Saturday, February 23, 2013

Continuing the Carpet and Other Project Deviations (Motif #4)

After a month of forced inactivity in Russia I think I am getting the hang of "not having to do anything"...which is kind of a problem, since I will *hopefully* have a job here soon...

At any rate, I have started to make a little better use of all my free time. I have read at least a half dozen books, cooked a meal for my husband and myself (almost) every night, and have managed to start on a couple new tatting projects!

I'll start with the carpet, which you no doubt remember from the past couple posts:
I think I have a workable plan for the top outside edge (#9 above):
 Here is a detail of one of the "triangles"'s off at an angle now, but once I add the side piece (#10) I think it will look pretty ok...

I completed that edge last night; I had actually taken a bit of a break from the carpet design because 1) I was getting tired of the green thread and 2) I wanted to :)

Some day when I'm no longer a worldwide traveler (or at least not a worldwide liver, I hope we travel all our lives) I hope to have a kitchen of blue and white. But not any color of blue, a specific color. This color (more or less):
 I've seen it called cornflower, dusty blue, French blue, a million names, but I just think it is so nice. I found a ball of it in a random shop in Des Moines when I was there last summer, and I have been waiting to find a project to break it out on.

This really isn't the project, but it was a "let's try out the #30 thread" project. Honestly I usually work with Pearle 8, so Cebelia 30 is something different to work with...different but not bad. Anyway, I made the above "frame" and put in the center afterwards:
Motif #4 (not very prettily laid out, sorry)
It's Medallion 1169 from Old and New Designs in Tatting: Book No. 11
Of course, after it was finished I noticed a pretty glaring you? (I think it's more obvious in the first picture) :)

After that I thought I glanced through the 2 books (only 2!) I brought with me and picked out another project to start, the Duet Doily from The Tatter's Treasure Chest:
Round 1
Round 2 (It reminds me of the CBS Sunday Morning sun logo!)
Round 3...what a color! It looks a little like an inside-out egg at this point!
Round 4
 I have 3 rounds to go, but 2 of the three involve tatting techniques I don't really love (more on that later), so I put it away for a bit to start another project...I seem to have a problem in tatting of starting projects and then taking forever to finish them...

Now, you've probably noticed from the pictures above that I am actually coming to a "crisis" with the amount of thread I have here, or at least the variety. If you remember, when we moved from Honduras last June I only had about 20 balls of thread with me. I picked up a few more here and there when I was in Iowa and DC, but due to the packing/dog stress we had in DC, I only came to Russia with about 8 balls of thread in about 6 colors...I think you have seen 5 of the six on this page.

Also, I seem to be a thread wastrel.
To be honest, the big ball of fluff on the right there was a project gone wrong. I actually had 5 of these strung together as of yesterday;
but then I realized that I'd been careless and attached the wrong picots, and once I started noticing that I noticed other things that were not quite right, and so now I'm back to two again. And I'm running out of thread. Sigh.

 So I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of the rest of our "stuff", which will include our car and all my thread from Honduras! Yay! Delivery of my thread plus the mobility to look for a new "supplier" in town. Until then I will limp along with what I have (oh, woe is me) ;)

Once I have the outside rim of the carpet done I will work on getting the pattern out there for anyone else who wants to try it out... :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

More "Carpet" Pattern Work

Well, I've made some progress on the carpet-inspired pattern!

Here again is the original carpet:

First of all I finished the first inside square.
(Messy) Motif #2

Here it is contrasted with the "inside motif" I made (if that makes sense at all):

And since I was thick in the middle of "The Forsythe Saga," I just kept working and finished the inside (made of 8 triangle-shaped motifs):
Sorry about the stringy mess...
That was yesterday.

Today's task is the outer edge. This is a little tricky, because the outer "triangle" areas (there are six of them, pointing up and down) aren't really that easy to make using the naturally curving tatting.

Also, I'm not sure if you noticed, but upon further investigation, if you are trying to be as true to the original pattern as possible, it's not really possible to make the outer edge in one fell swoop because of the two "kissing curley-qs" to be found in 4 places around the pattern...

These two instances are shown below:

I tackled the triangle problem first, as the two "curly-qs" are easily done, as shown on the left side below:
Motif #3?

I first tried the two kissing rings at the bottom of the motif (lots of kissing going on here), but after further perusal of the pattern decided they aren't quite right. They have the satisfying connection, but raise the "triangle" too high for my liking. Next I tried the ring/chain combo (is there a technical name for that?) at the top, and unfortunately think that is going to be my best bet...unless anyone out there can come up with something better (please!)! I think I will try to make the ring thinner, and the chain longer (higher), but otherwise it's the best I've come up with.

At any rate, it's no longer possible to stay true to the pattern and make the outside all in one piece, so we are now talking about a 4-piece outer round, to go with the 8-piece inner round, as shown below:

And, if that is too hard to see (it is for me) here's a slightly easier on the eyes version:

So that's where I am on that. :)

By the way, and completely off subject, how fascinating is this Richard III discovery!? As a history teacher, I am so into this history-as-news thing! Today as I blog and tat I am re-visiting my audiobook copy of Josephine Tey's"Daughter of Time," an excellent, intelligent book with interesting perspective on this topic...published in 1951!

Happy tatting!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Started on the Carpet Design

Well, as you can see to your right, I have been able to update my world map!! 4 countries and counting! :)

I have had a few minutes to start diagramming the carpet pattern from the hotel in Moscow.

Here, to remind you, is the carpet:

I can see a couple ways of creating this pattern:

1) 2 types of individual motifs joined together in some way.
I started on this method first, just to get a feel for the motifs. Here is my crack at the middle motif:
This is also my first motif of the year for the 25 Motif Challenge!!
 My initial thought was that the middle "M"-looking things could be where the joins were made...

2) Build, like a doily, from the inside out. Start with the center motif and build as four triangles joined together to make the motif as well as get a small start to the outside motifs. Then join to a second motif made the same way, as shown below. Finally, build the outside as a sort of "Round 2", thus completing the pattern as below.

  I decided that this might be the better strategy, so I worked out a pattern, played with it, and found something that I think might work...

 I haven't completed the full middle square yet, but once it is done, as well as when I have some of the outer ring completed, I will let you know! :)