Monday, October 31, 2016

Forward and Back

I redid the motif from lesson one and the woven bars definitely look better. Reading Sherry L's comment, I've realised that my dove's eyes are not correct, they don't all go in the same direction. Which the lesson did tell me to do!

I went on to lesson two. Mmm. The graduated kloster blocks were more difficult than I expected. The theory seems simple enough, practice not so much. The overcast or wrapped bars were quite tricky. You have to keep the tension on the thread and make sure the wraps don't overlap. I redid some of it. I finished one direction, started the other direction and realised I have messed up altogether by doing six blocks a side instead of five! The pattern of doves eyes won't work. I don't think I'll redo it because I don't need these stitches for my final piece. A bit embarrassing to show it, but in the interests of honesty, here I go:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

First Attempt

Well, I cut the fabric and it didn't fall apart, hooray! I sent a photo of the finished piece to my craft group and the feedback was that I hadn't pulled the thread tight enough when I did the woven bars.  So I'm having another go, before I go on to lesson two.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Changing Gear

The embroidery section for next year's craft group competition is a Hardanger table centre. I don't want to tackle  a project as big as that, but I've said I'll do the beginner article, a bookmark. With a lot of help from people in my craft group, I've managed to assemble the correct fabric, threads and instructions for the final project and to practise on. The white thread is left over from my Shwalm embroidery project.   It took me a while to find it, buried in the depths of my craft cupboard, but find it I did. Carien lent me her embroidery book, but I know that she's using it herself, so I gave it back to her yesterday and found an on line tutorial. I'm going to try to follow it step by step and then have a go at a bookmark.

 I have a bookmark to copy. It was left behind in a library book when it was returned to the library and since no one claimed it, the librarian gave it to me.
 So I know what I'm aiming for.

 I've done step one of the tutorial, embroidered some kloster blocks.
The next step involves cutting threads. I'll need to take a deep breath.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Bit of Bling

This is another beaded crochet rope, probably the most complicated one I've done. I must be getting the hang of it.

I thought I was also getting the hang of tracing back from Pinterest where a pattern came from., right? Wrong. turns out to be a social media site, not the website of a particular bead designer.


Here it is, the last pattern in the book.
I've really enjoyed working systematically through the Tatted Artistry of Teiko Fujito, published by Lacis Publications, ISBN 4-529-03570-0. There were a number of patterns that I probably wouldn't have chosen to tat, but was glad I had. Some looked fiddly, but were worth the effort.

 The book has been translated from Japanese and consists of pictures and diagrams, no text. Sometimes the photos conflicted with the diagrams - I went with the one that seemed most sensible. Sometimes I had to study the diagrams for a while to figure out how to work the motif, but hey, I tatted them all, so it's perfectly doable.

The most striking thing I learnt from the book was the importance of picot length and bare thread spaces. It stands to reason that if picots are too small the work will cup, but I hadn't realised that making picots too long would also distort the work. Thread is not as forgiving as I supposed.  Given how important picot size is to many of these patterns, it's a shame that there's no indication in the book of how long picots and bare threads should be. Trial and error can be  a tedious way of getting them right! I did like the way Teiko Fujito played with picots, not only varying picot length but using double picots and picots with rings on them. I think that's what is most distinctive about the book.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Working On It

I'm working on the last motif in the book, using Coats size 40 thread.  And making heavy weather of it. There has been a lot of snipping:
I hope I can get to the end now without further mishap. There are two more rows......

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Butterflies Tethered

Edging 99 is essentially the same as 98, with an extra row added to join them together. It's my least favourite of the butterfly edgings. In any case, it's the last edging in the book.  Only one more (largeish) motif or doily to tat I'll have completed my self-imposed challenge! 

Friday, October 21, 2016

More Butterflies

I wondered why the butterflies on Edging 98 weren't joined to each other. It occurred to me that it would work for a circular or curved edging. Do you think that's the reason?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Butterfly Edging

Edging 97 is a lot more original than Edging 96. I must admit I had to peer at the diagram for a while to work out how it was done. Then I practised the half open rings. Hmm, they boggled my mind a bit before I started, but turns out they're an easy alternative to split rings or SSSRs to get from A to B. The diagram and photo showed the little josephine rings in the same colour as the butterfly wings. I did that on the first two repeats, but wondered if it wouldn't make more sense to work them in the same colour as the antennae? So that's what I did on the second two repeats. There's a colour blip in the join and I had to do the SLT for the second one, but I think it works.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Not Quite

I aimed to finish the first sleeve yesterday evening, but I didn't quite make it. Tonight.....

