Monday, September 30, 2013

Round 5

First the medallions. Then the fiddly inbetween bits.

I'm not sure that I have this right. It doesn't lie absolutely flat once the inbetween bits are in. Do I carry on and hope that the next row will bring it all into  line, or alter the stitch count and have another go? Hmmm.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fixing the Mistake and Day 3

 Luckily I hadn't added a snowflake to the extra repeat on round 4. Luckily the last (extra) repeat had no original picots, so it was easy to cut off. And then? I contemplated undoing the second half of the previous repeat and retatting, but I was worried that I'd end up with a frazzled thread. So I unravelled a length of the green thread and used one strand to sew the picots together. I was going to do each one separately, but then decided it would be better to run one thread along all three chains, under the caps, attaching each picot on the way. In such a big, busy doily, I don't think it will be noticed.
Day 3 of LadyShuttleMaker's tat it and see completes the circle.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Spot the Mistake

I thought I'd block the round 5 motifs I've done so far before I took a photo of them. Just as well, because while they were drying, I did some counting and realised I had an odd number of repeats on round 4. That's not going to work because each motif joins to two chains on round 4. It took me some time to find the mistake, but eventually I saw it - just to the right of the lowest star in the picture above.  At the end of round 4, I've added an extra repeat of the pattern. Sigh.... Now to sort it out.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day 2 and Round 4

 After a bit of a tease, LadyShuttleMaker gave us day 2 of her tat it and see project. Hmmmm......
In spite of a few diversions, I've completed round 4 of Renulek's doily.
The next row consists of a lot of separate motifs, so that's going to be interesting. I've found the 'snowflake' part of the pattern, but haven't yet managed to track down the pattern for the little motifs in between. I don't need them just yet, there are 12 snowflakes to tat first.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ready for Posting

 The jersey for Annika is ready to be posted off this morning. Of course Ouma wouldn't post a parcel with something for one granddaughter and not the other. This bright tatting is for big sister Isabel, hyperbolic dangles and a little doily for her bedroom or for her own little house in the garden:

Tat It And See Begun

Lady Shuttle Maker posted the first day of her tat it and see project yesterday. So I wound my shuttles with Cebelia 20 that I dyed myself, made a picot gauge and began. It could be anything at this stage, no guesses yet!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Another Diversion

Actually, this diversion stems from the first. I can't post the lace to my daughter until I go to town again, so I thought I'd knit a cardigan for her daughter Annika in the meantime. A neighbour of mine recently knitted this; I liked the pattern, so borrowed it from her. It has an unusual front shaping. I knitted away at the sleeve yesterday evening, feeling that something was not quite right. This morning I spotted the mistake and had to do some unravelling!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Round 4 Begun

 I've made a start to the fourth round of Renulek's doily. Here's a link to the pattern for the round. It takes longer and longer to do each round of a doily as it grows,  of course, but this is almost like three rows in one, so it will take a while.

For the Second Sleeve

 I've finished the lace for the second sleeve of my daughter's blouse. I developed a rhythm and it whizzed along - good feeling!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Diversion

The Renulek doily is so large that I didn't expect to work on it continuously. Here's the first diversion. My daughter asked me to tat some lace to decorate the sleeves of a blouse. We agreed that the Jane's bookmark pattern would be a good choice. Sleeves, like socks and earrings, generally come in pairs, so I need to tat another 60 cm length. Penny says she'll send me a photo of the blouse when she's sewn the lace on, so that I can show it on my blog.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Round Three

 Round three of Renulek's doily. Here's a link to the pattern for this round. The pattern is not given all at once, so you need separate links for each round. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


 Renulek's beautiful doily has been on my to-do list since it first appeared a year ago. Now that I've completed my 25 motif challenge, I'm tackling my to-do list, beginning with this doily. It's a very large doily! The pattern has been a tat along on In Tatters. I've been inspired by the examples on there to use colours instead of the white of the original that I originally planned to use. The thread is Coats that lurked in a friend's stash for a very long time before it was given to me. Here's a link to the pattern for first two rounds.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Summer Sewing

 The weather is beginning to warm up, so I decided to make a put-on-and-go dress with one of the pieces of material I bought the other day. The fabric is rather flimsy, so I lined the dress. Years ago I met a lady called Bettica who said that she lines every garment she makes because it's quicker and easier than neatening seams. I wouldn't go so far, but she does have a point - lining a dress is not as difficult or time consuming as one might think. The fabric is 'mock newsprint', so if I run out of reading matter I could always sit down and read it!

