I haven't been keeping up with the blog, I have been tatting a little, but not a lot. I saw a comment the other day about Anne Orr's baby bootie, or as it's called in the book, Baby Socklet and Shoe. I've tatted it, but the design is a stinker, at least , in my opinion it is. It is pretty and it looks all right when it's finished, but it's one of those piecemeal patterns where you tat a piece and lay it aside, then you tat a different piece and lay it aside, then you connect the pieces together by doing yet more pieces. Pieces drive me nuts.
When people talk about a good pattern, or a nice pattern, or a "go to" pattern, They are often talking about very different things, but they use the same terminology. It must really confuse new tatters. A lot of people looking for something to tat for a christening often choose this pattern. It isn't especially difficult and if I remember correctly it takes about 11 hours to complete. I remember the number because someone asked me what I would charge for making them and I had to figure out the hours and I can't remember if that was for one or the pair, although I think it was the pair. What I DO remember is that having to do the bits and pieces really irritated me, so much so that I did my own version, following along the same lines, but working the whole thing in only 2 pieces. The Anne Orr bootie calls for size 30 and I used a size 50 in mine
Is it a good pattern? Maybe. It's pretty enough and it doesn't have lots of pieces, but if front side/back side is a major issue for you, you'd definitely hate this pattern.
If you are just learning to tat, a design that uses just simple rings and chains is going to be a great pattern, but if you are experienced, that kind of pattern will drive you around the bend with monotony. If you need something for a quick gift, you might gravitate toward something that has a simple design, but if you want to make something with lots of WOW factor, you might want something more elaborate. If you were making a gift for another tatter, you might choose something with lots of clunies, because you know that another tatter will appreciate the time that goes into them, but a non tatter might be just as impressed with something that just uses chains.
Sometimes your definition of a good pattern is neither how the finished lace looks, nor the techniques it uses, nor how long it takes to complete, but depends solely on how the pattern is written. Some people don't like using written patterns, and some people can't stand visual patterns.
Now and then, people will refer to a design as being their "go to" pattern and often that simply means that the pattern is their first choice to tat, just because they have it memorized and they don't have to go look for the pattern or refer to a page when they are tatting. That doesn't mean it's particularly pretty, or quick to tat, or well written, it just means it's memorized.
So what about you? What makes a good pattern for you? Is it the visual appeal of the design? Is it the way that it's written? Is it the techniques involved? Or is it something else? Inquiring minds want to know.