"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

Thursday, August 18, 2011


These two ornaments are both from the book Christmas Angels and Other Tatting Patterns by Monica Hahn.

My posts from the last couple of days notwithstanding, I seldom use this book. One of the reasons why is that I always have to change something to make the pattern work. On the star, I actually did not change anything, but only because I couldn't tell what the problem was going to be until I made the final join and got a massive cupping effect. At that point, I wasn't going to re-do it; I just blocked the living daylights out of it and stiffened it a bit, so now it lays flat. If I were to do it again, though, I would make the center smaller by a couple of stitches per ring and chain. The threads on this are Lizbeth 613 Golden Yellow Medium in the center and LadyShuttleMaker's "Old Saint Nick" on the outside.

The other ornament is called "Knobby Snowflake". Of course, if you've been reading my blog for a while, you will know that it is not actually a snowflake at all, as a snowflake by definition must have 6 repeats. It's still an attractive design, though. The directions for the second (red) round of this one were just plain weird. This round is done with one shuttle; at the top of the chain where you start the clover, she tells you to reverse work even though the clover is on top of the chain. Then you come back down with the stitch caps of the chain facing the stitch caps of the previous chain. In other words, you are basically forcing the chains to curve in the opposite direction from what is natural for them, which would result in an awkward-looking line. Instead, I simply did a shoelace trick before and after each clover and allowed the chains to face away from each other as they normally would. (Using a second shuttle for the clover would not be the best option in this case, because then the chain would be one continuous curve instead of coming to a nice point like it does.)

This will be the last size 20 I use for a little while. I'm going to give my hands a break.


  1. I dont see why a snowflake has to have 6 points, I think your pattern of five points looks just as good and both pattern are lovely and nice colours.

  2. Sitting here checking the book, I am imagining in my head what you are saying. Seems very reasonable! I have not tatted 'Knobby' yet, but I think I would do exactly .

    I like the patterns in this book very much, so that tweaking them for me is well worth the effort.

    Cupping was a problem with the other motif for me as well. Plus, I do not like it as much as other of the designs. The reason I got the book was to have the pattern for the Wheel of Nine Rings - one of my all time faves!

    #20? Me too! I have had quite enough of it!

    If you are reading tat-ology these last few days, you know how I am feeling as if I have a bunch of sisal in my mitt when I tat with it! Unfortunately, i still have a lot of it as I have only been tatting a couple of years and that is primarily what I have used till lately. Gradually, I have reduced the #20 stash a huge amount.

    Eventually I hope to replace it all with #40 and smaller.

    With all my ranting and railing about Lizbeth, I have found that the #40 does not suffer from the same ailments that seem to plague all my #20 Lizbeth. I have not yet tried the #80. What say you?
    Fox : )

  3. i think your tatting is impeccable.

  4. Margaret, the reason I said a snowflake has to have 6 points is because that's the way they are in nature. The shape and polarity of the water molecule are such that water can only crystalize in hexagonal shapes. So while, yes, there are many beautiful designs that have other than 6 points, strictly speaking you can't call them snowflakes, any more than you can call any random design a butterfly if it doesn't look like one.

    Fox, I agree. Both the 40 and the 80 Lizbeth are way better than the 20. I have a massive stash of the 20 because when it first came out I was aching for tatting thread in decent colors; DMC had just discontinued a bunch of my faves and I hadn't yet discovered HDT. The funny thing about the 20 is that some balls are just fine, some are terrible throughout, and some actually vary within the same ball. I've never had a problem with either the 40 or the 80. I wish they would do a size 60 as well.

  5. Yes, I do like #60 as well. Maybe they will... they seem to have done all the right things so far after a very bad beginning... Fox