Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Picots gauge 3 in 1, simple math

I do not really like the picots but for certain pieces I must admit, they are a must! I admire all the tatters working respectig all the rules of the tatting art and technique. And I always wondered: how do they manage to make so beautiful and even picots. The answers vary from picot gauge, bought or self made, ice cream stiks and the winner: "eye gauge".
Not for me. I would not have the patience to use 3-4 different picots gauges. But the idea came in my head, because I needed recently to make a very large picot, and to repeat it several times. 
Si I gave it a thought... Simple math question actually. All the picots gauges I saw were fractions of 1 inch... So why not just 1 instead of 3 or 4? Tatting is, after all, manipulating thread with our shuttles how we want to get what we want. (Do I feel the smile? The thought about the miss-tattings crosses my mind right now). 
Math is simple: the picot we do has the half of the thread we use to make it, right?

So I started. I made an example of a picot gauge for only 3 sizes of picots, starting the 1cm wide one. 

Tat and make the first picot normally, using the gauge in the normal way. You take 10mm thread, you get a 5mm picot. Nothing spectacular. 

For the second picot I marked the middle of my "gauge". I place the last ds at the mark and make the picot. I have now used 15 mm and I got a 7,5mm (more or less) picot. 
For the longest picot, I place the last ds in a way that I wrap the gauge with thread when I make the picot. 

For this demonstration I stopped here, with 1 cm, 7,5 mm and 5mm picot.  
You can with a bit of imagination mark your own points on the gauge, so you can have control of what you want to have. Do not forget that the back side of the gauge will have the full lenght of thread. 
Hope this helped. I know I will play a bit longer with this thing. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fake maltese chain?

Yesterday Joanna Joyce Posey presented us a tatting riddle. I do not know if it was her intention, but it made us think. And test. And tat. Late in the night we got to a solution, Sherill Hare got it! The thread is in the Tatting Designers group and one blog entry will be done with my solution. Pretty interesting to be used in some projects. This one comes later. 


But the reason of this blog entry is that I played (again) yesterday. I got frustrated because I did not get the effect right so I distracted myself. I had in my hands 3 threads, one of them a shuttle, so I amused myself and made the first ds, then the next ones, then I filled a shuttle and gave the idea a body: 

No, it is not maltese chain (or pearl tatting). For this one you have to use 3 threads: 2 shuttles and a thread to support the ds done with the shuttles. First ds with shuttle 1 flipped, then take the second shuttle and make unflipped ds around the third thread. This would be my resumee of the maltese ring technique. 

My thing is closer to this except I did it with the shuttle: 

Responses I got: 
1. Maltese ring. 
2. The Shuttle Brothers (Alternating thread technique, thank you Martha Ess, this one I did not know).
3. Encapsulating technique from Sherry Pence (Fiona Trapana)
4. Jane Eborall pointed me her butterfly
5. Mary Lena send me a link close to it
Might be something Martha said. 

What you need: 1 shuttle, 2 balls (or 2 other shuttles, if you prefer). I go for 1 shuttle and 1 ball (CTM) and the other one for the contrast colour). Too lazzy to fill the other shuttle CTM method. 


I hid the end of the red thread while making the ring. I let a longer end not to have surprises while working, this thread has no knot what so ever (I really don't like them). I will cut it clean AFTER I make the first ds with this thread. 
Now comes the fun part. 
Wrap the threads like this: the one you want in front of your work on the index finger and the other one on the middle finger. Maintain this order for the whole piece. Remember (no insulting the advanced tatters intented), this side is the back side of your work. IF you did not worked the ring as a back side... 

Make 2 ds with blue, snug. 

Don't change anything with the threads. Use now the red thread. Let some thread for the picot (I let 2 mm), make the 2 ds, snug. 

Change to blue... same procedure as previous. 
Take the red... 

This is the result. 
As you see, not really pearl tatting, no encapsulating. Closer might be the Shuttle Brothers technique wich I never saw, because I never have seen a book from them. And I do not do it with a G8. 
You can play with the ds amount, with differents lenghts of the picots beads on the smaller picots, beads hanging on the longer ones. You can even think about using the picots for funny joins (letting the the other coloured picot on top of the join, why not?). Sky is the limit. 
You can make also rings with the same technique, you will have always a continuous core thread. 
It is a bit unconfortable at the begining working with 2 threads on the left hand, I admit. I for sure not recommend to use a shuttle with a hook. 
As you see, my balls have the thread blocked with paper clips. Like this I have less problems while working. They behave just like shuttles, I can let the balls unwind as they want. 
I ask you again, if you identify the technique, please let me know it. 
Have fun testing it. I know you will. 

