Saturday, 13 January 2018

Mirror Vision

Mirror Vision Necklace

Marilee Rockley is amazing. I’m loving making her Vision necklace, which is available as a PDF from her awesome blog. It’s the perfect pattern for those of us tatting backwards, because it’s already a mirror of itself!

When working left-handed, just follow the pattern as it’s written and you make the right hand side of the necklace first. Then just follow the instructions to mirror it. As there’s only one ring cluster, and the first thing Marilee does is tell us how to deal with it, all you need to do is keep an eye on which side you’re working. Which is also super simple as the first thing you make is a huge ring of picots. It feels a bit big and a bit technical, but it’s so beautifully constructed, it just comes together.

I’ve put to use a few beading tips I’ve seeen since I swore off the bloody things a couple of months back, and it makes such a huge difference. Paperclips and floss threaders. My gushing rant became too long and I need to take some photos so I'll leave you with that inspiration and make another dedicated post soon.

I’m already shopping for new yarn and beads to work this necklace up properly. It's so pretty and so much fun to make!

This test piece #2 pictured is worked in Milford Perle 10 in Periwinkle with 6mm large bead, squashed 4mm medium beads and size 12 seed beads.. The last rick-rack chain is missing because I ran out of thread on my shuttle and barely made it through the preceding split rings!

Monday, 1 January 2018

Mary Konoir’s Spinning Wheel

I loved the flowing, twirling movement of the spinning wheel the first moment I saw it. I haven’t managed to get my hands on a Mary Konior book yet, but I’m hopeful. All of her designs I see have an elegant, modern flow that just grabs me.
I loved figuring out this pattern, working it was a joy and I am quite delighted that it came out spinning the opposite direction. 

This one is worked in Milford Mercer 20 in the aptly named Ombré Purple. In this size it’s perfect for admiring through the bottom of a wine glass. 

I worked from Sarah’s picot-less version at Lace and Bees. I’m also pretty subtle in the picot department as you can see. I did shorten the chains from the centre for this version, which resulted in the wheel having 8 arms instead of 9. I thought this could be fun to try with alternating coloured arms, as well as experiments with how many arms one could fit in if given enough central space.

I have a feeling that, depending on interesting yarn availability, I will soon own more coasters than is at all practicable.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Dillmont Triangles

The Dillmont inspired braid from Tatting by the Bay was the first piece I got to play with split rings, and one of the most interesting so far to work backwards.
With her amazing design and tech skills, Robin has put together her diagram left-handed for us. 

Left-handed Dillmont Braid

This is a two shuttle pattern, with the red worked with shuttle 1 and blue with shuttle 2. Once you’ve got the hang of the first few triangles, you can make so many things with this pattern. You just need to think about where the split ring will go. Robin includes on her blog the braid shown here, then, expanding from there, a bookmark, mat and hexagonal doily. I've used just the original braid as a bookmark and made a couple of pairs of earrings as well as a serviceable but particularly unspectacular coaster - learning is fun!

Dillmont Variations

Tricky parts for these are the split ring, upside down larks head joins and second shuttle split ring joins. I haven't found a method for the last that I'm super happy with, yet. Be sure to sure to mark the shuttles if you have a matching pair, it gets confusing really quick! Great practice for working two shuttles, split rings and getting the right tension when starting new rings in clusters.
I did complicate this for myself with my preference for frontside/backside and larks head joins, so if you're not so fussy it's a much simpler pattern.

The pieces shown are worked in Milford Mercer 20, Indigo and Black, and Lizbeth 20 #184 Rainbow Splash.

Thanks Robin!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Super Rainbow Florets

I am completely enamoured with this Rainbow Lizbeth thread. Amazon makes the world a much better place. The colours work absolutely perfectly within this adaptation of Muskaan's Layered Extension of Simplicity.
Her post about central picots and This Way or Tat series is fantastic, and has a brilliant explanation of the central picot. For my long picot, I measured back 5 double stitches. Unfortunately, it doesn't disappear because the colours are just too awesome. These photos do not do it justice.

