I bought the Celeste pattern nearly as soon as Frivole put it out. But from then on there's always been a reason to delay tatting it. However I have finally finished it today! I eyeballed these picots so they are a little wonky. But it turns out my mother loves the pattern so I shall tat another one for her and I will probably use a gauge for that one.
I won Umintsuru's hanky sachet giveaway, and here it is.
It is lovely and pleasing to the eye. I like the colorway and the way it compliments the handkerchief. And of course it is beautifully and precisely tatted. I was amazed at how even and regular it was. It is sitting on my bookshelf now, adding some beauty to the room. Thank you, Umintsuru!
Just another Ribbon Floss Snowflake today. Oh, wait -- just another TWO Ribbon Floss Snowflakes today. That's the big excitement around here. Why two? Well, I realized how many people I wanted to give snowflakes to, and tomorrow is my last day of work this year. (Who's excited? Not me. Yes, all right, me.)
Frivole designed a beautiful little star this year and I added a sixth arm to make a snowflake. It's definitely a star-ry kind of snowflake. It was such a joy to tat; even with modifications the pattern is consummately elegant. Simple and flowing well.
Another design by Jan Stawasz. I got distracted partway through this snowflake and remained distracted for two points. Can you see it? Oops. I will have to make this again to do justice to this lovely design.
A modified version of Orsi's snowflake which I did previously. I like the way the Josephine knots change the overall shape of the snowflake, making more of a straight line between point to point appear.
Minaret, by Vida Sunderman. I wanted to split ring out of the first round of this, but in a moment of absent-mindedness I started with a ring instead of with the chain I needed so that I could climb out on the final ring that joined to it. So I thought, it's no fun unpicking all this -- I will just use a split chain at the end and then the split ring. But because all the chains are pointing inward on this round, it took forever to figure out how to align the work so that I could make the split chain in the right direction. Still... it was more fun than unpicking all of the first round!
Stellar, by Frivole. Love this snowflake -- all the elements work together to form such a compact, clearly-defined shape. But none of the rings or chains are twisted strangely or aligned in any way foreign to usual tatting. Great example of my favorite virtue in any design: working with the natural form of tatting to achieve a particular shape or effect without ceasing to also look like tatting.
Snowflake number ten is Frivole's December Motif from last year. I modified this one because I didn't want to use beads, so I added two tiny rings in their place. I have mixed feelings about the results -- midway through it looked very ugly but in the end it pulled through. Still it might have been best to have just made it as written.
Today's snowflake is from a book published in 1921 by Tina Frauberger and now available online here (pg 54). Unfortunately the book is in German. I tried to decipher which sets of numerals in the text were stitch counts for which parts of the pattern, but I ended up fudging the stitch counts through most of the flake. It turned out pretty much like the picture in the end, which was the important thing. This is very reminiscent of my favorite cross pattern, the Small Cross by Mary Konior. I wonder if Mary Konior was inspired by this design or if she just came up with the same shape independently. At any rate I think it makes a lovely cross as well as a lovely snowflake.
This is only my 7th snowflake for this December, but I still have plenty left over from previous years and last night I was able to make use of some of them. My roommate and I decorated our house for Christmas. Here's a close-up of my favorite decoration: the cedar garland with red ornaments and tatted snowflakes.
Well, it's a little bit bigger! The pattern for this calls it the Knobby Bud Medallion and to me it was one of those "this could be a snowflake" patterns. I blocked the chains just a little bit pointy. It's not the most snowflakiest of snowflakes, but I like it quite a bit.
Today in addition to tatting lace snowflakes, I got to observe quite a lot of real ones! I live in an area that cancels everything for two inches of snow, so that's about what we got, and the schools that I work in cancelled everything. So I had a whole day off, but I couldn't spend it all tatting, because I had to clean too. I did get started on tomorrow's snowflake though. It's nice to be ahead a little bit.
This one turned out a little wonky in my hands but the lines of the design shine through: Snow Crystal I by Frivole. So simple and so beautiful. (Although I think it was far from simple to design: the work that went into making it so clean and effective is really impressive.)
