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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Wrapping up

I finished the Frauberger bookmark, and am nearly done with this snowflake (the last item on my "to do" list). It's been hectic trying to get everything ready for Christmas.

These are both tatted in size 80 thread, which I've grown quite fond of. I often find myself designing for smaller thread sizes because I like the dainty look it creates.

Almost all of the presents have been wrapped and put under the tree.

I removed the fencing from around the tree, but you might still notice the random carpeting and bits of cardboard. This is all in an effort to protect the apartment from this little monster:

Despite being nearly 9 years old (about 70 if he were a human) Billy always finds ways to get into trouble. Sometimes, I swear he does it for the attention. He will rip out a piece of carpet and then twitch his head and dance away when he is caught! One time, I followed that up with a game of chase which he really seemed to enjoy. Maybe he's been trying to play games with me all along?

He also loves to sit on the couch while I am tatting, which isn't so good for my pattern notes:

Anyhow, Happy Holidays to everyone who celebrates! I hope we have a mild winter without too much snow. I probably won't be updating the blog until after the New Year...see you then!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

11b) Drawing "Automatic" Pattern Repeats (Part 2)

In the previous post, I talked about how to move an object's center of rotation to create "automatic" pattern repeats. I used very basic examples (a ring and a trefoil) and did not build up the diagram any further. In order to build up the diagram, we need to use a feature in Inkscape called guides. If you are unfamiliar with guides, click here to read more. 

The reason we will be using guides is so that we can match up the center of rotation of the rings, chains, and picots in our diagram. We will be using the intersection of a horizontal and a vertical guide as a "snapping point" for all of our rotation centers. This will ensure that each element rotates around the same central axis.

Before I begin, be sure to familiarize yourself with the hotkeys on the right side of the screen (these will appear after you have dragged at least one guide onto the screen). The topmost button is responsible for turning guide snapping on and off:

A bit further down is a button to "snap other points":

Just below "snap other points" is another button with crosshairs, which enables an object's center of rotation to be snapped to guides:

For the purpose of this tutorial, you will need to enable the above features (the buttons will be a darker shade of gray when selected). As you work on building your diagram, keep in mind that it is also okay to turn guide snapping off when you don't need it. It can sometimes get in the way when trying to place parts of a drawing. I regularly toggle between turning snapping on and off by pressing the first button mentioned above.

Monday, December 14, 2015

11a) Drawing "Automatic" Pattern Repeats (Part 1)

It's been a while since I've written a tutorial about Inkscape, and I think it's time to talk about my favorite trick with the software. This is a method I use to automatically place pattern repeats in a diagram. It can be used for any diagram that has symmetry: from a butterfly all the way up to a doily. Even if you already know how to use Inkscape, I encourage you to read on to see if this is something that would be useful to you.

Here is an example of a finished diagram (the Frauberger Doily) using this method. All rings, chains, and picots have been duplicated and rotated around a central axis. Only the first pattern repeat is placed by hand. All others are generated by the computer:

It's a little difficult to explain the entire process in one post, so I am breaking this tutorial into two posts. For the first post, I will talk about how to move the center of rotation and how to calculate the degree of rotation.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Lost and Found

I have not been in the mood to tat any more snowflakes, so I decided to make another Frauberger doily. Over a month ago, I had completed Round 1 in size 40 White and Green Coral Sea. In the midst of cleaning, I threw it somewhere, but where?

After a while of looking around I found it among a bunch of tatting scrap (the kind of tatting that is meant for the trash bin)! I have a tendency to either throw things away, or to hide them so well that I lose them for years. All in an effort to make a space look more clean and organized.

While I was looking for the doily, I also remembered that I had been working on a bookmark over the summer. I found it in one of my bags, and it's a little more than halfway done:

The bookmark is made in size 80 Lizbeth, White and Niagara Falls. I'm hoping to finish it in time for Christmas.

As I tat things, I'm beginning to take detailed measurements of the length of thread used. I'm wondering if there is any correlation between size 20, 40, and 80. Would I be able to predict thread usage for size 80 if I know how much is used in size 20?

So far, I have confusing results that don't really have correlations. I need to add my hand scribbled notes to spreadsheets so that I can keep track of the data over time, and see if any patterns emerge.

In addition to tatting, I'm also working on a set of new Inkscape posts about how to place "automatic" pattern repeats. This will be at least two posts long, and will probably be ready next week.