Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Size Matters

Completely against trend the person who said they were going to make a large order actually did so and in a timely fashion to boot. I know I shouldn't be shocked, but things rarely work out that way. Usually after several conversations the customers fall off the face of the earth without so much as a never mind, but I'm rambling now, back to the point. I was working on a bridal veil yesterday when I inspected the veiling  I had on hand and found several flaws in it, so I had to put that on hold to order more. This put me right to the next task of remaking the pieces that just sold.

You all know that I rarely write down patterns, but I do like to keep track of details, like how many repeats are needed for a particular choker or bracelet and as I was looking that up for one, I noted that I had changed the number on this one not too long ago. The truth is I've had to make several pattern adjustments over the years. Were they wrong in the first place? Nope, I've changed...or at least my tatting has. I've noticed bracelets that are somehow shorter than they were meant to be and whole designs smaller. It's become quite an issue for me. I've always had a pretty good handle on tension, it's the main reason I think my work turns out so uniform and not loose like most people assume needle tatting to be, but over the years it's gotten even better or at least tighter. Thus the stitches are smaller and patterns that were suppose to work up a certain size are now too small.

In most tatted work, size isn't terribly important, but in worn pieces, particularly ones that are worn around, like bracelets, chokers, ankle pieces and to a lesser degree, masks, it matters a lot. In the back of my head I'm worrying that I'm going to have to rework many of my designs the very next time I make them. For now I'm doing some measuring as I'm making to try and make small adjustments to keep things the right size. I bet you're asking why couldn't I just adjust my tension a bit looser. Well honestly the work looks better this way and the change was so natural and gradual, it would be hard to consciously step backwards. So in moving forward, I must make changes to those old favorites that I made up so long ago. Luckily this will only affect those pieces I've been making since the beginning as more recently designed pieces were make in my current tension. I just thought it was an interesting thing to note so I wanted to share. If anyone else has any insights or observations on the subject I'd love to hear them.

So today I am remaking and that will likely spill over into most of the week. I even had to quit stalling and make a supply order yesterday as I was out of the clasps I need to remake a few of the sold pieces. Next I need to actually sit down and go through all my thread to make that thread order I wanted to make the other day. I'm not sure when that one will happen though. Probably not until a custom order forces me to get a new color. Yep, it's going to be a long week.


Fox said...

Ah, I hear you.

Continual tatting does improve ones skills, for sure.

So, tension will gradually become tighter over time - thank goodness, in my case!

I have been tatting for under four years and I notice a HUGE difference in my tension if I examine early - read floppy - motifs.

Interesting for me, a shuttle tatter, to read about a needle tatter’s development.
Fox : )

Fox said...

p.s. As in knitting or crocheting, I believe one should not mess with the tension you are currently achieving. It is an unconscious, muscle memory thing, so to try to increase or decrease the amount of it will invariably fail causing inconsistent stitches. Go with the flow. My two cents!

jenilin said...

You did anazing work in the beginning but it is true you sure have grown as an artist. I wonder if you still have any of your first pieces it would be cool to recreate it and compare you talents growth.

TotusMel said...

@Fox I agree, it's just better to let tension happen naturally and I too wondered if this was just a needle tatting thing.

Unknown said...

Yes! I learned to needle tat from your videos back around August :) and even a few months ago I was a very loose tatter (!). I think it's party inexperience, and partly because I came from knitting, where I had carefully trained myself to have a looser approach for best results.

Additionally, I'm finally comfortable with size 10 thread and my smallest needle (again, knitting's to blame for my large-thread comfort zone).

As a bonus, my work is finally able to stand up on its own, no starches necessary :D