Thursday, January 31, 2019

It's a dog's breakfast, but...

You asked for it. I created the pattern for the heart shown yesterday. The final result is a pretty heart with a pair of kissing flowers. But to get there from here certainly isn't elegant. I tatted it with the dimpled ring and the little ring below it done first and set aside. The heart begins with a 5 ring flower that ends with a split ring split out the side and reverses into a short chain with a ring done using each shuttle and the top ring connected to the nearest petal. The bottom ring is joined to one side of the dimpled ring you set aside. The chain curves out from there to join to the tip of the next petal, then switch shuttles to curve the chain in the opposite direction RW to tat the small ring and RW again for the next chain which is joined to the next petal and a short continuation of the chain. This is followed by a long split chain anchored to the side of the small ring. At the end of the long chain is a split ring and another chain going into the tip of the next petal.

If you survived to get to this point the mirror flower begins with a split ring split down the middle and the 5th ring is split out the side and follows the same process with the lower ring joined to the other side of the dimpled ring.

When you've finished both sides of the heart the thread will be back at the top of the heart. Tat the chain and then the small ring joining between the split ring and the chain on the previous row. The last bit of weirdness is at the point of the heart where the chain is lock joined between the dimpled ring and the small ring then lock joined to the tip of the ring and lock joined again on the other side between the dimpled ring and the small ring, forming an onion ring.

After that it's all straight forward chaining around the heart, sort of. See, ugly process. But here it is:
I don't blame anyone for thinking this is a crappy design, I sure do.

No tatting, because, - snow

I haven't been able to tat because I've been shoveling snow. When I haven't been shoveling, I've been curled up with a heating pad on the aching freezing muscles. Baby, it's COLD outside. I did revisit a design and it turned out pretty good. However, I tatted it in 2 parts. Remember this mess?
I like the concept, but in execution it flopped. I re-tatted it, enlarging the small rings and shortening the chains to the leaves at the bottom of the flowers. In the design the threads end at the top and the dimpled ring is at the bottom. So I took a separate thread and tatted a dimpled ring which I joined to the top segment and added a small ring at the bottom just to finish off this separate segment. After that I more or less followed the drawing I'd originally created and it worked.

Having completed it, I'm thinking that I could add in the dimpled ring as a split ring, rather than as a separate little section.
I already, 1- switched shuttles at the top of the heart to change the arc of the chain, 2- did long split chains that ended in split rings (twice), and 3- doing a split dimpled ring followed by another split chain to get the threads back in the right place is just adding even more weirdness to the design. It's pretty enough, but I haven't drawn it out because the drawing would be different depending on whether that dimpled ring is done as a separate bit, or as a split dimpled ring. So unless y'all are absolutely crazy about it, I don't think I'm going to draw it. Of course you're welcome to play around with the original drawing if you want to.

In the meantime I have a different drawing to try out and an idea for a 5 lobe rose I'm thinking of playing around with.

Friday, January 25, 2019

I goofed

See this heart? It's about 2 inches wide and about 2.5 long. (In size 20 Lizbeth Christmas Red, which is what's currently on my shuttles, so that's what they've all been.) I thought it had turned out OK except it seemed to curve a bit one one "hump", but it wasn't anything that blocking didn't cure. See it? Yep. Right at the top it's missing picot, 3 stitches. I'm NOT fixing it or re-tatting it. Valentine's day is approaching fast and I have more designs to get out.

It's a serious affliction, I tell you, this need to design. I can't sit still, there is tatting to create. You didn't think I'd leave you hanging, did you?

You know that square plus a half circle idea? See it?

Edited to add: I forgot to mark the split chain on the penultimate row, but I've corrected it now and uploaded the corrected pattern.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Still plugging away

This one's about 2 inches square which seems tiny to me. I can't seem to fix on a starting point for a heart and I started this one with a 5 ring flower so it should satisfy Muskaan's love of finding flowers in her tatting.
What's a tatted heart without a pattern? Unsatisfying, that's what.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019


Sometimes, designs just flow off the shuttles one after the other... and sometimes they crash and burn.  Did you know that you can make a heart shaped cake using 1 round cake pan and one square cake pan? It's true. You bake the cakes, cut the round one in half and place the halves on either side of one corner of the square cake. Once it's iced it looks like a heart. So I figured I should be able to do a square motif and add a couple of half round motifs on it and it should make a heart.

I got this far, ran out of thread, realized I should have structured it differently because I had a bunch of empty space where I needed to work the half circles and decided to go on to the next design instead.

I thought it might be interesting to start with a dimpled ring and add some more chains like a rose, which seems good in theory, but not so much in execution. The dimple at the top disappears, so scratch one more. Now that I'm writing about it, I think I may have tried this idea before, but maybe I'm just having a senior moment.

The lack of success prompted me to look through some images of filigree hearts which inspired this drawing.

It seems executable, and it was, up to a point. I tatted the dimpled ring at the bottom using a stitch count I though would work, but it ended up being too small. After I undid it, I started again, but the retro tatting frayed the thread and it broke before I could close the ring. I re-tatted the dimpled ring which ended up with an enormous 84 stitches in it and as you can see it won't close.

