Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chain Tension Challenged

While reading blogs the other day, I came across a beautiful pendant pattern on Ewa's blog. Here's a direct link to the pattern.  I thought that would be a beautiful pattern to tat up as Christmas presents for a few family members.  So I tatted up the pattern and this is the result:

 I couldn't get the tension tight enough on the long chains between the trefoils. (There are three elements to this piece.  The trefoils are woven in between the ring and chain centerpiece and then the outside rings are added last, kind of like Celtic tatting.)  I tatted that trefoil part a second time and still couldn't get it right.  Here is the back side to show how loose the chains are:
It looks nothing like the beautiful picture that Ewa  has on her blog, but I wasn't ready to give up yet.  I thought I would try to incorporate those trefoils into the existing chains of the center element.  This would eliminate one round (and the thread ends that go with it)  and hopefully the tension problems.  I had to adjust the stitch count a little bit, but here is the center motif as one round.
   That little motif is beautiful by itself as a pair of earrings.  When I added the outer round, here's how my version of the pendant turned out.
I used Lizbeth Christmas Green and white in size 40 and silver seed beads on the outer chains.  It doesn't have the Celtic weaving that I like so much about Ewa's pattern, but this version is easier for me.

Here's another one tatted in Perfect Quilter red and beige.  I like it a lot in the smaller thread, too.
I think the solid colors work best with this pattern.  I did my original experiments in a variegated thread because that was what I had on my shuttle at the time.

Ewa has graciously granted me permission to post the modifications to her pattern.  Here is how I tatted round 1.  Round 2 (outer rings and chains) does not change at all.

Ewa's Pendant, modified
2 shuttles

Sh 1     R  8-4-8
Sh2      R  10-10
Sh1      Ch 8
Sh2       R 8-2
Sh2       R2+4-4-2
Sh2       R 2+8
Sh1       Ch 8
Repeat until you have 4 trefoils, and 4 inner and outer rings.

Thank you, Ewa, for sharing your beautiful pattern and allowing me to play with it a little.  Happy tatting everyone!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Completely Illogical

I am generally a very logical and practical person.  When I go to the grocery store, I buy only enough for one week.  I don't have a million shoes or clothes or purses.  I like to keep things simple.  But when it comes to tatting, I go completely nuts (crazy).  I have at least 30 shuttles even though I only use 1 or 2 shuttles at a time.  And my thread stash?  Let's just say I have more than enough for this lifetime and maybe half of the next one.  But my biggest weakness is patterns.  This is a picture of all my pattern books.

And those three binders on the left side? They are filled with free patterns that I have printed off the internet.  I just printed a new one off yesterday that I'm working on (I'll blog about that when I'm finished).  So how many patterns do you think this represents?

I would say the number is in the thousands of patterns.  Will I be able to finish all these patterns in my lifetime?  Of course not.

But I still want to have more patterns.  This collection does not include all the patterns I have on my computer in a folder labeled "Tatting Patterns," the ones that I have not yet printed out but have every intention of working on as soon as I have more time.  And my next tatting purchase will include at least one or two more pattern books that are on my "Must Have" list.  I guess you would call this an obsession.  But at least I'm admitting it.  And the first step to fixing my obsession is to admit it, right?  But I'm not sure I want to be cured.  I love every one of my pattern books, even though there are many that I have not tatted a single pattern from.  But I will.......someday!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Working on WIPs

WIPs are Works in Progress.  Some people call them UFOs (Unfinished Objects).  I should be starting Christmas tatting now to give myself plenty of time, but I have two WIPs that I want to try to complete before I start more projects.

I think I am the only one in the world who is still working on Renulek's Spring Doily, but I am finally on the 13th and final round.  Yay!!  Here's how it looks.

Back at about row 9 or 10, I misread the pattern and neglected to tat a thrown ring.  I didn't realize it until I had finished that round, and figured that since it was consistent all the way around, it wouldn't make much difference.  Well, the outer rows are ruffling a bit, but I think blocking will flatten them out once the doily is completed.  But as a result of that mistake, I'm having to modify the pattern for round 13.  I've had to add six ds between the scallops.

Renulek's pattern just calls for two adjacent rings between the scallops, but that made the edges ruffle even more, so I'm hoping that by adding those extra ds, I'll be able to block the doily flat.  This is by far the largest project I have ever taken on and I can't believe I am almost done with it.  It's only taking me about 6 months (and counting).

Another WIP that I need to finish is this hanky edging.
I'm actually a little more than half way around the hanky, but it wouldn't fit on the scanner.  I really love how this edging is turning out, but I can't work on it for long because it is soooooo boooooring and repetitious that I lose concentration and start making mistakes.  So I put it away for a few days and come back to it with fresh eyes.  I would have finished this weeks ago if I could have kept my concentration.