Wednesday, July 19, 2006


I've been thinking about doing a series of posts including things for beginners. I really want to put the stuff on my web site but that requires intensive input from Rob. If it isn't perfect he won't put it up. Useful takes a while, perfection takes longer and I'm impatient. I really want to do this. Do I have time for it? Probably not, but if it's in a blog I can do it in little pieces and then when/if it gets moved to my web site everything will be complete. Sort of. Well my part will be complete, perfection will come by and by.

On several of the e-mail lists we've had discussions about what makes a pattern difficult and I have always maintained that a technique such as split rings ought not to be part of the equation. If a pattern calls for split rings and you can't do them the pattern isn't difficult, it's impossible. If you can do split rings the pattern may actually be very easy. So when I started doing patterns for publication I devised a legend so you can see at a glance what the pattern needs.

The picture at the top are the symbols I selected. A happy face means it should be easy for anyone to tat. The not so happy face means it will take concentration. Doesn't the little guy look like he's concentrating? The symbols that look like a pair of canoes are shuttles. There's only one when a pattern calls for one or more when more are needed. The next symbol is a ball of thread. doesn't it resemble threads going around a ball? The circle split in the middle is used for split rings. The pair of vertical lines are used for mock picots, I don't usually mark them in the pattern. I think it's overkill for something that just happens as you work. The eternity symbol is what is use for continuous thread (CTM) , no beginning no end just lots of thread. (Don't we just wish that our shuttle threads were endless!). The last symbol of linked paperclips also looks like chain links, so I use it to show split chains.

There are some other symbols I use from time to time, but so rarely that I describe them when I do. Like the symbol for a really hard pattern. I've only ever used it once or twice. The first time I used it on the Orchid pattern in the Transitions book. That pattern was such a stinker to do that I only tatted it twice. It's also the only pattern I really had to have proof tatted. The end results are pretty, but Oyyyy what a pain to work on.

I think I'm going to begin this beginners series with some of the patterns I use to teach with. I'll need to tat up some samples first and right now I really ought to be doing other stuff... If I have time after Bible Study tonight I might get to it. Bible Study has really been great, we've been going through the book of Mark looking at how Jesus operated and seeing what He did to get the results He had. It's been very thought provoking and challenging.

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