Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fig. 53 Handbuch Der Schiffchenspitze, band 2.

Yesterday (24 Nov 2008) I finished another of the figures related to fig. 51 in Tina Frauberger’s Handbuch Der Schiffchenspitze, band 2. Like fig. 52, fig. 53 encloses fig. 51.

I am for the most part pleased with my work. My tension is still inconsistent but my bridge and split ring are better than in fig. 52. I used a lock stitch at the end of the chain leading to the last ring and at the end of the bridge I brought the last stitch out the bottom of the chain. This results in the threads exiting in the direction of the split ring.

In fig. 52 I did a normal chain and bridge and just brought the thread up towards the split ring. This resulted in some amount of twist and distortion.

The one experiment / questionable practice came at the start of the chain after the split ring. I did not like the looks and I had forgotten my Magic Thread. I did a little retro-tatting and produced an acceptable chain. I few chains later I realized that I had again forgotten my Magic Thread. My original intent was to just sew-in the one thread. In the end I decided to try putting two Magic Threads in a single chain. The technique works but produces a really fat and mis-shaped chain. You can see the bridge, split ring and fat chain just to the right of 12 o’clock.

Fig. 53 is nice but I mainly worked it up so I could compare it Mary Konior’s Small Cross on pages 88 and 89 of her Tatting with Visual Patterns. After studying Mary Konior’s cross I have found that with the exception of modifications to turn a six arm figure into a four armed figure the patterns match. Many of the knot counts are the same.

I hope to start on the cross as early as tomorrow, well maybe after thanksgiving. I will explain the similarities and the differences in a later posting.

It is nice to be tatting again. Now if I can just get my knots consistent and find a block of time to work on my bobbin lace lesson.


Lace books are getting harder to find

I first wrote about Tina Frauberger’s Handbuch Der Schiffchenspitze back in December of 2007 I received inquiries concerning how to get the book. One, in an email, stayed in my inbox for the longest time and now I cannot find it. I did want to reply but I was never sure what to say.

I received a comment yesterday with an interesting statement “Someone on E-tatters gave me a web site address that carries the book, but the site is in German, and I was wondering if you knew of a site selling the book that I could correspond with in English?” In all probability I was the “Someone on E-tatters.”

I still have a copy of the email I sent to the people who sold me the book in which I apologize for not speaking German.

I really wish I could help everyone get access to Tina Frauberger’s work. I remember when I first started struggling with onion-rings having a well know teacher wrote in passing that I should study the work of Tina Frauberger and in one email I got the impression that her work was ubiquitous through-out the tatting community. I did find out differently later when I tried to find these works.

I mentioned the German website to this teacher in a email in March of 2007. It was in August of that year that I wrote my first email to the sellers. I sent a second email in October. I received my first reply in November of 2007. I received the book on December 10, 2007.

I had spent over a year trying to obtain copies of these books and I hope that the German site is still responding to international orders. I received one of their newsletters last June and that is the last I have heard from them.

It is very frustrating trying to get older Lace books. I joke that of Mary Konior’s four known published works I have five. She published a pamphlet for a Women’s organization in the UK and I was able to obtain a copy. It is mainly written instruction with only two patterns but it is a rare treasure and I treat it that way.

But let us consider Mary Konior’s most well known publication, Tatting with Visual Patterns. If I go to Amazon.com a new paperback copy is listed today at $210.64, a used one is more. If I go to Lacis I can order a copy for $20.00. We need to thank Lacis. The edition they sell is their own. So the open market is overpricing B T Batsford’s edition while the wonderful Lacis Publications has taken up producing this work.

Unfortunately they do not have the ability to publish everything. Try to get the wonderful and some would say necessary Practical Skills in Bobbin Lace by Bridget M. Cook for under $100.00. I cannot find one. OK, I bought the last one.

I want to work on lace today, especially to post my finished version of fig. 53 with some comments. I wish I could find a reasonably priced copy of New Braids and Designs in Milanese Lace, currently over $200.00 on Amazon.

I am so spoiled with my books and my crafts. My dream was once that I could find copies of the original publications of Tina Frauberger’s works so I could scan them and put them on the Antique Patterns web site. I have a reproduction so I do not own any rights.

I hope those that want copies can get them, but the German site is the only source I know. Today even the few what once seemed expensive originals are gone. I did see one copy of band 2 for over $90.00 but that’s it. Persistence is what found me mine, I wish you luck.

