Saturday, November 17, 2018

Something is better than nothing

I started tatting my Christmas snowflakes, and as Muskaan mentioned, the inner part makes a nice little snowflake all on it's own. Here's what it looks like after the fourth row.

Cute, isn't it? This little snowflake is just over 2 inches across from point to point. It's nice, but not as large as what I was looking for, so I added the 5th row. I managed to draw it up to the point of this little flake, but trying to get the stitch counts in where the chains are lying against one another is giving me problems so there's no pattern yet.

Actually, that's not true. There is a pattern for the the inner part of my Christmas snowflake which I've called Little Flake. That part of the pattern is included below.

Hopefully, I'll get the rest of if drawn out soon.

Friday, November 16, 2018

I think it'll work...maybe not

My frustration level is getting pretty high about now. Hubby's making noises about sending out our Christmas cards soon which means I need to get a on tatting tear and start whipping out snowflakes.
That's hard to do when you can't even settle on a design. GRRR!

Since things aren't flowing smoothly I thought I'd go back to where they started going off track and resurrected my second try to take another stab at it. I knew the inner section needed to be larger so that the next rows didn't overlap. I began by making the inner ring larger and making the picots longer That made the chains on the subsequent rows correspondingly longer. After that I followed the original design and I think I have a winner. The finished snowflake is 3 inches across from point to point which is what I was aiming for.  You can see the first attempt at the design and how  the final version came out.

There aren't and split rings or split chains to slow me down and I have a pretty flake that flows off the shuttles easily. I just have to sit down now and tat like mad. Then all I have to do is draw the pattern out, but that might take a while.

Hubby has the camera attached to the car and now has to run wiring from the front bumper to the dashboard. A backup camera is wired to the back up lights and it only engaged when the backup lights come on. Since this camera is being wired to the front of the car, the camera would be on all the time unless it's wired to a switch so that it's only on when needed. It needs wire going to the switch and wire going from the switch to the battery as well as wire going to the display. Running wire through tight spaces needs smaller hands, namely mine. Consequently I'm going to be spending the next little while with my hands covered in black grease.

Black grease and white thread don't make for good bedfellows when you want pristine snowflakes.
Wish me luck.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Back to the drawing board - again

I posted the snowflake cut out that I was using because I though others might want to use it to create their own snowflake. I created a quick sketch to play around with. I drew over top of the paper cut out like the picture shown here. 

Then I deleted the paper cut out and was left with just the drawing and I proceeded to tat it.

I anticipated that I'd have to increase the size of the rings on each row, so I started with inner rings of 5-5 I expected a big hole in the middle of the design because I wasn't starting with a central ring, but I though it might look really cute with long woven picots in the middle so I started with long picots and ran into my first snag. If you want to weave the picots they need to just touch the edge of the ring on the opposite side of the motif, but it's hard to know how long that distance is when you haven't tatted it yet. so I took a guess. I was using a sort of unconnected cloverleaf with the inner rings at 5-5 as mentioned and used 3-3-3-3 for the side rings ending in a split ring up to the next round.

That's where things got squirrely, or I got tired. I needed 4 connected rings of graduated sizes, joining to 2 more larger connected rings. I tatted it, undid it, tatted it again, undid it again, looked at the drawing and reasoned it out and tatted it again, and again. Then I got fed up and cut if off.

At least now I know how long the central picots have to be. Of course I'm obviously NOT using this design which might work when I'm  more alert to figure out what I need to do. But I've decided that since the dozen split rings I'd need to tat would slow down my tatting speed and I either need to rework the design or scrap it altogether, I am once more going back the the drawing board.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The computer ate my homework

I thought I'd get back to something simple and see where it lead me, so I started with a simple ring in, ring out design, except that half way through the first round I could tell it was going to cup horrendously, so I cut it off and started again.

This time I went with ring chain, thrown off ring and it looked too simplistic, so I cut it off and started again.

The next  design looked like it was going to work, but after the second repeat I realized that I had intended to have a starting ring, work up one side and come back down the other side to a second inner ring. I lost track of what I was doing and instead of a second inner ring I attached to the second picot of the first ring. There's no way that's going to work. So it's time to snip again.

Since just tatting without any pre-set plan wasn't working I thought I'd start with a paper snowflake template and use it as a basis for a design. Ages ago I designed a bunch of cut outs on the snowdays web site and saved the images for future reference. I grabbed one of the images, pulled it into my drawing program and began laying out rings following the outline of the paper snowflake cut out.

