Monday, June 19, 2017

Back to the Yoke

 I'll put the mignonette rose doily on hold while I work on writing up the pattern.  Meanwhile, I'll go back to the yoke I was working on when I got distracted by the doily.

The yoke comes from "Practical Tatting" by Phyllis Sparks.  Used copies aren't too hard to find.  It has quite a lot of edgings, some doilies, a few nice collars, and this exquisite yoke.  Patterns are diagrammed in a style different from the norm, but easy enough to follow once you get used to them.  Patterns have more cut and ties than preferred by the modern tatter, but usually not too hard to get around by substituting split rings etc.

Here is the entire yoke as pictured in the book.  There are (I think) 86 individual motifs made from 17 patterns.  This was to be more than just a project for me, but more of a tatting meditation.  Is "centering" the right word?  I wanted something old fashioned and elaborate.  First, I must make each section correctly, which is sometimes as much about matching the designer's tension and picots as well as following the pattern.  Next, all the pieces must fit together. Lastly, I must have the perseverence to complete the project.

Mrs. Sparks writes that you make make the motifs in any order you wish.  She began with the large circle near the top and then the bow shaped strip around it.  I decided to begin with the large oblongs that go over the shoulders. I thought working a large section would tell me if I could follow her patterns and enjoy them.

So far, so good.

I didn't make a scan with a black background way back then, but since then I found out some of you preferred the dark background, so I tried to photoshop it.

Meanwhile, DS3 and I visited the Sarah Duke Gardens in Durham.

There are several sections, with different themes.

We didn't see it all.

Highly recommended, we will be back.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Another Bit of Salvage

When I was almost done with one of the motifs of the rose doily, I made a Dreadful Mistake and had to cut away.  The rings are so small I did not think I could add in thread without making an ugly blob, so I just set that piece aside.  Later I went around the edge making split chain like wrapped stitches.  It was a bit tedious and time consuming, but a very dainty effect.

Here's another background.

(Later on, when I broke the thread trying to open a ring, I did try adding in a new thread, and it was not too bad.)

Have you planned your tatting get-away for this year?  Registration is now open for Palmetto Tatters Tat Days in Toccoa, Georgia, September 7-10, click for information HERE.

and for Fringe Element Tatters Tat Days in Cambridge, Ontario, September 22-23, click for information HERE.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Same Doily, Different Background

By request, a different picture of yesterday's doily.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Done, Almost

Did you ever enjoy working on a project, but at the same time been so tired of it you couldn't wait to be done?  Here it is, in size 80 thread coming in at 10 1/2 inches, a little wider than my scanner bed.  Judging from my motif last time, I estimate it would be around 14 inches or more in size 40.  

Now, to finish.  I need to clip off the thread ends.  I worked in the ends as I went along, but I left long tails to prevent the chance of pulling out the ends in the stretching/blocking process.  That's not usually a worry, but with these tiny rings, there weren't a lot of stitches to work the ends into.

Oh, and to get this written into modern notation, which was the point to begin with.

Monday, May 29, 2017

False Start Made Good

There have been many mistakes, mis-starts, and cutting of thread with the 1926 Rose Doily I told you about last time.  I salvaged the motif with too many rounds by crocheting a border around to have a nice mini doily.  A little stretching and blocking might help, but that would be like making an effort :)

Why did I ever wait so long to start blogging again?  I had forgotten how much I enjoyed reading your comments. 

And now to bore you with non-tatting.  My other big hobby is my vegetable garden.  Here it is on April 1.  For the smaller spring crops I use the "square foot gardening" method.

And here is last week.  The lettuce is about to bolt and the spinach already has, but it's been a good crop and pulling it out will make room for the summer veg.  Note the extra netting since deer were jumping the fence.

I picked my first squash this week, and I've got baby tomatoes.  Hooray!  

Back to your regularly scheduled tatting next time.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

1926 Rose Doily

Not too long ago, Georgia sent out a request for help finding the source of this doily. She did know it was from a Needlecraft magazine from 1926.  I collect those off and on, so I pulled out my boxes from under the bed and found it in the April issue.  The designer was Mildred Thompson. Georgia also invited me to write out the instructions for modern tatters. How could I resist?

As you may know, vintage patterns are hard to follow.  Not only are they usually written in a different style than we are used to, but test tatting and proof reading were apparently not done.

First off, the instructions say each motif has 20 rounds.  This is wrong. Of course I did not realize this until after I had worked one whole motif.  Studying the photo reveals that the central motif has 18 rounds and the outer ones have 19 rounds.  You could make it with more rounds if you wanted to, but I think it does matter that the center motif have one fewer rounds so they will fit together. At this point I am doubting that I have enough thread on the ball for a whole doily anyway, so I start over. 

Then comes the issue of how to join the motifs together.  The orange thread in the picture above is the way the pattern is written.  Who would want to work that asymmetrical mess?  No wonder the designer writes that the small fill-in motifs are not worked in, but sewn on top.  That's one way of covering up the problem.  I have devised a method for a neater way to join the motifs and work in the fill-in motifs, but will it work?  Will the whole thing lie flat when I am done? Time will tell.  (Lots and lots of time....)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I'm Back

I had promised myself that I would get back to blogging once I got my life back under control. Things were looking good earlier in the year, but then they fell apart again when autistic DS3's group home closed down with only a few days notice.  That seemed like a disaster at first, but was a blessing in disguise.  Late last month he moved to a home for autistic adults that is better in every way than where he was before.  It's not local, but I can get there with Amtrak.  Last weekend, the whole family got together to give him a day out. We went hiking at Eno River Park  and out to lunch. Then to make it something for everyone, we went to a gaming store for the guys, and to Scrap Exchange for the girls. That's sort of a huge secondhand store geared toward crafting.  I bought stuff. Beware the giant bin of buttons :)

For a long time, I didn't do any tatting. Though tatting is an excellent stress reliever for most, above a certain level I just can't do it. Eventually I was ready to begin again, and I wanted something very old fashioned and traditional.  I saw this image on Pinterest and thought it was something vintage, but I tracked it down to "Practical Tatting" by Phyllis Sparks from the early 1990's.
A quick trip to and I was in business.  The yoke is made up of bunches of traditional style motifs.  I was making good progress and then got sidetracked to another old fashioned project. More about that next time,  maybe.

Meanwhile, it's time to be thinking about TatDays in Toccoa.  Registration will be opening around June 11.  I haven't chosen all my classes yet. Decisions are hard. The logo above is by Anitra, one of those magazine covers she is so good at designing.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Still Here

I'm still here, gradually getting my life back together.

The free patterns are temporarily (I hope) unavailable. Usually I periodically get a notice from Keep-and-Share to log in to keep my account active. I must have missed the notice this time, I assume. I have sent them a message asking to reopen the account, per their instructions on the error page. Bother.

I've been thinking a lot about getting active on the blog again and showing what I'm working on, but snowed under right now.

Later -- Free patterns are back! Thank you Keep and Share for prompt help.