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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Crystal Star and some knitting

As the weather gets colder I've been spending some time knitting leg warmers to combat the drafts around the apartment. I also managed to do a bit of tatting and made Joëlle Paulson's Crystal Star. I've tatted a few of her patterns before, and they are always quick and easy to make.

As for the knitting, I'm a perpetual beginner! It just doesn't hold my interest in the same way that tatting does. Every couple of years I buy some cheap yarn and knitting needles and watch a few YouTube videos so I can re-learn how to knit and purl. The good news is that it seems to be easier each time I revisit it. The bad news is that knitting only holds my attention for a few weeks before I'm back to tatting. Who knows? Maybe I'll develop an interest in knitting someday!

Monday, December 19, 2016

A few more flakes

I've been tatting a few more snowflakes to compare thread and crystal sizes:

The one in the upper left is tatted with size 80 DMC thread and 4mm Swarovski Crystals. The middle snowflake is tatted with size 50 DMC thread and 5mm Swarovski Crystals. The snowflake on the bottom right is tatted with size 20 Lizbeth thread and 6mm Swarovski Crystals. I'm very pleased that the different sized crystals worked so well with all of my thread!

Measurements for each snowflake (from point to point) are as follows:

  • Size 80 thread: 3.4 inches
  • Size 50 thread: 4 inches
  • Size 20 thread: 5.25 inches

For instructions on making these snowflakes, please see my previous post. I've updated that post to include crystal and picot gauge information for sizes 80, 50, and 20 thread. I wouldn't recommend making it in size 20 though...the points tend to flop a bit due to its size. Just look how big it is!

I much prefer the snowflake in smaller threads (size 50 or 80). Here's how the smallest, size 80 snowflake looks:

Also, be sure to check out Frivole's new video where she shows how to add the crystals to the center of a tatted star. I've been using her method to add the crystals to the center of my snowflakes. It's really a very clever technique!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Dainty Snowflake

Well, it's not a very original name (it's been used for lots of crafted snowflakes), but I still wanted to call this one Dainty Snowflake because it's been designed to be tatted with small thread. I've been making these to put into Christmas cards and to give as gifts.

The one on the left has been tatted with size 80 DMC Cordonnet Special, using 4mm Swarovski bicone crystals in the center. It measures 3.4 inches from point to point. The one on the right is tatted with size 50 DMC Cordonnet Special, which is about the same as Lizbeth size 40 thread. It measures 4 inches from point to point.

As a holiday gift to my blog readers, I'm including the hand drawn diagram for this pattern below :) Right click and open the image in a new tab to see the numbers more clearly:

UPDATE: Here are a few more diagram photos that are colorized to show when to reverse work. Reverse works will occur every time the color changes from red to blue, or from blue back to red:

I've been having a lot of fun using Frivole's method to add the Swarovski Crystals to the middle of the flakes. These are placed instead of the central 4-2-4 rings in the above diagram (see below for more details about sizing).

The pictorial for Frivole's technique is part of her Crystal Star pattern, which is available in her Etsy shop. Frivole has also uploaded a YouTube video showing how to add the crystals to the center of her star.

Sizing for the Crystals:

For each snowflake you will need six crystals, and a large picot gauge. I made my picot gauges by measuring and cutting index cards.

In size 80 thread you will need:

  • 4mm Swarovski Xilion Bicone crystals
  • 60 mm picot gauge

In size 40 to 50 thread you will need:

  • 5mm Swarovski Xilion Bicone crystals (these can be purchased on eBay)
  • 74 mm picot gauge

In size 20 thread you will need:

  • 6mm Swarovski Xilion Bicone crystals
  • 90 mm picot gauge. (The 90 mm picot gauge will make the crystals very snug, so if you feel like this might be a problem, increase the gauge by a couple of millimeters.)

Although I've included details for size 20 thread, you probably don't want to use anything larger than size 40 (unless you want a really big snowflake). I think size 50 DMC thread makes a good snowflake:

If you have any questions about the pattern, feel free to let me know. Now I must get back to tatting snowflakes...

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.