Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Light Bulb Moment, Lock Joins, and Catherine Wheel Joins

A lady recently asked me a question on one of my YouTube videos.  It's the one that shows how to make a blipless join when working with two colours.  She wanted to know how to avoid a colour blip when making a lock join instead of a regular join.

Of course as only one shuttle is used for the lock join, you cannot use the other shuttle/colour to hide the colour blip as I do in my blipless join.  This needed to be explored... but the solution was simple in the end:  using a Catherine Wheel Join solves the problem.  If you look at the photo below, you can see that the CWJ is much neater looking as well as keeping the chain colour continuous.

One thing to take into consideration however is that the CWJ adds a stitch, whereas a lock join does not.

The problem with a CWJ though is that it doesn't "dip down" on the join like a lock join does.  You can see in the photo above how much sharper the angle is on the lock join than it is on the CWJ.  I found a solution:  I make the last half stitch before the CWJ and the first half stitch after it with a double wrap which makes the base of the stitch larger and thereby giving a better shape to the join area.




But that wasn't even the light-bulb moment yet!  I don't know about you but I was finding CWJs not that easy to do.  I often use to mess them up and had to take them apart and start again.  It may just be me, please let me know if you find them easy.  Anyway, whilst working these CWJs this morning, I just realised they are just the same as the stitches in a video I made recently on split chains.  That was the light-bulb moment!

I really like this way of making split chains which was shown to me by Marie Smith (see video).  Before learning that method, I disliked tatting split chains and tended to avoid them even though, like split rings, they can be so useful when designing patterns and wanting to move from one round to the next without cutting and tying.

What I realised is that it's exactly the same movements to make a CWJ, as long as you make sure the other shuttle thread is in the right place.  I will be making a new video showing this very soon.  Hopefully others who may be struggling with the CWJ will find it useful too.

Best wishes,
Frivole

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Small Doily - 3rd Round

I'm working on the third round and I thought it looked pretty as I tatted last night, like a giant flower on my knee...

Again I'm enjoying tatting rings with flipped stitches and chains with unflipped for this round.  It really saves a lot of time and fiddling with not having to turn your work over, or rewind your shuttles.


I like how this third round adds a lot to the size of the doily in one go.

Best wishes,
Frivole

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Small Doily - 2nd Round

A pretty quick second round.  Looking a tad "wonky" in places but I've not blocked it and I think that will rectify itself once I attach the third round anyway.  Very short chains on that round so I made the rings with flipped stitches and the chains with unflipped.  Much quicker.  Onwards to the next round!


Best wishes,
Frivole

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Small Doily

I showed you the small green doily with my tulips a couple of posts ago... It's doily XIV from Jan Stawasz's red book.  I decided to make it again.

Here's the start.  I'm using a ball of Anchor Freccia which was a gift from a tatting friend.  I'd not tried that thread before.  It seems finer than a 20 and softer than Lizbeth.  It says "16" on the ball... not sure how that relates in size...
Best wishes,
Frivole

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Horseshoe Lace Socks

Well, these took me a bit longer to complete than expected!  It's not a difficult lace pattern but it's still much slower to knit of course than plain knitting.  The pattern can be found here, should you be interested, except I knitted mine from the toe up and made a Fleegle heel (pattern is from the top down, with a re-enforced heel).  She has other nice sock patterns too.

I can't get my camera to pick up the colour right.  The socks look pink but they really are more purple than that in real life.

It was such a gorgeous sunny day today so I went outside with my socks to take photos.



I put my hand inside to stretch the knitting
so you could better see the lace pattern.



And finally...
pink and green... or purple and green
always go so well together,
don't they?



Right, what shall the next project be??

Best wishes,
Frivole

Friday, 13 April 2018

Spring Flowers

Just a quick post to share my lovely tulips with you.  I was putting them in my vase and then thought this little green doily would be just right under the vase.  It looked so pretty and so perfect for spring that I wanted to show you.  You've seen this doily before but it's one of my favourites so I'm happy to show it once more!  The design is just great.  It's by Jan Stawasz.  I like it so much I've been looking for an excuse to tat it again.  Perhaps for my sister-in-law's birthday coming up?




