"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, June 20, 2011

More Hosta Leaves

I said yesterday I felt the need to make a bookmark in LadyShuttleMaker's "Hosta Leaves" HDT. As I was contemplating which pattern would best show off the thread, my glance happened to fall on Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns. Eureka! The "Anniversary" edging, of course!

This is a great pattern for a variegated thread. You can watch the flow of the color changes, and the colors don't detract from the design. It's also a good pattern for beginning tatters; it just uses ball and shuttle, with regular and lock joins.

To make it a bookmark, I used a split chain at the end and went directly into the tail, which is a lock stitch chain ending in a motif that matches the bookmark. (If you didn't want to do a split chain, you could keep it as a regular chain, cut and tie, and start the tail by joining in the picot.) When I posted a whole series of bookmarks last year, a couple of people asked me about lock stitch chains, so I'll explain it here for anybody else who hasn't used them. A lock stitch, in shuttle tatting, is just like a double stitch except you don't flip one of the halves. It doesn't matter which one. By not flipping, you "lock" the core thread so it can't slide. The most common use for a lock stitch is when you use a mock picot to climb out of a ring; a lock stitch is used so the mp doesn't disappear. Another use for a single lock stitch is if you want to create a sharp angle in the middle of a chain; in this case, locking the core thread breaks up the curve of the chain. I did this in my cardinal to make his crest nice and pointy.

A lock stitch chain, then, is a whole chain made of lock stitches. A normal tatted chain, as you know, is curved and stiff. A lock stitch chain is straight and flexible, which makes it ideal for a bookmark tail. If you are using two colors, they will both show in the lock stitch chain, which makes for a very interesting look. I was a little disappointed that the ball and shuttle both happened to be showing the same color when I did this LS chain. For some reason, making a LS chain tends to twist the thread, so you will have to let your shuttle dangle periodically.

I'm not quite done exploring the "Hosta Leaves" colorway yet, but now I do feel like I can move on to something else. I had time for another quick tat last night, so I made another pendant.

This is Marilee Rockley's "5-Petal Pendant" from Up and Tat 'Em, in LadyShuttleMaker's "Icicle" thread, with these amazing blue and silver beads I recently bought.

I just got my birthday money today (have you noticed how many tatters are born in June?), so I should have a new camera pretty soon. Then I'll be able to show you a clearer picture of this one.


  1. I love lock stitch chains for bookmarks and yours is lovely.

    Beautiful pendant- great colors!

  2. I love the 5-petal pendant, and the beads complement the thread beautifully.

  3. How pretty! I love the little motif, the thread is so icy! (:

  4. Beautiful bookmark, I love the colour,Marys patterns are always so lovely to use, and your pendant looks gorgeous again lovely colour.