"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

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's All My Dad's Fault

My dad has a friend from grad school who, many years ago, developed a word processor that is specialized for academics. The software is called Nota Bene, but the company was originally called Dragonfly Software. They are no longer called Dragonfly, and in fact there's another software company that has taken the name, but they still use dragonflies in their promotional material. The reason why is simply that the founder, my dad's friend, likes dragonflies. He spent much of his childhood in Indonesia, where there are apparently some really spectacular ones.

My dad has always used Nota Bene in his work, and he recently asked if I could tat a dragonfly for his friend as a token of appreciation. At first he wanted a "large one that could be framed" (he said, holding his hands about a foot apart). I had to say no to that at this time, given that (a) I'm not aware of any pattern for a dragonfly that large, so I would have to design it myself; (b) even with a pre-existing pattern, a dragonfly that size would take some time to tat; and (c) I've got kind of a lot on my plate right now with my cousin's wedding present. So he agreed to a small one that could be turned into a lapel pin. That was quite easy to manage, using Jon Yusoff's pattern; all I had to do was pick the colors.

A Google image search for "Indonesian dragonfly" showed me that dragonflies of all colors exist in Indonesia; however, the color I saw most was red, specifically the Red Grasshawk. So it was off to LadyShuttleMaker's Etsy shop for some "Diablo" HDT. I'd been wanting it anyway, so here was the perfect excuse.

I love this pattern so much, and it's so quick and easy, I just had to make a few more. On the same site that showed me the best Red Grasshawk photos, I saw this beauty (not Indonesian). Of course, my first reaction was, "Hey, I have that thread!"

And so the dragonfly in Tatskool's "Berry Burst" (not to be confused with the Lizbeth colorway of the same name) was born. If I were more patient, I would redo it and try to make the colors more symmetrical, but it's still pretty.

I had lots of threads and beads crying out to be used for dragonflies, so they all had to have their turn.

LadyShuttleMaker's "Pear Glace"...
...and "Enchantment". I had been holding off on buying this thread because I already had so many blue/ purple colorways; but I just got it, and I have say, it's my new favorite!

A Sulky cotton thread I got in The Thread Exchange, and that's all I know about it. I think it's one of the Blendables threads, but in the heavier weight.

And finally, two in King Tut threads, which I also got from TTE. I'm not sure of the name of the colorway on the left, but it's very dragonfly-ish in all those shades of green. On the right is the colorway "Jewel of the Nile". A thread this vivid with such short color changes certainly wouldn't be appropriate for every pattern, but it's gorgeous for a dragonfly! This was the first time I had ever used King Tut, and I like it a lot. It tats much more smoothly than the Sulky.
All of the beads for these dragonflies are Delica seed beads in size 11. I'm too tired to check all the color names right now, but if you want to know what a specific color is, just ask me in the comments.

There's going to be at least one more of these; there's another HDT on its way to me that I think will be perfect dragonfly colors. I had lots of fun playing with thread and bead colors. The "Diablo" will be for my dad's friend, I'll keep some of the others, and some will go in the grab bag.

If you like photos of gorgeous insects and other critters, the website I used is http://www.mongabay.com/


He's all tuckered out from his first visit to the vet.

Naturally, he got extra cuddles, but I also took advantage of the opportunity to wind some HDT skeins onto floss bobbins.


  1. What an enchanting post! Love all the beads and colours. Good for you!

    And that Squijum is a fabulous little fellow - he looks younger in these shots and more cuddly than the first ones, probably because he is all tuckered out! He is adorable and cute and beautiful!

    ♥ Fox : )

  2. Tatting Fool,
    For once a dad got blamed for something good! Yes, that's wonderful to hear. I have a feeling that he's proud of your work & his friend is very thrilled with the gift your dad & you gave. Stories like this aren't told or shared too often. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. Amazing dragonflies in awesome colors!!!! :)