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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Snowflakes and Starfish

Story of the Rainbow Snowflake and the Starfish

Way back in May I was supervising a really boring exam....boring in that it really couldn't take a lot of walking up and down.During these exams sitting down, it is often hard to stay awake and especially to keep my eyes open. I need something to stimulate my brain into active thought.
So I was flipping through Elgiva Nichols-Tatting Techniques book, looking I guess for inspiration.
I got as far as page 31 with the rings and chains motif that she describes as a Scroll. I was taken by the effect of the inward facing chain and outward facing rings. I started to doodle what it might become.

Now anybody who know me knows that I am not original, I find it very hard to design....anything! Maybe I don't try hard enough or maybe it's because there are so many patterns out there that I want to make. I have only two original patterns to my name and they can be found on my website. Unlike so many of you, my head is not buzzing with designs all trying to get out. But it is full of the desire to make things and to make them to the best of my ability....and it always has been.

Well, after a lot of attempts I had a workable, I thought, 6 point snowflake that didn't remind me of anything that I had ever seen before. It did somewhat resemble a starfish with its long unadorned arms and also reminded me somewhat of the 3 legged Isle of Man logo. It looked like it was going to tumble head over heels so I called it Tumbling Snowflake.....

and forgot about it!

Six months latter while looking for something to tat that was my own and could be used to show of my Rainbow Bright thread I came across my design.....

and I was off!!

I got the stitch count right at my first attempt with just a tiny trial in white and then plunged in with Rainbow Bright as I was itching to see what it was going to look like.

Oh! I loved it from the very first stitch.

Showed it to hubby and he said that it didn’t look like a snowflake but a Starfish…….well he would think that wouldn’t he!!.......

and so my starfish was torn assunder…....well figuratively speaking! one half went to make a new Snowflake and the other a Starfish!!


The inward facing curve following the central inward curve, that I really, really liked was replaced by an outward facing curve making it more snowflake than starfish.
The tips of the arms lost the little ring and gained 4 beads.


Oh my!! I LOVE IT!! If you could only see how those gold beads sparkle.
I really like the way that it shows off Rainbow Bright.... I know that I could have added frilly picots but I like it's simplicity. I know that it looks simple, basic and straightforward but I LOVE IT and honestly haven't been able to find a snowflake like it on the net or in my collection of books. It came totally out of my head after the initial stimulus of the inner circle from Elgiva Nicolls...but I know that doesn't make it mine if someone claims that they have designed it before.

Look at it on a black background...... I like the effect of all the circles that the chains make.


Well he keeps the inward facing chains because that what makes him a starfish. But he loses an arm…......ouch!! The arms are made more pointy by using the shoelace trick recommended by Jon Yusoff.

On black background he is a wow!

But what kind of starfish is he…….Linkia suggests hubby ...…we look it up…it’s a beautiful cobalt blue…but its arms are really rather too long in proportion to my central disc.

Now I know some people are going to say that it doesn't matter what kind of starfish it is...but I am a Zoologist and to create something that actually looks like a named animal is the cream on the cake to me.

What about Protoreaster linkii The Red Knobbed Starfish………he says....gosh it really looks like this one.

I am sorry that I couldn't contact the owner of this photograph so I hope that they won't mind my using it.

This photo is copyright free....

Red-knobbed Starfish Protoreaster linckii at Bristol Zoo Aquarium, Bristol, England.
It looks as though I’ve propped this animal at the best photographic angle, in fact it was like this when I approached the tank (to my delight!).

Photographed by Adrian Pingstone in December 2005 and released to the public domain.

So made it in red and cream then changed the outer ring to a Josephine ring a la method of Jane Eborall and am happy with it.

It looks so different when made in 2 colours.
But with beads it is GORGEOUS and so Starfish like...I am amazed! With a little bit of computer jiggery pokery he really looks like he is on sand in a rock pool...well he does to me!!

Pile 3 on top of each other, a little computer colour change and I have a multi armed starfish reminiscent of the Crown of Thorns starfish, such a nuisance on so many coral reefs.

If nobody claims these pattern as theirs I will post them on on my website as my Christmas present to you all. So far the gurus that I sent the pattern to don't recognise it but that means nothing...if I am stepping on anyones toes, I humbly apologise.


