Some of my patterns

23 August 2016

Something I've been thinking about.

Back when I started tatting in 1956 the only patterns I could get hold of were the old Coats (well, of course, they were new then!) and Penelope leaflets. 

The patterns in there were what I assumed tatting was all about and they kept me quiet for many years. Occasionally I would do a large project and the amount of thread needed was always stated as 'one ball' or 'two balls' of thread.

Sixty years on and people now want the exact amount of thread needed given in the pattern. This is soooooo annoying to me as it does take considerable effort (poor old BC3) to work out how much is needed and then to remember that people's tensions may vary and they may need more or less.   Even more frustrating as thread now costs much the same as it did 'back then' but was to me very expensive when I had to save up pocket money for it.

I struggle to add this to my patterns as I honestly don't see the point of this unless there is only a small amount of thread left on a shuttle or ball. 

I find, personally, that I get more leftovers that are too small to use by using stated amounts and would far rather not have the hassle of feeling I need to give quantities on a pattern. Having said that - I will do my best to continue to provide this - unless it's a doily!!!!

This is, I suppose a contradictory post but that's how discussions between myself (the semi rational part) and BC3 go!!!!  Happy Tuesday, folks!!!!

15 comments:

  1. Totally agree with your logic & perspective !!!
    Trying to measure exact lengths takes too much time either way, and to complicate matters further, different brands have different thickness even if they all claim to be a size 20 :-(

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    1. Didn't think of that, muskaan, about the different thicknesses. Another good excuse for not doing it!! Thanks.

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  2. I think it's far too tall an order to expect the designer to say how much thread is required!

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  3. Too much maths involved for that! - and on the occasions where I have made the effort to be frugal with thread - I usually just fill two shuttles CTM - I have invariably run out before the end of the project. So now I don't bother. The only time I would really like to know how much thread to use is when I think about tatting with HDT. It always worries me that there won't be enough - so I don't use it!

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    1. That's the way I feel too, Maureen. Anyway, life's too short to worry about things for long. New patterns won't have thread amounts on them in future!!!!

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  4. I tatted up some rings and chains with my usual thread, and marked the start and end points of each with a marker pen.

    Then I unravelled them and measured the threads used. That got me an average for the amount of core and working threads used for a ds.

    I've played around with a spreadsheet to calculate the total needed for a pattern, but there's a lot of fiddling to enter each of the elements, and the total amount never seems to be right.

    One day I'll get back to it, and see if I can persuade it to make more sense!

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    1. Will it take in the other 'variables' like people's tensions and the different makes of thread?!?!?!? Good luck, Adrian.

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    2. That's part of the problem...

      To cope with different tensions each tatter would have to calculate the average thread lengths for their tatting. And then repeat that for each type of thread.

      Putting a pattern into the spreadsheet was also tedious, so that would need to be made simpler too.

      Now I'm going to have to see if the spreadsheet survived the network drive crash of 2015... :)

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    3. Another 'individual' variable : picots !

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  5. I agree with what you've said, Jane. The only time I really want to know how much thread a design takes is if I need to have more than one ball of thread on hand.

    When working with hand-dyed thread, I know that one skein will give me one Spinning Wheel glass mat and two Stumpy bookmarks.

    I guess the key is, be prepared when working on larger projects!

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  6. Hello Jane ! I tat a shawl with the antique pattern of the wheel. I use 19 differents colors and I'm happy to know how much thread to use for one wheel. But usually I never measure.

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  7. I couldn't tell you how much thread needed either way because each size thread would require a different amount, and if you make mistakes(like I do often) then you need to account for that and include more. I just fill the shuttle(s) to full and work the pattern and then if I need more I add it, and if I have left over thread I use it for something else. :)

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    1. Exactly how I work, God's Kid!!!! Joining in new threads has never worried me a jot - even in the days when I used knots!!!

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    2. Totally agree, I love your patterns with or without the total amount of thread listed. I usually add thread to the amount stated to allow for errors (on my part).

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  8. Well, I've appreciated your putting the amount of thread needed. I know it doesn't work out exactly the same for different tatters and different threads, but it does help me to get the amount of thread more or less right. I really don't like having two half-full shuttles left when I've finished tatting something! ;-)

    But, don't worry, if it's not worth the trouble to you, I'm sure we can all cope. ;-) Far better that you go ahead and put a pattern out than that you delay because you have to estimate the thread it takes!

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