Friday, December 23, 2016

Lenore English's January Reflections

This lovely snowflake was designed by Lenore English as part of a (sadly unfinished) "year of snowflakes" series.  I enjoy the multiple nested shapes, and the clever way she formed the clover/trefoil at the tips of the inner star - one ring is made in the round with the star, and the two on either side are made in the following round, and join at the base of the center ring - a useful technique for beginners who often have a gap at the base of their rings.  Note: mine ALWAYS needs to be blocked firmly to lie flat, and looks better when starched and pined firmly to stretch the inner star into pointy elegance.
Lenore English_January Reflections
I don't know if Lenore has a current website - this pattern was posted on Geocities and is available via the wayback machine here.  If anyone knows of a current site for Lenore, please let me know!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Jennifer Williams' snowflake Julia

This snowflake is the main reason I wanted Jennifer Williams' book "Tatted Snowflakes" (it's the blue one on the lower right of the cover).  I love the free-floating rings in the center and the twisted texture of the node stitch chains that form the internal star.
Jennifer Williams_Julia
Amazon Affiliate link to show book cover:

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Joelle Paulson's Le Flocon Frivole (both versions)

Joelle Paulson (frivole) has generously shared two variations of this lovely snowflake on her blog.

The first version is worked in two rounds, and you can climb between using split rings IF you start with a blind chain.  If you forget you are starting with a blind chain, you either end up with the center as a cute little motif or two sets of ends to hide...oops.  I love the angled arches formed over the inner rings, and the unusual tip shape.  As is my habit, I did remove some picots from the tips.
Joelle Paulson_Le Flocon Frivole
The second version is worked in one round.  I find it interesting that to me these look like completely different snowflakes, because I focus a lot on the center, whereas Joelle considers them two variations because the outer layer is the same.
Joelle Paulson_Le Flocon Frivole single pass version
Both patterns, as well as many other excellent free and for-sale patterns, can be found on her pattern page here.

DMC Festive Tatting's Motif #17

DMC's Festive Tatting was one of the first tatting books I bought after I learned to tat, and this snowflake has been one of my favorite patterns ever since.  The original has some picots in the inner rosette, but I have removed them to make the pattern more airy.  I probably went a little overboard with the length of the decorative picots on this one, but I like the contrast between the graceful lines and the frothy edges.
DMC_Festive Tatting_Motif17
Turns out this ALSO is my 25th snowflake post.  I challenged myself (via the 25 motif challenge blog) to make 25 weekly tatting posts.  Other than my unplanned multi-month summer hiatius, I did manage to post weekly.  I've also had a lot of fun, so I think I'll sign up for another 25 challenge and just keep going.

The book is sadly out of print (and DMC was not very helpful when I emailed them to ask if they were planning to reprint it) but at least at the moment it's not unreasonably priced on Amazon:

UPDATE:  I just discovered this pattern can be downloaded for free at  I can't find an index so no idea if there are others available, but this one is. 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Miranda Rensberger's Starflower

Shared by Miranda Rensberger (aka tatting fool) on her blog, I find the center of this snowflake quite captivating, with a graceful symmetry that really does resemble a flower.  It's worked in three rounds, the center round being the six split rings in the center.  I tried working it in two rounds (combining the first and second rounds by converting the first round into regular rings) and it does make a difference - working it as written using split rings results in more even joins between the inner chains and center rings.

The pattern PDF shows one which was blocked firmly using pins, and the graceful curves become striking angles; both variations look lovely.
Miranda Rensberger_Starflower
Find this and other patterns (some free, some for sale) on her pattern page.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Emma Crew's Flutterflake (sans flutters)

This lovely flake was originally shared by Emma Crew back in 2001 on the now-defunct geocities, but is fortuitously still available via the wayback machine.  (If anyone knows of a current website for Emma, please let me know!)
Emma Crew_Flutterflake
In the original pattern, each petal contains a butterfly (the "flutters") tatted separately in size 80 thread.  I skipped the flutters partly because I really like the way it looks without them; the petals have an unusual onion-dome look to them. The other reason is that it's almost impossible to match whites across dye lots, much less two different sizes and two different brands, and I wanted an all-white snowflake.

