Monday, May 16, 2016

Exquisite doily

My project for this month is figuring out and tatting up one of the Trove newsletter patterns. This is not my Pintrest challenge piece. I began with the largest thread size I can comfortably tat with, but after a few false starts, I dusted off my Tatsys and loaded them with size 10 thread. This made a lot easier to tat. 
When I began the actual tatting I encountered a problem reading the pattern. I'm used to beginning in the center and then working my way out. This is how all patterns I've tatted have more or less started. My mind was trying so hard to make the instructions given fit the grainy photo. It turns out that this particular pattern begins on the outer edges and works inward. I read down to the bottom and sure enough there was the label I was seeking: Center.

I did have to read even these instructions several times before I understood. I'm including stitch counts here in case someone else would like to tat this up and has difficulty deciphering the pattern. This seemed simple enough after it was finished. Then I moved on to the outer frame of the center.
On this section, I used a split chain to reduce the cut and tie. The inner chain, I had to remember not to "push" my chain too tight. If the core thread is tightened too much, the square of the frame will turn concave. The pattern states to tie both threads to a chain picot before the ring, here is where I split chained it. I did begin the row with the ring and tatted around to where the last picot would be, then split chained it there. It was actually an easy split chain for once because I was able to hold the work like I would hold my piece when doing a split ring. The center was large enough to easily pass the shuttle through, so my chain turned out neat and crisp.
Here is the center completed. The original pattern has these elements joined with other types of lace to create a fine "netting" that it will fill up the empty space in the center. I think I will use some size 80 thread and do a mignonette net here. Or maybe finally get down and learn some Oya techniques and fill it in that way. I still have a bit to go, so that will be the final session on this piece. Now I'm off to tackle the 'arms' of the next section.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Pin challenge: Complete!

By the final hour, I finally managed to finish the Ankars Butterfly.

She was a challenge for sure. I don't think I have it in me to do more but if I should ever attempt this again, I will definitely use larger thread. If you want all the gory details, they'll be in the Pintrest Challenge Blog.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Round and round...

I made it halfway around with these snowflakes. The pattern is not needed at this point because I've memorized it. There is a problem with the black thread though. It was vintage thread, Coats and Clark, that I purchased as a bundle off Etsy a while back (years ago). It has begun to deteriorate and snaps often if my tension is even a bit too tight. I've had to work in ends more frequently than I had planned. Closing rings has become a chore.
 I did go in search of size 80 in black locally, and I was surprised to find that most of my local craft stores only keep white in supply now. I still have Hobby Lobby to check, but I was hoping to stay with DMC or Coats and Clark on this project. Hobby Lobby mostly stocks Lizabeth, nothing wrong with this thread, don't misunderstand me. It's just that the twist in the thread are different, so the texture feels different, and I wanted to keep the sameness to the doily. If it comes out as well as my mental picture, I'm sure it'll win me a ribbon in the fall fair this year. I can always order more online, but I'm in the mood to support the local vendors right now. I'm going to give Hobby Lobby a chance, but if they don't stock it, online I must go.
That little Susan Bates shuttle in the picture is one that Fox generously gave many years ago when she read one of my metals died. I still remember and every time I pick it up to tat with, I'm reminded of her kindness. It is currently loaded with size 20 thread for my Pintrest Challenge piece. It's almost finished, just the final sewing in of beads. The videos that Angela made are so much help. Youtube translator is a joke at best so I just turned those off and just watched what was done verses what was said.

This should be finished today, pending my Kat's demands on snacks and me laying down with her for her naps. I move the page I created for the Pintrest challenges to another blog. It was a better way for me to keep organized on these endeavors. It was frustrating having to move the positions of all the current work to the top. Now each project will have it's own page where I can freely describe what went into making it without having to reformat the entire page in reverse. I put a button link on the side bar if anyone's interested.
 Today's going to be a sewing in ends kind of day. Those that are hanging off each motif of the Monster Doily are annoying when I continue with the next motifs. Also, they tend to get caught up with the next motif and I'm having to "coax" them out the working snowflake.