I won't bore you with all the detail but obviously there were lots of samples tatted, different paths taken, lots of cutting and starting over again. The image below, of a real snowflake, is the one that inspired this design.
Because of the long(ish) free arms, I wanted to make sure the design was stable and using double rings for the arms fulfilled that purpose. The tip is done with a chain joined back on itself instead of a SCMR (which I also tried) because that gave the design more strength. Important to the look of this snowflake is the different length of picots. I think I will provide a gauge with this pattern. The picot on the very tip has been pulled because I blocked and steamed it and I like it that way but you could also leave it rounded like the others. I was also pleased with being able to have the hexagon shape at the centre of the real snowflake incorporated into my tatted design by joining the chains on the side, otherwise the centre would have been round.
There are no complicated techniques in this one (not a split chain or SCMR in sight!) so it's tattable (can you make an adjective out of tatting??) by anyone, even beginners. It's just rings and chains and best of all, it's tatted in one round!
This will be the snowflake that will go in my Christmas cards to friends and family this year.
Right, now on to pattern writing!
Oh, and I just need to find a name for it….
p.s. I might need a couple of test-tatters if anyone is interested and has time?
Update 15.10: Thank you very much for all the offers, I'm good now for test-tatters! :-)