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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Bookmark variation

I had some spare black thread left on my shuttles, and decided to use it to tat a few small squares. As I was tatting, I started to wonder what it would look like if I joined the triangular ring clusters a little bit differently...staggered and in a straight line for a bookmark. So, after a bit of sketching and measuring, this is what I came up with (pictured alongside the little black squares I was tatting):

In the end, it's just a slight variation of an earlier bookmark I was working on, which has the ring clusters side by side. The new version is tatted in Lizbeth size 80 Easter Eggs. The earlier version is done in Lizbeth size 20, light pink (I can't remember the exact color name).

Two Bookmarks pattern Click Here

For the variation, I didn't get the picots on the central chains placed correctly, so it looks a little sloppy to me. I'm eliminating them and just leaving a clean center for the next one, but I think it might also look nice with criss cross picots. I don't know if I will actually get around to trying the criss cross picots though, as I always seem to be battling with finding enough time to put all of these ideas into use.

I'm currently working on writing patterns for these bookmarks and am aiming to have them ready in a couple of weeks. That's assuming I don't get distracted by anything else.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

One more down, three more to go

Now that these crosses have been written up and posted, I just have three more pattern sets to do before I'm done with my triangle themed experiments.

What's left? I've got a couple of bookmarks, which can be extended into a mat or a coaster. I've also got four repeatable squares, and a mini flake that I'm hoping to be able to turn into a small doily. For the doily, I've tatted the first and last rounds and have yet to design the middle:

I've found that this is the best way to design a doily with a pre-determined outer round. You see, the last round is kind of set in stone, because the triangular ring clusters need to match the first round. So the flexibility has to come from the middle rounds, which don't follow as many rules and can be adjusted as needed. It's also much easier to tat and redo the middle rounds because they take a lot less time to complete than the outer round. If the middle doesn't work, I snip it out and start again.

To brainstorm how the middle rounds will look, I've made a drawing on the Amaziograph app. I think this will be a good test for using this new app in tatting design.

By the way, Etsy seems to be having a few technical difficulties again, and I'm not sure if these are affecting the ability to download digital files. If you buy something from my shop and have any trouble getting the pattern, send me a message and I'll be happy to email you a copy of the file.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Clearing the queue

There are several patterns that I designed last year waiting to be written, proofread, and tested. I'm slowly working my way through them, starting with these two crosses:

The one in black would normally be a lot larger than the pink one, but I'm tatting it in size 80 (the pink is done in size 20). It will take about 10 more hours to finish up this pattern set and then I will be moving onto writing the triangle themed bookmark patterns. 

After that, there's a few repeatable squares and I'm still debating on whether or not to design an edging for one of them. I guess I'll see how much stamina I have left when I get to that point!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Amaziograph drawing app

If you've been following my blog for a while, you probably know that I like to use an app called Kaleidoscope Drawing Pad to come up with ideas for new tatting designs. The app wasn't intended to be used in this way, so it has a lot of limitations.

Recently, I found another app called Amaziograph which is a lot more professional and is well suited for sketching symmetrical tatting designs. There's even an option to draw without symmetry if you want to create something more free form. I have been playing with symmetrical drawings and have come up with a few sketches. Here's a snowflake I drew a couple of days ago:

This app is designed to be used with an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, but it can also be downloaded on earlier iPad models. You won't get the precision without the newer iPad and pencil though. There are quite a few videos on YouTube of people using the app, click here for one of them.

If you take a look at the Amaziograph Facebook page it looks like they are planning on releasing the app on other platforms as well. If you have an iPad, I think the app is well worth the price of $0.99. I haven't made any tatting from it yet, but I really like the possibilities.

Anyhow, if you download the app and want to try drawing something with symmetry, here's a short photo tutorial to get you started. Upon opening the app, tap the "+" symbol in the upper left corner and choose "2-Mirror Kaleidoscope" for your drawing:

This will automatically start you with a symmetry of 9 sides, so you will have to adjust it to fit your needs. Tap on the little circle icon in the upper right corner and then tap on "Adjust Grid":

This will bring up a slider at the top of the screen that you can adjust to your liking. I chose 6 to make a snowflake. If you are making a square, you will want to slide it to 4 and if you are making a doily, you might want to slide it to something like 8. You can also rotate the symmetry by moving the little orange pins near the center of the screen.

Once you have it set up, it's time to start drawing. A tip: Zooming in as far as you can will make drawing a lot easier (the lines tend to get squiggly otherwise). Zoom in the way that you normally would on a touch screen, by pinching with two fingers and sliding your fingers apart on the screen.

You can play with the options at the top of the screen to change pen width, color, etc. There's an eraser icon at the top too, as well as undo and redo arrows. I drew a few sample images testing out different symmetries:

You can also change the symmetry while making your drawing. I drew a cross by starting with 4 lines of symmetry to form the top of the cross. I then adjusted it down to 1 line of symmetry (and rotated the orange pin so that the line went straight down the middle) to draw the bottom of the cross:

The app will automatically save your drawings as you make them, but if you want to add the drawing to your photo album follow these steps. First, tap on the square with arrow in the top right corner of the screen, then tap on "Share and Print":

Lastly, tap on "Save Image" and your drawing will appear in the photo album on your iPad.

I'll add a link to this blog post on my tutorials page, so it will be easy to find if you need it. Hopefully this app will be available on other platforms in the near future as it is really useful for brainstorming tatting designs.