Sketching out a tatting pattern


Tatting is a funny one. Really, I should be designing my own patterns by now. I am a designer, after all – and one that happens to love repeat patterns too. That said, I often think tatting for me is like smoking for other people. I need a quick fix, there and then. Something to calm me down, occupy my brain, keep my fingers quiet.

There’s also the fact that I like to see a finished ‘thing’ at the end of it. Something I can look at and see as complete – maybe use it, maybe not, but know that I’ve started and finished something. Like a lot of people who work with computers, the work I do in my day job may change. Things aren’t ever completely ‘finished’ with the work that I do. Or at least rarely. Things gets signed off—but before you’ve had time to acknowledge it, it’s on to the text thing.

Which means that I like tatting other people’s patterns. You can choose one you like, learn it, know that it’ll look good at the end. That someone has worked out the stitch count, fixed all the niggles. A quick win. No stress. Ok – some might be trickier than others, but on the whole you’ll probably end up with something passable.

white sketch

After making the beaded wreaths (I made five in total!) I had spare thread on my shuttles. This time I forced myself to try something out.  To be honest, the main reason was that I’d seen some beautiful forget-me-nots at Chartwell and I love their tiny bright yellow middles with the blue petals (not grand flowers, but I really like them). I also keep thinking of simple daisies.  And sunshine.

As the beaded wreaths were flower based, I was wondering if I could make something that would have a yellow centre (in theory) and a blue outside. So above is my sketch. I actually don’t have any yellow thread. I should have an order going out in the post on monday!

It’s not the most original design, I do know that. (The central ring with smaller rings is relatively well established). But I worked on the stitch count – decided to make it less leafy and to keep it simple this time around.


edging 4

When I loaded up these shuttles I’d sort of promised that I’d keep evolving the pattern, but the addictive part of my brain kicked in and so I carried on from where I was and stuck with that as a pattern. I’ve not worked on an edging pattern before and it feels oddly different. Its a tiny bit clumsy as it gets longer, but quite satisfying too. You can very easily see the progress you’ve made.

edging 2

This is size 80 DMC thread, so it’s quite like a length of lace. Very flimsy – would make a pretty bracelet but it’s just not really thick enough. I like that it can stand up on it’s own though. Made for some nice photos while I was avoiding work…

edging 3


Talking of which… I’d better get on with it :-/

Hope you’re having nice weekends!




21 thoughts on “Sketching out a tatting pattern

    • Yup… I think I’m not cut out to be a tatter of jewellery though. I’m a big fan of thin threads, and it never feels quite right going above around 50 or 60! I think I just got used to size 80 as that’s what seemed most readily available.

      • The fine threads are beautiful – I love them for edgings and motifs.

        I suggested 20 since I am working my way through one of Marilee Rockley’s (Yarnplayer) books on tatted jewellery and she uses mostly 20 and 10.

      • Ah! – I love Yarnplayer’s work (actually I really love her hand dyed threads too). Yes, thicker is better for jewellery. I’m just too used to the thin stuff 🙂

    • I’ve been thinking about a scarf edging for ages! You know when you just fancy a tv watching project, or something easy to remember and thus pick up and put down? I was considering buying a length of gauzy type fabric and edging that… We’ll see. This actually takes quite a long ime to tat, so maybe not this pattern!

  1. Ooh, that’s lovely! I’ve been putting ribbons (usually grosgrain) behind bits of lace for bracelets that aren’t quite sturdy enough on their own.

    I have the opposite design problem, I constantly scribble half-formed designs and never make them!

  2. You’ve often spoken of the feel that you should be making your own patterns. And now you have. And it looks really nicely done to me. So, well done. What are you going to be edging with it? Any ideas yet or see what comes to mind when you have your yellow thread?

    But I don’t think that you should force yourself to do it. This is supposed to be about fun remember 🙂

    • Hmm, ‘fun’. I think I just need to redefine the term 🙂 not 100% sure what I’ll do with the edging. I have a loose idea in mind, but yes, might wait for the yellow. I can’t believe a few posts back that I said I didn’t know why anyone would buy yellow thread! Idiot. Should be here tomorrow or the day after… /drums fingers…

  3. I like the edging you came up with, although I sure wouldn’t call it flimsy if it stands up on it’s own! Maybe dainty? I totally get where you’re coming from with things never being done at work. In my case it is also always moving on to the next thing before you are done while still mopping up the loose ends, which of course are never completely gone:) I am not a designer, but I enjoy the meditative aspect of lace making. I have to thing just enough to clear my head without getting all stressed out trying to figure out how to get things to look just as I imagine it should.

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