Before I could plot out the placement of the chains and how to tat the design it created, hubby decided we had to rush right out before the store closed to get some nylon screws for the front bumper. He's putting a camera behind the front grill so that he can see how close he's getting to the curb. The front hood of the car is really long and sloped in such a way that you can't see how close you are to the curb in the parking lot and several times we've gotten out the the car and realized that we're not close enough, or we've gotten too close and scraped the bumper. He removed the grill in order to mount the camera and realized that when the car was repaired after a little fender bender, the shop had remounted the grill and broke off the supports so that the only thing holding it on was the license plate.

That was just about the point where I realized that the new set up of my drawing program had defaulted to an inappropriate drawing platform. When what you are trying to create is lace, an electronic diagram template, just won't do.

That's not a problem, all I had to do was bring up a lace drawing, erase it, paste in my partial new drawing and save it under a new name. Easy peasy. It was at that instant that the computer locked up so that I couldn't save anything, couldn't change screens, couldn't close down any of the five programs I had running, couldn't change to a different drive and in fact couldn't do anything except pull the plug. Pulling the plug meant that anything on screen was lost. Gone! Tonight I get to start again.

And after all that, the store we rushed out to, didn't even have the nylon screws we needed to put the grill back in the bumper.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Look Ma, it's a dud!

I liked the daisy shape on an earlier design so I thought I'd try it again. After completing the daisy I didn't really want something that used a lot of split chains so I thought I'd just outline the daisy shape with more chain. I like the effect and started to create another row that would bring in the snowflake shape. I didn't like the effect I was getting so I undid what I had started and began again. I didn't want a lot of rows so I thought I'd do something that went out instead of around.

Once I had completed one arm I could see it was going to start bunching up again so I quit before I got too invested. This is another dud although I may keep the first rows of chain and revisit the design at a later date. I've already got the next one on the shuttles, but I'm not sure I'm going to like it any better that the first few.

Maybe I'll go back to the original design. I liked it but it was too time consuming, only at this rate I may spend all my tatting time creating and throwing out designs as not suitable and still not have anything ready for the Christmas cards.

I had the same problem the first year I did snowflakes to send out and ended up doing a whole bunch, all different. That would have been OK if I'd remembered to write down what I sent to who so that I could rotate them for the next year. Since I didn't keep record I had to design an all new snowflake, which started this whole thing of sending a different snowflake with our Christmas cards.

I guess I'd better get cracking as the mailing date will soon be upon us. Of course if the post office is on strike, the cards aren't going to go anywhere anyway!

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Third try

After not blogging for ages, it looks like I'm on a roll and you can probably look forward to more updates as I'm currently in snowflake mode. This is the third snowflake and I like the design, just maybe not as a snowflake. It begins with a central ring with 5 picots and one mock picot. I normally make my picots so that they're about the same height as the stitches, but since I didn't want the centre all cramped up I made the picots on the central ring about twice the size that I normally do. The daisy shape in the middle of the design is made with chains of 6-6-6-6 The chains forming the petals are joined side to side and the last petal ends with a split chain, putting the shuttles in place to begin the second row.

The chains of Row 2 are likewise joined side to side as are the chains of Row 3, again ending in a split chain. But you can see that for yourself as I've included the pattern below.

I've taken another look at the 2nd snowflake. I had to straighten it out to scan it and I wondered if blocking might work so I pinned it out on my board and left it over night. It might not need a lot of coaxing to fix it. It might just take longer picots at the start. I won't know for a while as I'm on to design number 4 and if we watch a movie tonight I may have another pattern to post tomorrow.

Friday, November 09, 2018

Another failure

My goal is to create a snowflake that's roughly 3 inches across that looks pretty, works up fairly quickly to insert in the Christmas cards for my family and a few other select individuals. The one I showed yesterday is pretty, but not really quick to tat.

On the next one I started with a 3 round centre to save some tatting time and used the same kind of idea and the previous snowflake for the next row, but I wanted the arms to be more pronounced, which they are. However, there are too many stitches too close together so the whole thing ruffles. The ruffling wasn't too pronounced until the last row. While the design worked up more quickly and had some redeeming features it's not going to lay flat without some aggressive blocking. I might fight with one snowflake, but if I'm going to do a bunch of them I want them to cooperate and lay flat right off the shuttles so I'm calling this one a fail. I'm not going to tweak it to make it work and I'm certainly not doing a drawing for it.

So I'm on to the third design which so far I kind of like, but I'm thinking I might want to do it again as an eight sided design instead of a 6 point snowflake. It isn't snowflake-y enough for my taste so this next one probably won't make it as my Christmas design either, but it probably will get drawn out.