Best wishes,
Frivole

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Another Birthday...

... another pair of socks!  They are my favourite present to make at the moment.  I love wearing hand-knit socks myself and so have great pleasure in making them for close friends and family.


This is the second time I've used this pattern.  I like lacey socks and this 8-row pattern is easy to memorise.

Best wishes,
Frivole

Monday, 2 April 2018

Happy Easter! ... and a few more squares

I'm a bit late with my good wishes but I hope you all had a nice Easter.


I said in my last blogpost that I mailed my squares to Cathy in Brussels... well they never arrived!  My envelope arrived but the squares were not in it anymore.  Looks like someone probably wondered what was inside my thick envelope and decided to check it out as it was open down one side (I can't really see how this could have happened by accident).

Anyway, I'm quickly trying to make a few more and sending them off straight away as I was sad to think I wouldn't get to take part in this big project.  I don't know why but I decided to stick to just two shades of pink this time around.


Best wishes,
Frivole

Monday, 26 March 2018

On Their Way...

I posted my envelope of Brussels Squares last week.  I didn't manage to tat quite as many as I would have liked but it's still nice to be part of this big international project.  I enclosed my wish and hope for women all over the world.

I can't wait to see the finished article in situ!




Best wishes,
Frivole

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Squares for Brussels

Thank you for your comments as always.   I carried on with the top left design from the previous post in the end.  As Muskaan said, the one without centre may not have been sturdy enough, the extra centre ring adding a lot of stability to the design.

12 made so far...




There are many patterns available already for these little 3x3 cm squares, they can be found on the "Let's Tat a Brussels Monument in Pink for Women's Rights" Facebook page is you're interested. I'm adding mine if anyone fancies it.  

Best wishes,
Frivole

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Reverse Quatrain Mod for Brussels

It really doesn't look the same but I've kept the same idea and stitch count.  I tried different centres... which do you prefer?  One has just four picots on a centre ring and only the big rings are joined to it (dark pink, bottom right); one has a larger ring in the middle and all rings are joined to it (dark pink, top left) and lastly, there is one without a centre ring (pale pink).  The fourth one (top right) was an earlier version that didn't work out so well, it was too pulled in towards the middle which made it too small.  The others do measure 3cm x 3cm and as you can see, they will now join easily at the corners.


I suppose it doesn't really matter which I pick and I could make several of each version.  When it's all put together, it's going to be hard to spot individual designs anyway.  I like the idea of a worldwide tatting endeavour and wonder how the finished "fabric" will look!

Thank you for your comments on the previous post.  It's wonderful to read that many of you have been participating and sending off your little squares.  

So what do you think?  Should I make all the same or send off different ones?  Which one do you prefer?  I think my favourite is probably top left (larger ring in centre, all other rings joined to it).

Best wishes,
Frivole

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Little Square - Big Meaning

I have seen several tatters working on the little square for the Brussels Monument and as this is in support of women's rights around the world, it's a good cause which I wish to support.  The project will also happen during the World Lace Congress in August so it's also good to help promote tatting.  I'm a bit late joining the party but there are still two weeks left to send the squares so I plan on making several and sending them along.

Cathy provides a pattern for the square but she also says you can use your own if you wish as long as it measures 3cm x 3cm.  I wondered if my Quatrain would work and yes, if I omit the trefoils on the corner, it has the right dimensions.

The one in the right hand corner is Cathy's pattern.


However, I have now realised, after tatting a few, that although the size is right, the shape is not!  Because if you try to attach them at the corner, the curve means that they have to be one on top of the other to fit.
See what I mean?

Of course I could just keep using Cathy's pattern but I'm stubborn.  I want to make mine fit.  So I will try to keep the spirit of it but change the shape so that it fits properly at the corners and at the size required.

On the other hand, I'm wondering if I tat tightly though because I have measured my square made to Cathy's instructions and it turns out a bit too small!



Right, off to play with my design and see what I can come up with.  Anyone else making some of these squares?

