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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who voted in the 2016 Craftree Awards, and congratulations to all of the winners! I was (and still am) quite embarrassed to find that I've won in two categories. There are loads of talented tatters and designers, may of which were not included (as each category was limited to five nominations). When it came time to vote, I found it very difficult to choose!

As for tatting projects, I've switched gears and have started making snowflakes for the holiday season. I wanted to try using Joëlle Paulson's technique for adding Swarovski crystals to the center of a snowflake, as seen in her Crystal Star pattern. Joëlle provides a 52 mm picot gauge to add five crystals to the center of her star. With a little bit of math I calculated that six crystals would need a 62 mm picot gauge, and luckily it worked out!

I love working with DMC thread whenever possible, so I designed this to be used with DMC size 80 Cordonnet Cotton:


My next version will be tatted with rings in the center instead of beads, and I'm going to play around with the stitch counts to see how it looks with less negative space.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Magic Square Pattern is in the Shop

The Magic Square pattern is now available in my Etsy shop as an instant digital download (click here). This is what the 7 page pattern looks like printed out:


I spent many hours trying to come up with written instructions, but in the end I decided to go with diagrams only as I just could not convey the pattern properly with text. The pattern file includes four diagrams showing different options that you can make with the design, as well as a short pictorial page showing how to build the squares.

Overall, I had enough time to tat three of the options. These options are just a starting point, and you can certainly go beyond what is shown in the diagrams. You can also tat a very large triangle (instead of a square) to form a shawl. All patterns are completed in one continuous round.

Option #1 is the smallest, and easiest to tat:


Option #2 is a little larger, but not too difficult:


Option #3 would have taken an extra 30+ hours to make, so I don't have any images of it. It would look similar to connecting four Option #1 squares together into a larger square (all of these Magic Squares double as repeatable squares).

Option #4, which I have been showing on my blog over the past few weeks looks like this:


I found it very tricky to keep my place in this large square because it is all tatted in one round. I used lines of symmetry to remember where I was in the pattern, constantly tatting mirror images of what was on the other side. At this size, it's nearly impossible to follow a diagram...definitely not for beginners!

If you have any questions or are confused about parts of the pattern I am always here to help. You can contact me through my Etsy shop, the contact form on the sidebar of my blog, or by email which can be found on the About Me page. Please do check your junk folder for replies, as they often get stuck in there!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Finished!

Here is the completed Magic Square, after spending a bit of time on the blocking board.


I used about 1 ball of DMC Cordonnet Special in size 50, and the project took somewhere around 60 hours to tat. The finished square measures 9.5 inches across and 13 inches diagonally. You can get a better idea of its size in comparison with this blocking board:


I went to a few craft stores looking for a frame, but couldn't find anything I really liked. I was hoping for a round frame and didn't realize that the craft stores around here don't sell them. In the end, I settled for an inexpensive square frame, just so that the tatting can be displayed and protected. If I see a nicer frame later on, I can always switch out the tatting.


I've been spending some time trying to write up instructions for this pattern and it's proving to be very challenging! Due to the nature of the design (see here for the possibilities), it requires many diagrams and a sort of "choose your own path" for the written instructions. I'm going to persevere and hope to get it done and posted to my shop in a few weeks.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Halfway

Progress is slow, but I am now halfway through the magic square.


At this stage, it's still hard to tell how the finished square will look. I think it will take another 3 to 4 weeks before I have it completed.