Skirts Galore

I'm not sure if my idea of an 'African print skirt' is the same as a Kiwi's vision, but I bought a selection of fabrics so that my daughter-in-law and granddaughters could choose who wanted what. I made life a bit difficult for myself because the 'animal print' and zigzag fabrics are very light and had to be lined. The other two are 100% cotton; much easier to work with. They're now done and ready to be posted off to New Zealand.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Classic Edging

Edging 96 is essentially the same as the pattern I used for my first big tatting project, in the early 1980s, an edging for a cloth for my tea trolley. It came from a Coats pamphlet. I've used patterns for a collar and a doily from Anna Burda magazine that used the same principle too.

Friday, October 14, 2016

More Knitting in Strange Places

I don't normally knit during a car journey. But when we were caught up in a traffic jam in Johannesburg, I was glad I had my knitting bag with me. While Jack drove forward a few metres at a time, I made progress on the sleeve. So I've worked on the pullover in a remote wilderness area and a teeming city. No prizes for guessing which environment I'd rather knit in!

Monday, October 10, 2016


I hoped to finish this beaded crochet rope yesterday, but I got distracted and it's still too short even for a choker. We're going away for a couple of days, I'll finish it when we get back.  The pattern looks complicated, but the threading pattern was not long. I found the pattern on Pinterest. It's a shame that many of the patterns there are divorced from their designers. This one has writing in what looks like German, but I can't see a name on it.


Edgings 94 and 95 use 'Victorian sets' of 4 first half stitches followed by 4 second half stitches. I've used sets before, especially from the Julia Sanders tatting book, but just on the chains. I've never tatted a piece entirely in sets. One problem is that this tatting has a more definite right and wrong side than normal tatting and the chains face a different way to the rings. I like the contrast you get when using sets just on the chains. This way looks rather 'spiky' to me.

Saturday, October 8, 2016


In spite of all my resolutions about not adding to my stash, I bought some beads in town on Wednesday. Well, I must make bracelets for my granddaughters, must I not?
This one is pretty, but the pattern is rather too subtle ( it shows up better in the photo than it does in real life). How about using red beads? When I looked more carefully, I found that the red beads were a bit bigger than the other beads. I decided to try using them anyway. If it didn't work, crochet is easily unraveled!
So, the beads don't all have to be exactly the same size for beaded crochet. The bigger beads stand out, so they have to be used in the context of the pattern. The bracelet is also stiffer than the top one, so it doesn't form such a neat circle.

Friday, October 7, 2016

One Pass

I liked the look of edging 93. I liked it even better when I realised that it is tatted in one pass. I thought I was going to have to tat all the big rings first, as in some of the earlier motifs, but the big ring is 'thrown off' the second half of the first split ring.  I shortened the long picots slightly for the second attempt. It could be adapted to make a bookmark - tat half the split rings on each repeat, shorten the inbetween chains, then come back down the row again to complete a series of circles.

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Edgings 91 and 92 combine tatting and crochet. I'm not sure I did the last row of the top one correctly. The pattern has an arrow to the two-ring motif and say 'attach to edging'. Adding them one by one seems tedious, so I crocheted using a shuttle thread and then did the rings when I came to the right place. What can I say? I"m not really fond of combining tatting and crochet, but it can create different effects.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


I've reached the division for the neck and cast off for the armholes, so I have fewer stitches to work on now.

Two More Edgings

Edging 89 is a rings-only pattern. Frothy, I'd call it. I think it would work better as an insertion than an edging.  Edging 90 is pretty but pedantic, with a lot of ends to hide. The picture shows it with all the rings in the same colour, but I thought that if I had to keep stopping and starting anyway, I could make the flowers in different colours and use up short lengths of thread. A short length like this makes a pretty bookmark.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Notes to Self

Before I go back to tatting, I want to write down what I've learnt about crocheting beaded ropes, so that I don't have to relearn all this when I do it again some time.
Choosing a patterns
1. A circumference of 6 beads works well for a beginner. More than that and tension is harder to maintain.
2. A single colour is not the easiest pattern to work with. 2-2-2 is easier because working each colour on top of the same colour helps to keep track. The tutorial uses 6 colours, but that needs more attention to string and isn't necessary.
3. Once you've grasped that, choose a pattern that doesn't have a very long repeat. There are patterns out there that look simple but have a long sequence. With a shorter sequence, it's easier to get in a threading rhythm.
1. Use jam jar lids to hold beads:
2. Put each colour in a separate lid. Putting them all into one lid is fine for the threading, but a pain in the neck when you come to put the left over beads back in their respective packets.
3. Keeping the colours in the same place in relation to each other helps keep the rhythm of threading.
What else? Here's what the inside of the rope looks like:
The crochet chain goes round and round. It's really very easy, but choosing a 15 bead circumference when you're a beginner (as I accidentally did)  is not a good idea.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

More Beads

I carried on with this bead pattern until I'd used up all my red beads. So far I've managed to learn beaded crochet ropes using material from my stash. Could I use smaller beads and finer thread? Sure I could:

Progress is very slow though with smaller beads. I thought it must be akin to tatting with size 80 thread.