Thursday, September 01, 2011

#18 in 25 Motif Challenge

Plate V, figure 25

I started on the motif last night. It's a simple 4 ring motif. 6-6-6-6 with joins at the side picots. At first, I miscounted the picots and had a 6-6-6 ring but then I saw there was no way to join at the corners for the 9 square center so I carefully counted again and found my mistake. I'd already made 2 rings. I didn't want to cut them off and have a knot and ends to deal with because I planned on split rings later so I de-tatted and started over. Not really much of a bother.

So then I went from one little motif to another and was not pleased with how the rings bunched up. I kept looking at the picture over and over...what was I doing wrong? And what was that teensy little center there? Was that the stitching from embroidering it on the net?

And then a little light went on. I remembered seeing something about 10 stitches but nothing in the ring was the equivelant of 10 stitches so back to carefully reading the pattern I went! Oh my! After the 4 rings are tatted, you tat a tiny ring of 10 stitches. This folds down on the center. That's what that little nubbin' in the center is!

So here is the real motif!

To get the tiny ring on the topside so all the stitches looked the same, I unwound the shuttle, pulled the thread up through the center, tatted the ring and then pulled the thread back down again. Then I caught a stitch in the tiny ring at the top with my fine crochet hook and brought that thread up through it and then down again, tying to the other thread in the back.

The only way to get that center effect is to tat each motif separately. You can't climb out with a split ring. I suppose technically you could, by tatting the tiny rings after all the motifs are done but I can see that tatting them separately won't result in the bunched up rings like the first incorrect sample.

Now to begin with, I have no idea how to embroider net. I'm not even sure what net is. The only "net" I know of is the nylon variety used to make scrubbies for the kitchen and bathroom or scratchy crinoline slips to make the skirt poof out. Or the NET, the internet variety. When I thought I could zip through the 9 center motifs and the outside 24 motifs by using split rings, I was going to try putting it on a linen piece as the center insert and outer edging. Now that I know I'm going to have to tat 33 individual motifs and hide the ends in every one of them, I'm just not willing to do that at the moment. Life is a little busy and with holidays soon coming up, my time can be better spent elsewhere, but I may use it as a long term side project.

There are 3 more motifs in this Plate V and I will do them. One other is also on net and we'll see how much tatting is involved in that before I commit to it on linen!


  1. You are a more patient person than I if you would even consider finishing this, now that you know you can't use split rings!

    It looks as though the original used slightly longer joining picots than what you're making. Hypothetically, if you were able to do it with split rings, it might lay better if you used longer picots and also left a slightly longer mock picot after each SR.

    For my next project, I'm thinking of doing something similar, updating a vintage pattern with SR's, so I'll have to look at this very carefully. Thank you for showing this!

  2. This is a beautiful motif, but it does look like a lot of work. I was wondering how crocheting the netting in the center might work. ( I don't crochet, yet, but my Mom used to make netting by crocheting.)

  3. I appreciate the way you are focusing in on these vintage 'plates', so that they can be viewed and appreciated, one by one. This one definitely jumps off the page!

    The skill and patience of the tatters back then is to be envied! And as usual, you analyzed the pattern, studying how the center section, and tiny rings, were done, making it easy for the rest of us!

    It is always intriguing to see the various materials they used as 'inserts', and that 'net' is amazing. I can't imagine how that was done. It's definitely a nice addition to the overall effect, but linen will be a good substitute. (I wonder if Aida cloth would also work.) I assume those are Josephine rings on the final chain?

    I was quite relieved that you have put this on the back burner! It will obviously take some time!

  4. Admirable how you figured out how to get the small ring on the top! I like this piece, but it would take a LOT of time for sure!
    Fox : )

  5. You amaze me, Gina! I have a tough time getting through reading one of those old patterns, so I've never tried actually tatting one. I love the way you show the original plate and then your version. Your work is beautiful as always!

  6. Oh, Gina, that's amazing to get even this far. On closer inspection the netting looks like filet to me although it also looks as if it's been 'embroidered' on. I tried that years ago and it's not easy to do the embroidery and get it 'right'. Well, I didn't find it easy!!! Well done, I take my hat off to you for your persistence.

  7. Well done, it looks difficult and although its not easy to do some of these old patterns I do take my hat off to you for your patience.
    I look forward to seeing how you get on.

  8. This is a beautiful motif and it looks daunting to me!
    You certainly are ambitious.
    About the netting,while I'm pretty sure you could use tulle,I believe what was used was English or Swiss cotton netting. It's quite popular in heirloom sewing and expensive. I have gotten a small and therefore not too expensive piece from The Lacemaker at Tat Days. I have always thought that was the most attractive way to add tatting to clothing.

  9. beautiful the blue thread and nice the motif!

  10. Uh Doh. I just realized I did not look at your picture and read and comprehend your post before I posted. The net insert is not Cotton Netting. It is handmade netting that is then embroidered(sort of the same technique as needle lace or drawn thread work.)For an example The book "Butterick's Tatting and Netting"shows the netting on a metal frame being prepared for embroidery. I believe this book is available as a download from one of the antique library services. I got mine from Georgia.

  11. the tiny little ring in the centre is gorgeous...and I hope you stay cool and that you had a great Labor Day!


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