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.