Sunday, December 23, 2012
Backstory: I participated in a Secret Santa with other Municipal Liaisons from NaNoWriMo. My recipient wanted to start their own collection of holiday decorations, so I decided to tat some snowflakes using a few different patterns. The largest snowflake was from a shuttle tatting book, so I had to tweak it a bit to figure out how to tat it on the needle. The other two snowflake patterns were from the internet (I'll try to find the links and edit the post later with more details).
How I did it: Last year for Christmas my sister got me a tatting book called <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Tatting-Dover-Knitting-Crochet/dp/0486299864/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1358980728&sr=8-1&keywords=easy+tatting">Easy Tatting by Rozella F. Linden</a>. On page 22 was a project called Fancy Snowflake. I followed the pattern mostly, except at the five ring cluster at the points. I added small chains between each ring because of the differences between needle tatting and shuttle tatting (which I don't completely know, because I haven't tried shuttle tatting yet - but I will). This ended up being a pretty big snowflake.
For the smaller snowflakes, I searched the internet for smaller, quick projects. Google led me straight to a post of easy snowflakes on <a href="http://www.tattedtreasures.com/2011/12/8-easy-tatted-snowflake-patterns-for-beginners/">TattedTreasures.com</a>, and after a quick browse of the links provided I chose <a href="http://www.freewebs.com/tattings0003/Elmossnowflake.html">Elmo's Snowflake by Heather's Designs</a> (sans beads) and <a href="http://digilander.libero.it/chiacchierino/news/stellaeddaschneider.html">Stella di Edda Schneider</a> (I believe it translates to Star of Edda Schneider, the site is in Italian and the key words - giro for round, anelli/o for ring/s, and catena for chain - were noted on the referencing site). Elmo's Snowflake is done in one round, really cute and simple. Stella di Edda Schneider is done in two rounds, and produces a pretty decent snowflake.
All three snowflakes were starched and ironed before packing in a manila folder to ship with the other gifts (a crocheted-but-not-by-me popcorn-and-cranberry garland, a recycled cardboard tube ornament I made at school last year, and some of my favorite recipes). I haven't heard anything from the recipient, so I'm hoping the package made it there!
What I learned: I need to try shuttle tatting so I can truly understand the differences between needle and shuttle. From what I've read, there is no "core" thread in shuttle tatting, whereas with needle tatting you pull a thread tail through all the knots tied on the needle to create a ring or chain.
What I might try next time: I'd like to try to combine the two round technique with the fancier points of the largest snowflake. The large open area of the largest snowflake doesn't seem to promote stability (even with starching), but I like the general concept.
Final Thoughts: I think the ornaments turned out well, and I hope that the recipient likes them.