The birthday of a dear family friend is in February, so I thought Id get this started early and hopefully finished. It is turning out to be not as large as I had envisioned it, which is just as well.
The recipient loves and truly appreciates the first small motif I gave her last year and happily displays it in her bedroom, but she is a very un-frilly individual! So this is better smaller. it will be about eight inches. I am guessing.
The pattern is from a Dutch publication. (De Frivolité(k)ring) The thread is Altin Basak #50 and Lizbeth #40. Those pretty teal beads are from Ninetta.
Also, the tiny vintage white beads are the ones my mom saved for me a few years ago. There aren’t that many left and the recipient will appreciate the sentiment, as she adored my mom, ever since she was a wee tot.
The colours are not my favourites, but the choices are very limited now. I have used up tons of thread this year and have given lots away - especially thread that I don’t really love.
I am now extremely picky about thread and even more discerning about what I will spend money on.
Today I very nearly bought a few balls of Valdani, but a good tatting friend (Thanks, Liyarra!) cautioned me - I have already gone through this number before - about it, so I have managed to refrain.
However, the time approaches (after the holiday season for sure!) when I shall have to add a few colours, but I think it probably be Altin Basak.
Iris Niebach’s Eleonora is a wonderful pattern. It is also not complicated (though I had to CUT a number of times, but I will not tell you where!)
I tatted this with Sulky Blendables, a #80 type weight. I am getting very used to these teeny threads.
The only difficulty with this pattern is in a join where you hold the chain in a piece of thread as a downward facing picot, to later join up to with another chain. Many moons ago I had terrible trouble accomplishing this technique:
This is Vinnie’s Spring Doily, which you can find here. You can see the outer chains have a similar joining of two chains as Eleonora.
Happily, I now understand how to execute this join, which is not at all complicated, but at the time I just could not fathom it! It takes a LOT of practice and a couple of years to get these tricks mastered!
Then, as a break as I continue the edging, I remembered this seasonal motif that I like very much, but never tat properly.
Pattern in Lizbeth #40
The technique here one is still escaping my understanding...
How do you attach those JKs with a shuttle join to the space before the JK and after the last ds? That never makes sense to me and my finished piece does not look the same as the one in the pattern!
She identified the doily, now getting close to being half-way tatted.
She also suggests we shall make it through the booklet!
That would indeed be an accomplishment.
The thread is Silky again, and I am liking the colour, as it reminds me of my favourite colour-way in Lizbeth thread - Vinyard Harvest, I think it is called.
Once again I am truly enjoying another of Iris Niebach’s convoluted one-round wonders!
At the same time and breaking my one-at-a-time rule, I have begun the hankie border that I ordered thread especially for.
It was a challenge to find the right colours for this special silk hankie, which I received a while ago from umintsuru. It is one of my favourite hankies ever, but the silk intimidated me.
It is a soft, pale peach colour, beautifully finished on the edge; so beautifully in fact that I am not sure how to attach the tatting without nasty holes showing in the silk
After a lot of browsing, I found a Sulky Blendables that I thought would be perfect, and when the mail arrived I saw I had picked well. You probably can’t see on your monitor how it has exactly the right, subtle, pinkish tones to enhance that in the fabric.
I tried a few edgings - vintage all - and liked how this one seems to mimic the embroidered flower.
Now I have to invent a corner and that always makes my heart quicken. There is never a lot of confidence on that front and the mirror trick can be counted upon to elicit dyslexic tremors!
There were other patterns I preferred a bit more, but the picot-joining edges of those did not seem appropriate for the curves of the hankie, so I had to choose carefully.
Tatting it with Monica’s lovely #80 HDT was a pleasure as I had been saving the thread for the right design. While working on it, I realized that I had the perfect beads to compliment the thread.
All was fine until I hit the middle section, where I coud not figure out how to proceed. Ah, Karey - you have done it again to me! Stymied!
I improvised and followed my own logic and it seemed to turn out well, but I am still wondering about that 6th row...
Anyone else out there found this snag to which I refer? Id be interested to learn how to connect that 6th row...
You can see the scale if I include a shuttle...
This purple motif, using #40 Lizbeth, is the same size as the above #80 piece.
Pattern: Kirsten Christensen
The experiment was to:
1) compare my enjoyment levels of #40 to #80
2) compare attention span to using these threads
3) compare quality Lizbeth to Sulky
4) compare finished products according to the above criteria
In conclusion, I find that I enjoy tatting with Sulky far more, finding it to be a superior quality thread than Lizbeth #40. If you have read tat-ology for a time, you will realize this is definitely not a eureka moment for me.
