As promised, here's another version of Spring Doily 2 by Vinnie.
LadyShuttleMaker, and as you can see, I added lots of decorative picots. It completely changes the look, doesn't it? For comparison, here's the first one I did again:
Mark had to go and mention Sulky Blendables Thread. It's a 30-weight quilting or machine embroidery thread available in lots of nice variegated colors. There was some discussion on the Here Be Tatters list about what size tatting thread it's really equivalent to. Is it like 80? Is it smaller? What's it like to tat with, anyway?
Well, I just happened to remember that I have three spools of it that I picked up last summer in a quilt shop in Dillsboro, North Carolina. (Unfortunately, the shop is not listed on this website, and I can't remember the name of it, but the town is small enough that if you're ever there you'll find it.) I've had this thread since August and have done nothing with it! Shameful!
What we have here are colors 4033 Grape Wine, 4028 Storm Clouds, and 4021 Truly Teal. Aren't they gorgeous? The photo really doesn't do them justice. I had a hard time limiting myself, but I was on a budget.
In order to answer the above questions about the thread, I decided to make one more of the doily. Here it is, in Storm Cloud. I like how the color changes are so subtle.
This thread was a bit different to tat with. I don't mind working with small threads at all; in fact I prefer them because they put less strain on my left hand, and for some reason I don't have trouble seeing the stitches. So the size didn't bother me. I found that this thread has a finish that makes rings close very smoothly; that was nice. Unfortunately, the finish does not prevent the thread from getting all fuzzy as you work with it. If I had to untat, the fuzz got really bad. Also, because it's only a 2-ply, it's not as strong as the cordonnets I normally work with. The thread broke three times just in this small piece, and I was trying to keep my tension loose. The finished piece has a much softer hand than tatting done with cordonnet.
The bottom line is, if you're comfortable with size 80, you'll find this thread slightly challenging, but not terribly difficult. It's not designed or intended for tatting, so it does have its limitations. However, the colors are so pretty that I think it's worth it. Go into it knowing what to expect, and you'll keep your patience. If you expect it to tat like tatting thread, you'll probably be disappointed. I would recommend this thread for smaller pieces, not for Mark's next wedding dress. :P
Back to the doilies (really coasters), here are all three of them together:
I learned quite a few things about design from Vinnie's pattern. In addition to the picot thing, there was the paperclip trick. You put a paperclip on the core thread to make a downward picot; a later join will hold the picot in place, and you get to work multiple sections in one pass. I already knew this one and have done several patterns that use it, but I always forget about it. After doing three of these, I'll remember it. Then there's the order of working various elements. I tend to think that if I want a 3-ring cluster, I need to work all three rings together. This can limit where you go afterwards. Vinnie has you do two rings (with a chain in between, but the rings are joined), then go off and do something else, then come back and do the third ring. You get much more freedom of movement by not constraining yourself always do everything in order. A lesson for both tatting and life. (It's 2:24 in the morning; I can't help saying things like that.)
Karol from OBC, I can't get your e-mail address. Would you please contact me at luthien1 at comcast dot net?