Addendum: I found this one looking like mine. It is inspired from Gary and Randy Houtz. It has to be done with3 threads.  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tatting, quite an interdisciplinary craft

Where to start? I like to feed my blog with tatting images, patterns, ideas. This time will be a different. I am way to new in this beautiful tatting world and my voice should be not loud, but I was educated with a big default: when I see an injustice I have to react.
Unfortunatelly, in the last 2 months I had to react 3 times. There is some sort of pattern in this.
Normally I am quiet when someone posts his/her own work after a known pattern. I do not have the right to do it. I did it maybe too, when I was learning. I also have to confess the sinn of having copied something I liked very much, saved in my computer with no mention what so ever about the source or the pattern.
Big, big mistake. Now I can say it.
I should have known better from my linguistic studies: copy 1 book, it is theft, copy several ones and compile the information, it is an original study.
I remember myself 2 years back, when I discovered tatting. Dit you not have also this compulsive need of saving everything you saw? Pictures, patterns, links (yes, I had a file with links wich grew and grew and grew until I got smarter: bookmarked the pages, so I ended up with a huuuge list), they all got in folders, and subfolders, and other folders.
It all went like this until I started the blog. Then somehow the bookworm in me remembered some esential things about information: I realized that I cannot just publish anything I want, unless I own the rights of it or if I quote the source or ask for the permission to use the info (pictures included).
Why this intermezzo? Because of the last hapenings. Yes, there are "hapenings" in tatting. A good hapening is the release of a book. A bad hapening is the theft. And unfortunatelly the last one repeated 3 times, with 3 Italian magazines.
For the first one, it is was Tattsabug with her Owl needle pattern, remember? And the turtle from Handyhands. Got over it a bit, they were free patterns, and so often done, they are common territory, the source is often forgotten. Like the 5 or 6 petals rosette.
The second one was a bit different: Jane Eborall was affected, with her beaded ladybird pattern. Edda Guastalla traced some more patterns from this magazine, like the Cherry blossom of Grace (and Grace had the honnesty in 2013 to admit that she was not that original with it, although she was not inspired by any other pattern). All of them still free.
I do not want to mention that it is common sense to verify a bit and to mention the author. Any publisher should know better. Not my speciality.
I even remember that I was so "échauffée" and I said "They copy everything! The next one will be one of the patterns of Marilee Rockley?!)
I am so sorry I said it. It was the case with this magazine, announced for end of April.
Not 1 pattern, but at least 3 patterns of Yarnplayer (Marilee Rockley) I can identify on the cover. For the 4th I am not sure... This time, it is huge, in my eyes. The Carnival earrings I don't know for sure, but 2 of the patterns, the Rotation Pendant  and The Blue tatted necklace (lila on the cover) are protected by copyright, and they can be purchased in the Etsy shop of the pattern designer.
I only hope justice can be done.

The publisher will try to hide behind the nice saying: "We published only the result of the work of our collaborator." But in the shop it is so clearily said: "you may NOT distribute the pattern"...
This makes me sad; beyond sad, actually.
I imagine how it worked: the publisher decides to make a tatting issue, then they contact a tatter and convince her that it is legal to publish the pictures of her work. They OBMIT to tell that publishing the pattern IS ILLEGAL. I am not talking about moral or ethics anymore, we get with this this one in the grown-ups world, folks.
A designer spends time, material to design a piece, to test it, to work it 2-3 times untils it lays perfectly. And he/she spends again time to verify and to prepare the pattern. As we know Marilee, she also makes stunning pictures and tutorials, and gives also the technical explanations for the steps. This IS TIME AND KNOWLEDGE. And then putting all toghether that we have a well done pattern to follow. For some of her pieces we are so blessed: they are offered generously. The other ones are sold. And the one who wants them HAS to BUY them. The pattern for Rotation pendant costs something like 2,55€. Do you think it is an unfair price? Me not.
It would be time that when we put the shuttle in the hands of someone, we should also teach some discipline in getting inspired, teach not to miss-use a pattern, not to steal. That there are some rules to respect.
I would start by sorting the information we choose to save in our PCs or tablets, you name it. It is not that hard to re-name a file we choose to save. And when we publish the picture of our work, we should not forget to mention the source if inspiration. So simple. It takes some seconds. But this shows respect.
I love the tatting groups from FB I am in. I do not want them to get lost, but do not expect that I keep quiet when I see something like this occures.
As I said: I do not know how to write Italian (already known fact), but I can copy the entire Divine Comeny with no mistake. Do I have the right to say that the text belongs to me, only because I know how to put some letters on the paper?

