Thursday, 17 January 2013

Vintage Patterns

I don't know if you find this too but sometimes when I tat vintage patterns, the stitch count just doesn't work for me.  It also happens occasionally with newer patterns but less often it seems to me.

I was looking through my books last night and was inspired by this square motif (yes, square, of course!).  It is to be found in Anne Orr's Classic Tatting Patterns.  In my next post, I will also show you a picture of the motif in the book because it's interesting but for now, just look at the photo below.

Nope, this will not flatten out.  No chance.  There is just too much tension between the elements.

I had to stop there and re-consider my options...

... snip, snip, snip...

The centre of this motif is quite simple and traditional:  a good place to start.  But it's the second round that particularly appeals to me.  Now that I've "freed" them from each other, you can see that these two motifs with the stitch count as it is were never going to fit together, were they.  Well, they did for Anne Orr obviously (though you'll see what happens when I show you the photo next post) but not with my tatting.

My plan is to re-tat the second round first and then make a centre for it.  Yes?

And then there is just a bit more on Jane's TIAS.  Still not much to go by to try to guess what it is.  The one good thing though is that it required a split chain which I'd not tatted since making the video for it (this is the method shown to me by Marie Smith).  I was able to do it without having to refer to the video - yeah!- and it worked well!  I know many tatters shy away from split chains but honestly, give Marie's method a try, I'm sure you'll find it's easier than you thought!

Oh, one last thing:  is anyone having problems with the butterfly cursor?  I've had one reader say the links on my blog didn't work with the butterfly...  I like it myself but I won't keep it if it's problematic.  Please let me know!

Best wishes,


  1. Oh dear it looks a bit wobbly, I am sure this will look lovely when you have finished playing.
    I look forward to seeing what you do in the end

  2. It's difficult keeping up with your posts! So many interesting topics and such beautiful tatting! Love the Wildflower thread motif, and the gorgeous Rose BonBon. Then there is the spectacular Burda doily! Just looking at it stopped me in my tracks! I can't even fathom making it!

    This post reminds me of my 'mutant' eight-pointed tatted snowflake (from my early days of tatting in the early '90s) that came about because it obviously wasn't going to work out as the six-pointed one in the pattern I was following! I still haven't gone back to the pattern to figure out why that happened! Your doing the second round first should clear up how the first round can be modified!

    I'm curious about Anne Orr's books. We are very much indebted to her for publishing these patterns and keeping them alive; but I believe they are a compilation of patterns done by unknown tatters! I'm so glad that today we go to great lengths to give credit to the designers! My research shows that Anne Orr did very little, if any, tatting; but she did a great service in re-publishing these patterns. No doubt there was no credit given even in the first publication! So sad!

    I have to thank you for that great video showing the split chain! Although I haven't tried it yet, you've made it very clear HOW to do it, and I also thank Marie Smith for this method, which really seems to make it easier to do!

    1. Hi Kathy,

      I was interested about you said about Anne Orr. I must admit, I never looked into it before but it does say on the back of the book that it is a collection of 90 of her own most beautiful tatting patterns... which would lead one to believe that they are her own designs?

      Don't know if anyone else knows more about her...

  3. I have found that to be an issue too. have fun figuring it out.
    I have not found any trouble with the butterfly.

  4. That's exactly why I shy away from the older patterns. I guess I'm too impatient to figure it all out. The butterfly cursor has not been a problem for me.

  5. I know that my experience with old patterns is that I am a tight & firm tatter.... Looking at the old patterns it seems like they tat more loosely and that seems to throw the stitch count off for me... I know that doesn't make a lot of sense but that is how I figure it. I will be interested in seeing how you work it out. I know it will be lovely!

    1. Hi Marla! Yes, I'm a firm tatter too - not tight - but firm. :-) And you are right that old patterns often seem to be tatted in a very loose manner, with sometime floppy-looking chains! So of course, when we tat them, the stitch count just doesn't work.

  6. The second round on Anne Orr's pattern is very pretty indeed; I can see why you want to noodle this one out. I'm dying to see the original photo now! Hopefully your strategy of adding the inner row later will solve the problem...looks like it's going to need to be considerably smaller than the original.

    The butterfly cursor is fun but actually, it's better for me personally with a plain one. I like to be able to trace over photos with a cursor so I can understand the pattern better, and the butterfly gets in my way. Just a picky personal preference, but you asked. :0)

    1. Hi Rose-Marie, thank you for your comment. I'm glad you said. I want people to feel happy while they're visiting my blog... not annoyed!


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