Wednesday, January 05, 2022

101 and counting

I mentioned that I've designed a whole bunch of snowflakes, many of which I've given away without diagraming them or even taking pictures of them. When I get on a snowflake tatting jag I often finish them off drape them over the lamp shade and hand then out to anyone who comes to visit over the Christmas season. So I don't really know how many snowflakes I've designed, just that it's been a lot. I do tend to keep the designs that I've published mostly for copyright purposes.

I hardly ever tat from other people's patterns because once I got into the habit of designing it was easier to create what I wanted than to take the time to follow a pattern. (There it is, my secret is out, I design because I'm too lazy to read.) The other day I pulled out all of the ones I've kept and took a mug shot of the lot of them include four 3D snowflakes. Arranged more or less from the smallest to the largest.


Just for those of you that are going to count them to verify that there are 101 flakes, here's a 10 by 10 grid of them.


That's a lot of tatting and a lot of designing.

I was thinking of designing something for spring and the first thing that comes to mind are flowers like tulips and daffodils, but I've already been there, done that.  I thought about tatting a 3D robin but I'm not sure how to tackle that one and I don't have any appropriately coloured threads. Maybe I'll let my sub conscious kick that idea around for a while and see what happens.

OOPS!

 I've fallen into a snow bank and I can't get out! Of course I'm not trying very hard. I was sitting around after the festivities and these 3 fell off the shuttles. No diagrams yet and there may not be any forthcoming. 


While doing the last one I thought I was repeating myself, but it was only similar to 17 and not exactly the same. When you see then side by side they don't look anything alike, but when you're tatting them, it's a large ring with 2 little ring joined into it and a little ring off the top of a chain which gave me a sense of deja vu. 


I'm glad I kept going because I like the last one better. I can't really give comparative size, because I ran out of the ball of Lizbeth size 20 and the last 3 were done in Aunt Lydia size 20? 30? Different anyway.


Friday, December 31, 2021

Resistance is futile

I can't stop with thread left on the shuttles, I can't resist using it up. If I'm going to put away the white thread until next Christmas I can't just leave that thread dangling there. Can I? Can you? I have to do just one more before we say good bye to 2021. Just to finish it off with a nice round 20 snowflakes. Right? 


Here's number 20 measuring 3.75 inches from point to point. This one is back to a basic daisy with one more row of tatting. It has a nice lace to space ratio and an airy feel to it. I made the side rings on the cloverleaves slightly smaller because I wasn't sure how it would fit together and I didn't want the row to buckle. That's the same reason I didn't join the cloverleaves together and I'm happy that I didn't.


I think that's all the snowflakes for this season and of course the group picture which shows you their relative sizes. I did try to place them on the scanner in order, but had to shuffle them around a bit so that they'd all fit. Sixteen mini snowflakes and 4 not so mini snowflakes.

  


Thursday, December 30, 2021

There was thread left on the shuttle

 That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it. Another not so mini flake. It's actually quite large measuring 4 inches from point to point. It's also one that I kind of like although I didn't think I was going to after the first row. I decided to use large rings like the central daisy but then I had this big gap point to point and I chose to fill it in with tiny split rings which resulted in an almost round motif. When I added points on the next round I had a hexagon motif and still not a snowflake shape. 


The last round finally resulted in some proper points. And a proper pattern... sort of. I've just noticed that I marked a split chain in the pattern. but neglected it in the legend. I'll fix it if I get a chance, which I probably won't.


19 is a strange number... and I had to add thread onto the shuttles to finish it up. That means I still have thread on the shuttles.....Whatever will I do?

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Definitely not mini snowflake 18

I needed a snowflake for gifting and I wanted something a little bit bigger, so this one has the base daisy plus two rows of tatting. It is 3.25 inches point to point and I like the symmetry, but I'm not fond of  "spaghetti chains". That's what I call long unsupported stretches of chains. I want to add another row to give it more stability, but that would wreck the overall look of the design which kind of looks like an explosion going outward.


The larger size of this drawing might have resulted in  hard to see numbers, so let me know if you have a problem with it.


This might end the batch of "mini snowflakes" which is just as well because I don't think I can fit much more on the scanner for a group shot.


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Not so Mini Snowflake 17

 I never thought when I started playing around with this idea that I'd be able to come up with so many small snowflake designs with a daisy base plus one row of tatting. Just when I think I'm done another idea pops up. 


This one made a nice finished flake with a good lace to space ratio and joining the arms side to side with the small ring made a really stable design that won't flop over after it's hung for a while. The finished size is 3 inches across which makes quite a respectable snowflake.


Have you ever had someone ask you "what is your favourite?" I have, and I never know how to answer. Is my favourite the one the one that is most aesthetically pleasing? Is it the one that is quickest to tat? Is it the easiest to tat?  Is it the one that is most mentally challenging? When I start out each Christmas season to make the snowflakes for our cards, my parameters are often set by, how much tatting time do I have and how much thread do I have on hand as well as what kind of a design am I going to make. Sometimes I go with a simpler design because I'm pressed for time and the intricate one I'd really like to make will just take more hours than I have in a day. So my favourite that year may be the one that I have time to make not the one that I find personally most attractive.

How about you? What kind of parameters make a favourite snowflake for you?


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Mini Snowflake 16

 I haven't run out of thread yet, so here's the latest. 


There's still more thread on the ball, but I had to break out a new ball of thread to make something large enough to be gift-able. This one is only 2 inches across.


When I run out of thread on the original ball, I'm done, but that's still a couple of snowflakes away.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Mini Snowflake 15

Number 15 is one of those designs with long skinny arms that tend to flop over, but it's small enough not to sag too much. It's roughly 2.5 inches across. 

It also didn't take much thread, so I have another one on the shuttles.




I like using size 20 thread for tatting most things like snowflakes, doilies and Christmas ball covers. but I use size 80 for hanky edgings and bookmarks. Size 20 thread has disappeared from the stores long before Covid started impacting the supply chain, so I went online to order some, but talk about sticker shock! Handy Hands has the best supply of great threads and who can beat $4.25 US a ball for thread...except that converted to Canadian it's $5.50 which is still a great price, until you add in $35 for shipping which is $45 Canadian and the $4 ball of thread suddenly costs $50.00! Would you pay $50 for a ball of thread? I tried playing around with increasing the order hoping to exponentially reduce the cost per ball, but there wasn't any variation that worked.

I went back to looking for Canadian suppliers and many of them were out of stock on white thread but I finally found some at Stitch-It Central (https://www.stitchitcentral.ca/) Lovely folks, great to deal with. I ordered 2 balls of white thread in October so that I could tat my Christmas snowflakes and it only cost me $28.00 Canadian including shipping. That was only $14 a ball as compared to $50  which is a real steal!!! (Yes I'm being a little bit sarcastic.) I understand, Covid is changing a lot of things but my Scottish roots really want to pinch the pennies.

That being said, I'm finding myself being very stingy with the thread I have. Hence using scrap threads for the designs with multiple thread joins in teeny tiny bits of lace. There's still more thread on the first ball. You know what that means... More snowflake designs!