Work with shuttle and ball, preferably starting from a continuous thread. I tied one of these first, but I don't like the knot. Better to loop together to get started, then knot on the backside and thread the tails in.

R1: 8 long picot 8 (I measured back along my work 5 ds)
C1: 4-4
R2: 8+8
Join all of the rings to the central picot, I use larks head joins.
Repeat C1, R2 for a total of 8 rings, and a complete round of chains.

These could be so fun with some beads, but I was just enjoying the colours.

Pieces shown tatted with Lizbeth #20 in Rainbow Splash #184.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Classic Earrings

These earrings are based on the lovely Volta design from Apparently beads drilled to dangle aren't fashionable where I shop at the moment, so I use a triplet of seed beads at the bottom ring.

I prefer everything to look even and perfect so I generally work frontside. It's nice and easy with this pattern, just the chains are backside. Larks head joins make this super neat and make it sit nice and flat without blocking or hardening. That does mean the chain joins are upside-down, but it makes it a bit more fun.

1 shuttle + ball
9 seed beads, 1 centre bead

lbp - long bead picot
jp - tiny joining picot
sdp - small, decorative picot
JC# - join to picot on chain #
JR# - join to picot on ring #
JR#B - join to long picot on ring # with bead
(#beads) - move # beads to working loop
(#b) - make picot with # beads
CL - close loop 
RW - reverse work

3 seed beads on shuttle

R1: 5 lbp 8 jp 3 CL
R2: 3 JR1 7 sdp 7 jp 3 CL
R3: 3 JR2 8 lbp 5 CL
RW C1: 2 jp 8
RW R4: 4 JR3B 9 jp 1 CL
R5: 1 JR4 9 lbp 4 CL
RW C2: 8 jp 2

The next set is basically a repeat, just with the beads instead of the hanging picot and some different joins.

R6: 5 JR5B 8 jp 3 CL
R7 (3beads): 3 JR1 7 (3b) 7 jp 3 CL
R8: 3 JR2 8 lbp 5 CL
RW C3: 2 JC2 8
RW R9: 4 JR8B 9 jp 1 CL
R10: 1 JR9 9 JR1B 4 CL
RW C4: 8 JC1 2

Cut ends long, tie off. Thread one end through chain join, thread seed, centre, seed beads on and thread through other chain join. Thread back through beads and tie off.

The earrings pictured are worked in Milford #20 Royal Blue with size 12 seed beads and 6mm centre beads.

90% Backwards

I learnt to tat from YouTube, a great beginner series by Esther.
90% of general folk are right handed, as are 100% of the good tatters on YouTube. So I did it right handed too, terribly awkwardly, until I understood the basic stitches well enough to mirror it and work the right way around, with the shuttle in my left hand and loom on the right. 

Picture: left-handed shuttle and loom set-up

Then the fun really started. 

No pattern worked. The rings wouldn’t face the right way and never lined up to connect to the next picot properly. Chains stuck out the wrong way and upside down. Every join I had to turn the whole piece around. 

When everything is worked in circles, it really does matter which direction you go. Working left-handed means each ring is formed anti-clockwise, and the next element starts to the left of the last. Most patterns out there are work clockwise from left to right. 

Here is a rare left-handed pattern from a Russian site I haven’t figured out how to translate.

All of the patterns I have worked and put up here are written out like this, to be worked anti-clockwise, from right to left. Hopefully I can help save someone from the brain-knarl of getting halfway through a pattern and not knowing which way is up anymore! 

Monday, 20 November 2017

Learning Left Handed

When I was a girl, my Mama tried to teach me how to knit. My hands wouldn't work and I couldn't get my head around it. So she went home and taught herself how to knit left-handed, came back and tried again. Somehow, she managed to get me to figure it out.

I've picked up a few other yarn crafts over the years, but the single biggest hurdle I've had is learning how to learn from right-handed people. So I'm going to try to put left-handed things here, starting with patterns.

While knitting isn't so bad, tatting patterns have to be completely flipped, as when working left-handed each ring, and the whole piece, is created anti-clockwise. There is a lot of scrap lace floating around my house! Most of my patterns have been adapted from other blogs, which I will link to.

Please, enjoy and send any questions!