Priscilla by Lace Lunatic
Priscilla, a photo by Lace Lunatic on Flickr.

Here again, my rings needed to be tighter for the design to work. It was a great disappointment because, in process, it looked as if this charming 12-point star, with its tiny inward turned flanking rings on the outer round, was going to be a real charmer. It still has the potential to be in a re-tat.

In an aside: if these snowflake posts seem dry and lacking my usual enthusiasm, it is in part because it irks me to put photos of less than impeccable tatting up for all to see. By way of explanation, I must tell you that I wrote a brief review of ‘Tatted Flurries’ for the Shuttlebirds Tatting Guild Newsletter, and promised to show some finished snowflakes here on the blog. I thought it would be much more useful for other tatters to see exactly where the potential pitfalls in the pattern lie; rather than my second or third attempt, which might be closer to perfect. ‘Might’ is the operative word – there are a couple of ‘road kill’ snowflakes yet to come! Ones that I doubt I could ever make work without changing stitch counts. That said, they were all a lot of fun to work.

Another day, another snowflake. Check back tomorrow!

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Phantom Star by Lace Lunatic
Phantom Star, a photo by Lace Lunatic on Flickr.

The next flake that I sampled in Part I of Tatted Flurries by Sharon Briggs was Phantom Star: an engaging tat that gave me a very pretty snowflake. This time, there were no tension issues.

All of the snowflakes from Tatted Flurries were worked in Size 20 white Lizbeth.

‘Priscilla’ follows Phantom Star in the book, and in my presentation. Look for it tomorrow.

Janus by Lace Lunatic
Janus, a photo by Lace Lunatic on Flickr.

The first snowflake in Part I of Tatted Flurries by Sharon Briggs.

This pretty snowflake was a quick and easy tat. The patterns in Sharon’s book flow very intuitively. Alas, my tension is quite different from hers (rings are looser, chains tend to be tighter) which, as you can see has led to a little buckling. Not too terrible in this flake design. You will see in future posts that things did not always work out so well for me with some of the other patterns.

Look for a new snowflake tomorrow!

No, this snowflake is not from Sharon Briggs’ Tatted Flurries book, but I thought I should show it to you first because it is a perfect example of the spontaneity imparted by proficiency in the single shuttle techniques mentioned in the last post.

This is the ever-popular Leen’s snowflake, with the on-the-fly addition of loop tatted tips. Cute, isn’t it?

Netty and friends by Lace Lunatic
Netty and friends, a photo by Lace Lunatic on Flickr.

Anne Bruvold’s Netty the Newt, with pals Hetty, Letty and Betty. The green newts were tatted using single shuttle split rings and loop tatted rings; the orange ones were tatted using conventional split rings and self-closing mock rings.

Conventional split rings are, without a doubt, faster for me to tat than single shuttles ones – even though I use both ring types on a regular basis.  I also experience a little thrill as I flip my hand into the dead spider position to form the stitches of the second half of a conventional split ring (yeah, I know that sounds a little strange).  That said, the freedom imparted by being able to move around within a piece with a single shuttle allows enormous spontaneity in tatting.

Next up: a flurry of snowflakes from Sharon Briggs.

“Where do you come from?” said the Red Queen.  “And where are you going?  Look up, speak nicely, and don’t twiddle your fingers all the time.”

Alice attended to all these directions, and explained as well as she could, that she had lost her way.

“I don’t know what you mean by your way,” said the Queen: “all the ways about here belong to me – but why did you come out here at all? ” she added in a kinder tone.  “Curtsey while you’re thinking what to say.  It saves time.”

(Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll)

Things are definitely out of order.  This bookmark was in fact tatted before Gemini, and I was not planning to blog about it.  After all, I have tatted Black Magic at least six times in various colors but, not one of the bookmarks ever made it to the blog.  So, here it is:

Pattern: Black Magic by Mary Konior from Tatting with Visual Patterns in Olympus 40.

Wishing you all a very pleasant Memorial Day/Bank Holiday weekend! (on either side of the Looking Glass)

ETA: In the comments, Gina mentioned a favorite sage green Black Magic bookmark of hers, of which she is very fond.  That reminded me that my very first Black Magic was tatted in sage green DMC 80.  Since it was also my very first tatted project, I include it here for the sake of comparison.

Gemini by Lace Lunatic
Gemini, a photo by Lace Lunatic on Flickr.

Almost forgot to blog this. It was a gift for a friend who was moving away this month. The pattern is Mary Konior’s Gemini. The thread is Yarnplayer’s Stardate HDT (size 30).

The placement of the colors within the pattern was pure chance and worked out very nicely.

A small Easter basket, fashioned from a pentagonal variation of “‘Basket of Eggs” from A Pattern Book of Tatting by Mary Konior.

Truth be told, the initial pentagon was a boo-boo (the original motif is hexagonal); but then I saw possibilities…

Wishing you sunshine and flowers on this joyful spring weekend; however you may be celebrating it.

This bookmark was tatted from quick notes that I made about a photograph that appeared on the old eTatters site.  The original was tatted in size 80 thread (variegated pink and soft green).  The shape of this bookmark has always appealed to me immensely.  It seemed a good project for Yarnplayer’s
Luna and Purple in size 40.

If you recognize this as your pattern (with different stitch counts because I was winging it), please leave me a message in the comments, so I can give you proper credit and, if there is interest and it is not a violation of copyright, make the pattern available.

It was one of those projects that just came together: no muss, no fuss, no do-overs.  (How often does that happen?) A slight ruffling in the outer chains went away with a light pressing and one Aero bobbin of Luna in shuttle one was the exact amount of thread needed (8″ left after sewing in ends).  The size and placement of the outer chain picots do not  please me (too few, too small), but were in keeping with the original photo.  Something I would tweak in a subsequent version.

My initial idea for this rendition of Jane’s SSSCH spider (link to pattern in previous post) was to make a small hourglass of red delica beads to insert in the middle.  Then I was also going to experiment with different legs. In the heat of the moment, all that got tossed out the window.

Indeed, the truly remarkable thing about this spider is not its crystal center, but rather the way in which the floating chain legs were formed. Terry Nimmer, the brilliant man behind the SSSCH/floating chain, took the whole process to the next level by coming up with a method which allows the entire leg to be formed from a single thread! Yes, you read that correctly: the tail of working thread that forms the chain is first used as the shuttle, and then as puller. The mind does boggle a bit. The implications for free form tatting are tremendous! Any time a tatter wishes to toss out a floating chain (legs, whiskers, flower tendrils, etc.), the whole operation can be performed with a single thread.  Terry has put together an excellent photo tutorial to illustrate the technique.  Try it!  I think you will find it both fun and useful.

ETA:  I had not yet thought ahead to branching floating chains, but Terry has: “If you try to make a floating chain on a floating chain, the first one needs to be done with the core thread or a separate thread loop. The working thread loop can only pull the last chain. If you do it wrong, you will know right away.”  I’ll have to try that next!