Sketching out a tatting pattern

blue_1

Tatting is a funny one. Really, I should be designing my own patterns by now. I am a designer, after all – and one that happens to love repeat patterns too. That said, I often think tatting for me is like smoking for other people. I need a quick fix, there and then. Something to calm me down, occupy my brain, keep my fingers quiet.

There’s also the fact that I like to see a finished ‘thing’ at the end of it. Something I can look at and see as complete – maybe use it, maybe not, but know that I’ve started and finished something. Like a lot of people who work with computers, the work I do in my day job may change. Things aren’t ever completely ‘finished’ with the work that I do. Or at least rarely. Things gets signed off—but before you’ve had time to acknowledge it, it’s on to the text thing.

Which means that I like tatting other people’s patterns. You can choose one you like, learn it, know that it’ll look good at the end. That someone has worked out the stitch count, fixed all the niggles. A quick win. No stress. Ok – some might be trickier than others, but on the whole you’ll probably end up with something passable.

white sketch

After making the beaded wreaths (I made five in total!) I had spare thread on my shuttles. This time I forced myself to try something out.  To be honest, the main reason was that I’d seen some beautiful forget-me-nots at Chartwell and I love their tiny bright yellow middles with the blue petals (not grand flowers, but I really like them). I also keep thinking of simple daisies.  And sunshine.

As the beaded wreaths were flower based, I was wondering if I could make something that would have a yellow centre (in theory) and a blue outside. So above is my sketch. I actually don’t have any yellow thread. I should have an order going out in the post on monday!

It’s not the most original design, I do know that. (The central ring with smaller rings is relatively well established). But I worked on the stitch count – decided to make it less leafy and to keep it simple this time around.

edging

edging 4

When I loaded up these shuttles I’d sort of promised that I’d keep evolving the pattern, but the addictive part of my brain kicked in and so I carried on from where I was and stuck with that as a pattern. I’ve not worked on an edging pattern before and it feels oddly different. Its a tiny bit clumsy as it gets longer, but quite satisfying too. You can very easily see the progress you’ve made.

edging 2

This is size 80 DMC thread, so it’s quite like a length of lace. Very flimsy – would make a pretty bracelet but it’s just not really thick enough. I like that it can stand up on it’s own though. Made for some nice photos while I was avoiding work…

edging 3

 

Talking of which… I’d better get on with it :-/

Hope you’re having nice weekends!

 

 

Not everyone loves tatting…

Treeson
It looks like someone has been playing around with my tatting. He does look rather happy about it though, basking in the sunshine. This little fella is called Treeson. He’s been sitting on the shelf for ages and begged to be included in the photos at the last minute. What I think he really wanted was to be dusted. Ahem.

Moving swiftly on, this little lady is clearly horrified with the very idea of tatting. Either that or she just hadn’t realised beads were a *thing*.

unimpressed

But a *thing* they are. I think the ones she finds so horrific are my favourites actually. They look really glassy – they’re really pretty. I like them with the ecru thread too, even if they are a tad large.

glassy

When I bought those it was on a whim — I was actually looking for tiny pearls (well, fake pearls). I was at the Creative stitches and Hobbycrafts show at ExCel. It was packed though, and I couldn’t really find what I was after. I bought these, which I’m in two minds about:

white

They’re a bit hard to photograph. I like the subtlety but these are clearly tiny pieces of tube, so they’re not rounded at the edges, if that makes sense – and I think they’d be nicer if they were. I think this will actually look nice sewn on to linen (was just going to make a bunch more lavender bags or something). It’ll be subtle, but pretty  – not quite as girly/pretty if you see what I mean. A bit more understated. We shall see.

Here’s a not very pretty shot of some green Japanese beads…

green

Same pattern – I used these beads on a bag I made for my mum – and they’re actually tiny (the thread is size 80, so quite thin – close up photos are a bit misleading). For the bag, they’re actually sewn on, rather than tatted in. You can just about see here though, how nice they are compared to the white ones – they’re rounded at the edges. I think on the whole, they’re too subtle on the green thread – too good a match actually, for things bought independently. Lovely beads though. Might try them tatted in to the ecru. (Apologies, I have no idea where on earth I got them from.)

So yes. Been a busy few weeks tatting on the train, which I’ve really enjoyed. There’s something great about having a pattern committed to memory so you can relax your brain to and from work – while being productive at the same time. I’m a strong advocate of repetitive craft as meditation, I think. Keeps the stressy part of your brain busy, and leaves the other part free to concentrate on the bigger things.

Now, if i could just get this one to calm down…

stay calm

Have a good weekend – and if you’re in the UK, a good bank holiday!