knew all of my reasons, yet I couldn't explain what really happened now.
Don’t regret it one bit! I went on a tatting binge for 5 whole days, loving every moment of it, down to sewing in ends. Yeah, I guess Anita got it right - I’m “an overzealous overachiever” ;-P But the 'competition' is with myself.

So here’s the 'solution' to the title –
55 Brussels squares tatted in 5 days.
And at least 
1 of them was tatted in 15 minutes!

Pattern : Tat a Brussels Monument in pink by Cathy de Greef (Canarithy)

I don’t time myself ever. There are too many interruptions and distractions while life goes on when tatting. However I was averaging about 25-30 minutes per square. Then on Day 4 I happened to start a square just as the news went on on fm radio & I finished the square as the news reader signed off – 15 minutes flat!
Huh, didn’t know I could tat fast. 
Errr, I did have fewer stitches to work – in order to get the right size in Anchor 20, 4 stitch repeats are used instead of the 5 in original pattern.
Day 3 - end of morning session in the warm winter sun !
Day 3 - end of evening session in artificial lights
Efficiency & rhythm could be part of the reason, besides the sheer joy of working the pattern – it had enough variety to sustain my interest.
  • All the materials needed were placed in this chocolate box (see pics above).
  • I tatted 2 sessions per day and sewed in the ends at night (day 3 pics above).
  • I stuck to the same pattern, getting into a good rhythm.
  • Used 3 different pinks to create some variety.
  • Used a ball and shuttle. My Pony bobbin held enough thread for 4 squares.
  • Path used :
I started at the same point where Cathy did but with the ring instead of chain. Worked 2 chains around, then reverse tatted (unflipped/wrapped stitches) the inner chain. This eliminated frequent RW or switch shuttle.
NOTE (update) : To join subsequent chains to this central picot, use the 2nd side of Split Ring join.
Continued to end – lock joining the last inner chain to ring picot and completing the last outer chain.
Ending at the starting point meant it was easier to hide ends later.
And fs/bs tatting, hence started the ring in RODS (reverse order of half stitches), which meant all chains were tatted from the front.

When starting I had no idea how many I wanted to make. Then based on each day’s output I decided to give myself 5 days to complete 50 squares. On the last day I contemplated the title of my blog post & decided to increase the count by 5 - how corny is that ?!;-P  
[starting on Jan 31st - 9, 10, 13, 12, 11 squares]

On day 6, with all squares roll-blocked, dried and photographed, I set about tatting a couple of new patterns that I had sketched earlier. I will show them in the next post. They won't be in pink, though - I'm mighty tired of that colour !
I hope to finalize the patterns today and may include it in the envelope to mail to Cathy.

I did find a few of my old squares fit the 3x3cms requirement, but they are in size 40 (quatrefoil squares) and the brown one (undulating) needed a bit of work. So I was very happy working Cathy's pattern. 

Thank you, Cathy, for a lovely pattern
and for the initiative to put tatted lace on the world map !