I didn't do a great job blocking this one, but also I found it a little tricky to get the junction where the chains reverse direction to lie neatly - I tend to pull too tightly on the first stitch and pull them out of alignment, as you'll notice if you look closely.  People with gentler tension will find it goes more smoothly; if you include the flutters the join happens at the transition so it is less obvious even if your tension is too tight.  It's possible to skip the transition and have a simple curve for the chains, but I think it's not quite as attractive.

Pattern available here thanks to the internet archive/wayback machine.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Shuttle Brothers tatting class & summer break from tatting

I have been reminded that I really don't tat during the summer, thus the unplanned hiatus.  Partly I'm less inclined to tat with white thread when it's hot and my hands are sticky (air conditioning is not common here) but I've also been doing other things (more below).  The weather is turning, so I'll hopefully be back to snowflakes soon.

There was one bit of tatting in June:  I had the opportunity to take a three-day tatting class on rings with The Shuttle Brothers, Gary and Randy Houtz (  Just rings - but rings using TWO threads, and techniques other than the self-closing mock ring.  It was a ton of fun and involved a great deal of thinking, so I don't have a lot of tatting to show for it, just a handful of rings:

Yes, each of those is technically a single ring, usually with a very short chain going in and out (on a few I skipped the chain so you can see four tails).  Some rings include stacked or nested rings using different techniques.  A lot of the ideas are most useful when tatting with two colors, which I don't typically use, but some result in interesting textures or options which can be incorporated in one color work.  If you have a chance to take a class from them, I highly recommend it.

Other things? 

I took a week long trip to visit my new baby niece.  She's adorable.  I am, of course, completely unbiased on this topic.

I also coordinated a freezer jam making activity for my church group.  49 people signed up to participate and make their jam - I get the supplies in bulk and keep everything running.  After several weeks of preparation on my part, we converted 21.5 gallons of strawberries (they come from the processing plant washed, capped, sliced, and in buckets, but no preservatives or sugar added) into 430 cups of jam during six fast-paced hours.

Here's a shot of most of the supplies as I was setting up:

During the summer I help to coordinate a local produce bulk-buy group, and as a result I can get my hands on some really nice ripe fruit.  I eat a lot of it, but also made some cooked jam: 
  • apricot (I love it in yogurt)
  • peach
  • peach-apricot (experimental, not sure how much I like it)
  • peach-raspberry (experimenting with different ratios before I added the vanilla in the next recipe)
  • peach melba (peach-raspberry+vanilla bean; about 4 cups peaches, 1 cup raspberries, and a vanilla bean cut in half with the little black seeds scraped out and mixed in.  Toss the vanilla bean pod in while it's cooking, but fish it out before you can the jam.  So good.)
  • dark chocolate raspberry truffle (yes, it's chocolate jam - amazing on croissants.  Recipe here.)
  • plum (from the oval purple Italian plums - from a neighbor's tree)
  • plum star anise (due to time constraints I left the star anise and plums melding for two days in the fridge instead of a couple hours, and it was a little too much licorice flavor for me.  Taste testers who like licorice raved about it though.  Recipe from Preserving by the Pint.)
  • pear vanilla bean (recipe from the Food In Jars blog, but I peel the pears and modify to use dry pectin, which is cheaper.  My local natural foods coop store has vanilla beans for about $2 each in the bulk section.)
  • pear cranberry cinnamon (it tastes like autumn - from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, again I modify to use dry pectin instead.)
Did a jam tasting for some friends and discovered they look very nice on a plate together. In person the translucence is quite striking.

Once they come into season I'll also make some Meyer lemon marmalade, but otherwise I think I'm done with jam for the year.  I use it for gifts and sell some - I'd never be able to eat all that myself!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Tina Frauberger's motif #52

Another motif from Tina Frauberger's book "Schiffenspitze" published in Dusseldorf in 1921.  This is a sibling to motif 53 which I posted in April; they have the same center but a different round two.  I find the shape surprisingly compelling, even with slightly askew blocking.
Tina Frauberger_motif52
 Now that it is in the public domain, Georgia Seitz has posted a PDF of Tina's book at  This is motif #52 on book page 54, and there is a lovely doily showing the same motifs combined on page 55.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Birgit Phelps' Small Star

Small Star by Birgit Phelps as a very belated Sunday snowflake.  I somehow tweaked my back and there has not been a lot of tatting over the last week or two.  Feeling better now, and fortunately this cute little snowflake tats up quickly.
Birgit Phelps_Small Star