I might be able to fight with it enough to get it to close, but I suspect that the thread will break before that happens. I might revisit this idea, reworking the top section bringing the 2 sided closer together and consequently making the dimpled ring smaller, or not.

When I look at Susan K Fuller's "Heart's Desire", which I think is the prettiest design I've ever seen, and compare my own to it, it makes me want to throw in the towel.

Sometimes, you just need to take a step back. or you'd drive yourself crazy. What's that you say? Too late, I'm already bonkers! LOL

Monday, January 14, 2019

I get a chuckle out of it

I've been designing tatting patterns for over 30 years and I guess if these last couple of months are any indication I'm what you might call prolific. Today I had reason to go search for patterns online and I'm absolutely thrilled when I see that other people have taken the time to tat one of my patterns and sometimes see that they've done totally unexpected things with them. Occasionally I'll see a design and think I really like that one and then I find out it's one of mine! I get a chuckle out of seeing other people tat my designs and a bigger chuckle out of seeing something I created that I've forgotten all about.

See when you design a lot and tat fast there's a lot of lace "out there" with your name on it, that you've forgotten you created. That happens especially when I wander through Pinterest or similar sites. It probably seems odd to the average tatter, that a designer might not recognize their own creations, but I have over a thousand drawings, partial drawings and test drawings in my main folder, and that's not  including any of the subfolders, so that's a lot of "stuff" and it's easy to forget things you did years ago. Some of the snowflakes I did last month are already becoming a faint memory, as I'm on to the "next thing".

Speaking of next things, here's one. It's about 2 inches wide and 2.5 inches long. I'm not thrilled with any of these heart designs. They're OK, just not really wonderful. Of course, what do I know? The poll done for the snowflakes indicated that a lot of the designs I didn't care for were designs that others couldn't wait to tat!

Is anyone surprised that it's another heart? Oh yeah, I guess you want the pattern too.

I used a larger format for this drawing, so let me know if the numbers are still blurry. I didn't number the rows, but I think you can figure it out. I'm off to try out another idea.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Left over thread

The only excuse for this mediocre design, is thread left on the shuttles, making a heart about one inch square.

I had more thread so there's another one about 1.5 inches square.

It sort of reminds me of something I saw a while ago and both of these designs are so simplistic there may be other similar designs floating about in Tat land. I'm not trying to step on any toes, so if I've duplicated someone's design I'll apologize now.

Before I forget, Pattern, such as it is.
More to follow.....

Zipping along making snowflakes and... POOF!

Look what happened! It's not a snowflake. How on earth did I end up with this? It's about 2.5 inches long and 2.75 inches wide done in Lizbeth size 20 Christmas Red.

There's a pattern here somewhere.

After the recent comments about the numbering being hard to read, I've adjusted the picture sizing. Let me know if you still have trouble reading it.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

I'm not impressed

With this design. It's kind of skimpy, but sometimes that's what you want from something you're going to mount where you want the background to show through. It's a quick easy tat about 2.5 inches across in size 30 thread.

It was too easy not to share the pattern.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Two and a quarter inches

That's how big this little guy is done in size 30 thread. Not especially pretty, but it works up quickly, has the requisite number of points and doesn't have huge empty spaces. It does have spaces, but it has enough structure around it to hold things in place.

It at least merits a drawing.

Muskaan has advised me that on some of the drawings, like the one from January 9th the numbers are blurry and hard to read. I think it's a matter of the drawing conversion on the larger drawings that makes things blur, but as this is a smaller drawing it shouldn't be an issue. She has also pointed out the it's nicer to have a picture with the drawing, but I know that incorporating the picture into the drawing will create other problems so I won't be adding them. I have included the picture with the drawing in the same blog post so I hope you'll be able to work with it as it is.

Here's a Tech Tip my beloved spouse has reminded me of: If you use Google Chrome as your browser you can load the blog post, Right click on it and select Print. When the print dialog is displayed choose Save as PDF. That will create a PDF file of the entire post including both the picture and the diagram and save it on your computer, which, like any other PDF can be displayed at any size you want.

Star, Snowflake or Garbage

Snowflake or Star of David?
Blocked with in an inch of it's life and it still won't lay flat. Row 1 needs to be smaller or row 2 needs to be larger, which means row 3 needs to be larger... It's too open and too flimsy and in other words I'm calling this design a fail.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Dimples: Cute on the face and in lace

I had a couple of people ask me how I got the heart shapes in some of the recent snowflakes. For those who haven't seen these before, they're called dimpled rings and they aren't that hard to make.  Dimpled rings are usually larger rings, and it's easier to work them if you tat a little bit looser than normal.

The first ring in this picture is a standard ring of 10-10-10-10.

The dimpled ring starts out the same way, 10 stitches and a join, Then it's 6 stitches for the "bump" of the heart and a small picot. Make sure to keep the picot small or the dimple will spread out too much. The dimple of this ring is 4 stitches, folded back on themselves when you do the join into the small picot.

