"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, December 17, 2010

Christmas Ornament

This is motif 36 from The Tatted Art of Teiko Fujito, made with Lizbeth Christmas Red and Christmas Green Mix.

By the way, even if this were white, it would not be a snowflake, no matter how much it might superficially resemble one. Snowflakes can only have six points. This is because the shape and polarity of the water molecule force it to crystalize in hexagonal forms. Being a stickler for accuracy, I get really irked when people refer to non-hexagonal motifs as snowflakes. It's just a motif.

I was working on this at a coffee shop yesterday. The young woman sitting across from me was obviously interested in what I was doing. We didn't chat because she was studying, but as I got up to leave she asked me what I had been doing. By then I had to get going, but I told her it was called tatting and spelled it for her so she could google it later. Then I offered her something from my grab bag. She chose an "Angels in the Snow" done in Krystle's Wine Berries thread. I'm hoping that having a piece of tatting in her possession will inspire her to look it up over her Christmas break. And, hey, cool, she liked my design!


  1. Great post today!

    I love that MOTIF! Now I know the correct usage of the word. Thanks. I usually call things motifs unless the pattern says 'snowflake', but never knew about the 6-points. Thanks!

    Great tatting moment! You need to have some cards printed up to give away with your tatting. I give these away all the time, to give folks an opportunity to check out tat-ology. And they often do!

    I'll bet she is enjoying that fabbo motif of yours very much.
    Fox : )

  2. Now that is a stunning colour combination and pattern. I've not seen that thread used so well before.

  3. I love this in colors. Very often in the Japanese books, the thread seems too fine for the spacing on the motif and I always wonder how it will look in colors or another thread size.

    I know that snowflakes are 6 sided. I used to be a stickler about it too but I don't care anymore. Well...that's not true. I still can't call a 5 pointed motif a snowflake. LOL!

  4. Gina, I often have the same reaction to the Japanese motifs. I don't dislike the look, but it's definitely a different design sensibility from what Westerners are used to. We tend to want to fill space, where the Japanese want to leave it open. I notice that the picots also tend to be a bit longer. The thread size doesn't change the proportions; the one in the book is definitely in a finer thread (I used size 40), but the overall look is the same.

    I also find it interesting that there are no variegated threads used in this book, yet Ms. Fujito creates some truly stunning color effects using only solids. In fact, I think this is one of few designs in the book that a variegated thread can work with.

    I forgot to mention that I did change the chains at the very outside of each point. As written, they crowd the picots on the ring below, so I made each of these chains longer by 2 ds.

  5. Wow, just WOW! That motif in that combination of threads is sheer perfection! You have outdone yourself, and your work is superlative to begin with.

    I say without a second's hesitation that this is the prettiest Christmas motif I have ever seen.

  6. That is an awesome Christmas ornament! Love the colors and placement! :)

  7. This beautiful motif shows off the varigated thread. It is stunning and thanks for the lesson on a motif or a snowflake.

  8. Very nice, Miranda!

    I also, didn't know that about snowflakes. Now I'm really intrigued! It actually makes me wonder if people, call them snowflakes because they actually remind them of snowflakes? I'm sure that not everyone knows that trivia fact about the 6-points... it makes sense to me.

    But don't worry, I won't call it a snowflake :-P (no matter how much it makes me think of one)


  9. I agree that the mix of the threads here is beautiful! How did you happen to envision that? I'm also trying to figure out how the red outlinng is done - continuously?

    I was amused reading your 6-sided snowflake explanation. Back in 1990 I was attempting to tat a snowflake that actually was supposed to have 6 points, but for reasons I still don't understand (and I didn't try it again), I had to put 8 points on it because it would have buckled otherwise!

    I was so proud of this lovely piece of tatting (one of my first tries at using 2 shuttles) that I photographed it for my Christmas card and gave myself credit inside the card stating proudly: "Tatted Snowflake by Kathy"! Later on I discovered that snowflakes can only have six points - so I wondered how many people 'in the know' about snowflakes laughed at my 'mutant' snowflake!

    And how nice of you to give away your tatted Angels in the Snow to the gal at the coffee shop. You never know what will come of that encounter!

  10. ...whatevahhhh... I think your motif is beaaaautiful! (giggles)

  11. IsDihara, you make me blush!

    Kathy, it was actually just chance, coming up with that color combo. I was thinking of doing it in red and solid green, on the theory that any motif can be a Christmas ornament if you simply make it in Christmas colors. But lo and behold, when I opened my box of thread the Christmas Green Mix was sitting right on top and I got a flash vision of it combined with red. Interestingly, I don't care too much for that thread by itself-- I think the color changes are too abrupt-- but mix it with a solid, and WOW!

    Yes, the outlining is continuous. You have to switch shuttles and directions several times on each point, and then the green chain leads to the next point. I never would have made it if I had to cut and tie between each point!

    People were probably impressed enough with your tatting that they didn't care if it was "really" a snowflake or not!

  12. That is SOOOOOO pretty! I ♥ it! :D

  13. Replies
    1. It's in the book called The Tatted Artistry of Teiko Fujito. I bought it from Handy Hands a few years ago, and I'm sure they would still carry it.