Thursday, August 25, 2016

Picot Play

These are motifs 53 to 57. Motif 54 involves self closing mock rings, but the others all have double picots. I had to do some practising and experimenting to learn the technique and find the best picot lengths. The picots with thrown off rings require a different picot gauge for each side, for instance. My top tip is to adjust the inner picot before doing the second half of the join. It's less likely to get distorted that way.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Front

This is the front of my mandala cushion. It measures 36 cm across.  There will be one more row, to join the front to the back and form a border. That is, once I get the back right. My first attempt turned out to be half a hexagon, rather than a semicircle:
More research needed!

I managed to work in most of the thread ends as I worked the front by crocheting over them. I started each round in a different place so that I could crochet over the beginning thread in one place and then the end thread of the previous row in a different place. I read about an invisible join, but was put off by Dedri Uys's warning that it needs to be absolutely correct or the mandala would be distorted.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

In a Twist

Motifs 51 and 52 have twisted picots. The technique is not quite as simple as I thought. Lesson one: twist the picot in the direction of the thread twist, not opposite to it.  Unraveled thread looks scruffy. Lesson two: don't make the picots too long or they become a twisty mess. The ones at the top (my third attempt) look better than the lower ones because they're a little shorter.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Progressing Slowly

I spun some more cotton and dyed more blue shades. Fingers crossed I have enough now to get my cushion to the required 30 cm to 50 cm across. I'm still using Dedri Uys's Sophie's Mandala for inspiration, but I'm not following it exactly. Which means I have to figure things out for myself. There's a lot of crocheting and then undoing! On the last blue round, I worked four trebles into each space, then decided that was too ruffly, undid it and worked it again with three trebles per space. Of course, as the cushion gets bigger and the rounds longer, the trial-and-error method becomes increasingly laborious. But I'm surely learning as I go along, and I'm happy with the results so far.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Spinning Again

I've 'misunderestimated' the yarn needed for the outer rounds of my cushion. I'm spinning the rest of the cotton I have available, but I'm going to have to do a bit of a rethink about the outer section of the cushion. I shall ponder as I spin.

Friday, August 19, 2016

One Pass

Motif 50 is the first in Part 4, 'Motifs for the advanced tatter'. The 'advanced technique' used is split rings. I made one mistake, making a picot at the beginning of round 2, where I should've had a false picot to get to round 3. It was pretty straightforward really.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Practice Piece

I learnt a lot from this practice piece. You can read tutorials and peruse patterns, but in the end you have to actually try a new technique to learn it! Of course there is a lot more to overlay crochet than I have attempted. I just wanted to learn enough to achieve the effect I want on my cushion, that of leaves floating on the water.