Here are two snowflakes for two days of December. I'll see how long I can keep this up. The first one (on the right) was Le Flocon de Frivole (still one of my very favorites) and the second, smaller, one is by Orsi. Two stellar snowflakes from two stellar designers! Here's to a flurry of their like this month.
In between my crosses, I got the urge to make another Flying Minor Norwegian Dragon! This is the Meadow Dragon, distinguishable to the careful eye when resting camouflaged among the primroses and grass in a mountain meadow.
I'm actually not sure that I'll make a dragon in two colors again, particularly with the colors placed like this (as opposed to, say, body/head/tail one color, wings another color). I'm conflicted about whether I like the overall effect. But it was pretty interesting getting the colors to go right and I got to practice my Double Core Single Shuttle Split Rings. (whew, that's a mouthful of a technique name!) I still think the beauty of the pattern shows through best when done in one color -- that way the colors do not distract from the shapes, which work together beautifully in this pattern. But that is my own personal bias -- I find it so difficult to work in more than one color because the shapes and structure of a pattern are always what strike me the most vividly. I definitely enjoy all the beautifully executed multi-colored tattings that I see on blogs -- I am always surprised by how different the right color choices can make a pattern look.
I made a major boo-boo on one of this dragon's wings -- can you find it? It's at least a consistent mistake!
So, a month or so before Easter, I started rounding up cross patterns to tat.... and I've been tatting crosses ever since. I meant to stop... but there are so many good patterns! Also these are so easy to give away, so I have made several versions of the best patterns. It's been fun experimenting with tails to turn them into bookmarks. Here are some of the results.
This is the first pattern I tried: Julie Patterson's Hearts and Flowers. I like this one; simple and elegant in appearance. It's not completely simple to tat, and I fiddled around with various combinations of split rings and chains. The yellow and black was my first one and you can see I tried an onion ring with no tassel for the tail, but I really don't like the way that looks! The onion ring with tassel on the pastel and black cross is much better. There's also an Elizabeth Zipay mini-cross on the right of this picture. Great pattern, so quick and cute!
Here is my new favorite pattern! The Anna Burda design that was beautifully adapted by Jane into a bookmark, and has now been even more beautifully adapted by Grace Tan into a cross. It's unique in its construction -- not only do you make it in split rings but to make it a cross, you tat one L-shaped piece from arm-end to arm-end, and then you begin another L-shaped piece and attach at the center as you make the second piece. This has the advantage of keeping it fun and interesting to tat and it tats up very quickly once you get the hang of it. I made more than three of this one!
And an old favorite; Mary Konior's Small Cross. I never get tired of this one. The shape is so beautiful. I tried with a tail and tassel and with just a tassel. I like both ways.
This is by no means all the crosses I've done. More coming up, along with a few other motifs. I did in fact tat some things between Easter and now that were not crosses! ... Two things, to be exact. Impressive number, no? I am not kidding about how many crosses I made. And I haven't even gotten to all the patterns I wanted to do.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! This is my favorite 'minor' holiday. Corned beef, cabbage, potatoes, colcannon, Guinness -- what could go wrong? I love making these foods and making sure that I wear green. Usually the green includes a tatted shamrock or two as well.
Here are the shamrocks I turned out this year:
That's Mariya Davydova's Clover in the middle. I pulled the outer chains tight on this one and it gave it just a bit of 3-D effect with the rings standing out of the middle of the chains. The Blooming Shamrocks on either side of it are also slightly 3-D. For them I modified Gina's lovely pattern a little so that the leaves would be smaller and frame the small ring more tightly. Then underneath on the left are three shamrocks based off of Gina's Lucky Seven pattern. I didn't have the pattern with me so the stitch counts are a little different. On the bottom right are two of Frivole's Trefle pattern. This is her version 2, with the SCMR. I like it very much -- simple and elegant.
And here's how I wore them.