Birgit has kindly shared the pattern here - for other patterns, see her pattern index is here, and/or her blog here.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Burda’s motif #66 (altered into a snowflake)

The original 8-pointed pattern is from the special tatting edition (#E969) of Burda magazine, where the motif is labeled “969/66”; I believe the 969 is from the edition number, making this motif #66.  It might have a name as well but I cannot read German.  When packing I took a photo of the cover and pattern, so my phone is serving as a small pattern library while I move.  ;)  I made some serious alterations from the original pattern - the original had eight points and the center was a 4-ring rosette; I changed to six points with a single center ring (stitches in counts of 3), increased the horizontal bar on the outside round by 1 stitch so that it would fit with the reduced number of points, and did the outer rings as Josephines instead of regular rings.  For someone who complains so much about Josephine knots, I certainly seem to add them to patterns a lot.

Then I made another one, with normal rings instead of Josephines.  I also added picots - apparently those picots I am constantly removing have to come out somewhere.  Central picots were a little too long, so the central star is not as nice.

Both of these really will need to be pinned out to block perfectly symmetrically; the chain lock joins on long picots tend to curve a little.

No link; can't find it online to show a picture of the cover.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Robin Perfetti's Late Winter Snowflake

Late Winter Snowflake, one of Robin Perfetti (tattingbythebay)'s many beautiful designs.  I love how the small interior rings nestle into the chains, like eggs held in a nest. 
Robin Perfetti_Late Winter Snowflake
Robin has generously shared this pattern on her free patterns page here (she also sells patterns, so check out the etsy link from her page for other designs).  I greatly admire the clarity of her diagrammed patterns and am reading her tutorial on using Inkscape to create diagrams, so with luck I might eventually be able to share some.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Judith Connor's Marguerite motif

This snowflake is a single motif from the "Marguerite" doily pattern in Judith Connor's book "Tatting Adventures with beads, shuttle and needle".  I love the look of the block tatted tips.  You can see from the book cover (below) that she uses smaller picots in the center rosette for a slightly different look, just like Myra Piper's snowflake #4 I posted in January.  Also, because I use longer decorative picots, I joined the block to the round below it.  The joins will straighten up when I starch and pin it.

When I looked the book up on Amazon I discovered it's now out of print.  Hopefully it will be reprinted soon as the used copies are quite pricey and it's a nice little book - her descriptions of different techniques are good, and while there are not a lot of patterns, there seems to be one of pretty much everything - a snowflake, a round motif, a heart (included in my Feb 14 post), a couple edgings, doilies, celtic tatting, covered egg ornament, etc.

(Reminder: books are all amazon affiliate links.)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mary Konior's Spinning Wheel Glass Mat

Occasionally a "snowflake" which doesn't have six sides slips through...this one is Mary Konior's Spinning Wheel Glass Mat (aka a coaster) from her excellent and sadly out-of-print book "Tatting with Visual Patterns."  I've seen a number of people posting photos of these lately (especially Diane) and finally tatted up my own.

I was a little surprised how small it was; the pictures I've seen look bigger.  I used an unlabled vintage thread which I'm guessing was either size 20 or 30 and it was just over 3.5 inches/ 9 cm.  It also took some coaxing to get it to lie flat with my tension; I was in a hurry blocking and it's still a little ruffly.
Mary Konior_Spinning Wheel Glass Mat
Then I tried another one with fewer picots so they didn't bump into each other (because I am Sarah, Remover of Picots!) and I think it emphasizes the shape better. 
Mary Konior_Spinning Wheel Glass Mat variation
I may try a larger one as a small doily, per the excellent idea Batty Tatter shared (here) to enlarge the pattern by doubling the length of the arms.

I can only hope this book is reprinted, as it's a wonderful book of patterns but has become prohibitively expensive. 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Tina Fraubergers' motif #53 (filigree snowflake)

Some years ago I was able to glance over a copy of the July 1996 edition of Knots and Notes.  I was struck by this pattern and jotted it down.  My notes did not include the name of the motif, but it was originally from Tina Fraubergers' book "Schiffenspitze" published in Dusseldorf in 1921.

Edit:  Mimi kindly notified me that Georgia Seitz has posted a scan of Tina's book at  This is motif #53 on book page 54.

