Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Launching Tatting Times Online


Tatting Times online

                It was a good run, I think.  Thirty years.  I began Tatting Times in 1992, when I was an editor at a daily newspaper and tatting was what made me secretly happy and kept me sane.  Many of the first subscribers to Tatting Times were really glad to learn they were not the last living tatters in the universe keeping a dying art on life support. 

                Since that time, several thousand more across the globe who believed they alone stood against the extinction of tatting met through the magic of the internet. 

In 1992, it cost 24 cents to mail each issue.  I was younger, married, mother to a teenage daughter.  Quite a lot happened to all of us in the intervening years.  If you were a subscriber but not a close friend, you won’t have known that for me these included a variety of orthopedic issues followed, not coincidentally, by what I experienced as a devastating divorce.  Surprisingly, a year later I met a lovely man with a sweet temperament and serious health issues; and 20 years later, this past February, he died.   I’ve written none of this in Tatting Times.  It’s back-story, about me, not about tatting…  though through good times and bad, tatting has always (literally) been with me.

Fast forward to now, when many talented tatting designers whose beautiful work is made accessible for free or a small fee on the internet.  Postage for the final issue of Tatting Times was 78 cents per copy to US subscribers.  The cost of mailing overseas copies would make anyone shudder.   I decided to share tatting on this blog instead, along with book/thread/product information, news of events, new techniques and of course, my own new designs.  I begin with the one promised in the final issue of Tatting Times.

 Please note, as with other designs shared online, although they’re not in print, they are still under copyright.  That means you should not, no matter whether you live in the U.S.A. or elsewhere, share anyone’s pattern without attribution AND permission, nor make a few changes and call it your own design.  This finicky legality seems to be understood by most, but alas, not all tatters, as I’ve learned to my dismay.  Want to teach one of these designs to your own small tatting group in your own hometown?  Please ask.  The answer is most likely yes, I’m honored, but I’d still like to be asked first, in the same way one prefers to invite guests to tea rather than have them barge in and help themselves to all the cookies.  Want this taught at a larger gathering?  Ask me, I'm portable!

You can generally reach me at threads@empireaccess.net.  I'm still a writer and editor, so when deadlines loom, it could take a few days for me to respond, but I promise I will.


The Wellsboro Star

Beads are your choice, as is the size of thread.  The larger star – the teal green one – was a less successful one because the stitch count had not yet been refined.  It used size 8 beads on size 10 thread.  The smaller star, in tatting cotton with size 15 beads, needed only a little blocking and pressing to lie flat.  Wind two shuttles CTM.  The “ball thread” shuttle will have a little more thread and all 25 beads.

Begin by dropping a loop to begin a mock ring

CH: 8

                With ball thread shuttle, R: 8-8

CH: 5

                With 4 Bs on ball thread shuttle, R: 5 BB 2 BB 5

***CH: 5

                R: 8-8

CH: 8, post working shuttle through loop and close mock ring.

RW.  CH: 10

Drop loop to begin mock R, CH: 8-2

                With ball 3 shuttle and 3 Bs in loop, R: 2+10 BBB 10-2.

Finish mock ring, CH:  2-6, post working shuttle through loop and close mock R

CH: 8

With ball thread shuttle, R: 6+ 4+8

CH: 10

Drop loop to begin mock R: CH: 8+ (to previous small R) 5

With 2 Bs on ball thread shuttle, R: 5 + 2 BB 5

Repeat from *** for five star points.  Note the last R in the very center has no Bs but joins to the small Rs on either side, and the large mock ring in the center joins to the smaller Rs on either side as shown.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Coronavirus Doily - the grand finale!

At last!  It took a while but I hope you'll agree it's worth it! 
I'd like to think this has some correspondence to this time when we're all working on our own stuff - and ourselves - and will come out of it with great appreciation for how beautiful everyone is, the beauty around us and the beauty we've created...  this pattern uses a bunch of esoteric techniques you'll be so much more comfortable with now, so perhaps it was useful as well as pretty.

Wind a shuttle and ball CTM.  In fact, if you’re planning ahead, wind at least two shuttles full and cut from the ball, then wind a third shuttle and leave attached to the ball.  The number of  filled shuttles you’ll need will, of course, depend on your thread size – I used size 50.  And, incidentally, the finished doily in size 50 is  about 12 inches in diameter.  Note: there's an odd symbol here  you'll see twice because blogger wouldn't let me transfer a dingbat into the pattern - it's a place to take note of because it's the spot you'll return to for repeats.

R: 8-8+ (to a bottom R of previous section) 8+ (to CH p of previous round) 8.
&*& R: 7+ (use a fine crochet hook to join to the joining p several rounds back (see photo) meaning you’re crossing over the previous CH round to join in the same space) 7.
R: 8+ (to next free p on CH round 8+ (to bottom R of previous section – this will be the next flower cluster) 8-8.
CH: 5-5
R: 4+ (to last p on previous R) 12+ (to next R of same flower cluster) 8-8.
CH: 5-5
R: 4+ (to last p on previous R) 12 --- (this is a long picot, which will pull up to be about ½ inch high in size 20 thread….  You’ll need to experiment with other size threads, because it will become a double picot and you’ll need to join to it three times more) 1+ (back to the long p) 15.
{{CH: 5-5-5-5
R: 7+ (join to double p) 7.}} twice
CH: 5-5-5-5
R: 16+ (to double p) 12-4.
CH: 5-5
R: 8+ (to R p) 8+ (to 4th p on flower cluster) 12-4.
CH: 5-5
R: 8+ (to last R p) 8+ to fifth p on flower cluster) 8+ (to next free CH p) 8+

Repeat from &*& around.  You’ll be ending with CH: 5-5, join to base of first R, tie, cut and sew in ends.

Dampen, block, paying attention to the middles of the flower clusters and the middles of the points - they seem to want to twist! and press.

And if you've gotten this far - congratulations and thank you for bearing with me.  I hope I get to see what yours looks like!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Coronavirus doily Part 9

This round has a lot of start-and-stop to it, but it’s the next-to-last round, and the last one will be continuous.  You will (I hope) appreciate the pickiness of this round later…  Wind two shuttles with two different colors, then take the two threads and tie them together with a square knot.  The ends may be worked into the first two rings – that’s part of the pickiness of this, I’m afraid.  I really wanted a bright golden yellow in this round and very sharp eyes may note this is not the same gauge as the other threads.  It seems to work anyway because this ring isn’t structural – I wanted that color there as a sort of gleam of hope in the center of the flower… if you assume the purple is a flower.  You could, of course, make things very slightly easier on yourself and use a single color here. 

Using the main color and tatting in the tail, R: 7+ (join to a p on previous round) 5-7-5. 
After closing the ring, use a fine crochet hook to make a shuttle-join / lock join to the join made in the previous round.  Which means you’re joining to a picot two rounds back. 
R: 5+5-6-4.
Using the second thread-color shuttle, R: 4+3-3-4.
Cut the second thread color and work its tail into the next ring.
R: 4+6-5-5.
After closing this ring, repeat the lock join to the same place as before.
R: 5+7-5+ (to next p of round below) 7.  This last join is tricky, but yes, you can do it!
Cut thread and sew in ends. 
Leaving two picots completely free, Repeat around.  There will be 22 of these flowers around the doily and it will take a little time.  It will take me just a little more time to finish it...