Sunday, 5 February 2017

matter of the eye

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I would first like to thank everybody for their immense support and prompt help with testing the block heart pattern. I am very touched, to say the least. More when I post the pattern – and it will be within this week !

The Cosmic Eye or Anti-flake
Twenty-Third Day of December Snowflake
Lene Björn
This pattern always reminded me of our schoolbook atoms and molecules or of orbiting planets. The long chains made perfect elliptical orbits. And this book I’m currently reading ('Genius' by James Gleick) only reinforced that visualization.
Also, I wanted to see how a flake in black would work out – yup crazy me. Can’t say whether this is matter, antimatter or the universe. The beads (are they electrons or planets?) are very glittery in real – difficult to capture here. Sequins were a first, too.

I passed shuttle 1, back to front, through the space created in round 1 chains and then continued with the Josephine chain. A simple over-under ‘join’.

I’d had a tough time keeping count of the Josephine chain stitch count in the Day 22 flake. This time, my little bird came to my rescue. Every 10 half stitches, I take out a pin and stick it in the mattress. Yippee – so easy to keep tally and gaze at my little birdie (who doesn’t seem too happy with all those pin pricks !)

How I added the sequin here
My first attempt at sequins, though the principle of tatting with beads, buttons, etc. is essentially the same or similar.
I wanted the sequin to be flat inside the ring, rather than outside. So, start ring and when we come to the picot, first pull the picot loop through the sequin hole, pass the shuttle through this loop (as we would normally) and snug neatly but not too tightly. This keeps sequin flat and in place. Continue with the rest of the ring and close. 

I would’ve liked to work in 2 colours to better reveal the interweaving chains, but that might’ve become a very busy kind of rendition.
30 beads strung randomly on shuttle #2 in round 2, and brought forward on picots.

Do you see what I see ? Doesn’t it look like a fierce cheetah – eyes glaring out ?! Or perhaps it is Lord Shiva’s Cosmic/third Eye ?

The boring details !
TWoT notes : Round 1 worked counterclockwise ;
Round 2 worked clockwise.

Techniques : thrown rings and clovers, spiral or Josephine chains, beads & sequins on picots, over-under join.
Materials and Measurement :
Anchor size 40 in black ; seed bead soup (including tiny bugle beads) ; white sequins ; crochet hook to load sequins 
Rnd 1 : ~ 2½”  ;   Rnd 2 : ~ 4”
50 half stitches of Josephine chain in size 40 thread = ⅞”

‘Genius’ by James Gleick is a biography of Richard Feynman the exuberant ‘mad genius’ written in an engaging style! It is a very absorbing read. Even though I superficially ‘understand’ much of his work and the physics described, it is a commentary on the evolution and establishment of Physics & of course quantum mechanics. As I read, I am frequently reminded that all that we take for granted now, or what we thought was done ages ago, is not even a century old, even Medicine as a a science !!!

My husband had a couple of books by Feynman before our marriage and he has become one of my favorite scientist-writer – always so full of spirit, full of ideas, practical solutions, and such a great communicator. Down the years, we’ve bought many more of his books, but I’ll share more in future.

Now, back to tatting – besides ‘inspiring’ this snowflake, ‘Genius’ has also sparked off another set of tatting-related fun that I hope to share and would love for you to join in. Not revealing anything for the present ;-P

happy tatting happy reading J


  1. I also read a biography of Feynman years ago but can't say if it is the same title, beautiful mind indeed. We also have more books by him. I like that version of the snowflake no matter the color

  2. I think black works well to show off the shiny sequins. I've made 'snowflakes' in black several times. I'll look up James Gleik and Richard Feynman, thanks.

  3. Black and sequins... great combination! I like your explanation of how to make the sequins lie flat. That's what I do. However, mine do not lie as nicely as yours do! Love the cheetah face! I'm not familiar with either Gleik or Feynman... something for me to look into! Thanks!

  4. Love the sequins and black together looks like otter space and planets going around the centre. Lovely design well done, it's a hard snowflake to do

  5. I have struggled with the count many times I love the pin tip. I know that a great idea. I am jealous you used black I struggle to see it😄

  6. Great minds, Ninetta ;-)

    I must browse through your blog to locate the black snowflakes, Jane.
    If you want to buy, try Feynman's "Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman" & "The Pleasure of Finding Things Out".

    Diane, this is the flake due to which I could answer your question about sequins. It's taken me a long time to post, though. You can also check out videos and audio clippings of Feynman. I remember watching a couple.

    Yes, that's exactly what I thought, Margaret ! And this was my least favorite when I went through the book. But I had a Lot of fun making it.

    Carollyn, I can't see black, either ;-P That's the reason Josephine chains were perfect with this colour - mistakes are not easily spotted ;-P

    Thank you all so very much :-)

  7. Nagyon szépek, sokat tanulok a mintákkal :-)

    Köszönöm, hogy a blogon meglátogatsz.

  8. Thank you so much Sue & Jolimama :-)

  9. Like the pin trick for keeping track of those long Josephine chains - they're terrible. Lovely snowflake.

    1. Yes, Sarah, I'm very happy with that pin trick !
      Thanks for all your lovely comments :-)