Tag Archives: Learning

Practice makes perfect…

The more I craft, the more I want to use my time and materials well. I don’t want to rush through patterns, only to Tink or Frog them later because I am not happy with them. I see the time spent practicing elements of patterns as a time and sanity saver in the long run.

Recently I have begun to see the importance of posting the process that many crafters work though to get a completed item, which is finished as professionally as possible. Not surpsingly, this means that I often need to practice elements of a pattern to get the new stitiches at the correct tension. make sure I can count and follow the pattern easily etc. This process is often invisible to those outside the crafting space, so I hope that this post helps make that visible for more people. This learning, sinking/syncing time for new processes is as important in my crafting time, as it is in my work life.

Pictured is the practice I have done with this lovely baby blanket pattern: the baby honey blanket, by Craftling Designs https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/baby-honey-blanket.

This pattern is basically a gater stitich blanket, and it uses two ‘new to me’ stitches to create the stunning honeycomb pattern. These new stitches are the Right Twist (RT) and Left Twist (LT), which were easy to pick up from youtube tutorials. As I pre-read the pattern, I discovered that every row had a different pattern count to follow to make the homeycomb pattern. If you have been following my blog lately, you know that my ability to focus on patterns has been compromised during the pandemic and lockdowns. But, I really want to make this pattern for a baby who is due to arrive in January, so my stubborness has won, and this week I began to practice this pattern.

You can see in the images I have miss counted some sections, and lost tension in some of the left twist stitches. That’s ok, as this is my practice section. I will pull this out and start the pattern over, knowing that I can only knit this in the afternoons, and will have to focus wholly on counting each stitch in each row. I will also use lifelines in this pattern as I make the “good copy”, so I can easily rip back any errors.

So, I wonder if you practice before you make the ‘good copy’, or are you happier to work on and learn as you go? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Until next time, Happy crafting!

Fiona T

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Tatting along-Serwetka Arleta

At the moment I am tatting a sweet little pattern from Laura Bziukiewicz which she has shared through a facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/983262432055451/?active_tab=discussion

You will need to join the facebook event and message Laura for the pattern if you would like to tat along too.

It is a nice pattern for a beginner, and I have levelled it up a little by using split chains to climb out of rows. I am working on round four now, and it is coming along nicely.

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Round one of the Arleta tatted doily, in size 20 Gorgeous Alenalea thread.

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Round two of Round one of the Arleta tatted doily, in size 20 Gorgeous Alenalea thread.

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Round three Round one of the Arleta tatted doily, in size 20 Gorgeous Alenalea thread.

Laura has also released a few patterns on her facebook page, all of them look lovely. I hope to finish this one soon so I can try another that has caught my eye. Thank you Laura for sharing your talents with all of us!

Until next time, happy tatting

Fiona T

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Lego block baby blanket

Welcome back. As long-time followers will know I enjoy multiple crafts, not just tatting. I always have several projects on the go, and will choose to work on different projects each day depending on my mood, energy level and if there is a deadline for a project. In last week’s post, I spoke about choosing two baby blankets to make for my new Nephew.  In addition to the knitted colourful wedges pattern, I also wanted to take the opportunity to make this crochet Lego style blanket: https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/lego-block-blanket-2 . It is a paid pattern by Bethany Miller which I tracked down on Ravelry. The individual blocks are made with a moss stitch to ensure even edges, making the blocks quite elastic.  It took a few trials (read: most of September and October) to find the right stitch count for the yarn I was using. I am using milk cotton from OzYarn, which I chose as it had the best bright colour range for this style of blanket.

Here is an image of my progress so far, I’m about a third of the way through:

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As well as learning two new stitches- the chainless foundation (aka Foundation Single Crochet- FSC) and the moss stitch -this project is also an opportunity to work on my tension/gauge with crochet. I have had quite a few frogging episodes where the end of a longer block is shorter than the foundation, and so I have had to rework the sections. I also needed to note down the hook size I used for the round buttons on the blocks, as the ones I began to make for the blue blocks varied in size from those in the red. I am experimenting with different hook sizes and am sure I’ll figure out the right size and tension soon.

Overall, I am enjoying making this blanket and hope to have it completed by April/May before our winter here in Australia. I hope the colourful wedges blanket will also be completed by then. I’ll just keep chipping away, a little each day.