I have since noticed that the stitch counts are identical to the Small Cross in Mary Konior's book "Tatting with Visual Patterns", though obviously there are slight differences in the arrangement of rings and chains to make it six pointed. I have to wonder - was one inspired by the other?  Or is this another case of great designers arriving at a similar look and count independently, as seems to happen so often?

I like the look of this motif with longer joining picots instead of my normal microscopic ones (it seems to benefit from the open airy look - like filigree or wrought iron) and this time I tried twisting them before joining.  Some picots are bumping into the chain above; I'll fix this with pinning when I starch it.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Rebecca Diamond's snowflake Remembrance

I was playing a little with the pattern for "Remembrance" by Rebecca Diamond (aka TatMom), though I omitted the beads.  To me it looks incredibly lifelike - like an actual snowflake.
Rebecca Diamond_Remembrance

I did think that a real snowflake wouldn't have arms longer than the tips so tried adding a ring - and also changed the little ring stitch count to 5 so I didn't have to remember to switch between 5 and 4.  I think this would be an amazing center for a doily.
Rebecca Diamond_Remembrance variation

Not quite long enough, so tried adding a ring plus the same "mock ring" made from a chain joined to the  picot on both ends.  The longer tip is better, but I lost the lovely triangle by joining to the top picot; maybe I should have used a SCMR instead.  Next time...
Rebecca Diamond_Remembrance variation

They all look nice.
Rebecca Diamond_Remembrance and variations

Rebecca has generously shared her pattern here.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Darlene Polachic's Jack Frost Snowflake

Jack Frost Snowflake designed by Darlene Polachic, published in "Big Book of Tatting" by House of White Birches.  I know snowflakes should have 6 points, but I'm a sucker for arches. The picots in the center were bumping into each other and annoying me, so I tied them together into a little star in the world's simplest application of needlelace.
Darlene Polachic_Big Book of Tatting_Jack Frost Snowflake

Turns out this is yet another out of print tatting book.  It has some nice patterns but is not something I'd recommend spending a lot of money for.  Weirdly, the cover image below is not the same cover as the Amazon page itself or my copy of the book.  Not sure what is going on there.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Jon Yusoff's Pirouette snowflake

For Easter, a colored snowflake from Jon Yusoff's lovely book "Tatted Snowflakes Collection."  This snowflake is named Pirouette - I removed some picots from the large open spaces in each tip to help emphasize the shape of the white chain, which is a little more striking in person.  The colored thread is a vintage Coats&Clark variegated; I'm pleased that the blue showed up in about the same spot in the center each time.
Jon Yusoff_Tatted Snowflakes Collection_Pirouette
This is another of my favorite snowflake books; I bought it directly from Jon via her blog (, but she no longer seems to have a sales link to her books, so I'm not sure if she's still selling them or not.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Nancy Tracy's Hippie Flower

The original pattern was designed by Nancy Tracy of Be-Stitched, but I have modified it a bit - added a repeat to make a 6-pointed snowflake instead of a 5-pointed flower, added a picot at the tip of the "petal", and omitted a picot or two from the "fluffy" part of the pattern.
Nancy Tracy_Hippy Flower 6ptvariation

I really like the central star, but it's obscured by some picots, and some of the picots in the "fluffy" part overlap each other which always annoys me, so I tried it again with my original variations but removing more picots.
Nancy Tracy_Hippy Flower 6ptvariation

I'm not sure which one I like more.  Either way, this is a fun little motif and was quick to tat, and would make lovely 5-pointed flowers in colored thread as well as a snowflake in white.  I found it helpful to use a gauge to ensure the long chains were all the same length (I tat on the bus while commuting and it sometimes has negative effects on chain tension consistency).

I got the pattern for free by being subscribed to her newsletter, but it appears that instead of putting this pattern on her extensive pages of free patterns (here) she has listed it for sale in her store (here).  If you wish to subscribe to her shop newsletter to get other free patterns in the future, follow the instructions on her website.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Workbasket Magazine's Two Tone Coaster

This is the "Two Tone Coaster" from Workbasket Magazine's book "Tatting Patterns: The Classic Collection" (part of their Aunt Ellen's Treasury series).  I used a smaller thread and did it in all white, and I think it makes a lovely snowflake.  I suspect that with some careful pinning, I can coax the large loops into diamonds when starching.  I love the nested shapes (flower-hexagon-flower-honeycomb) and contrast between the dense and open areas.
Workbasket Magazine_Tatting Patterns_two color coaster

Sadly, this is yet another out-of-print book and the Amazon used price has gotten crazy.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Jennifer Williams' snowflake Karen

I'm still working through Jennifer Williams' new book "Tatted Snowflakes", modifying the patterns which use beads and sequins and similar additions to be straight tatting.  This is a modified version of "Karen" in which I replaced the sequins with Josephine knots and flattened two layers into one.  (If you recall me expressing some frustration about Josephine knots two posts ago, this is the other snowflake I was working on at the time - it has 48 of them!  Making the knots larger helps them close with fewer problems.)

