March 6, 2009

Spinning wheel goes round, along with my obsessiveness!

Ladies and gentleman, for motif number 21 of my challenge.....

may I present to you an all too familiar pattern....

It's Mary Konior's Spinning wheel Glass Mat from Tatting with Visual Patterns!

This is a pattern that I have been waiting to try! I first saw it on someone's blog, and just had to find it! You see, I'm sort of a pattern hog. I have a 2 1/2 inch 3-ring binder full to overflowing of patterns from various internet sources. So once I discovered the book it was in I was just itching to get my hands on it! And I must say, the book is a must have. There are so many interesting patterns and helpful hints! This pattern in particular is pure genious to me. It caught my attention because of it's simplicity and it's innovation. I'm in love. Sigh. I'm quite in love with the thread, some of my favorite colors, it's Countryside Lizbeth from handyhands. So far this is my favorite piece ever. Funny thing---while tatting it I realized how Obsessive Compulsive I've become about the work having a specific front side. I don't know why I started that, something about joins in Georgia Seitz' Tatting Talk book maybe, but I just began experimenting with different joins, and somewhere along the line trained myself to tat all the chains in the simpler patterns with stitches in reverse order. And, I'm thinking that's why I had so much trouble with my first attempts at Iris Niebach designs. In most traditional tatting the rings and chains kind of keep to their natural positions, but Iris reverses stitch direction and pretty much makes her own rules -which is why her stuff is so fabulous- but I was frustrating myself when I'd try to keep all of the chains in reverse stitch order instead of really paying attention to where the front side of the work is :-) For instance, in this Konior pattern, one of the chains reverses direction at the edge, so about half the rings and half the chains ended up being stitched in reverse. (and by stitched in reverse order, I mean that when you are looking at the back of the work, you start with the second half of a double stitch and finish with the first half.) It was frustrating at first, but I love the result, and now I just do it unconciously.

Anyway, thus began my obsession to make joins invisible on the front side. So I started doing a down join followed by the second half of a DS for my joins, which is close to invisible. And then an off topic comment from Georgia in the online class sent me headfirst into a love/hate relationship with the LHPJ, or the Larks Head Picot Join. At last, I had found it! the invisible join! Ah it looked so lovely when done properly, but my was it a pain in tha patootie! For me to get it right it involved pulling up a loop and then somehow folding it over and shoving my big fat Lacis shuttle through two loops of thread at the same time, and then straightening it out and putting the work back on my hand to continue. It was fiddly to do in the first place, and I just couldn't get the first half to snug up properly. So, I spent some time working it out, and I came up with a two step way of doing it in which I pull up a loop for the join, twist it in a specific direction, then snug it down. Then I go back in the picot and pick the thread up again and do a half twist the other way and finish the join. It's much faster for me and so I got back on the love train for the LHPJ.... It wasn't long before I ran back into the backside of the work, and then had to figure out how to do it upside down and in reverse to make it look right on the front of the work! But, it works like a charm for me, and now I do it pretty much every time. The trickiest part is remembering to count the LHPJ as the next double stitch in the pattern, otherwise you get extra stitches all over the place.

Sometime after that, I ran into mention that dropping your shuttle through the ring before you close is a good idea, and I couldn't figure out why until I noticed that all my frontside/backside efforts were making the bases of my rings turn inward on the frontside. But on the back they were fine! So, I tried it, and lo and behold my rings were laying nicer after dropping the shuttle through each ring before closing.......but that solution caused yet another problem.........I was visually losing half a stitch at the base of each ring. And as I found my dark obsession growing deeper, I discovered that if I add a first half of the double stitch at the end of the ring AND dropped the shuttle through before closing, I visually get all the stitches in place, the ring doesn't turn inward and lays perfectly flat! YAY! And of course that means you add a second half DS when tatting a backside ring, and you don't drop the shuttle through.......

Too complicated yet? I don't know. Maybe I'm making craziness, but I am so happy with the results, I just can't bring myself to do a regular join, or tat my chains like I used to. In the end I think I added like six new processes to my tatting, and I never knew I was such a perfectioninst...... Maybe I'll have to post detailed pictures to convince you that I'm truly not Mad. This is just the to my

And, we had great news today that I passed my glucose test and am completely free of gestational diabetes! YAY! I've been doing a happy dance all day. This means that I'm at this point still able to deliver my baby at the birth center, and I can enjoy my waterbirth in the calm uncomplicated surroundings. Natural childbirth truly is my "happy place"....and I have had women call me mad when I say that :-)

Gold stars to those of you who made it all the way through my wordy nonsense.....


Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane said...

Your Spinning Wheel is gorgeous! I'm not quite so obsessive about my tatting... maybe I should be! I've lost track of how many Spinning Wheels I've tatted. It and Beatrice by Iris Niebach are my favorite patterns... I just can't stop!

TattingChic said...

That book of Mary Konior's is my favorite tatting book. I can't seem to find it right now either, LOL! Your spinning wheel mat turned out pretty. :)

Vinnie said...

What a relief to find that somebody somewhere is passing through the same madness that I'm going through!
I thought I was going crazy doing these things.
But I think eventually you realize that there are a few tricks to perfect tatting.
These are mastered by the masters and when they 'tell' it seems like too much, but when you do it yourself you come to understand it and realize that it makes your tatting look perfect too!
Maybe I'm making craziness now!
I've used some of these tricks in the Iris TIAS doily and I love the final piece.