Sunday, February 24, 2019


I had an idea and set about putting it into lace. Part way through, what was supposed to be a petal was conforming more to the shape of a hexagon, so I cut it back and started again only to discover that the only way to accomplish what I wanted was to have outward facing rings on each petal point which I hadn't done. Sooooo, I unwound the bobbin and pulled back all of the rings and chains on the previous row and then re-tatted it with the outward facing rings now in place.

Then I started on the next section and the ring size I had chose was too big. I unwound the bobbin and pulled the thread back to the beginning. I have no problem with undoing 3, 4 or 5 rings and chains one stitch at a time, but 12 or so is just too many so I unwind the bobbin and pull the thread back.

(To explain for newer tatters, on the chains I go to the beginning of the chain and using a hook, pull on the core thread until I can pull it out from under the stitches. On the rings, I wiggle the hook between stitches until I can pull a bit of the core thread. Then I go to the base of the ring, separate sides and pull the core thread right out of the ring. This method is faster than undoing individual stitches.)

By the way, I noticed in one of the earlier comments someone mentioning that they tat tighter than I do. When I began tatting, I had such a stranglehold on the thread my stitches were so tight, I couldn't have wiggled a hook between stitches and I had to use a needle, frequently breaking the thread. One of the first things I tatted was a hanky edging in size 80 thread. Once I completed the edging I laid aside tatting and picked up another hobby, but I was plagued by the loss of feeling in the fingertips of my left hand. I had a series of tests done to find out why my fingers were numb, although by the time the tests were scheduled the feeling had begun to return, and I took my shuttles along to the hospital to fill in the hours between tests. Funny thing, as soon as I started tatting my fingers went numb again. The prognosis was that I had desensitized my fingers. Well duh, I kind of figured that out for myself! Consequently, I had to make a conscious effort to tat looser, or give up tatting altogether.

Back to my current project, I have just finished this round of 24 rings and chains and they all have to come out. AGAIN! I have a limited amount of this thread colour, so I can either take a chance that I'll have enough to complete the project and cut it off, or save the thread and undo another 24 rings and chains. I'm tired of pulling this thing apart and sewing in ends from all of the starts and stops.

I think maybe it's time to go read a good book and leave this disaster until morning.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Paperwhite - Ow!

I thought that since I was in the mood for spring, that I'd continue in the daffodil family and tat a paperwhite. Paperwhites are little and they grow in clusters. To get the right shape I thought that I'd tat up one side of a petal and down the next using graduated ring sizes to get the wider middle section. The trumpet shape on a paperwhite isn't very pronounced so I decided that beads would give enough of a suggestion of stamens and a single row of tatting would do for the trumpet shape. The central ring is tatted with 3 beads on alternate picots of the centre, beginning with a bead on the first picot leaving the last one as a mock picot. The first row has short chains with a picot in the middle. You'll note tiny stars on this picot in the diagram as row 2 and the trumpet shape both join into this picot.

The rings forming the petals are tiny with lots of joins. The rings at the tips are 3-1-2 or 2-1-3, with the longer side (3) to the outer edge of the petal, and the other side joined to the ring beside it. Over 10 joins on each petal for 6 petals, made for jabbing the hook through the picot and against my finger over and over again nearly 100 times for each flower and since they grow in clusters I did 3 of them in a 24 hour period, finally wearing a hole into the side of my finger -owie.

The flower is about 1.75 inches across done in size 30 thread. I think it might work in size 20 thread if one ring and chain repeat was omitted from the middle of each petal, but I'm not going to try it as my finger is presently out of commission. Size 40 thread would make a slightly smaller flower, but it still roughly the right size for a paperwhite.

The pattern for this little gem is really very easy without any split rings or split chains or really anything special but it does make a cute little flower. There are a lot of stitch counts in a very small space, so let me know if the pattern isn't readable and I'll get it reposted in a larger format.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Would you believe?

You know all those twisty turny tangles we try so hard to keep out of our tatting? Well I've just spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get them in. Aaannnddd once I got them in they didn't stay in. So I opted for teeny tiny knots. Would you believe it took almost as much time to tie these idiot knots as it did to tat all of the yellow bit?

No, you wouldn't. Well you ought to. And why would you want to tie itty bitty knots? To make stamens of course. I'm tired of cold and snow so I was thinking spring. Does this say spring to you? It does to me.

3D tatting can be challenging, but you just have to take it one step at a time. Beginning with these frustrating knots I started with a central ring in yellow of 2-2-2-2-2-2, but that left things empty in the middle. Then I tried alternate small picots and large picots with a stitch count of 1 between. Bend those ridiculous stamens out of the way tat the split ring and carry on joining into the small picots. Stretched out I allowed about 1.5 inches for the long picots. Just enough so that I could tie a knot in the tip of the picot. You want to keep all the long picots about the same size. See what the first round looks like - alien antennae.

