A couple of weeks ago, I managed to figure out a good stitch count for the small doily from my previous post, so that it lays flat without blocking. I'm tatting it again, in Ecru and Autumn Spice (color idea borrowed from Elena K)
It's hard to tell from the photo, but it's a nice color combination for Fall.
I tend to get bored unless I have something new to figure out, so this time I decided to try to calculate the number of yards that are used in each round of the pattern. Grace T gave me the idea when she was proofreading one of my snowflake patterns in June, and I thought it would be useful information to incorporate into future patterns.
I don't have a yard stick (never had use for one until now) so I used a tape measure (the kind used in sewing) and stuck it down to the couch with some packaging tape :)
The packaging tape actually came in handy later on when I was trying to measure out 20 yards to put onto the shuttle. I had to take the thread off the ball in 5 yard increments, and then place a piece of tape at the spot where I left off. I wound the shuttle up to the tape marking, and then measured out another 5 yards at a time. There's probably a better way to do this, but I couldn't think of one!
To measure the yards used in each round, I subtracted what was left over on the shuttle from what I had originally loaded onto that shuttle. So, if I loaded 4 yards, and was left with 1 yard on the shuttle after completing the round, then I knew the round took 3 yards of thread to make.
A few thoughts arise from this process:
1) Could I have tatted one repeat only, and then calculated the amount of thread based on this?
2) Is there a formula for calculating yards used in size 40 or 80, when compared to size 20? (i.e. multiply the size 20 yardage by 75% to get the size 40 yardage for the same pattern?)
3) Will slight differences in thread (different brands or varying thicknesses from the dyeing process) affect the amount of yards used in a pattern? Also, will different tatting tensions affect the amount of yards used? If so how much leeway would I need to provide in yard estimates?
These are the kinds of questions that distract me while I am tatting, which is probably why I so easily lose focus when tackling larger projects!