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.