Best wishes,
Frivole

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Mittens

As some of you may know, the UK was recently hit by a rare snowstorm.  This caused us to go in search of our warm mittens and hats so we could go outside and enjoy the snow.  I found this old pair in a drawer which is now 35 years old!  It's a little frayed but surprisingly not bad really for its age.  It inspired me to look at patterns and think I could knit a couple of new pairs so we'd have them in the drawer for the next time we might need them... and because there are so many lovely patterns for these types of nordic mittens!


Mittens are also a small project which don't take too long to knit.  I know a few friends who'd like a pair...

This is the first of the new pair.  The pattern is "Northman Mittens" by David Schulz.
The colours are olive green and duck-egg blue.




I like the whole thing but particularly
the Latvian braid which I'd not tried before.
Easy to do and effective.

It's the arrow-looking part at the bottom of the cuff.
Here's a little sampler where I tried the stitch
before tackling the mittens.


Neat.


I'm on the second mitten now... but I've run out of wool!  I thought it'd be a good idea to use leftovers... except there wasn't enough.  

I might try these "Selbu Mittens" next.  

Best wishes,
Frivole

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Edging with Corner

I made a video for the handkerchief edging.  It needs quite a bit of editing before I can upload it but in the meantime, you can find the pattern here if you wish to make it.  It's adapted from a vintage edging, in the "Hen & Chick" vein but slightly different.

I modified the corner from the version in green I made on the hanky.  It wasn't symmetrical and that bothered me so I played with it a bit and came up with a better corner.

I pinned my versions on cardboard to make sure the angle was right and there was no pulling or frilling when going around the corner.  I tried a few different versions before settling on probably the simplest, which is the one in yellow below.






I hope you'll enjoy making this simple edging if you decide to make it.
I do like working one shuttle designs as I find them easy and relaxing,
with no re-winding of shuttles required.


Best wishes,
Frivole

Monday, 19 February 2018

Birthday Gifts (Handkerchief & Socks)

I completed the edging a couple of days ago, and we are now back from our travels so here it is:










Here is how I attached my edging this time:  I used a couple of tiny stitches to fasten down each picot to the handkerchief edge.  To travel between picots, I pushed my needle inside the hem and popped it back out in line with the next picot.



I also finished the socks
which are to be given with the hanky
(they are now being blocked)






Whilst working on the tatted border, I had to refill my shuttle several times and some may wonder how to join new thread and hide ends when working with just one shuttle and bare threads so I thought it would be a good idea to make a new video.  I'm working on it today and should have it uploaded later on.

Best wishes,
Frivole

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Hanky Choice and Valentine!

Thank you for your comments on the previous post.  The variegated purple turned out more popular than expected but although the colours matched really well, I was unhappy with the look of variegated for this project.

The other choice that got most votes was the bluer green which I think matched best of the two greens so that's what I went with (although I did hesitate for quite some time and ended up working too much of both before I made up my mind!).  I'm finding it very relaxing to work this one shuttle edging and am making good progress.

The colour is not accurate at all in this photo
but it was taken in the evening with poor lighting.


However, when examining my hanky to check how many repeats I needed for each side, I noticed how badly hemmed it was...  Look at that.  It's all crooked!  The hem is not even lined up with the woven lines in the fabric.


See this corner?
Not impressed.


So I decided to undo the hem, cut the fabric where necessary and re-hem so that it has four straight and matching sides.  I made nice little mitered corners and hand-stitched the hem.  Yes, that's better.



And lastly,
today is the 14th of February

so I'd like to wish a Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!



Frivole

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Something Like This?

Here is the hanky I want to make for a birthday... but I don't have much time at all!  So I'm going with a one-shuttle edging because they are faster to work.  I slightly adapted a vintage edging (just changed a stitch here and there) and figured out how to go around the corner with it.  It's simple but I think it's pretty.

The only problem is... what colour?

I'm away from home at the moment and these are the only three colour choices I have brought with me.  Neither green is quite perfect (I have waaaay fewer colours in my stash of size 40).  The purple variegated is the best match but I always find you lose the lovely shape of the lace when using variegated as your eye is distracted by the colour changes.  I made more of the brighter green as I thought I'd go with that but now, looking at it again, I think I might prefer the bluer green.