  1. Both of your designs are great!

  2. I love your tumbling snowflake. Thanks for the zoology lesson. Those were cool photos of starfish! I love how you added the red beads to the red and white starfish as it made it look more "realistic". That photo of the real "crown of thorns starfish" is amazing! Your Rainbow Bright HDT looks fun against the white and contrasting black backgrounds.

  3. Yup, Chic the Crown of Thorns is AMAZING. The black background makes SUCH a difference..maybe we should live our lives against a black background....maybe we would all look so much brighter....mmm! maybe that's why so many people wear black!!

    Thanks Bonnie and Chic for you enthusiasm, it means a lot to me.

  4. Oh, WOW! These are great. I love the snowflake and the starfish. The three together is amazing. You have done a great job. I don't remember seeing anything like this before.

  5. Wow! Those have to be some of the coolest(living and tatted!) starfish I have ever seen. And the snowflakes will are simple to die for.

  6. I am so impressed by your starfish.
    (My father was a marine biologist and took quite a few photos but I don't remember seeing that one. There were lots of photos of plankton, and I suppose they might easily inspire tatting designs...only I'm not that imaginative!)

  7. My, you've been busy! Everything looks fabulous! Of course I LOVE the Rainbow Bright... the beads look like they're the perfect accent! Three on top of each other... you mean not all starfish have 5 arms? I've learned something new today! I love the pieces on the black background... the colors and designs really pop!

  8. All your designs are lovely.
    Thank you for sharing your work progression from snowflake to starfish to crown of thorns. The information about the real starfish is very educational too.

    This may sound funny... but the starfish reminded me of the starfish in the Spongebob cartoon. Don't know why ... :-)

  9. You are a designer just coming out of her cocoon. Congrats!

  10. Beautiful work!! I'm wondering, since you mentioned being a Zoologist, where is it that you work? My middle son is into Zoology but the job prospects are grim. He is drawn to reptiles and is working towards his degree but has lately been wondering if it might be a good idea to switch majors. Anyways, I love your threads and design ideas. sy

  11. Sy thanks for your comment, if you would like to contact me privately (through my website) I will do my best to answer your query.

    Thanks everybody for your encouraging comments...mmmmm... spongebob I had to look up the starfish LOL!

    Snowy did your father drag you out onto the shore with him!! peering into rock pools. Always makes me think of one young girl (no not mine) who finally asked the question...'daddy why are we doing this????'

  12. Pamela, Your Tatted Red-knobbed Starfish is awesome. I think you captured the starfish perfectly. I love how your tumbling snowflake turned out. Great Design!!!

  13. Hi Pamela,

    I just went to look at the Crown Of Thorns Starfish, it really is amazing. I never saw a starfish like this before. Your tatted version of it is FANTASTIC! And you said, "Now anybody who know me knows that I am not original, I find it very hard to design....anything!" AND those were your exact words. I have to disagree with you. Your Crown of Thorns and your Tumbling Snowflake are SUPER designs. Way to go Pamela!

  14. your new star fish design, in the version with the beads, is absolutely fabulous!!! i'm amazed at how you were able to think up the pattern in the first place, but then to make it look SOO much like a "real life" animal, is just astonishing to me! great work!

  15. Wow misfitknits, thanks for the great compliment. Just what I needed on the first day of a new year. Happy New year to you.

  16. (((HI Pamela))))HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

    Hope you are having a wonderful day. It is still early here in PA, 9:30 am. Just got up. Felt good to sleep in. Dh and I stayed home and watch a movie and had Margarittas. Both kids were out so we had the house to ourselves.

    Anyway, I have been going through your site revisiting some older [posts and I remember you posting about this Tumbling Snowflake. I thought you did a fabulous replication of the Red-knobbed Starfish and the Crown of Thorns was awesome also. I wondered if you released the pattern, if so, where can I find it? I'd love to tat your starfish.

    I also will probably get the snowflake book you are using now. I see so many pretty designs in that book. I think I am taking it easy today and I will definetly get to do some tatting.

    Happy New Year again. HUGS

  17. Hi Carol, the tumbling snowflake i can send you but i never did get round to writing the 5 point version properly, day.


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