Just One More Section Left on the Star Doily

February 22, 2011 6:39 pm

I suppose I shouldn’t get too excited about it because even once I’ve finished the tatting I’ll still need to figure out how to attach the piece to the center fabric.  Still, it’s nice to see the doily taking shape.  If I keep up at the rate I’ve been going I should have the tatting portion finished.

I’ve also been working on writing up the handouts for the classes I’m teaching at the Shuttlebirds workshop this year.  I’ve got 5 classes and want to finish up the handouts for the 3 easier ones this week.  The other two are going to take a lot more experimenting to get right so will take longer, but if I can get the first three done I’ll feel like I’ve got a handle on everything for the workshop.

One of the classes that’s going to take more time to prepare for is the one called “Blocking, Starching and Care of Tatting”.  I proposed it as a class largely because it’s something I want to learn a lot more about myself.  I have a final for class on Saturday and I plan using some of my new extra free time the rest of the weekend for some starching and blocking of snowflakes.  Anyone have some blocking, starching or care of tatting tips for me to try out?  I also want to mess around with figuring out a portable blocking system that I can take with me to the workshop.

2 Responses to “Just One More Section Left on the Star Doily”

Sharon wrote a comment on February 23, 2011

I did a very long explanation which is posted on mt blog here:
Construction grade styrofoam which comes in 4 foot by 8 foot sheets works well for blocking. The store will cut it into smaller sections so it will fit in your car to bring it home. It’s about 2 inches thick, lightweight and waterproof so it makes a good blocking board and it can be cut into any size you want with a thin bladed knife. I have a large 3×3 foot board that I use for larger projects, or lots of little ones, and some smaller 12×6 inch blocks that I can take with me. I sometimes take the lace off the shuttles and immediately pin it out dry, then I run water over it, board and all. I can lather my hands up with Ivory (a mild soap without colour or scent) work the lather into the lace to wash it and rinse it off. It makes bocking faster because the picots don’t get a chance to curl since they are already pinned. When the foam has too many holes in it to hold pins anymore I turn it over and use the back. When it’s not langer able to hold pins I throw it out and hack off another section of foam. I’ve been using the same 4×4 section I started with for about 10 years now.

I don’t use starch. Most tatters don’t. If you use good 6 cord thread to start with you don’t need to starch. The only things that need starch are those pieces of lace that need to stay stiff on their own. Bookmarks, doilies, edgings and anything intended to be appliqued to something else doesn’t need to be stiff. Starch is mostly a Victorian custom. it isn’t necessary. When you do use starch you can use a basic wheat, rice or corn stach preparation but it makes the thread dull looking. Sugar starch can be used, but it has a tendancy to clump up in the picots. You can use a much more diluted version and still get stiff lace without the clumping. These preparations can be washed out so that the thread isn’t damaged and should be used for heirloom laces, but you do have to be carefull that the lace isn’t stored already starched as it is an invitation for an insect infestation that will literally eat the lace to get at the sugar. Commercial starches can be used but they are not always washable and may turn the lace yellow over time. Clear nailpolish can be used as it allows you to paint it on where you want it and avoid things like beads in the lace. Diluted white glue can also be used. These are more permanent, may yellow with age and should not be used on heirloom quality laces.

admin wrote a comment on February 24, 2011

This is great, Sharon! Thanks so much for all the detail. I’ll go through it more carefully when I start to play around with stuff this weekend.

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