Tatting by the Bay

tattingbythebay.blogspot.com · Feb 15, 2016

Calculating amount of thread used (Sherry's method)


I made a few minor adjustments to one of my doilies and tried tatting it in two colors. In the beginning, this was progressing well...but as the doily came together I realized just how much contrast there was between the two colors:


This is done in Lizbeth size 20 Seagreen Light and Seagreen Dark. I still like the placement of the colors, which gives an outlining effect when seen from far away. I think I will try this again in colors that are closer together in shade.

A little while ago, I made a post about measuring yards of thread used in tatting. I was doing it the old fashioned way, measuring how much thread I loaded onto each shuttle, tatting the piece, and then seeing how much thread was left over. I have had a few people point me to tutorials by Sherry Pence and Karen Cabrera, in which the amount of thread is calculated beforehand. Sherry has a written tutorial on her blog, and
Karen has a video (which I believe is based on Sherry's blog post).

(Aurora's tatting helper has also been mentioned, but I haven't gotten the chance to check it out and have to access an older computer to retrieve the bookmark for the site.) Edited to add: Phyllis has provided the link for the TatHelper website, you can access it by clicking here.

I decided to follow Sherry Pence's blog post and made some calculations for Round 2 of the doily pictured above. For this particular doily, there was an overestimation of the light green thread and an underestimation of the dark green thread. Here is the breakdown:

Light Green thread
Estimated usage: 15.3 yards
Actual usage: 14.56 yards

Dark Green thread
Estimated usage: 8.35 yards
Actual usage: 9.22 yards

I should mention that Sherry advises adding some extra to each measurement to account for picots and core thread. What I find interesting is that the light green thread didn't need any extra. In fact it used less than the amount calculated. The dark green thread required about 1 extra yard. Luckily, I erred on the safe side and had plenty of thread on my shuttles to complete Round 2 in one pass.

Over the past several months, I have been taking notes on the amount of thread used for different pieces of tatting. I think it's time to make a spreadsheet to see how the actual thread usage matches up with Sherry's method of calculating.
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