One of the things I love about vintage patterns is the potential. The first thing I do is compare the written text with the picture and hope they match up. I look for places to climb out and continue without disrupting the flow of the pattern. And I look for ways to improve the pattern or extend its life into something else. I also look for the ways tatting was done differently and how that affects the overall pattern.
I noticed my tatting of Ground #1 was more compact than what I saw in the printout. Also directions sometimes refer to the size of the picot, but they didn't use a smaller joining picot compared to a regular sized picot. Most of the drawings and photos show quite visible picots in the joins. I wasn't sure if it was for clarity or if they meant to have them that long. My own habit is to make joining picots very small but I noticed that seems to compact or crowd the stitches in this pattern so I studied the picture and decided to try longer picots at the joins.
This is the center group of rings with the longer picots. It opens the piece up and it lays flat more easily. It will leave a bit more space too, when I tat the second round. This happens to be size 70 thread which I mistakenly loaded thinking it was size 40. As soon as I tatted the first stitch I knew better but since it was on the shuttles, I went ahead and tatted it. Thinner threads tend to open up space too so I can't be certain the longer picots made that much difference. I did need to use a mock picot to match the other longer picots.
This is another motif tatted in size 40 DMC and paired with my first three motifs in size 20. I tatted the small rings with chains instead of rings. As in the original instructions, I chained 3-1--1-3 and joined right back in the picot I started with. I had't blocked any of the motifs at this point but it seemed like the small rings tended to lean towards the left. They look better now, but I still think throwing a ring off the chain works better.
So keep in mind when you use older patterns how the original was tatted in relation to picot size. Chains that were tatted for mock rings often look better when they are a true ring. Look for ways to bridge from one segment to another. Sometimes you have to tat the whole piece according to instructions to find the best path. In my first attempt at Ground #1, I made the split ring split at the last join since that was where the JK would be but it was awkward and worked much better to split at the top of the center ring and make the regular small ring to start the next round.
I love the overall look of this Ground so I tatted a small grouping which is about the size of a coaster in size 40 thread. The center is Chocolate Sauce by Tatskool and the outside motifs are from some variegated I had dyed. I'm not willing to tat on another round but if I did, you would see the triangle pattern that emerges better in the negative space. This stops at a hexagon but I like it. After tatting this many motifs, I know it takes me about a half hour for each one, including winding the shuttles, tatting, and hiding the ends. This one is small and delicate looking. I really want to find a way to showcase this piece now. I also have to admit that comparing this to the original print of the pattern makes me envious of the tatter who made the original. The spacing and tension is perfect on that one.