"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, October 30, 2014

A Dragonfly Trio, and All the Tatting Done

I've finished three more dragonflies for the scene. The first two are Jon Yusoff's dragonfly, which I decided is not too small after all.

The one on the left is tatted in Olympus thread color M14. Olympus really is delightful thread to work with; I honestly don't know why I don't use it more often. I know it can be hard to tell the color of beads in a scan; these are a dark iridescent purple.

The one on the right is in Lizbeth Twirlz color 403 Winter Ice. Once again, I had the problem with the Twirlz thread being too twisty, but it's really not too bad as long as you're making something small, and you remember to keep your tension a little looser. And this particular colorway is great for giving the illusion of iridescence without having to use a metallic thread, which is an even bigger pain for me. The beads on this one are gold.

The next dragonfly is one I just made up.

The body is pearl-tatted, thusly (sorry I didn't take any in-progress photos, but I don't have enough hands): I wound two shuttles CTM and put a paperclip in the middle. Holding onto the paperclip, I held the threads from both shuttles next to each other, pinched off the length that I wanted the body to be, and put another paperclip over both threads at that point to serve as an anchor. I hope that sentence made some kind of sense to somebody. I held the first paperclip between my index and middle fingers, and the second between my thumb and ring finger. The doubled thread between the two paperclips was the core thread; I pearl tatted, one stitch per shuttle, up the length of it using the unflipped double-stitch method. (See Jane's explanation for this method of pearl tatting. I formed the stitches in the same way; the only difference is that the core thread, being very short, is held differently.) When I had tatted enough to have something to hold onto at the bottom, I slipped the second paperclip out, snugged up the stitches on the core thread to eliminate the little loop that paperclip had created, and continued pearl tatting. When I got near the top, I made two rings on each side for the wings. I pearl tatted a couple more stitches and then started on the head. At this point, there was just a small loop of the doubled core thread left. I used split chain technique up one side of the loop with one shuttle and the same thing up the other side with the other shuttle, so that the two split chains met in the middle to look like a ring. I tied the two threads together (they didn't need securing, I just wanted a little bump there) and left the ends as antennae. The head ended up a little larger than I intended, but overall, I'm pretty happy with it.

The thread is "PTG Surprise" by Tat-ilicious, in size 40, with white beads.

I believe that I now have all the tatting for this project completed. Here it all is:

This is only an approximation. It will not be displayed on felt. At least, that's not Plan A. This does give you a rough idea, though. I'm very excited about how it's all coming together. Now for the real assembly.

Fun fact: dragonflies are the only creature known to be able to move all four wings in different directions simultaneously. That's what gives them the ability to hover and dart around the way they do.


  1. That is going to be an absolute work of art!!!! :)

  2. I love all Dragonfly , but la last one I must try it.

  3. It all looks Fantastic ! Lovely artwork :-)

    If I may be presumptuous enough to venture a suggestion -- the lovely diverse foliage/algae would probably look more realistic if not lined so neatly end-to-end together. I just feel that a little random placement, in myriad directions, would enhance the entire scene.
    I hope you don't mind ...

    Your tatting and all the elements of this picture are Amazing !

  4. Lovely dragonflies, the other picture did not come out maybe my internet connection is not good today.

  5. By the time I wrote you a comment the last picture came out, looking lovely all together