I cannot work on lace today because I am getting the house ready for Thanksgiving, I shouldn’t be working on this. We are having people over and I already have Turkey from Honey Baked Ham and will be getting Brisket from Rudy’s. My main concern has been how long I will have to stand in line.

I was thinking of these things on my way to drop my children off at school today when I heard an article on Zimbabwe.

I hope I can remember over Thanksgiving to say an extra prayer for those in Zimbabwe and all the other areas of the world where there is so little food that finding a kernel of undigested corn in animal manure is a treasure.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fig. 52 Handbuch Der Schiffchenspitze, band 2.

I have finished another of the figures related to fig. 51 in Tina Frauberger’s Handbuch Der Schiffchenspitze, band 2.

I completed figure 52 yesterday (12 November 2008) and would like to share it with you. Though this is only my second project since returning to tatting and I am not very pleased with some of my technique I am pleased with the overall piece.

I did force myself to use a bridge and a split ring in this project so this was done CTM. The bridge and split ring are to the left of 10 o'clock. I need to work on those, but these are the first to appear in a finished project by me.

The additional instructions for the additions to fig. 51 are relatively straight forward. You have a picture of the final motif, a couple of statements and the actually notation.

Here is the Babel Fish translation of the text:

The sheet row, which encloses the six arms
beginning on the left of an arm:

The term "sheet row" is crude translation of Bogenreihe. An abbreviation used through out the book is VBBG for “Verbindungsbogen” which Babel Fish translates as “Connecting sheet.”

The best I have been able to determine is that VBBG is used where I would use some version of "Chain" as I think "sheet row" must be.

This could very well be a vestige of Tatting’s development starting with rings and the true chain coming later. Though by 1917 when the first volume of Schiffchenspitze came out chains were certainly more than than connectors between the rings.

You should also know the following:
○ = Zierringchen which best I can guess is a floating ring
< = Ansch├╝rzen which other references translate as join.

What is fascinating to me is how Tina Frauberger notates a floating ring. Here are her instructions for the fig. 52 addition.
“mal” translates as “times”

I was not going to do fig. 53 at this time. I went through all my tatting books and online patterns looking for my next tatting project. I had decided I would like to do a cross by Mary Konior. In trying to choose a cross I noticed that one of the crosses had some elements that reminded me of fig. 53.

So, even though I planned on waiting to do fig 53 and given that particular Mary Konior cross was not one of my first choices the similarity in technique between the two makes me want to do both so I can really understand this design approach.

I hope to start Fig 53 today, my shuttles are wound, but I really have not gotten to say what it was I was really planning on saying today.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A return to tatting

It is hard to believe, but the last time I finished a tatting project of any sort was over a year ago.

Around the time I was working on designs from Tina Frauberger’s Schiffchenspitze and the TAT certification I had an allergic reaction to a medication that due to swelling caused all my tendons to become inflamed. I had to quit tatting.

I have continued to think about tatting and have started a few things only to be very disappointed in my lack of control over the thread.

Last August a friend asked me to join her in a class for the older crowd on bobbin lace. Her daughter even offered to watch my youngest while I went. I have indeed fallen in love with bobbin lace and will have to extend this blog to include that aspect of my life.

All this hand weaving has made me want to again return to tatting and today I actually finished a small project.

In Tina Frauberger’s Schiffchenspitze, band 2, this is figure 51, Sechsteilige Grundform (Six-part basic form). It is the basis of three other figures; though one of those is actually several repetitions of one of the other two.

Since this is such and easy pattern to memorize I do plan on working with the other figures. Hopefully my tension and my technique will come back. Well hopefully not all of my tension. It is late tonight so sometime soon I will relate a story that shows just how tight my tatting is. Sometimes I think my early success was not due to my control but to the resilience of the thread. You can only squeeze it so far.

Though it is not very symmetrical and I see all sorts of issues in my work this is the first tatting I have finished in a long time. Figuring out the German did take some effort but that was almost a year ago.

This book is much abbreviated and what the pattern amounts to is a statement saying something like all rings are 4 – 4 – 4 – 4 and the chains in the middle are 6 – 6 – 6 – 6. I used a magnifying glass to determine that all chain segments are 6 ds and all ring segments are 4 ds.

This should actually be enough information for you to copy this. Thank you.