P.S. In the meantime, the picture dissapeared from the FB thread. The comments are still there.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

New bracelet

While making the test with the Range 30 metallic thread from Edda, I made these flowers (see pattern here).
And I had somehow an idea how to use them. I make a lot of tests for patterns, the good ones end in a box, waiting for the idea to settle down. This idea, though, came pretty fast, while making the pictures for the step by step tutorial.

So, starting point:

Used the rough pattern of the bracelet with the white and the silver thread to make the bracelet base. It was actually nice without any add. I changed the ds, because this time the thicker thread was making the wavy line. 

I worked one 2 more flowers (to have the same colour of the seed beads for the petals). I really wanted to chase away the monotny of the brown and cooper tones, so I used the metallig green flower and I made a dark brown one. I decided to lighten it up with yellow. 
Material used: dark brown Brildor 40 (strand of 4), Range 30 metallic thread, seed beads (11), acrylic pearls (4 mm), invisible thread (one has to sew this flower spray...)

The result: 

Not that bad. I do not have any bronze clasps, so it has to wait until tomorrow.
Happy enough and while finishind it, got more ideas. With different colours it will become a very "springy" bracelet. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Pattern for 1 beaded flower

I received some thread from Edda Guastalla and I had to test it. I was always in the search for the perfect thread for what I want to make. Coton is good, Lizbeth is acceptable (please, Lizbeth fans, do not be offended), my Brildor is perfect but the thread is so thin (120), that I have to make a strand of 3 or 4 to get a decent size to tat with.
Why polyester? Simple.
For jewelry with beads we’d better have a thread wich will not fray during the work, it has to be more resistent as the cotton because the beads can always damage the thread. Polyester can have a very good shine, it will not change colour in time, it is stiffer, the stitches are regular always and it is easier to wash.
On the other hand, I tat a loooot ANKARS style, so cotton is not the thead I need. From the thread from Edda I fell in love in the Penny one. I can do whatever I want, it will not fray, not loose consistency, it will not brake when I have to make and close large, monster size rings. And the colors are just spectacular.
Last days I posted the tests. 
This one, I really like, I made already the white pair, just have to finish it:

For the last one, the flower with the metallic thread I made the step by step instructions. Somenone wanted it. It is not an original motiv. It appeared in a Japanese book and you can find it in L’orina’s work (by the way, she tats a lot from these Japanese books). 

Difficulty: very easy, beginner
Material used:

Thread Range 30, brown
48 seed beads (size 15)
Shuttle and ball / 2 shuttles (I would advise, actually, for the daring ones, because of the Catherine Weel join)
Beads threader (sounds impressive, it is not)
Crochet hook
Good light.  Honestly, don't laugh, you need it.


1.       You can use any thread you wish, any beads you want, but you will need to adjust the ds for the outer chains. Just tat the chain until it curves a tiny bit on top of the beaded picot and make the join. This is the amount of ds you will use. Lees ds: the beads will refuse to lay, more ds, you will have an interesting clover effect (you can see it, I rushed with one of the petals). 
2.       I used a 4ds sequence for the ring, because I needed to make clear pictures. With this thread, a 3 ds base is perfect.

bp: beaded picot: 8 seed beads.
Prepare the material

String the seed beads, fill the shuttle. CTM.

Start ring with all the beads in the loop.

4  bp 4 p . Repeat this until you have the 6 beaded picots, finish with 4ds. Close ring, turn work.
Not difficult. 

Start chain. 11 ds join between the 4th and the 5th bead beads of the picot (in the middle) with the ball thread, make sure the shuttle thread stay in the center, so you can have a continuous core thread.
This would be the moment to make the Catherine Wheel join.  
Finish the chain: 11 ds. Make lock join (with the shuttle thread).

This should be the result.

I hope this is helpful. 
Have fun. It is actually fun to make a bunch of them and place them where you need them.