Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Knotted Up With Schwenke 'Tsuris'

tsuris - (Yiddish) aggravating trouble; "the frustrating tsuris he subjected himself to"

difficulty, trouble - an effort that is inconvenient; "I went to a lot of trouble"; "he won without any trouble"; "had difficulty walking"; "finished the test only with great difficulty"

Oh Yah!
Susanne Schwenke's Design
Pretty but what a challenge! My goal was just to finish it.

The thread is vintage Coats #30; Kelly gave me a two balls of it this past summer.  It  broke twice, but I was pulling worked-over thread. It is great to work with, as it is a 6-cord cordonnet, crisp, firm and easy to tat. No twists or separations.  Very different from my experience with Lizbeth.

I followed all my self-help tatting hints, used the coloured diagrams,

(My camera is so good that I had great difficulty in blurring the photo!)

did not work too late into the wee hours and I still had to un-tat and CUT OUT A LOT!  Whew. I do not think I will be tatting this one again anytime soon.  But, it is pretty.  : )

There were lots of the BAD kind of knots in this tat. Now, I think about knots a lot, and on my daily route realized that I stroll past this one every single day.  It confronts me beside the sidewalk near my apartment, just hanging around, secured over the bough of a sturdy tree:

Then, I remembered a walk I took in New York a year ago, when I spotted this in a window in Soho. It was one of a few old prints showing sailing knots, (notice, it is a ds!) displayed in a very grimy window.

I mean really, who notices these things?  


  1. very pretty work Fox. Is there a child that swings on the rope? if not, how about you? I can see you walking by, giving a quick jump and push off for a quick ride.
    what was that in NYC? a museum of knots?

  2. Thanks, Ladytats! Yes, In Manhattan, in soho. It was not a museum - it was a funny old building and this was one of a few dusty, old sailing prints. Why they were there i do not know! I could not find any identifiers on the building and i was in a hurry so I did not pursue it. Not a museum though - I don't think.

  3. Your perseverance paid off! The Schwenke motif looks marvelous with the beads and sunny splash of color.

    (Each day the temptation to abandon my Tat Days class projects - in favor of Inside Out Bells, Schwenke designs, etc. - grows stronger. But I must finish or else the classes were in vain.)

    How nifty you have knots to inspire you! I love it when our designing eyes lead us toward things we are passionate about. Would love to see more, if you wander past them.

  4. What a beautiful and intricate snowflake :) you did a superb job :X glad you stuck with it.


  5. The snowflake looks great!! I still have some more of the Coats threads left. You may have to come back out for a visit!! My door is open!

  6. This is a beautiful snowflake. You did an excellent job!

    Some of the thread I got from an estate is the Coates, size 30, 6 cord cordonet. I'm going to use it when my friend and I play with dye again. I'm hoping the dye process will help strenthen it so that it won't be as likely to break but I haven't even tested it so maybe it's not brittle yet anyway.

  7. Wonderful snowflake, and very pretty thread! I love the block tatting effect here!

    The knot on the print is described in many ways, according to Wikipedia: "Cow hitch, Lark's head, Lark's foot, Girth hitch, Ring hitch, Lanyard hitch, Bale Sling hitch, Baggage Tag Loop, Tag Knot, Deadeye hitch, Running eye." They kind of missed: "second half of split ring in tatting" or "basic knot used in tatted lace, except upside down." Should we inform them??

    I've seen many 'samplers' of the many types of sailing knots, and it's amazing how intricate and artistic they are!

  8. Hi, Kathy!
    Thank you! I was too lazy to write what you just did!

    Isn't it wonderful - the world of knots. I quit Girl Guides after they were done with the knots! I have loved them, their history and lore since then!
    Fox : )

  9. Des difficultés mais le résultat est là....
    Chère Fox, Orphée est partie rejoindre le paradis des chats...Je suis bien dans la peine.. Bisous

  10. Gorgeous piece of tatting, quite a hard pattern by the looks of it, well done on finishing it,
    That piece of string with the large knot, surprised you have not tried to improve on the knot. Those two pictures you found I wonder if the building was a seamans mission.
    Sending a cuddle for Gian.

  11. Chers Charlette,
    Je suis tellement désolé pour toi que je connais la douleur de votre cœur. Je vais vous envoyer un e-mail ...

  12. thats a lovely motif and looks very intricate - definitely a future tat for me!