Thursday, August 22, 2013

Old pattern, new choker

I wanted to try a new polyester thread to a bigger project. It is a fine thread, I work anyway only with this kind of thread. It has a nice texture, a nice shine, easy to work with. For the small pieces it went well. So I used as base the pattern from the Rosette bracelet with the intention to have a second bracelet. But I added one more ring ans chain to the elements. As always, I got distracted, so I made a necklace out of it.

Where the pearls is inserted, I did it by securing the pearl with a paper clip and then I tatted a chain (9-9) and made a lock join.
Elaine sugested that I could have done a split ring with the pearl. I gave it a thought. I am not smart enough to get both my threads where they need to be for the next step and I should have had  the 4mm pearls on the shuttle. So I got stuck to my solution. If someone sees a way to make the split ring, feel free to share it with us.

The first round has the pattern as for the bracelet, except the middle part. Easy to see: more rings than the rest of it.

For the second round, I put on the second shuttle some Toho beads (size 15) and it goes like this:
R: 17 + 12 - 2 close, do not turn
R: 2 + 12 + 17 close, turn work
Bring 1 seed bead from the second shuttle at the base and start chain 30 ds. Turn work.
R: 8 +8.

Last chain before the middle part has 34 ds then lock join above the pearl, 30 ds turn work.
The rest is mirrored.
This is my prototype:

I will wear it. For the next ones to come, I would try to reduce the amount of the ds from the second round and change a bit the rings above the pearls (ruduce them maybe?) just to see how it looks like. And I would like to work it in coton thread or silk. I suppose with a Lizbeth 20 one should adapt the ds.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Bits of history

Wally Sosa asked in Facebook if someone had some informations about tatting before 1860. Wrong move to have read this, because all my phylologist twisted senses got awake. So I dug... and I dug... Not the common sources from the American libraries. Not they do not have the info, but by instinct I searched English sources and French ones. 
I knew from my French studies that there are mentions about knotting in the XVIIIth century and about frivolité as a term applied to a kind of lace. So I did a targetted search for "frivolité", "navette", "frivolité à la navette", "navette à frivolité" and "faire de la frivolité". 
I am not the only one to have done it. 

To make a point, from the beginning: Mlle Riego de la Branchardière was definitelly the one to develop the existing technique as we know as modern tatting. But was she the first one? Definitelly not, because I am sure this kind of lace was worked before, one way or the other. We have the luck to have her compiling this info and publishing her work and new ideas. 

Sooo... the knotting thing. Nothing to do with tatting, that much we know. BUT the shuttle is there. Proof??? many of them! Just have a look at the beautiful paintings of these nice ladies with their shuttles. If you want, I can indicate some sources. Of course they are bigger than the tating shuttle, of course they do not have united ends, but the shape and purpose to work with thread are there. In an other books dated mid XIXth century the shuttle had in the definition the fact that the 2 blades have  "often united ends". 

My guess is that at the beginning, many of these ladies had these shuttle as presents from their husbands (it was after all, one of the marriage gifts), or they inherit them from a passed relative or protector. I think these shuttle were also used to tat, until someone came with the smaller ones. It was the logical step to do, since the thread was thinner. 
The Queen Elisabeth of Romania was still tatting with a knotting shuttle from the family, and we talk about end of the XIXth century, begining of the XXth. 

Back to the size, The Dictionnaire des dictionnaires  mentions the "navette de frivolité"  at pages  890 and 891 as "a tool to make “frivolité”, the shuttle is composed from 2 blades with an olive shape, with pointed extremities and united in the middle. It has to be not more than 7 cm long, and 3-2 cm wide."... still a little bit bigger than the ones we know from Mlle Riego of Lady Hoare.

In a travel sewing kit form the Palais Royal (dated  for the Louis XVth time) there was a small shuttle in ivory. You can find by googeling...  

During the XVIIIth century there were a lot of mentions for the French Monarchy or nobility of legacy, or purchases of a "navette" in gold, ivory, with or without precious stones. Mme de Pompadour had a lot of them, the Princess Adelaïde, there are some paintings and drawings of ladies with shuttles. In at least 2 inventories I found "fond de panier à ouvrage avec ses navettes". I have a full list of them, it would me boring to post it here. 

In a biography of Mme. de Pompadour (1721 - 1764) written by. Goncourt:

Page 419
"… From the Beauvois tapestry to the China piled on the shelf, from the Sèvres cups to the soup bowl in silver, (…) from the gold embellished furniture to a Martin  laquerer of a tatting shuttle, all these collectors pieces and all the beauties of this century, recommend her as a mistress a luxury and small shiny pile of stones"

During her life, she aquired at least 6 shuttle (I have the references and the prices), 3 of them are mentionned in her testament and in the codicile to be given to friends.