There was a St. Patrick's Day square dance this weekend, but unfortunately I have no green square dance dresses. Solution? Pin shamrocks to my bodice. It's not as much green as I'd like but at least it was better than nothing.
Finally, you might be wondering why some of my shamrocks were orange. Or you might have a good guess already. Everybody knows to wear green on St. Patrick's Day, whether they care to do it or not, but it's not as commonly known that green is a symbol of Catholicism while orange is a symbol of Protestantism. Personally I am a Protestant, so while I still want to wear green as a symbol of the day, I don't want to leave out my orange. Here's how I solved the conundrum today:
You see my green shawl and my orange shamrock, side by side. I think I can wear green and orange together as a symbol of the unity of the church, right? Seems appropriate for a Sunday St. Patrick's Day.
I had high hopes this year of posting my tatted snowflakes as I tatted them, rather than all in one big lump like last year. Maybe even day by day, as Allison, Diane, and Margaret did! However, that just didn't happen. Fortunately, the actual tatting of the snowflakes did happen, so here's a big lump post.
On the left, the Ribbon Floss Snowflake from Vida Sunderman's Tatted Snowflakes. One of my favorite's from the book -- simple and quick yet elegant. On the right, Yarnplayer's Pointed Snowflake.
Top left corner and thence clockwise: Candlelight Snowflake - I learned Loop-Tatted Rings for this one and am currently enamored of them. More on that later. A modification of the Pointed Snowflake -- trying to make the points come out less pointy and with less negative space, which was probably working against the main goal of the design and so it serves me right that it didn't turn out as I hoped. A doodle I found on the internet last year - SCMR Snowflake 1 by Sally Magill. An old design found in DMC Tatting for Today #15209. The Tenth Day of December from Lene Bjorn's 24 Snowflakes. (Coincidentally I began it on Dec 10th, while paying no attention to the date.) Stellar, by Frivole. A motif from Blomqvist and Persson's useful book. And in the middle we have Elmo's Snowflake. (Very similar to the Ribbon Floss Snowflake, but subtly different -- fun to tat them in the same fortnight and note the difference.)
Kira's Star by Birgit Phelps. Will be tatting this one many many times.
Top left corner clockwise: The Seventh Day of December - of course this is Lene Bjorn again. A vintage design kindly modernised two years ago by Gina the Tatting Goddess. (Her blog was the first tatting blog I ever found and this snowflake, which is one of my favorites, is a perfect example of the legacy she left us.) And Betsy's Snowflake, which I tried on a whim and liked much better than I thought I would.
On the left, Minaret Snowflake, and on the right, Spoke Snowflake, both from Vida Sunderman. Both quick, easy, and effective, and both look much better in person than in the book. This is a common problem with snowflakes from this book -- perhaps the photography was approached in the wrong way? I don't know. The Spoke Snowflake has the distinction of being my last snowflake of 2012; finished around 11 PM while playing Trivial Pursuit with my family at our annual New Year's Eve game night. Trivial Pursuit is always the last game played and consequently the most hilarious (as the late hour and increasing amounts of sugar always ensure.) This year it featured some creative cheating by my dad and sister, who surreptitiously acquired an extra die, managing to come up with rolls such as seven or ten to help them move around the board more freely than the rest of us relying on the standard one die.
And finally, the first snowflake of 2013! This is from Rozella Linden's Easy Tatting, which is one of the few books I have owned since my early days of tatting, a decade ago. Sadly, this inaugural snowflake is marred by a nasty mistake. I was fully round the next point by the time I saw it and so I let it go, glaring as it is.
Here is a "before" and after picture of my snowflake thread. All these snowflakes came from the same ball of white thread. On the left of the picture you see a ball identical to the original, and on the right is the ball after I tatted all the snowflakes. Counting the three snowflakes from my original 2012 snowflake post, I have tatted 20 snowflakes this year, and 20 snowflakes really did a number on that ball of thread!
Happy tatting in 2013! Watch this space for even more snowflakes... eventually.