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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.

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:

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...