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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Eighth Day Of December!

Glad that so many of you enjoyed Fergeal's you enjoyed it do please leave a comment...they do show me that my efforts haven't just disappeared into cyber space.
Only one guess as to which day of the week he held his interviews!!
There will more adventures of Fergeal to come as he is getting big ideas above his station now that he has his office.

Back to my adventure.......

24 Snowflakes in Tatting by Lene Bjorn

This is the second of the snowflakes from hell that I was dreading. Sorry Lene...all your designs are superb.

The finished snowflake is beautiful.

But it had major trials and tribulations.

I began with a solid colour in Flora 20....loaded up a shuttle connected to the ball.The instructions tell me that it is made in two rounds continuously...and I understand what she means...miraculously! I am told where to start and given direction arrows and further instructions.... so all should go well!!

But it didn't... I chose to do Jane's method of block tatting..that is one row of flipped stitches, followed by one row of unflipped stitches. Very easy once you get the hang of it and so turning at the end of a row. Jane has just reminded me that Julie Patterson used this method first, though Jane arrived at it independently.

All went well until I suddenly realised that I had joined in the wrong place! Way to far back to unpick...and so I abandoned it...and learned!

I do have one complaint about the presentation tho'! The photo is the reverse of the diagram...making it very difficult to compare where you are, especially when you are right left challenged. This wouldn't normally be an issue as most designs are symmetrical, but block tatting is not!
So I had to flip it and print it out...big!

I also learned something else...NEVER, EVER try to do block tatting with a soft thread like Altin Basak. In block tatting there is a lot of joining thro' tiny spaces and inevitably the thread gets split at some point. With 6 cord thread you can usually smooth it back into a useable state, but with this the soft single pulled thread broke and became a lump of fluff!! Twice I had to join in a new thread next to the you can't spot it tho'!!

I would tat this pattern again. I can think of so many threads that it would look pretty in. Using the shoelace trick method, the colouring in the block tatting would be continuous. Jane/Julie's method and switching shuttles method both produce contrasting stripes.

Thread amounts
Altin Basak 50 measures 8cm
Sh 6.75m, ball 4m...using Jane/Julie's method, other methods will take a different amount.

I promised to show you what I bought in the Big Smoke on wednesday. This was my best find, something I had been looking for for ages...and there it was in a sale, half price!

It's a tree about 18ins high, made out of silvery wire with crystals on each branch.
Even tho' the crystals are made of plastic they really sparkle. It's a good job they are not swarovski as they are destined to be taken off!

I put it in my hallway against a mirror so I will get to see two lots of tatting. I can see this with hearts or easter eggs too.

You can't see it very well in this photo so I have put a piece of card behind it.

Isn't that pretty.

See ya tomorrow!
Addendum...this is the same Altin Basak thread that I used for the first snowflake of 3rd December that I sent to Diane. Pretty colour.


  1. Sorry, gonna have to butt in here. This isn't 'Jane's' method - just another way of doing block tatting (sort of cheating, really!!). Jules Patterson apparently used it long before I also 'discovered' it and she thought it was the 'real and only' way to do block tatting!!! Thanks for the compliment, though!!!!! The special mention is much appreciated as it'll probably point other tatters to this other way of doing it!!!

  2. Your block flake looks so elegant and grand! But you didn't mention what thread you used? Is it a new colorway you are testing from your dye pots?

    Just curious...

    Can't wait to read more about leprechauns!

  3. Thanks Jane, correction added.

    Hi IsDIhara, It is a pretty colour, one that I should do. But it's the same Altin Basak that I used on my day 3 flake and sent to Diane. have updated the post.

    You didn't make a guess on Fergeal's post about the day!!

  4. Hi Maureen, Now whatever gives you the idea that I don't like tatting with Altin Basak! Actually I's the untatting that I don't like!!!
    Martha's designs are great, haven't done the mermaid year.

  5. Oh, how I want to get back to tatting from this book! Why oh why did I commit to so many non-tatting projects right before Christmas? I love the snowflake, and I will get back to tatting soon. Thanks for keeping me motivated to complete my projects so that I can tat again!

  6. I continue to be amazed at how quickly you are working these snowflakes out. I just look and the book and think ~ Headache 1, headache 2 LOL
    Really lovely snowflake, thank you for sharing.
    Another thing I've learned about block tatting as I've practiced is that I (personally) have to use less tension than I normally use, to make a nice, flat block.
    XX B

  7. That is a beautiful tree! I love the looks like a wintry-Christmassy chandelier!

    The snowflake you tatted is beautiful! I really think the patterns in that particular book are growing on me the more I see them in your photos here on your blog!

    OH! OH! OH!!! I got a package in the mail today from someone in Ireland! I wonder what it could be!


  8. That's a beautiful snowflake. I'm glad you persisted & finished it, because it turned out sooo lovely! I love the little tree. You could use it all year with different ornaments for each holiday or even tatted leaves. Wouldn't it be stunning with leaves in fall colors? Wow! I think I need one. LOL!

  9. This snowflake is stunning!

    Your right your tree is stunning, a great find for sure.

  10. Hi Diane, we all need continuing motivation in whatever form it comes, and you all are mine.

    Hi Bev, I think hey this must be doable if only I take the time to think about it...and the plunge in!
    I actually find that I have to pull my block tatting tight to make it fit snug against the last row.

    Hi Chic, I was so lucky to find this tree. Then I found a smaller one and a tiny one in Cork, but they were very crude and cheap looking. This is my Christmas treasure!
    Oh! post from Ireland how cool,now I wonder who that could be from!!

    Hi Katie, I had not thought of leaves, I dont think this will ever be bare, thanks.

    Hi Bonnie, wow you finally caught up in your marathon, another post on it's way soon.


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