Friday 10 October 2014

The Difficulty of Old Patterns!

Following on from my previous post, I have continued with the second round of the motif (from the book Festive Tatting by DMC).

First of all, I found the way the second round was written to be incomprehensible!  I had a couple of goes and then decided to ignore the instructions and re-write my own.  I also found the chains which join to the first round were too short and I had to add a few stitches to make it fit.  This is a problem I often find with older patterns:  their tension was much looser, especially in chains.  I like tight and neatly-curving chains but in old patterns they were often so loose they could be straight or nearly like spaghetti!  These weren't so bad but obviously looser than mine because I couldn't reach with the stated number of stitches.

And for once, I didn't forget to add a magic loop at the beginning!
(which is the fine bit of black thread you can see in the photo)

I like the shape of the onion rings on the outside.  There are 14 repeats so I don't think I'll have time to finish this today!

Best wishes,


  1. I do like this pattern pity it's not written very well, I love onion rings I know some tatters hate them but I do like them and they look lovely on this motif.
    I look forward to seeing it finished

  2. I am one who cannot follow written directions AT ALL, and must spend half an hour diagramming every pattern before attempting it. Despite this, and reducing chain tension to zero, I have found that many vintage patterns still will not work. Some need lots of little adjustments which is a pity because the extra work makes it less desirable to tat. There is one in particular I would like to revisit and put in the extra work to rewrite, because the pattern looks very nice in the book.

  3. I think part of the problem was that the editors were usually not tatters. Plus the craft has evolved and advanced so much over the years; we now recognize and value the crispness that comes from nice well-tensioned chains, and we believe in taking the time to get the stitch count just right in each round. Plus we've figured out ways to make the directions easier to understand!

    1. This very well said, Miranda. Frivole's onion rings are nice to llok at : frech and crisp , because of her perfect tension.
      I wonder if people really read those descriptions. Like us,tatters probably looked at the photo's and drew their own patterns.

    2. Excellent point. I've seen vintage pieces that were very crisp like modern tatting, and other pieces that were looser. Each tatter probably had her own aesthetic preferences, and may have adjusted the stitch counts of the pattern accordingly-- just like we sometimes do today.

  4. Um that is the trouble with old patterns, the notation is so hard to fathom out and can see why you are re-writing it. Well worth the effort though because the design looks so elegant.

  5. Gostel mmuito da renda
    .muito delicada Parabéns


Thank you for taking the time to write a comment, it's always appreciated!