My attention to detail and thus the finished motif was infinitely better and more keenly focused using the lighter Sulky thread.
I lost interest early on using Lizbeth; my attention wandered and the resulting tatting looks as if another, less critical tatter had been at work. The tatting in the orangey motif is superior to that of the purple one. Says me.
Why all this comparing? Well, I have diminished the stash to the point where I might like to add a bit of thread that I KNOW for sure I like. The Perfect Quilter fiasco was insane! I bought a ton of it, but on receiving my order realized I did not like the colour breaks in most of the colourways. I found them far too long.
So, bye-bye Perfect Quilter! I kept a few of the colours, but created a big emptiness in my thread drawer! I do have a few spools of Sulky and will order a few more as time goes by, now that I know I like it very much.
Oh yes, The outer bit of the orange motif was tatted with #80 Oran Bayan, which I happened to have in exactly the right shade. This is a ver, very fine #80 and not my fave at all.
This leads me to add that speaking of #80s I do like DMC. It is a pretty good thread.
A very good tatting friend of mine has kindly agreed to send me a sample of Oliver Twist thread. This is another of the skinnies that I have been very curious about.
However, I have learned a valuable lesson: never order thread without trying it first! Following my own sage advice, I shall try out the Oliver Twist and see whether it shall be added to the stockpile!
It is an experiment. I love to set little questions for myself to answer as I tat away, to see what conclusions I will come to by the end of the pattern.
After having tatted Nancy Tracy's motif yet again ( I can't seem to get it to look symmetrical) I found myself wondering about thread size again and also:
Where was I?
I have been watching Doctor Who as I tat and suddenly realized that there was a flying shuttle in the intro! Who knew! I never watched these when they were on television - just to busy on those days. Now I get to stay up late and get caught up. : ) Now I too know what a Tardis is!!!
So, here are the pieces I have been working on while asking the thread questions:
I have had the orangeish beads for many a moon. These are part of the stash I accumulated when I received a generous surprise from Miranda. The HDT from Monica is perfect with them! The lilac is a Ladytats lovely. Thank you, ladies!
Well, I can hardly believe it; I actually finished one of the doilies from the little publication Tatted Doilies
that I have had since I began tatting. It has taken me five years to work up the courage to try this one and I must say it came out rather well! Worth the wait. : ))
The end bit had me predictably baffled. I played with the last join for HOURS, trying to figure out what to tat next, till I realized it was finished! I was done! All I had to do was join the first to the last ring... Duhhh!
While tatting this I thought of Iris and how she comes up with these patterns, which are repeats of a motif in a circle. They are uniquely hers and once you have the idea in your head, not that difficult to follow - said she after YEARS of frustration! Her talent astounds.
Much as I like and admire the design of the piece, I know that this kind of tatting is a bit “leggy” for my taste, as I am not fond of long chains, or large snowflakes.
Also, as I learned from tatting the Mystery Doily, I do like tatting to be a bit dense - either due to the addition of beads or because of an inherently bulkier pattern.
This measures about 7 inches across tatted with... amazingly... Sulky! That is the thread I had so much trouble with here, with the thread from Stephanie.... I just could not get the pattern right.
The tatting muse is languishing and I do not really have a goal at the moment. The next thing will probably be tatted with small thread which I enjoy at the moment and the pattern will be for something smaller .
Oh, I wish I liked tatted jewellery. That would make things much simpler!
Wow - I cannot believe it is done! And done with 190 beads in the final round. I ever delighted I got through it; it was sure touch and go at times.
The final size is just over 11 inches in diameter, tatted in #40 Cébélia.
This Mystery Doily is quite an interesting challenge for anyone bored with the usual fare in the realm of tatting patterns. It is very repetitive, and the pattern can be memorized easily, but careful attention must be paid to every repeat, or there is a lot of un-tatting to do. Believe me on this point!
Thanks for all the the support, tatters, especially Jon and Frivole, who put up with a lot of groaning and panicky emails; they gave me much-needed help along the way.
I am very excited about finishing the Mystery Doily, which is well into Row 6 at the moment. It is going to take a little time, but this row is much simpler than Row 5. It is looking good!
There were certainly some very bad moments at the end of Row 5, because I pulled the same stunt - AGAIN - I cut into the preceding row!
Really - how many times do I have to do this? I am so fed up with not being able to figure out that last joining bit of every row. Thankfully, there is only one more to tat.
In the meantime, it has been on my mind to try this pattern once again in order to get the proper placement of the beads, which I now fully understand. It only took me three motifs to figure it out. : ))
I changed the pattern in that I did double picots instead of singles.