My first attempt at the homework for lesson 4 of Sharon’s Design-Tat class ended in a train wreck.  We were to tat an 8-ring and chain center and then build a second round onto it, while being mindful of creating interesting negative space; with the design restriction of attaching to the center only on alternate chains.  Within minutes of downloading the homework from the internet, I had a workable sketch, which I then proceeded to ignore completely and took off on a tangent trying to suspend clovers in the space between attach points…  After several hours of tat and snip, I had this

Design scrapsQuite discouraged,  frustrated, tired and hungry, I put the work aside.

The most valuable thing that I learned from this lesson was that if I cannot make a reasonable sketch of my idea, there is no way the tatting is going to head in that direction.  So, after a fresh session with  pencil and paper, I came up with this:

Lesson 4 In my sketch, each arm was only two  internal rings long.  Had I adhered to that, the whole would have been less leggy (didn’t quite learn my lesson, did I?).  It is not yet clear whether we are going to be asked to tat a third round.  If so, the longer arms will give me  all kinds of room to add some interesting flourishes and salvage this motif from pathetic mediocrity.  Provided I remember to sketch it first.  Stay tuned…