Thursday 25 September 2014

Tatting Away VII

Sunshine Snowflake Lace & Braid !

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Sunshine Snowflake by Patty D
Patty Dowden writes “I was struck by the notion that I could design a snowflake that was all rings, not hard and be interesting to look at.”
Well, she achieved all that & more! A snowflake made with radiating beams of rings only!
First time I set eyes on her Sunshine Snowflake, I was intrigued & by how she got all those rings lined up one after the other – vertically radiating from a circular formation – just like sunbeams !! They seemed to be connected in a circle at the center but were simultaneously unconnected when radiating outwards And no threads crossing between motifs !

She graciously shared the pattern on the forum & has given me free rein to share it too, along with pictures of her own project. Click on the caption under the snowflake picture for the pdf.

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Neck Lace / Edging
Materials :
Anchor Mercer Crochet Cotton size 20. Variegated Purple with white – 1208.
Single Shuttle.
Techniques :
Ordinary/Normal Ring – R
Split Ring – SR
Single Shuttle Split Ring – SSSR  (can be optional, but is preferred & convenient)

Each vertical row starts with one ordinary R, followed by SRs, ending with a small SSSR. That’s it !!!

I started off intending to make the snowflake. But having made 3 vertical rows or one repeat, it dawned on me that this would look great around the neck ! 
So I restarted, this time converting it into an edging for neck. 
To that purpose, I eased off on the peripheral gradient by adding another vertical row between the ones in the original pattern.
The original Snowflake pattern has a section/repeat/motif of 3 vertical rows (as seen in image above)
( 4 rings, 6 rings, 4 rings ) x 6.
All I did was add another row of 5 rings on either side of each vertical row : 
( 4 rings, 5 rings, 6 rings, 5 rings, 4 rings, 5 rings ) repeat to desired curvature. (see close-up image below)


TIPS / Notes :
  • Because each vertical row is ‘separate’ & started afresh, there will be a lot of thread ends to hide. So it is a very good idea, & convenient, to learn SSSR. I swear by SSSRs now !!! Gone are the days when I had to tie a knot & sew/ weave in the tails !!!
  • One can increase the length of each vertical row by adding as many SRs as desired !
  • If the joining picots in base ring of each vertical row are shifted, then one can get a longer, broader curve, rather than a short & deep one. However, for a choker or necklace, it is perfect ! Add a pearl or bead & it’s soiree time !
  • If one continues further to complete the circle, it could make a nice mini-doily too (sew on a piece of circular fabric for center). And since each ‘row’ is made separately, one can grow crazy with multi-colored sunbeams !! The diameter from periphery is 7½ inches approx.
  • Make 2 half circles, alter the positions of vertical rows & sew on as a stylized Peter Pan collar !!!

It was a surprisingly quick & thoroughly enjoyable tat & was then hand-sewn on to my newly stitched apron. I have not tacked down each and every ring, just at critical & strategic points, to hold it’s shape & alignment.

Next step : Make the neck or shoulder straps in the form of braids. Not as easy as smooth sailing as it seemed …..
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Apron Braid / String :
Materials : Anchor Mercer Size 20
Variegated Purple – 1208
Purple – 0101
Techniques :
Split Ring
Woven cords/braids

All I wanted was a simple Split Ring braid, keeping the stitch count in sync with the snowflake/border, and using the same thread.
But as the braid progressed, the thread regressed !!! The tightly twisted thread kept unraveling &/or breaking. I was already half way into the braid when the problems began, so chugged along.
Change of course was nevertheless required !

Made similar braids with solid purple and interwove them with the original variegated ones, to provide the necessary strength, stability and durability. Interweaving braids was on my to-learn list for a long time anyways. I followed Gina Brummet's tutorial on Woven Split Ring Cord-2 shuttles.

The smallest ring in the braid, however, wouldn’t allow the larger rings to pass through. Hence, the weaving was done by placing the smallest ring of one braid over the largest ring of the other braid; for all other rings, the braids were passed through them. This gives a slightly irregular weaving because after 2 proper weaves, the 3rd rings (one small, one large) in both braids just lie juxtaposed, not passing through each other. But overall, a symmetry is maintained & barely discernible.

Repeats of -- ( SR 6/6, SR 10/10 , SR 12/12 , SR 10/10 ) to required length.
Interweave the 2 braids & sew tips to fabric of apron.

TIPS / Notes :
  • To go round the neck, a single woven braid suffices.
  • I made 2 woven braids & sewed them on either side as shoulder straps, joining to the belt behind. It can get really hot under the neck in these Indian summers, so this is more convenient. Since the braids did not cross at back, length of 25 inches sufficed for me.
  • One can also opt for sewing the entire braid on to fabric straps, which are in turn attached to the main body of apron.
  • I deliberately avoided picots in the braid. Washing would mess them up & it would take quite some effort to iron them out looking right every time. So, keep it simple ;-))
  • The braid(s) can be sewn on along the edges of the entire apron. I wanted the focus to remain on the “neck-lace”, hence did not attach the braid to the sides.
  • The woven braid can be used as a belt/apron string as well.
  • Or how about a string of rings around the neck ?!  

I enjoyed tatting the braids to the extent that the variegated thread remained willing & gracious. The solid purple braids were extremely quick & silken smooth to tat. That is the difference a thread can make !!
The weaving, though easy, was a bit tiresome. Without a shuttle in the hand, it just didn’t feel the same ;-)  But I learned a new technique & that’s what matters.
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Tatting Mantras by Patty D

"The knot does not care how it is made"
"Every tatter does it different"
“Ideas are free”

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I am very grateful to Patty for sharing her lovely pattern, & to Gina, for her clear tutorial .

Happy  Tatting  ;-)

Motif #18 & #19 for 25 Motif Challenge


  1. Your apron looks totally amazing and beautiful!!! :)

    1. Oh, thank you so so much for your appreciation :-) Hope you have a great weekend !

  2. Another very interesting sharing. Thank you Muskann!

    1. Merci, Lilas :-)
      I'd like to congratulate you on your shopfront display as well your latest necklace ! My server is still not allowing me to leave a comment on your blog :-(

  3. Fabulous Muskaan, I 'm off to look for Patty's pattern. Thanks.

    1. If you click on the caption under the snowflake picture, it is the direct pdf link , Jane :-)
      Patty is such a darling .... She permitted me to use it as I saw best, including her pictures.
      WI'll be waiting eagerly for your version :-)

  4. PS, the interwoven braid lies flatter if you weave them as you tat the second braid. I make one braid. Then on the second braid I put the first braid through before closing each ring. Up on one ring, down on the next. As in the heading on my blog.

    1. This is such a great tip ! Thank you for sharing it :-)
      I was going to follow your pattern and had it on my to-make list for quite some time. But just when I decided to convert to interwoven, Gina's tutorial link was put up in Craftree. .....

  5. This is really lovely Muskaan, and thank you for the tutorial!

    1. Thank you for your kind words :-) Hope you have a great weekend!

  6. This is nice - definitely on my To-Do list... Thanks for sharing!

    1. Would love to see your working of this, Susan ! :-))

  7. Hello Muskaan,i would love to try this lovely necklace pattern. But where can find its pattern?

    1. Hi :-) It is a adaptation of Patty Dowden's Sunshine Snowflake which you can download here -
      You can work out the little changes I made by looking at the photos. Hope you enjoy tatting it :-)