Archive for September 2006

Motif #7: Loopiness

September 30, 2006

Rose Garden motif This one came out better than I expected. It’s not usually my style — so curvy and puffy — but I was intrigued by the mass of chains at the center, and decided to try it.

Also from Tatting in Lace, this motif is called “Rose Garden.” There are only 7 rings in it — the center, and the center of the six half-flowers around the outside. The thread is the same as last time: Altin Basak #50, variegated white to blue.

I think what I like about this is the way the chains form the “petals.” Because they don’t close fully, making a traditional complete ring, they look more cartoony and appealing to me. The whole thing looks like it would be at home in a dorm room — funky, fun, loose.

Motif #6: Better in blue

September 25, 2006

Windmills motif Only one ring in this motif, called “Windmills,” from Tatting in Lace. I didn’t have too much trouble with it, except for the second arm and the last arm. You might be able to see that one of the arms is a bit anemic — that’s the second one — and I had to undo my first attempt at a rosette join for the last arm. But other than that, this one blocked very nicely (with a zillion pins, one for every one of those interior picots that keep the arms together). And I do like the effect of the variegated thread (Altin Basak #50) on the chains-only part of the design. My only problem with variegated thread is that going from rings to chains means an abrupt change in the part of the thread that’s showing, so it’s not a continuous color change — less troublesome in a more subtle variegation, but I’ve always coveted that “spectrum” look of a design that doesn’t switch back and forth. This is the closest I’ve come.

Up next: another chain-heavy motif in this same thread, from the same book!

Motif #5

September 22, 2006

Basket of eggs motif The first set of freshman papers are being graded, and my husband is back from his trip, so my tatting leisure time has been a bit more limited this week. Once I got done with two consecutive evenings of work Monday and Tuesday, I was able to finish and block my fifth motif last night.

This is “Basket of Eggs,” from A Pattern Book of Tatting, in DMC Cebelia #10. I made a mistake on the next to the last large interior ring, and didn’t attach it at both picots.

Time to make something a little less big and bold — a little more delicate. I’ve got an Altin Basak #50 blue-white variegated that I’m going to use for the next motif, which is going to be mostly chains — not my favorite kind, but I’m trying to expand my horizons.

Motif #4

September 16, 2006

Spinning Wheel motifAnd fast on the heels of motif #3 comes this effort, which looks a lot more like a motif than said motif #3 (which looks like what it is — 1/8 of a finished piece).

This is “Spinning Wheel” from (where else) A Pattern Book of Tatting. I promise I’ll get to some of the other Konior books soon. It’s such an embarassment of riches, though, that I just keep turning the page and wanting to make the next one.

DMC Cebelia #10, in bright red. I think this is what they bill as “Christmas Red”, though to my eyes it seems a little bright for that. (Although now that I’ve scanned it on this green background, doesn’t it look like a poinsettia?) I like this way this one blocked; it was pretty crumpled when I finished it (thanks once again to a TiVo orgy — oh, that season finale of The Office! oh, that first episode of the controversial ethnically-divided Survivor!). But upon pinning out the middle, I could immediately see those straight chains that were going to make the geometry work. I never really believe in straight chains while tatting, because I can’t bring myself to leave them loose — I pull them up nice and snug for that tight curve, and then when I join them to each other, it’s hard to envision that blocking can straighten them out. But it does. Yay blocking!

Motif #3, and an end to black (for now)

September 16, 2006

Cloudburst motifThis is one “slice” of the “Cloudburst” composite lace in A Pattern Book of Tatting. I started it during the retreat last weekend, and just finished it up last night while gorging myself on TiVoed television (my parents just left after a week of providing childcare during my husband’s absence).

Good ol’ DMC Cebelia #10 black (but I’ve switched to red for the next motif, never fear). It measures about three inches wide at the top, four and a half inches long. If you can picture it flanked by two duplicates, joined at top and bottom, then you’ll see how it is a pizza-slice (1/8) of a round mat, that will have a hole in the middle surrounded by small rings and chains.

I am fascinated by circular laces that work in slices, from the center to the outside and back again to complete a motif, rather than being built up in concentric rounds. One of my favorite patterns of all time has this structure — I copied it out of a library book a decade ago and have probably made it five times.

I have the idea to alternate black and white motifs to complete this mat. That would be striking, wouldn’t it?

Motif #2

September 11, 2006

Wild Rose motif My second motif is as small as the first, so again, I got it done in two short sessions. (It was just a ring and two chains away from being done when I put it down after the first session, and I finished it up in 10 minutes this weekend.)

Amanda is right (in the comments to the last post) — with the black, you can’t see the stitches very well. Ah well — just one more black motif to go before I switch to something more colorful.

The thread is DMC Cebelia, by the way, not Cordonnet as I said last time. The name of this design is “Wild Rose,” but doesn’t it look exactly like a dogwood? It’s from A Pattern Book of Tatting. The version pictured isn’t blocked yet, which accounts for the one askew petal; I pressed it in a book after finishing it (I was at a weekend retreat), and thought it was ready enough to scan.

Next up: One motif from “Cloudburst,” a mat made of six roughly triangular “slice” motifs. I’m doing it in a black, and have the idea to make alternating black and white “slices.”

First step

September 7, 2006

Snowdrift motifHere’s my last pre-challenge piece. It’s “Snowdrift” from Tatting in Lace, in that familiar white-yellow-green variegated. (Are you tired of it yet?) This is an all-rings piece. One of the reasons I love Mary Konior is what she can do by varying the size of rings to create curvatures. She’s a master at controlling that — allowing the piece to take a natural shape simply by not feeling constrained to a ring size or a set of standard ring sizes. (You see a lot of designs where there are two standard ring sizes, and the piece is shaped primarily by which picot gets attached or by the size of the chains in between. It never occurred to me before looking at these patterns that the shape of the piece could be changed by subtle variations to the size of elements alone.)

Whirligig motifAnd now … drum roll please … Motif #1 in my 25 Motif Challenge! Finally, another color for you to look at (although get ready, you’ll see a lot of black in the weeks to come — my big Tatsy shuttle is full of it!). This is “Whirligig” from A Pattern Book of Tatting. The black is DMC Cordonnet no. 10 — this is nice and chunky. I did it quick (for me) — two nights, or about 90 minutes all told. There is a mistake in it — I joined the second chain to the wrong picot of the first one, and so the last chain got joined to the same picot instead of the one next to it. It’s about three inches in diameter. I really like the effect of the parallel curved or waved chains coming off the center. Another effect Konior is very good at achieving is a kind of rolling edge, with chain elements extending out to the edge and then sharing space on the edge with ring elements, all in one round.

I’m on my way. Motif #2 (in black, naturally) is on the shuttle and might get finished tonight, if I don’t pass out early after getting up at 4 this morning.