Sunday, 21 February 2016

Identity Crisis

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IdEnTiTy  CrIsIs

Identity crisis – that’s what this snowflake has ! It wants to be a sun – a “sunflake”. We’ll let you decide – is it a snowflake or a sunflake :-)
Right off, I don’t like to tat patterns that have too much bare thread. I admire their dainty laciness; I admire the person who tats them up & shares their beauty; but I am not one who chooses to do it. So this particular snowflake was an under-protest, under-groaning & mumbling undertaking :-D

The First Day of December Snowflake
Lene Bjorn

I was looking for a “painted tatting” effect, hence the choice of transitional shades. I’d started off with a copper metallic thread center, but the threads in that trial were all slightly different in size & after a few rings, had to abandon it.
I opted for size 20 thread this time, thinking it might make a good coaster.
Abbreviations used in text below :
ds – double stitch
BTS – bare thread space
fs/bs tatting – frontside/backside or directional tatting
RODS – reverse order ds used in fs/bs tatting
fhs – 1st half stitch
shs – 2nd half stitch
hs – half stitch
JR – Josephine Ring

Round 1 : Red Heart 00328
Started with 1ds & finished with 2ds. This helps in keeping the picot well inside & safe, especially in rings that need to be cut & tied.

Round 2 : Anchor Mercer 0307 & 0289
Techniques used : 2 shuttles , with twisted thread between rings instead of bare thread, picot joins (both up & down), fs/bs tatting.

Remember my post on “new effects” earlier this year, & wrapped rings or rings enraptin particular ? I used the same concept with bare threads, wrapping/twisting them, thus overcoming the use of 2 colours on a rings-only-with-BTS problem.

Advantages :
  • I could use 2 colours. One can, in fact, alternate the colours as one pleases! ( Ninetta has used 2 colours in a very beautiful way here & here )  
  • It had the added advantage of acting as a built-in picot gauge if one counted the number of twists (I used 5 twists) !!!
  • It also brings in some stability which is an asset for a coaster.

TIP : I inserted the 2nd colour shuttle into the first & the last half stitches of each ring.
Close ring before adjusting length of BTS of 2nd colour.

Problems : It is not easy to keep the length, twist, & curves intact since the 2nd colour is not really anchored. May be with practice & patience…or a little knot of some kind.
This picture, taken in the sun on my raw silk sari, is simply to show that the threads have a lovely sheen, which gets lost in all the photos I take inside.

 Round 3 : Anchor Mercer 0300
Techniques used : Down Join, Josephine Ring, graduated picots, fs/bs tatting
I was so tired by this time, I gave up the idea of adding 2 shades here. Also, a little airiness was necessary.
All I did was add a Josephine Ring of 10 fhs. Always felt that space was too flat between the high peaks. I think the JRs work pretty well, right ?!
TIP : Now here’s a Great tip I recently learned from Georgia Seitz here, about using the down join as 1st half stitch ! So far, I was using it to keep colour blips on the back side of work. But this worked perfectly when the same colour elements were to be joined ! Conversely, when applying RODS (for fs/bs tatting), make an up join followed by 1st HS.
When there are 2 colours, as in inner rings of previous round, I used the down join functionally to hide blips as before. 

Technically I have completed 2 snowflakes for this month, except that these were supposed to be for January … still behind by 2 ;-P 
I’m including this in the 25 Motif Challenge because of the little experimentation & my first real (but failed) attempt to make wheels with BTS .

My next post will be a free pattern for a snowflake/medallion (& the next for a butterfly). It was all done, but then I decided to make a few additions … my work is never done ;-P

I have decided to standardize all links in my posts. They will be in bold font & blue colour throughout.

Happy tatting :-)

Motif #22 of III for 25 Motif Challenge

Related Posts : Lene's Day 2 Snowflake


  1. Beautiful, I like the colors you chose

    1. Thanks Ninetta .... I sometimes get the colours right :-D

  2. Beautiful and I love the way you changed the snowflake into a sun flake, totally gorgeous

    1. Thanks Margaret :-) Small pieces are perfect for little experiments

  3. It's beautiful, whatever identity it chooses!

  4. This is a beautiful piece. : )

  5. It definitely looks like a sun flake to me! I do like the color combo.

  6. Thank you so much, Fox & Diane :-)