Until next time, happy crafting,

Fiona T

 

 

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Diamond Sword Crochet Blanket

A couple of weeks ago I finished this blanket I was making for my son. I began the blanket last year, it took approximately 18 months to complete. I didn’t work on it everyday, but would make some squares here and there while zoning out in front of the TV.

Completing a project like this looked pretty simple, but needed a fair amount of planning before I started, and as I progressed, to bring it together.

I started by looking online for a 15x 15 pixelated image. I was using an 8ply pure wool yarn. I ended up settling on this image, and reduced the colour pallet to six shades, instead of nine: 

Then I had to locate a crochet square pattern. I wanted more of a solid block pattern rather than granny square style. I looked online for free patterns and found one that I felt would give a pixelated effect. I used rounds 1-3 of the April square: https://www.allfreecrochetafghanpatterns.com/Granny-Square-Patterns/April-Square   and made each square for my blanket in a single colour. I ended up adding a boarder to the blanket with additional grey squares, making this blanket 17 x17, 7 cm squares.

I attached the main coloured squares into rows, and periodically checked that the placement would work. Here are some images of the blanket ‘in progress’. I tracked rows against the pixelated diagram using post-it notes which were numbers with columns, and attached using bull dog clips.

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289 squares later, I was done 🙂

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It took a long time to hide all of the ends from the individual squares and from the row seaming too. While I am pleased with how it looks, I wont be making another one any time soon 🙂

Now I don’t have any big projects on my shuttle, hook or needles…I wonder what will take my eye next?

Until next time, happy crafting.

Fiona T

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Tatted Ammonites – TAP exhibition

This week was very exciting for me. It was the first time I have had my crafting efforts recognised as art. I was invited to submit a piece to the TAP (Teacher as Practitioner/Teacher Artmaker Project) and fringe exhibition https://www.facebook.com/TeacherAsPractitioner/. This year’s theme was ebb and flow.

To come up with an idea for submission, I contemplated the theme ebb and flow. In my mind ebb and flow refers to gentle movements. These gentle movements over time may lead to changes in how we perceive nature. Invariably I kept coming back to water, and the idea of the ebb and flow of the tide. As a biologist this reminded me of the amazing fossils which have been revealed because of the relentless motion of the tides. This natural process has revealed fossils which were hidden for vast tracts of time. The discovery of these artefacts has lead to a variety of scientific understandings. One of the most famous (and most common) fossils are those of the ammonite’s which lived 65-400 million years ago. So I tatted a representation of an ammonite ‘fossil’ using thread and beads.

I knew I wanted to use Marilee Rockley’s pattern (from her Craftsy class), but I wanted to make it slightly bigger to display as part of a scene. The threads I had of the correct colour was size 80. Making one in this size was quite small, and I incorporated it into the final piece, but it was too small to be the main feature. I needed some help.

At the next Melbourne tat and chat I was able to explain my idea to Lea, from Alenalea’s Tatting and she bravely took on the challenge of hand dying size 10 thread to match my sample fossils, and in particular lengths so I could wind the shuttles CTM (continuous thread method) without measuring or wasting thread.  Within a week I had the thread in my hands. She had also made an extra sample in size 7 thread for me to test. Thanks Lea, you are a thread genius!

I ended up completing three tatted ammonites, and displayed them on a felt covered board. The layers of the felt represent the geological earth layers and the ocean. You can interact with the display to move the tide and ‘discover’ the small fossil. In this way I feel the piece invited people to be participate in the art experience. My piece was displayed with a few other fibre based objects.  I will have to get a photo of the full display next week, as I forgot to take one on opening night.

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I wonder, do you think of your craft as art?

Until next time, happy tatting

Fiona T

 

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Knitting in the round – owl cable hats

A little while ago I saw this very cute pattern on Julie is Coco and Cocoa, and it was knitted in the round using a very short cable needle. I really wanted to try out this kind of knitting, and so purchased the pattern from her etsy link. The pattern was reasonably easy to follow and, once I got clear on the way it was worded (and needed to check back to the blog itself for the revised instructions, hints and tips) I remade the hat twice more to get it to fit me (increasing the stitch counts according to the noted on the blog).  This hat is pictured above, being started at one of my favourite cafes and the finished in the picture beside it – Bendigo Wool mills 8Ply milky way (wool and milk fibre yarn). Sometimes working through these problems makes you feel more triumphant when you do complete a project.

Despite the sizing hiccup, the pattern was quite fun to make, and also to practice cables, so I bought some new 10ply Bendigo wool mills bamboo/wool blend yarn and made the one in the bottom picture. I have yet to add buttons to either hat, as we are now getting warmer weather in Melbourne and I no longer need the hat for my walk into work. I will source some cheap buttons over summer so the hats will look new for the rotation in time for Winter 2017.

Don’t forget to enter the 1,500 likers giveaway, you can enter by commenting on the blog post here: 1,500 likers giveaway or on the facebook page with the post about the 1,500 likers blog.

Until next time, happy crafting,

Fiona T

 

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Revisiting the Tatted Tardis pattern

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Last week I decided to tat another Tardis, and I dug out the pattern and threads to begin. I decided to try and get an idea of the amount of thread needed on each shuttle to make one, and measured out 4.5m of thread for each shuttle. As I had some thread left on each shuttle I will try again this week with 3 meters of thread – hopefully not too much left over.

This is a great pattern to practice split rings on, and there is one split chain too. Once mastered, these two techniques open up a lot of opportunities in tatting, including being able to reduce the number of ends to sew in on older patterns.

The Tardis pattern is one I adapted and shared a long time ago, that Anne Bruvold kindly added to her original version of the pattern as an adaptation Anne B’s Tatted Tardis, available for download from here: http://nuperelle.net/EngPatterns.htm . I have tweaked it again to add a white ring to act as the ‘notice’ on the window of the Tardis.

Don’t forget to enter the 1,500 liker giveaway by commenting on the blog from Sunday: 1,500 likers giveaway or over on the Facebook page under the post for the 1,500 likers blog link.

Until next time, happy tatting

Fiona T

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Knitting with the magic loop method

A few weeks ago I took a craft lesson on how to knit cable stitches and in the round using the magic loop method. I have never ventured into using cable patterns and thought this was a good way to learn the technique. The magic loop method was one I had never heard of before- so I was surprised at how cleverly it uses the cable to allow you to work on small peices in the round. The lesson took place at one of my favourite places- Unwind Craft Cafe in Keilor East. I used the lovely cable needles I got for my birthday and some Bendigo Wool Mills milky way  (blend of wool and milk fibres). 


I was pretty pleased with how quickly this knitted up, and how nice the wool was to work with. The pattern is from ravelry- main street by tin can knits. 

Until next time, happy crafting 

Fiona T 

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A pattern won and made.

The winner of the 1,000 likers on facebook prize, Janis, received her craft pack recently. Here is a quick picture of what ended up in the pack. I included a purple birch ‘joke’ shuttle and a few other little surprises too. It is lovely to share the crafting fun with everyone. Next giveaway will be at 1,500 likers. Again- thanks to everyone for following – it is so much fun to have you with me on my crafting journey 🙂

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Around the time of my own 1,000 likes giveaway recently, I entered a giveaway on Dearest Debi’s facebook page.  I was one of the winners,  and was given a code to select three of Debi’s crochet patterns from ravelry for free!  I was really excited- she has some lovely patterns.  Here is one I selected- flower bud granny octagon. I have just sat down and made this now,  and the pattern was pretty easy to follow (I made the usual substitutions from US pattern terms to the ones I am familiar with), and I am really pleased with the results.

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Thanks for the patterns Debi, I look forward to trying the others I downloaded very soon.
Until next time,  happy crafting
Fiona T

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Holiday Tatting

A couple of weeks ago we were on holiday in Queensland, enjoying the beautiful weather and tourist trail. I took the opportunity to work more on the Mystery Doily, and progressed from round 2 to 6 in the time we were away. Here are some photos of my progress, on the plane and at our accommodation. 2015-06-28 11.13.26_resized  2015-07-02 12.16.42_resized I have been challenging myself by using split chains and split rings to climb out of rows, and reduce the need to cut and tie each round. This was fine, until I ran out of thread on my shuttle with one final ring to complete in round 5.2015-07-04 10.49.05_resized Some quick thinking, and I was able to use the ball thread to make my rings, the Shoe Lace Trick (SLT) to swap between the threads, and the small amount of shuttle thread as the core of the chain. Phew- I made it 🙂

2015-07-04 11.08.37_resizedI am still chipping away at round 6. More progress reports as it is made 🙂

Until next time, Happy Tatting

Fiona T

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