Thursday, March 28, 2013

Doily Progress in Blue and White and White and Blue


The last couple weeks have been busy ones (shocker--you can read about it here, here, here and here if you like) but I have found a bit of time to make progress on The Big Doily
 Unfortunately, my tension troubles have continued to plague me on this doily:

So it was back to the ironing board and another dunking for the doily:
Of course, this left me without a tatting project, so I decided to take a second crack at the still unfinished frilling doily to try to find out what went wrong...

First I tried to relax the frills out, but to no avail...
Still Frilly
So I went back to the pattern...and instantly realized my mistake. Too many rings + chains = doily frills. Sigh. I think it's funny, this is the picture that accompanies the pattern in The Tatter's Treasure Chest:
I think my frilling doily matches this lovely lady's skirt!
So, I started over.
Center Motif
Round 1
Round 2--this is where I started going wrong last time--if you look carefully you can see that the rings are attached in an every-other pattern--one ring is attached to the center picot of the chain, the next two rings are to the first and third picots. That pattern is repeated all the way around. On my first crack at this pattern I added two rings to each chain.
Here are some comparison shots for you, first and second try:
Already a frilled mess...
Look Ma, no frills! (Or not much of one, anyway!)
 Since I decided to take my husband's advice and make The Big Doily white with blue accents, I thought I would make this one in blue with white accents. So, Round 3 is white:
 And kind of frilly. the ironing board it went, to replace the newly-dry Big Doily. I am officially a convert to the mid-work blocking:
 You may notice the picture is a little...dark...that would be because I finished this round and blocked this in the middle of a blackout!
I used my headlamp to see what I was doing!
So here's what it looks like so far...the blocking helped, but it's still a little over-lappy as you can see at the top.

I'm hoping that will continue to relax out as I continue to tat, but on any level, this is MUCH better than the previous try:

 So that's where I'm at. I started back on The Big Doily when I put the new one on the board to dry, switching to blue. This round is not completed yet, but you can see where it's going...I'm curious, which do you like better? Blue and White or White and Blue?


Monday, March 11, 2013

Sidetracked by the Mail (and Motif #5)

Hello all!

 We're supposed to get mail only once-every-other-week here, but luckily it seems that something shows up every week...and sometimes multiple somethings, like last week:
Hurrah! I have pretty much doubled my stock of thread with this delivery!
Aren't they beautiful?

 As I mentioned in a previous post, I have decided that I need to get out of my "Perle 8" rut, to make smaller and more delicate "tattings" like everyone else, and I'm starting with that beautiful blue thread I found over the summer in Des Moines...

 Unfortunately, they only had one ball of that thread, and I wasn't sure if the project I wanted to do would take more than just that one ball...

Thank goodness for the Internet! A very quick search on eBay not only gave me access to multiple rolls of this beautiful thread, but multiple rolls of the same dye lot (as you may or may not be able to tell from the picture below, the colors are VERY slightly different) for my large project...
 And, luckily for me, my rolls of thread came last week, so I was sidetracked from the carpet-diagramming project in favor of "The Big Doily" from the February 1925 issue of Needlecraft Magazine.

Funny that "The Big Doily" starts so small:
Left: 1 Russian Ruble   •   Right: 1 American Dime   •   3 Dimes ≈ 1 Ruble

Of course, they always grow...
Motif #5
 I was originally going to make the third round in the blue, but my husband Chris talked me out of it. He thought it would look better as a white doily with blue accents, rather than the other way around...we'll see. Chris so seldom gives me suggestions on (or even takes much notice of) my tatting things that I thought I would take his advice if for no other reason than to show that I appreciated his interest. :) He's a good guy! :)
 Apparently I didn't take a picture after round four, but you can plainly see it in the pictures below...and the problem that arose in round five:
Can you say tension issues?
I have run into tension issues in my tatting was actually a comment from a Fair judge last summer, and of course there is the still unfinished frilling doily from Falls Church...

I was given the advice to steam the frilling doily (which I have not done, as I stopped work mid-round and haven't picked it back up yet...thanks and sorry Margaret) but since I'm not sure how Chris' steamer works, I decided to try a quasi-blocking instead.

Thank goodness for the water distiller we have here! The local water takes on kind of a yellow tinge, and I'm not at all sure what it would have done to the pretty white of the doily, but the distilled water is crystal clear:
 After a thorough dunking (during which the thread relaxed beautifully) I put the ironing board to use and stuck pins into the picots of the outer-most ring (the one that is giving me trouble, naturally.)
Sorry it's hard to see...I didn't want to chance any cross-color contamination with a colored towel
 I checked it a couple minutes ago and the doily is still slightly damp, so I haven't resumed progress...maybe I'll get out that frilled monstrosity and finish my current round...and then see if I can get them to relax a bit after a dunking :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

First Incarnation of the Carpet is Finished, Diagramming Begins!

Finally! It's done!

When we last checked in, the inside motifs of the carpet had been completed, but the outside ring was only halfway complete, due to the "kissing curls" found on all four corners.

I tried to continue the pattern on the short side after completing the first long side, but after many failed attempts decided to continue with the second long side first:

The problem is shown by the orange arrow below:
If you look at the rest of the pattern, it makes sense to re-create the triangle from the inside, to make the bulk of the outside edge, but that can't be done and then also connect with the chain next to it...

See, the connection doesn't work:

Another chain/ring/chain pattern has to be added (left side) to complete the side:

So it is no longer a 12-piece pattern, but a 16-piece pattern, as shown below:

And here it is completed!


So, what did I do but start it over, so that I can write out the pattern. I'm going to use different colored thread to show each part...
...and will publish the pattern once it's all written out. Also, perfectionist that I am, I might tweak it a bit...there are other ring/chain/ring elements that could be added, if one chose to... :)

Also, as a break from the green, I have continued work on this mat; 5 down, 4 more to go! :)