Take note of the little stars shown on the first row. More about them later.

The large rings on row 2 are 4-4-4-4 and I made the side picots a little bit longer than usual so that the trumpet part of the flower would have a bit more flare. You'll notice that although the pattern shows this row as being outside the first row, the tatting is actually perpendicular to it. At this point you may want to pull on the tatting and stretch it into shape. It should kind of look like a thimble. Here it is completed.

Change to white thread and join to row 1 of the yellow trumpet where marked with stars. You'll actually be joining to the picots on the bit with the antennae. There's already a row 2 of the yellow trumpet in these joins at the tip of the picot, so you have to make the white join into the picot beside the yellow. You can join to the left or the right of the yellow join, but be consistent. Once you have the first row of white done you can start to see the flower taking shape.

Blocking 3D objects can be problematic which is why I don't usually bother with blocking it. I pull the lace into shape tugging and stretching the lace. On this design, you could block the white part of the lace, but on the yellow part you'll have to be content with finger blocking. Finish it off by grasping all of those tiny knots and pulling them up to sit neat and pretty in the middle of the flower. The finished flower is about 2.5 inches from point to point done in size 20 thread. These samples were done in Lizbeth Lemon Yellow and White.

I guess you need a pattern to do that don't you?  Row 2 shows a dashed line connecting the side picots of the rings. The picots are obviously not as long as that. Row 2 is vertical and to show it from the
top all you'd get on the visual is a straight line. Showing it flattened out  makes for those longer lines.

You'll note that on the rest of the diagram row 2 is omitted because you join into row 1 and continue on from there. I probably should have taken a picture after the first row of white was done, but I didn't think of it.

I tatted the first one using twisted picots and tiny outward facing rings on each petal. I did the second one with teeny tiny knots on the stamens and omitted the outer ring on each petal. I think I prefer it with the outer rings and that's the way it's drawn, but you can use them or omit them, whichever way you like it.

For those of you thinking I'd go for a spate of tatted eggs, sorry to disappoint, I'm more in the mood for flowers.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Be my Valentine

Here's a listing of the hearts and the pages with the patterns. They're listed in the order that they were designed and the list below links to the pattern for each heart. I have to say it's not my best work, but with Valentine's Day looming tatters are always looking for new heart designs and I'm sure you'll find one or two you like and you still have enough time to tat one or two before Valentine's Day.

1-   Heart 1-12-2019
2-   Heart 1-13-2019
3-   Heart 1-13-2019b
4-   Heart 1-14-2019
5-   1-23-2019 Heart
6-   Heart 1-25-2019
7-   1-31-2019b Heart
8-   2-2-2019 Heart
9-   2-3-2019 Heart
10- 2-6-2019 Heart
11- Heart 2-11-2019

I've also labelled this page Feb 2019 Hearts so that it will always be easy to find.

One last heart

Here's the latest design. Like I said, I had to tat one side, then tat the second side joining it at the appropriate points, and finish it off by tatting the bottom cloverleaf. (Edited to add: Now that I'm looking at it again, I think this one needs an outline row, or maybe not.)

I'm not thrilled with the results, but there it is. I swapped shuttles to change the curve of the chain and I think I have correctly shaded the rings to show which shuttle they are tatted with, but trying to remember what was done working upside down and backwards, I might have goofed. Not that I think anyone's going to want to tat this one, but I've been wrong before 😄 So here's the pattern anyway.

By they way, I got an odd notice from Google saying they were making a change to the comments:
"Google+ Comments: Support for Google+ comments will be turned down, and all blogs using Google+ comments will be reverted back to using Blogger comments. Unfortunately, comments posted as Google+ comments cannot be migrated to Blogger and will no longer appear on your blog."
To the best of my knowledge I haven't used Google+ Comments so that shouldn't be an issue, but if you have problems leaving comments please let me know using sharon at rsbriggs dot com (See I remembered that if you can't leave a comment you can't tell me!)

I think I pretty much have the hearts worked out of my system, but for convenience I'll do a listing like I did for the snowflakes as it makes it much easier to find the pattern you're looking for.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Did it again

I thought I'd start with a 4 ring motif and drew out what looked like a decent first half of a heart pattern and began to tat it. The first side went great, then I started working back up the second side.