Make sure to keep the picot small or the dimple will spread out too much. The dimple of this ring is 4 stitches, folded back on themselves when you do the join into the small picot.
The picture above shows the join being made. The next picture shows what it looks like right after you do the join.

Rings can be tight and hard to close under normal circumstances. A ring folded back on itself can be even harder to close, so I usually pull the thread to close the ring a little and open it a little at this point, just to make sure that the core thread will slide. Then finish the ring with 6 stitches for the second bump and 10 stitches to finish it off. Then close the ring like normal.

See? Dimples aren't they cute? Just normal rings with attitude.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Guess what?

More snow. Are you surprised? I think I'm running out of ideas for the centres. Of course sometimes just when I think there's nothing new to try, weird ideas pop up and I'm off again. This last one has some pretty big negative spaces which made it weird and open looking and floppy until I added the last round. It's 3.75 inches from point to point done in size 30 thread and it probably wouldn't look very good in size 20 thread because the negative spaces would probably be too big. But maybe not.

The first row would make a cute tiny little snowflake about an inch across, which would be cute as a button cover or earrings or a little something to add to stationary. There are 5 rows on this design which allows for a more intricate design, but it also means more tatting, if your in a hurry for the end results. As usual, the pattern follows and that makes a total of 29 designs for the current spate of creativity.

29 is an odd number... maybe I should go for 30. Wait a minute, I'm experiencing deja vu didn't I say something like that already?

Edited to add: Muskaan has informed me that numbers in the printout of this diagram are hard to read, so I've just changed the picture size to Large to help with that problem. If the diagram gets too big it won't print on one page and personally, when I work from an online diagram I want the whole thing on a single page so that I can print it and take the page with me to tat. I hate it when I have several pages I have to stick together to work from. Let me know if you have any problems.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

I should have known

It's easier to draw a pattern right after I've created it, since the numbers and execution are fresh in my mind. That's why a lot of the time I have the design and drawing done almost simultaneously. After the recent spate of snowflakes I though all of you rabid tatters would be satiated on the glut of patterns. But-- Not you. Never. There are never enough patterns. I agree by the way and I should have know to post the diagrams for the 2 latest creations. So here they are. I agree with Muskaan that the first one falls short as a snowflake, but after I reached this point I though it might make a distinctive floral centre for a doily and I might revisit it with that in mind. It might be fun, just for the challenge to tat it into a square doily which means converting the 6 points of a snowflake into the 4 points of a square. Can you imagine it?

The next one was fun to play with working from a chained central motif into a 6 point snowflake.

There's another design on the shuttles, but when I filled in the gaps It came out round so I have to pull out the points of the snowflake again.  I'm not sure if I'm going to stay on snowflakes for a while or if I'll switch over to something else, maybe hearts or 3D flowers. If I'm going to keep on with snowflakes I'm going to have to order some white thread online as none of the local stores carry anything except size 10.

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Uh oh, look what happened.

It's another snowflake,

or two. Help I've fallen into a snowflake vortex and I can't get out.

I didn't do the pattern for these 2 and won't unless I hear back that you want them.

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

The results are in

I was a little surprised at the results of my inquiry as to which design the public liked the most. I had well over 100 responses which kind of blows my mind. Some people couldn't choose and 23 people just said they like them all. Some people couldn't make up their minds and chose several but here's how the numbers worked out.

Number 7 was the favourite with 15 votes.
Number 10  and number 14 each got 11 votes.
Number 23  and number 25 each got 10 votes.
Number 5 got 9 votes.
Number 8, one of the designs I rejected got 8 votes.
All of the others got lesser votes.

19-26 were tatted in size 30 thread so they're proportionately smaller than the others.
25 which was quite popular is also the simplest design being just a central ring with one row of tatting.

A lot of people on Facebook were looking for a book with these patterns in them, but all except for 15 are already here. To make things simpler I'm just going to list them here with the link to the appropriate blog post. The designs were tatted fast and furious and were named unimaginatively for the day in which they were created. So here they all are

 1- November 2018 Snowflake
 2- December 2018 Snowflake
 3- November 28 2018 Snowflake
 4- Snow-11-21-2018
 5- November 27 2018 Snowflake
 6- November 28 2018 Snowflake
 7- December 2 2018 Snowflake
 8- 12-2-2018 Snowflake
 9- December 3 2018 Snowflake
10-Hearts'N'Flower Snowflake
11-Baby Flake
12-Dec 6 2018 Snowflake
13-Daisy Heart Snowflake
14-Daisy Ring Heart Snowflake
15-No Pattern
16-Dec 11 Heart Snowflake
18-12-23-2018 Snowflake
19-12-24-2018 Snowflake
20-12-25-2018 Snowflake
21-12-26-2018 Snowflake
22-12-27-2018 Snowflake
23-12-28-2018 Snowflake
24-12-30x-2018 Snowflake
25-12-30y-2018 Snowflake
26-12-30z-2018 Snowflake

Hope you all have fun tatting them, I sure did designing them.