The interesting part is that in an inventory done at the Court of Louis XV, there is a clear mention of a "navette à frivolité" (Inventaire des tableaux commandés et achetés par la direction des bâtiments du roi (1709-1792) : inventaires des collections de la couronne / rédigé et publié par Fernand Engerand). 

With one book printed in 1828 we get a bit of information about what frivolité was in France: a sort of edging, done with a needle or a shuttle (a bit later), consisting, mainly of chaings. It is the Manuel des demoiselles: the term frivolité is there, page 53. 

I make it a bit shorter, it is a blog entry, anyway. 1840, this book here has a clear mention about the tatted lace ("dentelle de frivolité"):

In 1851 I found the first mention of Mlle E. Riego de la Branchardière. She participated to the The great London Exhibition, at the section Tapestr, lace, textile ... with crochet. Funny thing is that I searched first for "tatting", I knew Gallica digitized also English texts. So I found a certain S.A. Ellis, "United Kingdoms, speciments in tatting collars, etc" who got an honorable mention. Then I searched for "Branchardière" and I found her at the same page, first column. 

Long story short: yes, there was tatting before Mlle Riego, I think she put on paper what she knew from France and England, and yes, she changed the tatting as it was until her, by making it easier, lacier, with more elegance as never before. 

Thank you Wally Sosa... without this innocent question of yours I would have never put my nose to dig in dusty archives and I would have not learned so much. 

Anecdote: Mlle Riego was sewing the beads on the lace. In The Complete Book of Tatting, at the Parisian Gymp Trimming  (guess. page 25), she indicates it very clearily!  I am no longer ashamed. 

Earrings with pearls

Everything added while tatting, this time.

1 shuttle and 1 ball / 2 shuttles
Thread used:  Anchor Freccia 20
4 mm pearls
4 seed beads 11 size
A tool to string the pearls
A paper clip

String the 4 seed beads on the ball (or the second shuttle).
T1: Start from the second ring of the first trefoil, like we will finish with a ring.  
R1: 6 + 6 – 6 – 6 close
R2: 6 + 6 – 12 close and turn work.
Take 1 seed bead from the ball /second shuttle, bring it at the base of the trefoil and start chain 9 – 9. Make lock join to the upper picot of the trefoil.  Turn work.
Take one 4 mm pearl string it on the ball thread, secure it with the paper clip.
Start chain: 8 – 8, tighten the chain. Carefully take out the paper clip and make lock join.  Do not turn work.
Start chain 9 – 9. Turn work.

T2. Start the second trefoil, as the previous.  The first ring will have a join where the chain and the pearl have the lock join. Finish the trefoil. Turn work.
Bring 1 seed bead from the ball at the base of the trefoil and start chain 9 – 9. Tighten.
String one  4 mm pearl on the ball’s thread, secure it with paper clip, tighten and start chain 8 – 8. Turn work. 

T3. Start5 trefoil. 12 ds, join both, pearls and picot from the previous trefoil, finish the trefoil. 
Turn work. Bring a seed bead fromt he ball /second shuttle at the base, start chain 9 – 9. Lock join to the trefoil. Do not turn work.
String one 4 mm pearl, secure with paper clip and start chain 8-8, tighten chain, lock join to the pearl. Do not turn work. 

Work chain 9 – 9. Turn work. 

T4. Start trefoil. Work 12 ds, join with the pearls and previous trefoil, finish trefoil. 

Turn work. Bring the last seed bead of the base of the trefoil, start chain 9-9. String one 4 mm pearl on the ball’s thread, secure as before… Do not turn work and start chain 9 – 9. Turn work.
Cut the thread from the ball and start a ring (12 +6+6+6). With this ring you can hide the end of the thread cut from the ball. Work 12 ds join both pearl and picot, folded join to the first ring you worked, 6 ds, close. Finished.

Please feel free to adjust the amount of ds according to your pearls. When you make the first time the chain around the pearl, work the chain until you are, more or less at the half of your pearl, make the picot and finish. Like this, the distance between the pearls and the chain will not be too big.

To string my pearls, I used this broken guitar string given by my son. See in the other post what I am talking about. 
This is my prototype, without seed beads. It is stable, does not twist. The seed beads are not only ornamental, they allow you ti bring toghether the 2 threads for a better finish. With my thread it got a nice shape.
There might be some mistakes. Please let me know if there is something difficult to follow.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Pattern for the pendant

I was fooling around with seed beads latelly, a bit too intensive. I made a lot of tests, small elements. All piled up in my box and I had to use them, somehow.
So I put two of them toghether, with a pearl. As simple as that. Nothing new, almost boring.