I think it came out quite nicely, though my blocking could be improved.
Jennifer Williams_Tatted Snowflakes_Karen

Amazon Affiliate link to show cover:

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sumie Fujishige's Motif #30 (scalloped ring of hearts)

This is Motif #30 from a lovely book entirely in Japanese (see cover below), which Amazon claims is titled 'Japanese craft book "Tatting Lace Nice Items"#3440' by Sumi Fujishige.  But I think her name is Sumie, which is on the cover.  And it's possible the motif has a name in addition to the number - I can't read Japanese to tell.  (As someone who is fully literate in their own language, and can puzzle out bits of a number of others, it's an interesting experience to be so illiterate that you can't even recognize letters or other basic script units.  Three cheers for diagrammed patterns and Arabic numerals!)

I love the elegance of the ring of hearts and the scalloped edge.
Sumie Fujishige_Tatting Lace Nice Items_motif30-hearts

I did change the order of construction slightly - her pattern worked the hearts from the side in the same round as the first chain, giving them rounded tips instead of pointy ones.  Because I have opinions about the proper shape of hearts, I made the center rosette as SCMRs and threw off the hearts instead.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sharon Briggs' Darling Josephine

It is surprisingly difficult to find snowflakes with hearts in them.  This lovely snowflake is Darling Josephine from the book "Tatted Flurries" by Sharon Briggs.  My tension wasn't quite right for the pattern as written, so I lengthened the horizontal bar between the hearts with an extra Josephine knot and set of stitches.  I have mixed feelings about Josephine knots (the little disks/bobs) - they are cute, but every so often I have one which refuses to close neatly and it's very aggravating!  Next time I might use picots instead. ;)
Sharon Briggs_Tatted Flurries_Darline Josephine

I received this book for Christmas (yay!) and haven't made very many things from it yet, but the snowflakes look very interesting.  Patterns are diagrammed, and all the snowflakes in the book are pictured on the front and back covers so you have a good idea what you're getting.  It can be purchased directly from Sharon on her website (which also has some free patterns).

Sunday, February 14, 2016

A heart for Valentine's Day

Since it is Valentine's Day, I thought I would post a heart instead of a snowflake. :)  Some of these I'd made previously, and some I was inspired to make recently as I rummaged around in my patterns looking for the sources for existing hearts...and got distracted by how fun a particular pattern looked.

(Click on picture for larger version.)

