Friday, December 25, 2020

Gary Houtz' 1-Ring Point Motif

Gary Houtz_1-Ring Point Motif

This simple yet elegant snowflake is titled 1-Ring Point Motif and is from "Tatting the Self-closing Mock Ring for GR-8 Design" by the Shuttle Brothers Gary and Randy Houtz (the book credits this particular design to Gary). It was one of the last things I worked and planned to post before I stopped tatting and blogging, and so it languished for a few years waiting to have the ends finished off. It looks happy to finally be the lovely snowflake it was always meant to be.

I believe Gary and Randy are the ones who invented the SCMR technique; they have certainly designed many incredibly creative patterns utilizing it.  I love how the group of three little rings is repeated from the center to the arms of the snowflake - if multiple motifs are connected at the tips to make a mat, the connecting points also form the same group of little rings, a lovely repeating pattern. 

Sadly, Gary passed away in December 2020 from Covid.  He will be greatly missed. 


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Ha Mi-Kyeong's Rozallin

Ha Mi-Kyeong_RozallinThis is Rozallin from "Tatting Lace with Your Life" by Ha Mi-Kyeong (ISBN 978-89-98432-45-4). I love the mirrored curves in this motif, and I think the two colors work well together.  I did have a little trouble working it - I drew my large rings a bit too tight so it was difficult to get it to lie flat, and results in things overlapping a bit more than I'd like.  Because I was also working in two colors, it was a little tricky to simultaneously reverse the direction of the chains and switch colors and leave a mock picot, and so I decided to simplify on the last round by replacing the josephene knots with simple picots.  I think the first two rounds would also make a lovely snowflake and might try it when I find my white thread. 

Book cover shown below using an amazon affiliate link, but be warned that the description on Amazon is very wrong and they don't currently offer it for sale.  I just want you to be able to see the cover.  I really enjoy this book - it's patterns for small motifs and doilies, and the work is colorful and absolutely impeccable. The text is Korean, but the patterns are diagrammed with excellent photographs including close-ups of tricky bits. Some of the patterns feature overlapping elements almost like Celtic tatting.

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Concept variations - small rings off a ring

I haven't done any tatting in quite a long time for a variety of unfortunate reasons, but I was organizing some papers and discovered a concept sketch and felt inspired to play a little. This is several variations on a theme, going from one side to the other using a "ring with crown of smaller rings" motif. The little green rings are all the same. The difference is the larger ring in the center and how the work is made.

1) ring and chain (traditional tatting). My thoughts:

  • The first sample uses sliding joins and short chains to make a smooth green chain over the pink ring. I like this effect and with smaller joining picots they would be flush against each other for an onion ring/nested ring look.
  • The second uses lock joins and longer chains to make a zig zag, with nice negative space triangles between the pink and green.

2) split ring. My thoughts:

  • The smaller crown rings look very clean without extra joins or chain.
  • 2 colors in the split ring could be a plus or minus depending on your goal.
  • It's a bit annoying to throw those little rings off the second half of a split ring. I wouldn't enjoy a project with a lot of this.
  • Large ring is more symmetric due to split ring (tatted rings are naturally slightly teardrop shaped)

3) single shuttle split ring (SSRS). My thoughts:

  • Running the bare green thread between the join picots looks a little "messy".
  • The ring one color and the crown rings a different color is a neat effect - it looks closer to version 1 without making chains
  • Naturally front side/back side tatting, helpful if you prefer to tat that way.
  • Is there a standard diagram notation for SSSRs?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

under the sea

I needed a break from white and snowflakes and tatted some sea creatures.

The gold fish is based on Ninetta (Antonina Caruso)'s adorable Kissing Minnows edging - pattern is here. I really like how the eye is made - a Josephine knot above the fish's head which is then twisted around the core while you make the next stitch so that it lies inside the fish.  Very clever.

