Thursday, December 16, 2010

25 Motif Challenge - Number 7 - The Learning Process

Sometimes even mistakes work out ok.  I wanted to try something different from what I'd been doing and to try something new.  So I pulled out my copy of Jon Yusoff's Tatting with Rings and started on the first design, named Melati.  The first mistake I made (but didn't notice until MUCH later) was that the center design calls for 6 rings.  I had done only 5.  And since I'd already decided to turn this into a pair of earrings, I did it (the mistake without noticing it was a mistake) a second time!

Then I set the two little centers aside and pulled out some beads.  Faithfully counting twice since these were going to be earrings I put 50 beads on the thread (2 extras in case I'd miscounted).  This sounds easy enough but it was a struggle for me because only about 1 out of 4 beads would let the needle pass through it so I really ended up having to go through about 200 or so beads just to get those 50.  Whew, beads on the thread. 

Next I started learning how to do the wrap stitch.  I followed the directions and diagrams carefully and no matter what I didn't work right.  The directions and diagrams were right, it was ME that wasn't working right.  I kept trying over and over and fiddled with it this way and that.  I could see in the diagrams how it was supposed to be, but the threads in my hands just didn't want to cooperate.  Finally something clicked...somehow the 'on' switch to my brain was flipped in the right position.  I got the first wrap stitch done!  YAY!  More fiddling, more checking the diagram, and I finally got a 2nd one done...I was on a roll lol!  I managed to get the first four of them done and by then I could see what I needed to do with my hands to make it work.

Time to add a ring...I know how to do those!  I was so happy I was grinning from ear to ear...I knew how to do the next part!  Hurray!  Oh wait we have to add the little center biggie, I can do that....done, ring done, more wrap stitches.  I was really on a roll now...another ring, yay....don't forget to attach to the it...ring done...more wraps....wait a moment...something was wrong.  I looked at it again and checked it against the diagram.  Crud!  I'm not supposed to attach to the center motif at EVERY ring, only the bigger ones!  Sigh...get scissors, snip snip...Let's start over.....

So starting again, I did the wraps (got them down by now!), the little ring with a bead, more wraps, next little ring, more wraps, big ring with beads (I did get nice tight tripple beads on the top picot if I do say so myself).  More wra....wait...that first bead doesn't sit's on one side of the ring not between the two rings.  What did I do wrong?  OHHH I see I put the bead on the wrong part of the thread when working the ring.  I can easily do that right going forward...but how do I fixt that first one...sigh...snip snip...

Let's start over (AGAIN!)...take deep breath....I've got the pattern memorized by this point - who needs a diagram?  This go round it works great!  Wraps are done, rings and beads in right places.  Crud, ran out of thread, slide beads off the tail of the thread, wind shuttle, put beads back on the thread...start in again.  Joins to center motif in right places, I've got this!  First one completed and looking good.  Start up the 2nd one.  Going just as well, got 4 sections completed, only one to go....glance at the diagram.  @#*%!  These are supposed to have the ** 6 ** ring center motif, not the 5 ring one....only one section to go on the 2nd one ...I'm NOT going to start these all over again.  The first one looked fine with only 5 points to I made the 2nd one with only 5 points as well. 

A matching pair!  They are technically wrong because they have 5 points instead of 6, but they are done.  I added the earring findings (yes one of the wires broke while doing that so I had to get another one).  Done!  Finished!  Complete!....need pictures.....pull out camera and this is what I ended up with.  All in all considering how the learning session went I think they came out well, don't you?

Motif 7:

It was a long crazy learning session, but I learned and won't forget how to do those wraps.  I learned to be careful where I put the beads so they end up in the right place.  I learned to double check the design...and I learned to COUNT the repeats/sections!


SunshineCraft said...

Hi Mary,

Your blog is indeed very inspiring, especially your perseverance in learning how to tat around rings. Your bears are also lovely, and so expressive.

You asked about the thimble rings. Here's where I learned how to make them ( ) and here's a fun write up on them ( and here is a japanese site with lots of eye candy (

Good luck with your thimble rings.

Mary Robinson - Peachtree Cottage said...

Thank you sooo much! I will have to give these a try sometime.