Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A (Tatting) Tragedy

Oh hello. Last time I checked, it was October...then I blinked, and suddenly it's 2016!!! Yikes.

The end of the school year (December) got crazy, then summer travel took over, and now it's the beginning of the school year, so free time feels like it doesn't exist.

With all that, I haven't been very productive. I've mostly focused on two (what should be) big projects, both of which have ended up as big duds. (Tatting tragedies, if you will).

The first isn't so much of a tragedy, but more of a summer-time flop.

I started one of Jan Stawasz's 8-sided doilies in size 100 thread at the beginning of summer, and got fairly far...
Unfortunately I went to refill my shuttles and realized I couldn't remember which ball of miniscule white thread I'd started with...I thought it was size 100, then came to realize that I had an almost identical ball of size 80, and the threads were just different enough (but also so remarkably similar) that I decided to just leave it. That sounds rather defeatist now that I think about it, but I didn't want to get to the point where I was stuck with half the doily done in obviously the wrong thread.

So then I moved onto another doily, this time in blue size 80 (so I knew I could keep track of the thread). THIS is the tatting tragedy...

The doily is from this book:
which took me a while to track down (I had to find it on the Internet, it's apparently not available anywhere in the Eastern side of Russia), so I'd been waiting a long time to make one of these doilies.

I looked through the book and, even though my Russian is pretty terrible, it's good enough to read the numbers, a few of the directions, and of course the patterns are diagrammed.

So, I began, with this small center motif:
 Count with you see five sides to this motif? Because that's how many I see...

My rendition--with five sides to the center motif.

So on I went, on my merry way, tatting along...almost finished, as a matter of fact...

Until today, when I realized there was something terribly, horribly wrong.
On the final round, each "motif" attaches to the doily on three chains in a row. I realized today that, if I continued in this way, I would have one chain floating--I had one chain too many!!
I went back and checked--I had been attaching the final round correctly, so that wasn't the issue.

I re-checked the pattern, all the way to the center motif...

Yes, I've done that correctly, too--five sides on my center motif, just like the pattern.

Then I looked very, very carefully at the center motif of author's photo of this doily...the original picture is about 2" by 2", so it's rather hard to see...
Here is a blown-up photo of that center motif
How many sides do you count on the center motif now? Oh, 6? Hmmmm.


I followed the pattern, but the pattern was wrong! It's six sides, not five!! UGHHHH!!!

So, now the doily is just a big mess, so wrong in all the ways, and I'm a little distraught, because I have steriously been working on that stupid thing for at least a month, and wanted to enter it in the Canberra Show this weekend, and now it's WRONG!!!!! Oh the humanity!

... OK so I do know this isn't the end of the world, but I'm so, so sad about it right now. I really liked this pattern, and I really wanted to see how this doily was going to look when it was done.

And I really, really don't want to do all that work again.

Le sigh.


  1. Oh how completely terrible! It looks beautiful so far, is there no way to fudge that last bit. (Says someone who wouldn't,t have a clue how to ).

    1. I really don't think there is a way to fudge it--I've been trying to come up with something, but I'm afraid there is nothing to be done but start over. (Sob)


  2. Good to see you back, Kristen but sorry to hear your bad news on both doilies. Better luck next time is all I can say.

    1. Eh. Into each life some rain must fall. It can't be all amazing all the time. Plus now I have more time to finish that TIAS... :-D

    2. And thanks, Jane, it's good to be back. I miss this blogging community--Facebook really just isn't the same.

  3. Oh my goodness. All that work for naught! what a shame. the other one looks great you can happily leave it at that stage.

    1. Yes, the white one looks good as-is (nobody unfamiliar with the actual patter would know it's technically not done).

      It's a good lesson in resiliance, I guess! :)

  4. If you can fudge it, do. But that's horrid. I hate when that stuff happens to me. :*(

    1. I have some mild ideas of how to fudge it, but I'm wondering if it's even worth the this point I think I just might cut my losses (literally) and save the thread for a do-over...sometime in the future. Because right now I'm still a little bitter. :)

  5. If you can find a way to make it work, it's worth a try. (Keep in mind, I wouldn't have the faintest idea where to start to figure out how to make it work....but if you CAN, it really IS worth a try.) They're both pretty....
    Maybe on the 8-sided one you can tat 1 or 2 'arms' of the center - first in size 100 thread, then in size 80. See which one matches the center of the 'real thing.' That might help you see whether it is 100 or 80 you were working with. I hope you can find a solution to both doily problems.

    1. Thanks for the suggestion about the "arms"! It's honestly a bit of a fiddly pattern so I think I was actually glad to have an excuse to move on (probably why I gave up so easily), but it does bother me to have something "unfinished," so it's not a bad idea...hmmm... :)


    A terrible and tragic tale from Tat-Land: A Picot Perfidy; a Motif Macbeth; a Dastardly Doublcrossing Doublestitch; a Purloined Pattern....

    What can I say? Wendy umintsuru and I tatted two challenges together from this very book and I had monsterous luck both times with the difficult patterns. Even my Russian hairdresser could not give me a very good translation.

    Put it away and try again later. That's what I did and had a better time of it after a few months. I'm so sorry!

  7. A Macbeth moment, and what a shame, unfortunately sometimes patterns just are not what they seem, A terrible waste of thread, I hope the next pattern who choose will have better results, I think I would mark the pattern as a no for the future, so in years to come you don't try it again and it all happens again, unless you want to try again with six rings in the middle.
    Nice to see you back in blog land