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Friday, March 16, 2018

The start of a very long project

I adjusted the stitch counts for the midline of my table runner, and I think I found something that will work. It's very close, so I should be able to block it into place if needed. I've now started on the actual runner. I had to coil the long end to take a close up photo (looks like coiling a tatted edging could make a flower too):

It's going to be a very long project, and I need to make around 500 of the trefoils. So far I have 25 of them. I began in the middle of the table and then worked my way to the edge before turning. If the table didn't have a line down the middle, I would have started from one end and worked my way to the other end.

I want the runner to drape so that's why the sample hangs over the edge. This end will taper into a point instead of running straight across. More on that as I continue with the project:

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Adjustments needed

I got my shipment from Lacis yesterday, containing the cone of size 20 Lizbeth thread. Looks like this will be plenty for several large projects:

However, I can't get started on the table runner just yet. As suspected, the midline of the runner is difficult to get right. My tatted sample (pictured above) curves inward in the middle instead of forming straight lines down each side. I have a few adjustments in mind, but will have to tat a subsection to see if it works. I hope to have that figured out by next week.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Table runner design progress

Here's where I'm at with the table runner design. First, I needed to make a tatted draft where I could experiment with different stitch counts, edge options, etc. I took this photo while sitting on the couch and you can see all of the tatted scraps on the corner table.

After this draft comes a final sample, so I can make sure everything fits together before embarking on the larger project. It's still a work in progress, and I need to come down the right side and then tat the bottom half. I'm using gray thread because it shows up well in a scan which will be useful to include in the finished pattern.

Of particular importance is the bottom edge of the tatted sample in the photo above. It will become the midline of the table runner and needs to line up with the center of the trefoil in the lower left of the sample. Here is the line that I'm talking about:

I won't be certain that it works until I loop back around and finish the sample. Even if it doesn't work it will be close enough to gauge the adjustments needed for the actual table runner.

It might be a couple more weeks before I get this sample finished, and collect enough white thread of the same dye lot to begin the table runner. Handy Hands is all out of the size 20 Lizbeth cones, so I've ordered from Lacis and am hoping it will ship (rather than be cancelled due to lack of stock). If not, I might have to order the individual balls from Handy Hands and see if they can send me 6 in the same dye lot. I'll keep the blog updated as I progress with things.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

From bookmark to table runner?

I thought some of you might be interested to see me turn a bookmark pattern into a table runner. I'm at the beginning stages now and will be working with this design:

A little backstory: Ever since I made a magic square, I wondered what other shapes could be tatted infinitely, in one pass. I thought about making a magic rectangle, and drew some possible paths for it. Since a bookmark is rectangular in shape, it seemed like a perfect building block for a magic rectangle.

To get started, I took a birds eye photo of the bookmark pictured above, and digitally spliced it together using an app called Photo Grid. I then drew missing elements using another app called You Doodle:

I soon realized that the magic square path would be too complicated for a rectangular project, and that it was much easier to zig-zag back and forth. Here is a sample of a zig-zag path, also drawn with You Doodle:

If you look closely, you will notice that the zig-zag path is not completable on the tatting pictured above. I have to redesign the midsection to create a continuous path which will allow me to travel from one "bookmark" to the next.

I often work with a lot of digitally altered images, which I keep stored in my iPad's photo album. It gives me a visual roadmap of where to take my tatting, and an idea of how the larger project will look. Next time, I'll show some of the redesigns involved in getting the zig-zag path to work.

Speaking of bookmarks, I've been talking to Dorothy Cochran over on Etsy (link to her shop), and she has sent me written instructions for the Priscilla Bookmark. I've updated the pattern to include these instructions, and you can find it on my free patterns page or directly by clicking here. Thanks Dorothy!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Tiny Tatting

I stopped by Jo-Ann Fabrics to look through their collection of sewing thread. They had some nice colors in the Gütermann Dekor embroidery thread, so I bought one to try it out for tatting. It's 100% viscose and color #9945. I used it to make a heart:

This is the first time I've tried tatting with something other than cotton. I was surprised because it was easier to work with than I thought. It's VERY tiny though. Smaller than size 100 tatting thread, and nearly impossible to see the stitches. The picots don't keep their shape very well (the thread unravels), but the heart pattern doesn't have any decorative picots so it worked out okay.

Here's a photo comparing the sizes. Size 40 Lizbeth on the left, Güterman Dekor in the middle, and size 20 Lizbeth on the right:

Overall a fun experiment, but I'm not sure how often I will make something so small. It's difficult on the hands because the stitches need to be snugged very tightly. The rings were hard to close at times and I couldn't really see what I was doing when I sewed in the ends. I do like how tiny it is though: