Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Just being thick

Here's a size comparison chart that I did up quickly. For those who don't already know, crochet cottons are sized with the smallest numbers being the thickest threads. The pinkish yarn at the side is a worsted weight knitting yarn. It's there to help give another size reference as to how fine these threads are.

"Fine" is relative - I bet you've heard people make remarks about how they could never work with such "fine" thread, even when it's "thick" size 10! Personally, I hardly ever tat with tiny size 80, but I know that for some people it's their favorite.

By the way, sizes can vary from different thread manufacturers. A few months back I switched from hand dyeing size 10 DMC Cordonnet Special to size 10 Lizbeth. The size 10 Lizbeth is noticeably thicker, even thicker than the DMC Cebelia which is shown in the photo. But, the size 20 seemed the same to me in both brands. Currently in my dye batches I'm using sizes 10, 20, and 40 Lizbeth, and sizes 30, 50, and 80 DMC Cordonnet Special.

Monday, May 24, 2010

They've been using HDT

So, I'm making more!

I'm dyeing more "Aqua Bay" and "Bluegreen Pastel" this week.

Friday, May 14, 2010

3 of a kind, but no pair

These are all the same original earring design (that I'm trying to prepare the pattern for) in different samples of my own hand dyed thread. From left to right: Midnight Oil, Blue-green Pastel, and Aqua Bay. No problem with finishing the sets, eventually - I have enough beads and HDT, for sure!

Aqua Bay is a new (intense!) color experiment that I just dyed a small batch of, to see how it would look. It has short color distances, with bright aqua between various variations of darker turquoise and a little blue. I guess I was trying to give the effect of dappled waves. You can see how it works up in the earring in progress.

Lola is another mini-batch that I dyed at the same time. This colorway is making it's 3rd appearance, I think. Because I mix fresh batches of dye each time, and hand paint the dye on the thread, no two batches are ever exactly alike, and even skeins from the same batch can vary from each other. That's just part of the serendipity of hand dyed thread.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mathematically improved tatted atom

The deep pink atom hasn't even been blocked yet, but see how nicely it shapes up already? I think this is a major improvement over my earlier attempt, which needed severe blocking with pins and fabric stiffener to force it into shape.

What I did differently was use some "node stitch", which is elaborated on (in terms that definitely read like rocket science!) in a book by Elgiva Nicholls, Tatting Techniques, published in 1976. Actually, node stitch is very simple - 2 first halves of a double stitch, followed by 2 second halves. Victorian sets are made the same way, but usually with more halves per set - for example, 4 first halves followed by 4 second halves, and so on.

I have the "mathematical formula" worked out for this, but so far it's just scribbled on scrap paper. I do intend to include the complete instructions in my next book.