Monday, January 12, 2009

Between 2000 and 2002, I took part in several round robins that were hosted by Maus, a lovely woman in Colorado who is now focused on knitting. Back then, however, She created a website and organized ongoing round robins, first for doilies, and then specific themed motifs (Collectors) were included. I took part in two butterfly RR's, two angel RR's, a Christmas RR, and signed up for a few that never came to fruitation. It was wildly successful for quite some time but finally, participants who did not complete their committment and who sometimes dropped out with everyone else's hard work made the round robins a painful subject. I never got my 2nd angel RR back. Even so, I learned my best tatting during that time.

There were usually a minimum of 6 participants in each RR. There were US only groups and there were international groups. Each person sent their first tatting off to the person after them. That person would add their own motif and send it on to the person after them. There were deadlines to help keep the RR flowing smoothly. At the end of the RR, you got your own motif back along with one from each of the other participants. That later changed to where each person simply sent a motif to each of the others directly. That meant you didn't get to see everyone else's and took a lot of the fun out of it.

This was the Butterfly RR #1
Carol in FL, USA
Waleska in GA, USA
Becky in MI, USA, groupleader
Maus in CO, USA
Adelheid in Blomberg-Reelkirchen, germany
Emma in WA, USA
Shanon in MN, USA
Regina (me) in IN, USA

And this was Butterfly RR #4, the last of the butterfly ones.
Beverlee in NM, USA
Marla in FL, USA
Martha in NC, USA
Virginia (Ginny) in NY, USA
Gail in Ohio, USA, groupleader
Regina (me) in IN, USA
Apphia in IL, USA
Amy in MN, USA
Pam in MN, USA

You can still sneak a peek at how it was done here. Many of the photos are now red x's and I couldn't access any of the patterns, but you can imagine how cool it wss to go there and watch the squares fill in and to ooh and ahhh over each new interpretation.

This was my first butterfly for the 1st RR. I made another like it but with different thread for the 1st person I got. Back then, I didn't have a scanner. I would take the motif to my sister's house and scan it there, save it to a disk, and them email the scan to Maus who put it on the webpage. This pattern came from a workbasket and was part of a doily. I only made the butterfly. It's quite large, 7" x 4", larger than most that were tatted.

This was the flutter for my 2nd RR. I adapted a motif from an old Needlecraft or maybe it was Home Needlecraft, and turned it into a butterfly. The link to this pattern is in my sidebar. It's about as big as the first one. I don't know why I thought they had to be big as a doily.

I wasn't able to find every single butterfly. We used the small photo albums to send them around in but I have lost some flutters since they came home. I was glad to see the original site so that I had an idea of what was missing. When you hover your cursor over a photo, it tells who and what pattern and the thread. Or is supposed to. It's deteriorating so you can't find everything but at one time it mostly worked. These round robins spawned a lot of designing too. When you saw how someone had interpreted a pattern, you started getting ideas yourself. It was a really exciting journey for me. If you go to the RR link from above, you'll see one from Wally to someone else with a happy face bead. I thought that was so whimsical and I chuckled every time I saw it. It also inspired me to use the same happy face bead for her. I adapted another Workbasket pattern so that it was more of a side view and then I put alphabet beads in the body too to spell out W-A-L-L-Y.

This was about the time Palmetto was getting going and they were collecting patterns for their book, Migrating Butterflies. The one I adored the most was not even in there, but I got it somehow. I hope I can find it again. It's the beaded butterflies in profile.

Then Hope Green designed her hairpin lace butterflies and I proofed the pattern (along with others) for her. That inspired me to make hairpin lace fans with tatting.

I loved making the bright yellow flutter for Maus (intimidated too because she is such an exquisite tatter) but it is from a book no longer in print. I borrowed the book (actually a stapled together xerox of patterns, that's how old it is) from I.O.L.I. and tatted that one and a few others from the book.

Some people tatted the same pattern in different threads for each person in their group. Most tatted a different pattern for each person though. It was a challenge to continue to find something you wanted to tat that you also felt was somehow an expression of that person or how you perceived them. I used the opportunity to learn new techniques and use beads, as well as to stretch myself in designing. I still have some butterfly ideas to try out.'t you wish you were there?


  1. Those butterflies are just beautiful! When I first learned to tat in 2001, I came across Maus' site and saved some of the patterns that I found there. Over the Christmas holiday, I used the Wayback Machine to go back and see if I could grab some patterns that may still be there. That was my favorite tatting site to visit. It's too bad it died as it did.

  2. you seen the flutters from the new round robins?
    You'll have to scroll down a bit past the snowflakes and bookmarks

  3. Very interesting post, Gina! I've never participated in a round robin. I have a fear of not being able to finish my commitment, and I can't stand for anyone to be upset with me! I can see where round robins would be inspirational and lead to all sorts of new design ideas. Maybe when I retire...

  4. Oh this is fabulous... love these gorgeous creations!

    Brightest blessings,

  5. These butterflies are beautiful!

  6. I am mesmerized by the kaleidoscopic video! The butterfles are amazing themselves, and then the artistry of this video is quite eye-catching. Even my husband was impressed! I'm always intrigued at the 'add-ons' in the blogs. I'm intimidated about adding things because I've read that some people lose data or lose their entire blog when they make changes to layouts, etc. But I have to say, this is really cool! Hope you get your roof fixed soon. At least you're warm!

  7. I was afraid the kaleidoscope effect would be too much, but I really enjoy watching it myself.

    And yes, I'm warm in spite of the current -9ºF temps. I just told my son on the phone that I must have had a leak somewhere I didn't know about at that corner of the house because the furnace is not running as much as it used to in these kinds of temps.


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