Pattern sources (starting with the six large hearts in the center, then going around the outside clockwise from the top right) - note that hearts are not to scale with each other, as they are done in a variety of different thread sizes, and I omitted any beads called for.
  • Large pink variegated heart in the upper left: Valentine's Heart by Etha Schuette (pattern) - I omitted the interior picots and added picots where round two joins round 1, so that all the arches in round 3 had picots inside them.
  • Red heart middle left: Heart by Edda Gustalla (pattern) - I had some trouble with the rings at the top; they were very tight.  Larger joining picots next time, I think.
  • Red heart with internal squares, upper center: Rosemarie's Heart Pattern by Rosemarie Peel (pattern)
  • Blue heart:  Butterfly Heart by Irene Woo.  Published in Georgia Seitz's book: "Tatting Online, The Official 1999 Tat_Chat Pattern Book", but there is also a (text-only pattern) via the wayback machine.
  • Dark red heart upper right:  Heart's Desire from "A Potpourri of Tatting Patterns" by Susan K Fuller, which is out of print, but she has given permission for an (online pattern) and (diagram pattern) to be posted.
  • Lighter red heart, middle right:  another Heart's Desire, but I took out some inner rings and picots.
  • Top of the curve on the right side:  4 similar hearts, variations on Kelly Dunn's Flower Heart (pattern) - I experimented with different tips and joins for different effects; I like the sharp tip from using Joelle Paulson's idea of a 1 stitch SCMR (click here for her video about this technique).
  • Little Josephine Heart by Nancy Tracy (pattern - PDF; her pattern page is here) - I made the Josephine knots larger and added a few stitches to the chain at the tip to better space the ring and the Josephine knots on either side
  • Small Tatted Heart by Betsy Evans (pattern)
  • Enchanter by Jon Yusoff (pattern) - I worked the heart in the center separately so it would be a contrasting color.  If I did it again, I think I would make it continuously by encapsulating the red in a pink SSSR to climb out, then have the outer chains red and the inner rings pink.
  • Motif #69 from "MiniTats" by Patti Duff
  • Peacock Heart by Birgit Phelps (pattern)
  • Dark red heart with open center at the bottom tip of the image: Valentina from "Tatting Adventures with beads, shuttle & needle" by Judith Connors
  • Christmas Hearts by Anne Bruvold (pattern - PDF; her pattern page is here)
  • Joy's Heart by Wanda Salmans (pattern - PDF; her pattern page is here) - the outer round would normally be much more "frilly" - I misread the stitch counts but didn't realize until I was halfway around, then chose to carry on as I'd started rather than cut and restart.
  • Two variations on Immortal Heart by Rebecca Diamond aka Tatmom  (pattern Update!  Her site is back up - pattern here and check out her other free patterns.)
  • Pink spiral of SSSR heart strings by Gina Butler (pattern - PDF, her pattern page is here) - these are normally very petite hearts; I made them using an unlabeled pearl cotton which was clearly larger than size 10.
  • Variation on Frivolite Herz by Christel Weidmann (English pattern - translation of the German page) - I put only a single ring in the center, not the clover. 
  • Valentine Earrings by Sharon Briggs (pattern)
  • Two variations of  Hasty Heart by Barbara Hevener from "Tats to Share with Others" handout from the August 20, 2011 Palmetto Tatters Guild Meeting (but there is an online bookmark version here).  I changed the order of work to basically match the bookmark version since I didn't want to have hanging threads.  Also, for one of them I misjudged where the variegation would come out and the arches were going to be white - I didn't think that would look good with the pink center, so I made a lock chain instead to have pink/white/pink/white.
  • And lastly, the tiny single-ring hearts scattered around are mostly made using a Victorian set for the cleft, an idea I first saw from Nicole Landau on the now defunct etatters mailing list. Make a single ring with something like 6ds, 6d, 6s, 6ds (where d and s are the 1st and 2nd half of the doubleknot).  Close & tie; use the tip of your fingernail to push the cleft into shape.  Vary the counts to preference.  I use them a lot for cards.
Looking up some of those links required some extensive sleuthing and I was reminded that if you see a pattern you are interested in, you should print or save it then - don't save a link thinking you'll go back "later", because it might not exist.  Several links above are only available via the wayback machine (, but it doesn't cover everything and doesn't always have images.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Jennifer Williams' snowflake "Anne"

This snowflake is a modified version of "Anne" from Jennifer Williams' new book "Tatted Snowflakes".
Jennifer Williams_Tatted Snowflakes_Anne

A lovely birthday present (yay!), I've been having fun with some of the techniques she uses (arrangement of elements, lock chains, Victorian sets) while blithely ignoring the bits I don't like (beads, sequins, multi-layer patterns).  As such, this snowflake was made without the beads, and I combined two layers of tatting into one.  It's very cute, but I was surprised how small it was using size 20 thread.  I might try making it again and altering the stitch counts to get something larger. 
Jennifer Williams_Tatted Snowflakes_Anne

So far I'm quite pleased with the book; my one gripe is that a couple patterns don't have a face-on photo of the worked piece - only "arty" angled photos of the piece on a table.  Cover below via Amazon affiliate link - click through to see several patterns in the "see inside" option.  Her website, which has tutorials and other patterns, is

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Myra Piper's snowflake #4

Speaking of Myra Piper's "Tatting", here's another little snowflake I'm quite fond of.  It's a slightly modified version of motif #4 (the pattern in her book has seven points, and pointy tips like yarnplayer's snowflake of several posts ago), and is such a simple pattern with knots in sets of three that I've seen other people independently re-create it.  I normally tat it as in the first picture, with large picots (loops) connecting the rings in the center, but you can also use smaller picots and get a tighter center as in the second picture - I should have made those center picots even smaller; I don't like when they bump into each other like that.