The purple fish are based on Phyllis Schmidt's "Fish - Paperclip" pattern, which makes a cute quick paperclip bookmark.  I skipped the bead eye, removed the paperclip, and added some fins on the bottom.  I can't find her blog, but google was able to find the pattern here.  
[Side rant: The writeup for this pattern was distributed as a PDF and did not list the source location. Please, authors, please always include your site inside your PDF patterns!  Not having that information makes it very hard to find your site again and for people to link back to you to give you credit later!]

Then I made up a couple seahorses and a starfish to go with.  My first try on the seahorse did not go well - turns out I didn't actually know how the distinctive parts of a seahorse, the curly tail and pointy nose and funny fin on the back, went together exactly.  I looked up some photos online and the second and third ones look much more recognizable, though I think there's still room for improvement for a perfect little seahorse.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Adelheid Dangela's Gent motif

This is 'Gent' from Adelheid Dangela's book Occhi-Patchwork and More.  I really like the shape.
Adelheid Dangela_Gent
I've mentioned before that I find it irritating when a center rosette ends with a split ring to climb out to the next round, resulting in one of the rings pointing the opposite way from the others (I worked the one above in two rounds instead of climbing out).  And I wondered what would happen visually if ALL of the rings of the rosette were flipped the other way.  I tried experimenting on this motif.
Adelheid Dangela_Gent motif variations
Upper left: The original, no split ring (larger image at top of post).
Upper right: Original, climbing out with a split ring (the split ring is at the top - at 12'o clock).
Lower right: First experiment.  Since the center rings are all 5-5-5-5, I tried 5-3-4-3-5; the space in the center of the rosette is too large, but the rings are pleasingly round.
Lower left: Second experiment.  I used 7-3-2-3-7, to make the center rosette smaller and the free end larger.  Much closer, visually, to the original even though the rings are still slightly larger.  I'm pleased with how it came out and may try this on other snowflakes.  However, with a zoomed out view to see all four of them, I'm realizing that perhaps I am being needlessly picky and it doesn't matter so much that one of the rings is slightly different when climbing out.  After all, working the rosette separately results in a small irregularity where I tie the ends (perhaps I should be working on my finishing instead. ;)

As someone who collects snowflake patters, I liked Adelgeid's first book, Occhi-Patchwork, more than Occhi-Patchwork and More, as it had more large hexagon "snowflake" motifs.  This pattern is the only large hexagon from this book; the others are smaller hexagons, triangles, diamonds, etc. to be joined together into larger mats (some of which are quite impressive).  Her books are nicely put together, with diagram patterns and colorful illustrations of the motifs in larger mats.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Leen's Tatted Angel by Eileen Stafford

Update: Yorkie Sue has identified the designer!  Her name is Eileen Stafford, and the pattern is also available on Georgia Sitez's site at  Thank you Yorkie Sue!!

Leen published this lovely angel on the now-defunct geocities in 2000, but did not give her full name - if you know it, or a current website for her, please let me know so I can update this post (and my printout of the pattern).
Leen's Tatted Angel
It's a simple but graceful angel, and lends itself to variation (she shows several in the pattern writeup).  It can easily be worked continuously by ending with the bodice instead of starting there, and using a short split chain and split ring to climb down into the skirt.

Thankfully, the pattern can still be accessed via the internet archive/wayback machine here.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Anne Bruvold's SSSR Angel

I've been thinking about angels recently in a break from snowflakes, and really enjoyed this adorable angel pattern by Anne Bruvold, a clever use of both single shuttle split rings (SSSR) and self closing mock rings (SCMR) which tats up quickly.
Anne Bruvold_SSSR Angel
I added a few stitches to the body and removed a few picots from the head, but the major change was that because I find it awkward to hide the ends when finishing with a SCMR, I made these backwards using a single shuttle - unwinding a short length of thread let me work the body first using the short tail as the "shuttle" for the SCMR, then I worked the skirt in split rings until I'd used up the short tail and switched to SSSRs to finish, leaving only one end to hide in the last true ring.  This also avoided having to work in a second thread and make this an excellent pattern to empty some shuttles.

Anne has generously shared the pattern (as well as many others) on her English pattern page here.  I recommend bookmarking the page as her pattern PDFs do not link back to it, which is unfortunate.