It is a normal small 6 petal flower, done with 1 shuttle. 
String 24 beads on the shuttle. Take 3 beads and make the loop for the ring. Start ring, 8 - 8 bring the 3 beads from the loop and take a bead from the shuttle, make a bead picot, 8-8, close. Guess anyone has done it at least one time. 

The tricky part is the middle element.
You work with 2 shuttles or 1 shuttle and the ball.
String 24 beads on the shuttle. Take 18 beads and make a loop to start a ring. You must have 6 beads left on the shuttle.
The first round (the black one in the pattern) is a ring.
3 ds, bead picot (3 beads + 1 bead from the shuttle), 3 ds, picot, 3 ds bead picot (as previous)... repeat until the beads from the loop are used, close the ring.
As you see, after the last beaded picot, there are only 3 ds.

Second round, all chains. (red line in the pattern)
5ds lock join between the beads, 3 - 3, lock join around the upper bead, 5 ds lock join to the picot.

When you make the picots from the ring, you might consider to make it a bit bigger, so you can find it easily after the ring is closed. When closed, the beads will tend to hide this tiny picot. Good light, a fine hook and a lot of patience can help. I am sure, you will find  away to do it. 

I tried to add 1 ds between the picots of the first round, but the size of the ring is not a good one. At least, for the thread I used, the tiny one, it was not nice to see. 

Disregard, please, the proportions of the second pattern... I did not find a better way to do it. 

What is left, is to sew toghether the 2 parts. Done. I think it would make a nice, sparkling Chrismass decoration too. 

My middle element has pink seed beads and silver seed beads at the base... If you want to do it too, when you string the seed beads, do it as follows: 18 seed beads (they will go on the loop for the ring and will be placed on the outer side of the ring) + 6 seed beads of a different color (they will stay on the shuttle thread and will be at the inner side of the ring). 

Have fun, if you will try it. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

New tests and a small pattern

I was working these days with some pearls and Toho beads. It is quite challenging to strand them on both my shuttles and then couting them while making the lace. This was the ennoying part, actually. One bead too much or missing from the ring loop, and this was it... And since I used the Lavsan Thread, (a 3 strand), it was quite some pain. Result? This one:

 My husband declares that he loves this set more than the more complicated ones... I want to make it also in white, it would be perfect for a bride, I think.

And with this bracelet I played also with some pearls:

2 rounds
Ring 8 - 7- 8, turn work 
Chain 16, turn work
Repeat 4 times
Do not reverse work
String 1 pearl on the lower thread (shuttle) secure it with a paper clip. 
Start chain 7 - 7 (for my 3 mm pearl it was ok)
Do not reverse work 
Start ring... 
And so on. As simple as that. 
When you reach the desired lenght, you just make a complete rosette  (you might consider adding some ds between the 2 rounds, to avoid that the rosette curves). 
Long story short: 

The chain of the pearl shoud have the picot at the height of the join picots of the half-rosette from the first round. You might maybe, do one test according to the bead you will use. 
Have fun and let me know if there are mistakes in the pattern please.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

How I put my beads with some sort of dental floss

I shared some time ago a pattern of an tatted element having a bead strung on a chain.

I saw from a looong thread in FB that, apparently, there are some struggling to work this element, but do not understand really how I placed it. Not that difficult and I did not discovered America again.

First of all, the bead must have a hole big enough to let pass the chain. So you should first search for that bead fitting to what you want to go. Me, personally, I work only with very thin thread, so part of my problem is solved. But if you try to work the pattern with a Lizbeth 20 or even 40, you might should reconsider.

This for a start.

Because I wanted it like this, I started, instead of a ring (the bigger ring in the middle of the element), with a chain, placing a paper clip to make sure that I can close it when I'm done. When I finished the chain, I used my special tool. Not a dental floss but a better one. My son plays guitar and I am always demanding him to bring me the broken strings. The tiniest one is perfect for me: it is thin, even thinner than my thread, made out of steel, so it is resistent. Just perfect. (by the way, if I do not pay attention, it gets easily lost...)

This is what I use to place the beads between the picots, because it lets me a tiny part of the picot available and the join is really clean. Working with a thin tread, so I need it, instead of a paper clip.

This seems to be the problem:

So, the sequence was the following: start chain (paper clip, of course, like this you will have a picot when you remove it), work your chain. And then you have 2 choices.
1. Remove the paper clip, use the "tool" to secure the picot, place the pearl with the large hole ON the chain, make the join and close the ring.
2. Place the bead on a fine crochet hook, remove the paper clip, use the crochet to place the bead...

I made really quickly some pictures to show how I use this tool I have, there is no tatting in there, just the instructions.

Of course, you must be a bit familiar with tatting with beads but this is not that difficult.
I hope this helps the tatting friends from Italy. Better to explain it in my blog, that to write novels as comments in threads.
Titine did a gread job with this pattern: She tricked it nicelly. Her picture is here.