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Friday, April 11, 2014

Design with Me: Solstice

Sometimes life gets in the way and tatting gets put on hold. I thought about what I could post when I don't have any new tatting to show, and came up with an idea. I'm going to start a "Design with Me" series where I blog about how each of my designs came to be. Today will be the first post, and I will talk about "Solstice," which can be found on the free patterns tab.

I draw all of my designs on my iPad, using a free app called Kaleidoscope Drawing Pad. This app has undergone many changes, including the relatively recent addition of being able to choose the colors you draw with. I wanted to test the new feature to see if I could draw all shuttle 1 work in one color, and shuttle 2 work in another:



I never meant for this to become an actual design, but when I took a second look at the drawing it looked like a quick and easy tat, so I decided to move forward with it. The thing I like about snowflakes is that I have six tries to get the design right, one for each point. Below is my first attempt. Notice how each point is different, as I try a variety of stitch counts to get the desired effect:


After getting a general idea, I tatted the snowflake again, still making minor adjustments along the way:


This was a bit closer, but still not right. I decided to take out my needle and thread to simulate joins by sewing the outer chains together. I also picked up my shuttles and tatted extra rings, which I carefully placed on the tatting before taking a photo:


Overall, I liked the look of this much better, even though it differs from my original drawing. With my new stitch counts written down, I took out my favorite snowflake thread (DMC Cordonnet Special) and tatted the final version of Solstice:



My overall thoughts:

Designing this snowflake was not as simple as I thought it would be. At one point, I was almost ready to give up and name the pattern "Snow Fail." It took a lot of persistence and patience to get the final product to look the way I had envisioned. I had to come up with some creative methods that I had not used before: sewing the tatting together to simulate joins, and tatting extra rings to place for a photo. In the end, I am pleased with how the pattern turned out, and it was a good learning experience.

6 comments:

  1. Thank you for explaining your creative process. Very interesting seeing all the different stages. Love rour solstice!

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  2. Thanks for explaining your design process! I love your labour-saving ideas for sewing in joins and tatting separate rings to place on the pattern. And I'm glad you persevered until you finalised the pattern! It's a really pretty one.

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  3. I join the others in thanking you for your explaining the entire process ! A true labour of love :-) Wow, imagine making little rings separately to determine placement, position, etc. !
    However, this just struck an idea in my head - how about making paper cut-outs of different sized rings ?! One can get a fair idea from already made rings in same size thread, draw the outline on paper, (make the notations for future reference), cut along the outline & voila!!! Will save a lot of time & labour. Just a thought that I think I will try out myself ...
    Lovely snowflake, & love the name you've given it as well :-)

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    1. Great idea muskaan, I'm sure you will be able to expand upon it in the future. That's one of the fun things about designing, coming up with new tricks to make things work. I'm still at the beginning of my design journey, so hopefully a lot more tips to come down the road!

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  4. I like how you are able to use the computer for this, and it does seem to save you time,the little outside rings could also be done in the blue color too to hang off the chain. this was and is a fabulous pattern.

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    1. Thanks! If you have an iPad, this app is great for drafting design ideas. A tutorial blog post is on my to do list, when I find a design simple enough to explain the process.

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