Any opinions please?

Thank you!

Best wishes,
Frivole

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

A Tiny Bit of Tatting...

Sorry I've not been very good at posting as regularly lately...  I made a card today and put a Twinkle Twinkle on it so that's my tiny bit of tatting to show you!  I thought the colours married well.



I'm hoping to have time to make a hanky edging for the same birthday as the socks so if I can get those finished, I'll start on the edging.  Anyone can recommend a favourite one shuttle edging?  Apart from Hen and Chicks that is - don't get me wrong, I do love Hen and Chicks and am considering using it but if you have another favourite you'd like to share, I welcome suggestions!

I'm making good progress with the the socks but it's slow work with all those tiny cables going on every other row.  I hope to be able to show you the finished article very soon!


Best wishes,
Frivole

Monday, 29 January 2018

Another Pair...

I finished it.  With a contrasting heel and toe and as mentioned in previous post, I added a few stitches before turning the heel to add a bit more depth in that area of the sock.  I think it's better.  I added just four stitches and I think next time I might add six as I don't like feeling tightness across the foot in that area.  That's one reason I really like gussets in socks.



I like the colours of this wool (Stylecraft Head Over Heels) but I'm not sure I like the bits where it looks like there's colour missing!  Can you see the nearly white lines?  I don't know if it's meant to be like that or if I had a bad batch?  Or maybe it's meant to look a bit like it's "painted"...


Anyway.  On to the next pair.  These will be for my Mother-in-law.  I wanted something pretty and lacy, and gentle, and soft...


It's much slower going with all the one-stitch cabling going on but I think they'll look nice.  I'm a big fan of cabling without a cable needle but one of the twists made with three stitches was a little hard to accomplish so I had to resort to a needle... or sorts!  I couldn't find mine so I searched for an alternative.  Turns out a toothpick (or cocktail stick) works great!  Just the right size and enough grip so the stitches don't slide off it while you work the twisting.  So there you go, if you're ever stuck without a cabling needle, reach for the cocktail sticks!  


Best wishes,
Frivole


Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Still Overcome...

... by sock madness!  As mentioned, I have several birthdays coming up and they're getting socks!  So look away for a while if you're a tatter and are bored by my socks (but please don't go away altogether as I will be back to tatting soon!).  This is the pair from the previous post which is now completed. The heel I tried in the end is the "Fish Lips Kiss Heel" - what a name!

Wool is Opal Rainforest "The Discoverer".


Here's a close-up of the heel. 
Not bad but I do find this type of heel doesn't give enough room at the instep.
I reserve judgment on the special stitch she uses and will
have to make a side-by-side comparison with other techniques
such as the German short-row.


I'm trying the next pair with a contrasting heel again,
but I will add a few stitches before turning the heel
to try to improve fit in that area.

Wool is Head Over Heels "Ingleborough"
by Stylecraft

Best wishes,
Currently-knitting-Frivole

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Favourite Heel Please?

Sock knitters out there?  What's your favourite heel please?  I like to knit toe-up and I want to make a contrasting heel on my current pair of socks - which heel would you use for that?  I'm a big fan of the Fleegle heel but because the gusset is incorporated, I don't think it would work for a contrasting heel. The other one I use is a German short-row heel with re-inforced back and that doesn't work either for contrasting.  Can someone recommend a heel that would work?

So I finished the pair that I had started on the previous blogpost.  The wool is by West Yorkshire Spinners and it's from a bird series... this one is "pheasant".



The next pair is already started as you can see.
It's a bit of a mad fun wool by Opal.
I'm going with red toes and heels.
Hence the enquiry about the best heel.

I decided not to start these at the same spot on the repeat...
I just went with where I was after I split my 100gm ball in two.




And lastly, I was in need of a quick gift today
so I made this small Lavender sachet.
I was pleased to find a perfectly matching button
for the centre of my flower in my button box.
The sachet I made up as I went along.



Best wishes,
Frivole