Saturday, 5 July 2014

Finally starting a doily by Jan Stawasz — and it's a big one!

I've been in love with patterns by Jan Stawasz since my early days of tatting (not that long ago — I only started in December 2011 :-) ). You can have a look at his patterns here. I've bought both his books, and helped others to buy them, too. But the pattern for a certain huge and gorgeous doily wasn't included. You can see that doily here — it's Photo 34. This doily was published in Moje Robótki 8/2007. After a fair amount of trouble, and help from others, I got an original copy!

But I still didn't feel ready to start the doily. It has 18 rounds! Did I have the stamina to finish it? Well, in June, I went for a visit to Kuching, and there I met up with another tatter. She took me to a shop that stocks Coats Mercer Crochet Size 20. The price was so good that I bought 12 20g balls of it, in three colours. Then I came back to Singapore, and looked at my 16 balls of Coats Mercer Crochet Size 20, in four colours. I said, "What shall I do with all this thread?"

Meanwhile, there was talk on InTatters about tatting really big doilies. I thought, "I can use all my Coats thread for a really big, noble doily." — and this doily from Moje Robótki was the obvious candidate. So, I started trying to figure out whether I had enough thread. I posted an inquiry in InTatters about that, and discovered that many other people also wanted to tat this doily!

So, I've been encouraged to make a start. I decided that I needed to count stitches and make my own calculations. I used Karen Cabrera's method (see Lesson 73 on this page) to get the initial measurements on my thread. I now have all the calculations in an Excel sheet. I was able to calculate that I needed 4 20g balls of my main colour, and 1.7 balls of two other colours — or 7.5 20g balls, if everything was in one colour. I am also able to predict exactly how much thread to wind on the shuttle for each round.

So, now that I'm reassured that I won't run out of thread, I have made a start! Here are my Rounds 1 and 2:

Jan Stawasz Moje Robótki 8/2007 doily, Round 1
Jan Stawasz Moje Robótki 8/2007 doily, Round 2

And here's Round 3, still in progress:

Jan Stawasz Moje Robótki 8/2007 doily, Round 3 in progress

I am not very successful at showing you the colours I am using. The main colour for the doily is a pale golden-brown, like wheat. Round 3 is cream-coloured. Since I have only five balls of the wheat-coloured thread, I'll also be using another pale brown colour for the plain ring-and-chain rounds.

And, I still haven't finished my Renulek Spring doily! I'm now half-way through Round 11. It's a good contrast, tatting these two doilies with their two different threads. Also, doing the Renulek doily was certainly essential in building my confidence for tackling this much bigger and more difficult doily.


  1. All that preliminary work gives you the confidence you need for such big doily. Imagine getting to the last round and running out of thread! Good luck. You've made an excellent start. And it sounds as though it will be a popular one for a group tat.

  2. Wonderful - a well planned tatting adventure indeed. This doily looks lovely. Thanks for the info about Karen's calculations for how much thread a work may use - I had no idea about this resource. I really look forward to seeing this doily grow :) I wonder how many people will tat along with you? Have fun :)

  3. I find all of his patterns so beautiful, and yours is following suit. Very nice indeed.

  4. It's definitely going to be beautiful when done. I just love the first 2 rounds..,and the rest too of course.

  5. If you still have the information where i could obtain a copy of this pattern, I would appreciate it. I am wanting a good challenging tatting pattern. Thank you.