I have to admit that I have one of Iris's small books and I don't find her patterns easy to follow (ssshhhh! I'm embarrassed to say this!). But this one really appealed to me so I had to tackle it. The first stumbling block is that I hadn't tatted clunies yet (well, I had a very brief attempt at the technique some time ago which didn't conclude successfully). So search on YouTube and Tatman came to the rescue with his video and I duly learned to make the loom, etc.
Another admission I have to make is that I am undecided about whether I like clunies in tatting. To me, they belong to bobbin lace. It may seem a weird thing to say but the whole technique to make them is so different to what normally goes on in tatting that it's like they're a bit alien to shuttle lace. Is that a strange comment to make?
Nonetheless, they add an interesting texture element and I had to try them before deciding whether I like them or not!
Anyway, here is the image of my Iris Niebach motif. THIS IS NOT MY BEST TATTING! So don't look too closely but I was interested in just figuring out the pattern to start with and then making the clunies! So this is my first motif ever with clunies.
As you can see, there's all sorts of clunies in there: some are too thin, some are too fat, some look triangular rather than leaf-shaped... The best one is middle left I think. Still the last ones were easier to complete than the first so I'm making progress!
The other thing I found was that there was too much tension between some of the elements for me. The "straight" lines are too wonky for my taste (due to my bad tatting!), I would need to adjust the stitch count a bit and anyway, chains are meant to curve, not lie straight so there's bound to be tension when forcing them to make a straight line. Is that a fair comment?
Please don't think that I'm complaining about Iris's design. It caught my eye because it's so interesting and unusual. She does some wonderful work and I really appreciate it. I'm just looking at it with a critical eye and wondering how I could modify it just a bit to my satisfaction.
I actually like it a lot and plan on remaking it. I like the play of texture between the elements of the design. It would make a really beautiful larger piece. So I will have to make a few to see how they look like together...