I have been tatting other people's snowflakes for a change. I forgot how much easier it is to follow a written pattern than it is to come up with one from scratch!
The larger of the two is Frivole's latest creation, "Snowdrop" which can be found in her Etsy shop. The snowflake looks complicated, but the pattern is actually very easy. All you have to know are rings, chains, floating rings, and lock joins. I wondered what the snowflake would look like with onion rings in the center, but I'm afraid I made a mess of the pattern when I tried to change it, so I'm just leaving well enough alone :)
The small snowflake is Mandatory's first PDF tatting pattern. You can find a link to the pattern on her blog. This pattern is very easy and quick. It's great if you are looking to make miniature snowflakes. Included with the pattern are a few suggestions for alternative picot placements and beads. I put a few extra picots into the top cluster, which was not explicitly suggested, but I think it came out okay.
In addition to tatting snowflakes, I've also been taking a closer look at iBooks Author. As I said in my previous post, iBooks Author is a free App for the Mac (not available on the iPad or iPhone). I have been planning to use this program to give my tatting patterns a more polished look.
Further research reveals some limitations with the program. iBooks Author is meant for making ebooks that are readable on the iPad. The page dimensions are specifically sized for an iPad screen and are unchangeable.
What does this mean? iBooks Author will NOT work for making a physical book (i.e. one that you send off to a professional printer). However, iBooks Author will still work for creating digital PDF patterns, and these do print out okay on a home computer (but with blank margins along the edges).
Here is a photo of what I am talking about. I printed out a template in Portrait mode and another in Landscape mode. Can you see the blank edges? Landscape is worse than Portrait:
Personally, I am a bit bothered by the margins, so back to the Internet I went, to look for a solution. I think I found one in the form of a PDF cropping program (aptly named "Briss"). I have not downloaded or tested it yet, but the reviews look very good. Apparently the pages can all be digitally stacked on top of one another, and you can draw a bounding box around your PDF file to trim the edges.
Overall there are a lot of new things to learn and I'm sure it will keep me busy for a while.