Saturday, 24 September 2016

A Star is Born?...

Just kidding!  I couldn't help myself.  Each year I like to make a new snowflake/ornament to put in the cards that I send to family and friends.  It's coming to this time of year again and on this occasion, I decided I'd like to work on a star (five-sided) for a change instead of a snowflake (six-sided).

Here are a few versions of it...  it's mostly the different centre I've been working on... and I'm not convinced I've found he best one yet!

The simplest one was the first:

Then I thought I wanted to emphasise the star shape in the centre
so I made pointy chains:

Then I wondered whether it would be better
to fill the centre space with little rings...

And I also added beads on the joins,
going from smaller to larger
(a seed bead, then a 4mm bead, then a crystal)

Then I thought how much I liked Swarovski crystals
in the centre of Bentley and perhaps they would look nice here too

It took me a while to figure out how to get that centre of crystals in there
whilst keeping the one pass only design...

Eventually it clicked:
Yes of course, I needed to use
the loop-tatted ring method!

This is a bit of a blurry photo but I wanted to show the crystals
and also the sparkly thread (one strand of shimmering filament added to the cotton)

So that's where I'm at so far.  If possible I'd like to come up with a design that works with or without beads as I know not everyone likes to work with beads so it's nice if the design can work out well either way.

I'll work on this a bit more and hopefully come up with a final design.  Any input welcome!

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

December Motif... in September!

A lady contacted me recently from Poland.   She wanted to know if she could use my "December Motif" (see pattern page) for an online tatting class.  I agreed and she did a nice job of presenting the pattern with really clear photos.  I like her version with large pearls and I also like her version where she replaced the beads with a small ring and picots.

Another lady contacted me shortly after, asking about the same motif to add it to their tatting members' newsletter.

This inspired me to tat it again and as I had last played with Swarovski crystals for Bentley, I decided to make it with crystals and matching blue seed beads for the tips.

December Motif

This is a quick pattern to make and I think it looks effective with beads and adds extra sparkle for use as an ornament.

I still like to use a sparkly filament added to the cotton thread, particularly nice when making "snowflakes" (I made a blogpost about this and here as well).  It's always hard to photograph but hopefully you can see it in the blurry photo below (on the right-hand side).

I thought I'd also try Anetta's version with rings instead of beads so if you're not a fan of using beads in tatting, this is what the motif looks like without.  I'm going to play a bit more with placement of picots as I'm not totally happy with this version but it does show how easily a pattern can be adapted and many variations made from the same design.

Also in the beadless version above, I used mock rings (a chain joined back at its starting point) instead of thrown rings to see how that would look.  A thrown ring looks more "delicate", hanging on by two threads so to speak, whereas the mock rings look more... "sturdy"?  It's different and I like both.

Best wishes,

Monday, 5 September 2016

Shark Attack!

Still very much enjoying crochet as well as tatting at the moment.  I have several (yes! several!) blankets in the making and then a couple of days ago I made this shark pencil case for a young person's birthday.  And now my own children have seen it, they want one too!

I think he's rather neat.  I chose a red zipper to close his mouth and his teeth are made of white felt.  The body is crocheted in one piece and then the dorsal and pectoral fins are added after.  My son wants a whale version of him (I will make it without teeth, a much smaller dorsal fin and the tail on the horizontal instead of the vertical)... and my daughter wants a narwhal!  So now I need to figure out how to add that tusk!

Best wishes,

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Lucky Clover Completed

It's finished!  I'm pleased with it.  Though if I was being a bit critical, I would say that I think the centre is slightly incongruous in this design.  The doily is all lovely curves and then you have these very straight long chains in the middle that look a bit out of place.  I'm thinking of designing a new centre...  I like the second and third rounds very much.

Makes me think of ship's wheel in the centre...

A bit closer up...

A lady was selling beautiful sunflowers from her garden in a village nearby.  We were just driving past when we saw them at her gate...  We took a few stems home.  Most were all yellow but we had a stem of sunflowers with red in them like this one.  They are very striking.  Mind that red background was a bad choice - red is always so hard to photograph!

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Round Three Progress and.... a mushroom!

I'm making progress on round three and am now about half way through.  Took a little break to make this small mushroom.  I don't know why.  I just saw it and was inspired to make it.  It's from a YouTube video.

Mine doesn't look quite like the one in the video as I modified the edge of the cap a little bit.  Instead of sewing it like in the video, I crocheted the edges together which makes a better shape I think.

In another department, I am now on the 6th flower block of my Frida's Flowers blanket.  I have just completed the first of six of these called "Ring of Roses".  I'm really impressed by Jane Crowfoot's design:  her flowers are so interesting and colourful!

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Round Two Completed

Making progress.  Here is round two.

On another note, I like to see what Lucy of Attic24 is up to.  She and her team are busy organising Yarndale, a yarn festival which is in its fourth year and which happens in September.  The year before last I joined in with everyone making mandalas for the festival.  This year, they are making sheep!  The sheep will be sold and proceeds donated to a local hospice.  What a great idea - I had to join in and here is my sheep.  He's not perfect by any means and I found the face features particularly difficult but I hope he's nice enough.  I'm pleased with the little embroidered roses on his coat and I hope someone will fancy him!  

He will be in tomorrow's post to join the flock.  In fact, I was talking to my husband about this project and he even suggested we might go see the Festival ourselves.  It's in Yorkshire, in the lovely town of Skipton.  Ooh, that would be fun.  I'll report back if we do end up going!

Best wishes,

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

This is the reason...

... why I bought the Persson and Blomqvist book in the first place.  I had seen this doily in a few places and I fancied making it one day.  So after Ice Crystal, I thought I'd tackle it.

This is Lucky Clover.  The beginning of it at any rate.

Now I must tell you that when I first completed this last night, I doubted whether it would turn out right; it was cupping so badly!  I'm not sure my photo came out too well, but the motif was really a bowl!

However, after pinning and light pressing, to my surprise, all was resolved.

These are really long chains to keep straight!  Chains naturally want to curve...
So you have to loosen your tension just a bit to prevent them from curving too much.

Now on to round two...

Best wishes,