"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Next Project

In my last post, I mentioned that a childhood friend of mine is getting married, and I'm going to make a tatted gift for her. After a bit of discussion with her mom, I determined that really anything in any color will be appropriate and appreciated, so I had to decide what to make. I've had a hankering to do an intricate doily lately, but really don't have a place to put one, so a gift-giving opportunity is welcome. On the other hand, I really enjoy making tatted pictures. What to do?

Well, I decided that, as much fun as it is to make pictures, tatting really does show to its best advantage as the lace that it is. So I'm going to do a doily, but will also make a card with a small picture on it. The card will feature a pair of dragonflies, because Laura likes them. I'm not quite sure what other scenery will be in the picture; it will evolve as I make it.

The doily I've decided on is this one:

I've always liked this pattern but never had an excuse to make it before. I just love the contrast between the dense layers of chains and open spaces. Plus, some of the ring clusters look like butterflies; I don't think that was intentional on the designer's part, but I find it charming. I think it will look even better in two contrasting HDT's.

While intricate, I don't think it will be quite as complex to make as it looks. It's all ball and shuttle. The directions are written out the long way. I generally find this tedious, but I guess I'll survive. The directions call for cut and tie after every round. I'll be able to avoid a couple of those with split chains or by starting one round at the same spot where the last one ended. If I weren't using two colors, I could avoid even more ends. But I am loath to do an SLT in the middle of a split chain just to make the colors work, because it makes the chain all wonky. Therefore I will just have to deal with the ends. I actually don't mind this as much as some people seem to, probably because most of what I tat is fairly small, so I have a high ratio of end-hiding time to tatting time anyway.

The pattern comes from this book:

If you like doilies, then you will love this book. I've only done a couple of things from it, because it mostly is doilies and I just don't have room for them. The designs are all well-balanced and interesting to look at.

I think it's also a good book for aspiring designers to study. Not because you should try to mimic anything Ms. Carroll has done, of course, but because of her use of picots. The use of decorative picots is an art form in and of itself, and Ms. Carroll is a master. So often, you see picots just plonked out at regular intervals because the designer thinks you're supposed to have them. The result is... not exactly boring, but definitely not inspiring. The patterns in this book have picots in exactly the right spots. Sometimes there are very few or none at all, sometimes they are placed thickly and graduated to help define a shape, sometimes they are clustered. However she chooses to use them they are always exactly right for the look of the particular pattern. We could all learn from how Ms. Carroll does this.

So, I've ordered my HDT's, because of course despite the size of my collection, I just don't have *exactly* the right colors. Besides, I ordered way more than I'll need because I'm paranoid about running out, since HDT's are by definition not reproducible. I figure I can always have another giveaway with the leftovers.

While awaiting the threads for the doily, I'll get started on the card. I will show it as it progresses.


  1. ...looking forward oto the progression.... : )

  2. That's the doily I started for the fair this year....except I'm doing it on one color.

  3. Hi, Fox. Yes, it's a relief to be done with the Top Secret Project, so now I can actually show what I'm doing as I do it.

    Krystle, how cool! It will be fun to watch each other's progress.

  4. That is a beautiful doily to make - looks very difficult. i would love to see which HDT you use. I hardly use two different HDTs in one work so I would love to see how it turns out.

  5. Ooh! I love the doily you've chosen! I think I have that book, and I am in the mood for another doily!

  6. The doily is so pretty. I am looking forward to see the different stages that you'll be at with this.

  7. It is indeed a lovely book. I have done at least one doiley from it and the instructions are good.
    look forward to seeing the result.

  8. This is a great book though I've only done ornaments from it. I'm not really a doily person - would only frame it and how many framed doilies can you hang? LOL1 Looking forward to watching yours grow though.