Sunday, January 02, 2011

#1 in 25 Motif Challenge

This is my first motif for the 25 Motif Challenge involving vintage patterns. I am currently using the DMC Library - Tatting - Editions TH. de Dillmont. I've already tatted some motifs that I haven't shown and probably won't for awhile. I've skipped to Plate IV, which is "Grounds". There's really not an explanation of what grounds are in tatting, other than motifs joined together. I always think of "grounds" being the background of a piece or the less detailed stitch work that fills in space behind the featured motifs. From what I can see, however, the motifs are simply joined together. This could be a way to bridge larger elements together in a tablecloth or shawl. The tatting is simple for the most part. Only three examples are shown in Plate IV, but the shapes vary so you get the idea.

This is Ground #1, figure 22. It's the more elaborate of the three. I've tatted it in size 20 DMC Special Cordonnet. I will be tatting all of the motifs in DMC white. They may very well go in the dye pot later but for now, I wanted a common thread throughout. I will also try this motif in size 30 and 50 thread to compare how they look but I won't count them as motifs in the challenge.

This is with the second motif attached. I reworked the pattern so that I could climb out of the first round without a cut and tie. I still have to cut and tie when the motif is done but it's still only the tails to hide rather than 4 threads.

I made the motifs slightly differently by ending my split ring in the first round at different places. I think the second version was easier to execute and will give directions for that. I changed the way I did the josephine knot between the 2nd and 3rd motif (below) but I'm not sure it really made a difference. You can make a JK (josephine knot) by continuously tatting either the first half of the double stitch or the second half. I generally tat the second half as it seems easier and faster than the first half, but in my third motif, I tatted the first half and it seemed to lay better. That may be a result of it being my 3rd tatting in a row of the motif where I'm comfortable with the rhythm of tatting.

The original instructions had you tat the center with a shuttle only and fasten off. Then you used two shuttles and attached the thread to the motif to tat the second round. In the second round, you made a false ring with the chain but I changed it to a ring thrown off the chain. I think it lays nicer but I should tat one with the chain just to see what the difference is.

Please excuse my crude diagram. It took me over an hour to come up with something acceptable and then my scanner wouldn't work. I had to reconfigure the wireless connection.

I used size 20 thread, 2 shuttles wound CTM (continuous thread method) and put 1 1/2 yards on each shuttle. It was a close call on the second motif so you might want to add another foot to that estimate.

1st round:
R 6 - 3 - 3 - 6, clr
right next to the last ring,
[R 6 + last p prev r, 3 - 3 - 6, clr] 4 X
last ring is a split ring
SR 6 + last p prev r, 3/6 + 1st p on 1st r, 3, clr

2nd round:
I didn't bother to make a mock picot but you want to leave a tiny space as you'll be ending in this spot.
Using the chain shuttle, *R 3-1--1-3, clr
SS and Ch 4, + (join) in the join between rings
SS and using the chain shuttle, make josephine knot of 8 stitches, your choice if it's first half or second half.
SS & chain 4, + p on next R
SS & repeat from * around, ending last ch 4 in base of 1st small ring.

You're using the chain shuttle for the chains and rings both and I indicate that by SS which means switch working shuttle.

The original directions say to make that middle picot on the small ring a longer picot and that's where you join to other motifs.

Once you get into the swing of it, it's fairly quick to tat. You could tat a small mat or doily in an evening.


  1. You almost persuade me to take up the challenge, thank you for the diagram. I like to use the older books but I often have to work out a diagram as I get lost in written directions!!

  2. Those are really pretty. I like vintage motifs - so simple, but a lot of them are quite stunning.

  3. Very pretty, Gina! Like Josie, I get lost in the directions, so diagrams are very helpful. I hope I get some time to tat today, because I'd really like to try this one. Thanks for giving the yardage. It makes it so much easier to determine which threads I'd like to use.

  4. Well they look like snowflakes to me and very attractive ones, thanks so much for the pattern will transfer it to a file before I forget - part of my tidy new year resolution! Thank you also for re-writing these patterns especially in one hits, hate having to tie off ends.

  5. Numbers and JK's!

    I am an old 'numerology nut" from way back! My family thinks I am balmy! So - there you are taking numbers and tatting Josephine Knots! My kind o' gal!

    Actually, I thought the motif was one of the Minitats, as I am sure there is one very like it that I have tatted many times.

    I look forward to the next motifs from this collection.
    Fox : )

  6. Ooooh, that's pretty. What a lot of work you've done on it too.

  7. Gina,

    This is great.....Thanks for the pattern. I am going to follow your blog and tat your vintage motifs.

  8. Lovely pattern, great tatting, thanks for the pattern

  9. beautiful little snowflakes...

  10. Anonymous10:22 AM

    That is so nice, Gina!!!! and thanks for sharing the pattern/diagram!

    I'm so interested to see just how many motifs will be connected, and what it will turn out to be.

    I'm getting some ideas bouncing around in this noggin of mine, and think I'll be trying this too!

  11. How I love this motifs. I have never done JKs, but they are really lovely.
    Please tell me, what does "vintage" means, because I don't understand this word ( as I know it, it is an event, when you gather in grapes).

  12. Orsi - In this case, "vintage" means old or antique. It is about the patterns written more than 25 years ago. I focus on the ones from the early 1900's.

  13. Thanks Gina, I love old patterns, me too.

  14. the motif is cute, I'm going to use it for the next year's X-mas tree, so thank you for sharing the pattern with us :o)


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