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Spinning Lesson

A few months ago I had a phone call out of the blue from a man who said he'd heard that I could spin and asked if  I would be willing to help him? Of course. It's not easy to give advice over the phone about such a practical subject, so eventually we had to meet. Jantjie lives 200 km from me and didn't want to come all this way, so we met in town on Wednesday at the habedashery shop. He had made an adaptation to his spinning wheel which made it good for spinning thick fibres but impossible to use to spin a fine thread. I think he'll take it off now, seeing as he wants to spin to weave table mats rather than floor mats. I showed him how to draft the fibres, which he was struggling with. Hopefully he'll be able to make progress now.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Signing Off

In September last year I joined the 25 Motif Challenge. I like the 'challenge' aspect, as opposed to the 'motif' part, so I challenged myself to learn 25 new tatting techniques in a year. Some techniques took a long time to grasp and some were quite quick. Some of them are more likely than others to become part of my regular repertoire.  Before I list what I learnt, I'd like to thank Sharon who runs the challenge. She does a great job in keeping up with the blogs of participants, and in summarising them.

  1. Overlapping tatting
  2. Single thread platonic solids
  3. Stacked dimple rings
  4. Clunies
  5. Lock chains and using doodads
  6. Block tatting
  7. Interlocking rings
  8. Larkshead picot join
  9. Beaded 'fabric'
  10. Onion rings
  11. Maltese tatting
  12. Folded rings
  13. Pearl tatting
  14. Mignonette tatting
  15. Interlocking SCMRs
  16. Hyperbolic tatting
  17. Beaded SSSRs
  18. Interlocking hearts 
  19. Victorian sets trellis
  20. Inverted tatting
  21. Layered picots
  22. Square rings
  23. Encapsulation
  24. Double double stitch
  25. Covering a plastic ring


This earring has possibilities, but I don't like the proportions - the rings at the top are too small next to the big ring. And I don't like the colour, which I used only because I already had a shuttle wound with thread and loaded with beads. But it was interesting to work with size 20 thread and to add beads on the outside of the plastic ring. The thrown off rings were easy to do, so that's something else learnt. Hmmm, I may mull over this for a while.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Working on the Final Challenge

 I used Jane Eborall's instructions to learn to cover a ring with tatting. Now that I've learnt to do a split chain properly, it wasn't difficult. I'm not finished yet though. I'd like to make something useful using the technique before I declare my 25 Motif Challenge done. 

Adding Beads

 I used double double stitch and bugle beads to make this bracelet. It's plain, but I learnt some more in making it. For one thing, I should have checked the tension of the first side before I made a ring at the end. Once the ring was made, the tension of the chain before it couldn't be altered.

Monday, September 9, 2013

A Flipping Novice Again

Oh goodness, my attempts to master the double double stitch resulted in metres of scrappy, knotted thread, just as when I was trying to master the double stitch, thirty five years ago! I've deleted my last post because what I was doing was entirely wrong, and I wouldn't like to lead anyone astray. I was on the right track in thinking that what I had to master was where to bring the shuttle back in the final movement of the stitch. I have it. It comes back through the same loop of shuttle thread as the first (normal) stitch movement.
The first part, as usual, under the chain thread and then through the shuttle thread loop.
Under the chain thread again and then back through THE SAME SHUTTLE THREAD LOOP.
Flip and snug up to the previous stitch.
The second half - over the chain thread and through the shuttle thread loop as usual, over the chain thread again and back through the same shuttle loop thread as before, then flip and snug up to the first half of the stitch. Voila!

The double double stitch or balanced double stitch can be used to make a long chain or large ring that won't twist and twirl.

We had a good trip westwards to see wild flowers around the town of Springbok in Namaqualand, South Africa, which were spectacular! We were lucky, there's no guarantee when and where the flowers will be in bloom. Here are a couple of photos: