"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

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bare Bones of the Heart

Most tatters who've been online for a while are familiar with Susan Fuller's "Heart's Desire". The swirling chains are so fascinating to follow, and such a great way to show off a variegated thread. Here it is, as tatted by Tatskool in her "Berry Burst Dessert" HDT:

She very sensibly uses this pattern to test nearly all of her new threads, because you can really see the way the colors flow into each other.

When I decided to tat it in Krystledawn's "Sea Glass" thread, I was going to make it exactly like the pattern, as above. But when I pulled the pattern out and looked at the picture, I thought, "That is way too many picots for this thread." It's just not a colorway that works well with frilliness; it calls for a very smooth design. So I decided to see how the pattern would look with no decorative picots at all.

You can see the bare bones of the design here. It's a completely different look. Honestly, I prefer it with the picots in most colorways, but in this one I think the picots would detract from the thread.

It was actually harder to tat this way, too, because of the way the pattern is written. Repeated groups of stitches within a ring or chain are given in parentheses and the number of repetitions given. When you want to see how many stitches total are in the ring, it's easier to count them on the picture than to try to add them up from the written directions. Even so, I kept making mistakes and having to re-open rings. I don't think it shows, though.

I made this heart for Kay Foster of Handy Hands, Barbara's sister-in-law. I think that most tatters in North America have probably talked to Kay at some point when calling Handy Hands. Many people have heard on the various tatting lists that Kay was in a serious car accident in Texas and is still in the hospital. She is doing somewhat better now and hopes to be moved to a hospital nearer home. Karey Solomon has made a nice shawl for her and is asking tatters to make hearts sew onto it. E-mail Karey if you'd like to contribute a heart.


  1. That heart looks really neat! :)

  2. Nice heart. Wonderful project.

  3. I never would have thought of leaving the picots out... it looks very nice! I agree, that thread looks great with clean, crisp lines

  4. I wish you lived closer...I tried to tat this heart before Valentine’s and became totally lost in the pattern...all those twists and turns...
    We are going out to the car port checking where the fire is beyond Silver to the South. I feel the same way I did just before we lost our home in a flood. Apprehensive and my tummy in knots...15 homes have burned over 500 acres.
    So I’m trying to concentrate on tatting a butterfly. I intend to send a heart, too...but have to finish this butterfly tonight!
    xxxxx bj

  5. BJ-- I'm praying you and Loyal will be OK.

    The heart is actually not quite as convoluted as it looks at first glance. Do a shoelace trick before ring 7, and another one after ring 13. In all other places, just keep reversing work like normal. I do find it a bit confusing just because of the way the pattern is written, but you could write the stitch counts into the picture, and then it would be like having a diagram.