Wednesday, November 08, 2017

No snowflakes, just butterflies

For years I have been tatting snowflakes to send out with our Christmas cards to special people. You tat. You know that not everyone deserves the time and effort that goes into making a piece of tatted lace. So not everyone gets a snowflake. I do a few extras to give away to visitors during the holidays and as we all know, tatting is a great stress reliever so it accomplishes both keeping things calm and collected as well as providing little gifts. However, as the family ages there are more and more households without children and the need for the sparkle of Christmas trees. That means that I'm sending out snowflakes that don't ever get used.

As I considered this situation last year I thought that it might be preferable to send out butterflies that could be used all year long. For people who have Christmas trees they can still hang the butterflies. For those that don't, the butterfly can be displayed elsewhere or used on clothing or stored wherever they've been keeping the rest of them, which is hopefully not file 13 aka the circular file.

I have a butterfly pattern which can be done in one pass, but I don't really like the look of it. See what I mean?

I took the basic design and replaced the body section.You can see that I was playing around with how the wings fitted onto the body. That meant that the body, which is done with split rings needed to be done with 2 shuttles wound CTM

After working in size 20 thread I did it again in some size 80 using a solid thread colour for the body and the small rings that attach to it with a complimentary variegated thread for the rest of the wings. For the body I loaded enough solid coloured thread for the body and one wing. After tatting the body, I started the first ring of the wing and added in the variegated thread working from a section where the colours matched. (I used my method of adding thread which you can find in the sidebar to the right.) It didn't turn out to bad, but I didn't like the antennae.

When I tatted it again in the size 20 Lizbeth thread I made the antennae longer and tied a knot in the tip. I wasn't really paying attention to the placement of the variegated colour except on the starting ring to minimize the amount of contrast between the first ring and chain of the wing especially since the split rings were probably going to show a marked contrast anyway. Then again, these were butterfly wings and I wanted a lot of variation.

On some of the later butterflies I made more of an attempt at matching the wings, but sometimes, with the way the colours were arranged especially on a colour like Summer Fun, it was almost impossible. Some match better than others, although with the solid colours being in fixed positions, that certainly helps.

I'm not at all anxious about front side/back side tatting, so I didn't get bent out of shape trying to keep everything going in the same direction. On the second wing I just turned it to the back and repeated. For anyone who is, they'd have to reverse their order of tatting for the second wing.

Here's what the collection looks like. Each butterfly is approximately 3.75 by 3.5 inches which is just about perfect for what I was looking for.

And here's a picture with the one done in size 80 at the top for contrast. I'm thinking I'll glue that one onto my cell phone. I have the pattern drawn out for what I started with, but of course I tweaked it as I progressed. At some point I'll adjust the pattern to what the final version worked out at and get it posted.


Lace-lovin' Librarian ~ Diane said...

Your butterflies are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your design process. I sometimes forget how many tries it takes to get a design to work. I'm sure the recipients will be delighted!

Cherish happy moments said...

Never see this before very lovely! Greetings,Joan

God's Kid said...

Very nice butterflies!! Fabulous variety of colors!!! :)

Margarets designer cards said...

Beautiful butterflies, I like the pattern

muskaan said...

I thoroughly enjoy seeing/reading design process - the journey tells us so much more than the final outcome.
Some of the variegation has really centered and mirrored well!
Love the individuality and cheerfulness of each butterfly :-)