This is also a good example of how starching and blocking can change a snowflake - when I block, I pin the snowflakes out by placing a pin on the inside of the arch underneath the outside ring, so I get pointy tips, like this (I haven't starched recently so this is an old picture, which accidentally cut off part of the snowflake and had a weird background).

Myra Piper's "Tatting" is one of those little self-published booklets from the 80s made from letter-size paper folded in half, and is a collection of 47 snowflakes and stars, some her own design and some patterns which friends had sent her without attribution.  It's another of my favorite snowflake pattern books.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

variations on a snowflake

These three snowflakes are patterns I've been making occasionally for years - I love the way they look, and the consistent stitch count (3 or 6) makes them really easy to take on the go (and to copy from the previous snowflake when you want to make more).  But I had somehow never noticed how very similar they are until this year, when I happened to hang them right next to each other.  They are basically the same snowflake, just with slight variations in the center, and different tip lengths from a repeating ring/chain unit!

And I realized this means I could mix and match the center and the tips and make a whole batch of them!  So I did.  And I added a tiny ring to the small open center to make an even dozen variations. Different backdrop because the book I've been using isn't big enough, and yes, the top row is a different color of white from a different brand of thread.  Also, I got lazy with the blocking after the first couple, so please excuse picots out of place and arms that aren't quite 60 degrees from each other...

(click on image for a larger view)

The first original snowflake is #5 from Myra Piper's booklet "Tatting" (although I make it with two shuttles, resulting in the U-shaped curved lines next to the center flower instead of a V shape), but even after extensively searching through my books and printouts I can't find the source for the other two.  If I ever figure it out, I'll update this post.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sharon Briggs' Dec 2015 snowflake

Sharon posted this lovely snowflake on her blog, and then graciously yielded to pleas from her readers and shared the pattern.
Sharon Briggs_December 2015
The above snowflake is slightly different from the pattern as written (I altered the chains pointing out toward the tips in round 1 and 2 from 5-5 to 7-7) because when I made it using the original stitch counts it looked like this - lovely, and the radial bars are even more striking, but not quite the same look.  I like it both ways, though if I had known the chains in the outside round would touch, I would have joined them so they were neater.
Sharon Briggs_December 2015

Getting a different look (or needing to alter stitch counts slightly to get the same look) is due to different people having different tension while tatting, and doesn't mean there is anything wrong with either the pattern or the tatter.  It affects this pattern because it is so intricate and tightly joined - in a looser pattern, it might not be noticeable at all. 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Vida Sunderman's Large Crystal Snowflake

This is the "Large Crystal Snowflake" from Vida Sunderman's book Tatted Snowflakes, though I added picots in the center instead of hanging a crystal there.  Mine looks slightly different from hers (see the cover below; it's the lower left snowflake) due to my picot size.
Large Crystal Snowflake from Vida Sunderman's book Tatted Snowflakes

A comment about the book:  this is one of my favorite snowflake books as it has a lot of very lovely snowflakes.  I'm also grateful it's published by Dover, which means it is both inexpensive and unlikely to go out of print.  But there are two downsides: most patterns do not lend themselves well to using split rings/chains to climb between rounds, and the patterns are not diagrammed.  I've tended to draw diagrams in the margins of my copy.

(Note: in order to insert the cover image I signed up for Amazon's affiliate program, and am supposed to include this text:  “I'm a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to”  My comments about the book are my own, and I am not promoting one retailer over another.)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Yarnplayer's pointed snowflake with double picots

The snowflake on the left is Marilee Rockley (yarnplayer)'s "pointed snowflake with double picots" pattern, which she generously shares on her blog.

Her pattern is written for shuttle and ball, so the rings at the tip are formed by the core thread instead of being floating rings formed the ball thread; this kinks the chains and gives a "pointy" appearance to the tips.  The snowflake on the right is the same pattern, tatted with two shuttles and floating rings to show the difference.


After starching I'll likely get the same pointy effect from both as I starch heavily and block aggressively, but it's hard to be sure until I try it.  Either way, it is a very cute pattern and a nice reminder that you can throw off a top-facing ring with the core thread if you're willing to kink the chain.  One technical note - I'm of the "make a full double knot after each join" school, but because the tip ring is so small, this results in a noticeably lopsided ring.  It looks better with the "make only the second half of the knot after the join" approach.