See the problem? No? Well follow the yellow brick road and look at what happens when you tat it in reverse. There's another cloverleaf (not shown) on the bottom but then when you try to work it up the second side you join into the previous join...Wait a minute, there is no previous join because that part doesn't exist yet. OK. just slip in a paperclip or safety pin or scrap of thread as a marker and continue tatting...Oops, there's another one, and another. Rats, they're all over the place. The only sane way to do this design is in 2 pieces. Right side, left side and finish with the cloverleaf on the bottom.

Phooey!!! And it was going so well up until then. That's the second drawing I've done that looked good on paper, but was a stinker to execute.

On another note - did you see what Muskaan did with the January 31st heart and flower design? First she did the dimpled ring and the little bottom ring in one colour and the rest of the heart in a second colour. Then she did the dimpled ring in red, the flowers in yellow surrounded in green with an outline in a creamy beige. Outstanding! I may be able to design patterns, but I doubt that I'll ever have her flair for colour.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Hearts within hearts

When you look at a heart, it's generally a triangle shape. I wanted to try a heart with more hearts inside so I went for a generally triangular shape with a dimpled ring at the apex of each point, which gave me a really odd looking outline. It smoothed out a little with the next row, but I really wanted a lacier outline. I got the lacier outline, but the bumps at the top could have been more pronounced. The finished heart is about 3.25 inches across and 3 inches high done in size 20 thread.

For some reason the drawing of this one is really compressed at the top. I might be because the thread of the dimpled rings on the top bends down toward the bottom of the heart making more space than what appears on the line drawing. In any event, I had to cram too many stitches for too many rows in at the top, so I showed the stitch count for the rings of the repeat motif inside the rings. The joins for this ring, chain, ring motif at the top of the heart, are into the base of a ring, or to joins, of the previous row. Try getting that to fit into a drawing and then fit in the stitch count without a lot of aggravation! I did an inset to show the proper stitch count and to show the imaginary picots of where the joins are made, so the drawing should be clear enough. I suppose I could have done the drawing over top of the heart JPG which would have fixed that, but when I realized that would have been a better way to go, I already had it mostly drawn. So there you go.

I design because it's fun. When designing or creating drawings becomes too onerous, it isn't fun anymore, and at that point, I quit. The design and the drawing thereof may not be great, but there they are. As long as I'm enjoying it I don't mind churning out patterns. They may not be the most elegant patterns around, but hey, what did you expect?😉 I keep telling you I have the attention span of a gnat and I'm already on to the next thing.

Sunday, February 03, 2019

The dimple that grew

I've already written about what happened when I started with a dimpled ring and tried to make the heart shape grow by adding rows to it. That didn't work! So I thought about it and realized that I needed to have space between the dimpled ring and the next rows. I drew out a possible version and tatted it to see if it works. What do you think?

It's about 3 inches wide and 2.25 inches tall in size 20 thread. And since I'd already sketched it out, here's the pattern. Begin with the dimpled ring and then start the chain around the outside, ending the row with a split ring to climb into the next row. Do the same thing with the next row and finish with the small outward ring on the bottom of the heart. The dimpled ring is only shown as an inset to avoid having the stitch count crammed into little places.

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Simpler is better

Sometimes there are designs that are created, just to see if you can. They're often one of a kind designs as in Carol Amich's 3D tatting, like her haunted house. If you haven't seen her 3D tatting, take the time to go wander through the back posts on her blog that's linked above. Some of these designs get shared, but a lot of the time they exist just because the tatter wanted to play around and see if an idea, percolating in a fertile mind, might just be possible. In those instances, it isn't about making a pattern others can follow, it's just about creating.

When a designer is creating specifically so that others can tat, it isn't about, yes you can create it, it's more about can you make something other people will enjoy tatting. Have you ever worked on a design where you had to refer back to the pattern after every ring or chain to see what to tat next? If the design doesn't flow in a logical progression it makes it, not really harder to tat, just not as enjoyable. Consequently, when I design now, I settle as much as possible on a single ring size and a standard repeat of stitches and picots for both the rings and the chains. That makes it easier for the tatter to get into a rhythm, and enjoy the process rather than struggle with each ring and chain. Making it simpler, doesn't necessarily make a better design, but it does make for a better tatting experience.

This heart is simpler than the last design. It's a basic 5 lobe heart with a couple more rows around the perimeter.
I could have added another row on the outside to smooth out the curves but I decided it looked good as is. The finished size is 2.5 by 3 inches in size 20 thread. The pattern follows:

There's just one split chain on the penultimate row and you can tat the pattern without the split chain by finishing the row normally, cutting the thread and beginning the next row. That will make for hiding the ends on both of the last 2 rows instead of just the final row. See? Simpler.