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Tatting another set of wings for Miss Priss did nothing to alleviate her excessive frills, nor her identity crisis:

Miss Priss

and I ran out of thread in the worst possible place. For those of you who have not yet played with Ruth Perry’s balanced double stitch, it is really useful for long chains, but a serious thread eater.  It is here, and it is a pdf file.

Poor Miss Priss’s confused identity is entirely my fault. The top wing was tatted looking at a photo of the ornate butterfly collar in Priscilla Tatting No 2. Just before tatting the lower wing, I glanced down at the shelf below the one on which I keep my tatting materials and caught a glimpse of this colored drawing that was given to my by the ranch hand’s son carlitos-butterfly1

Now you see where the idea for the Josephine rings and scalloped chain came from.

They say that we all live with a certain amount of denial in our lives and that we would go mad if faced with the entire truth of our shortcomings. After more than a year of really focused tatting, I thought that I had tension under control. Then Patti Duff’s ‘Mini Tats’ came into my life. As far as I know, it is not currently in print, but you would have to contact Patti through the Shuttlebirds website to know for sure. The book has been in my tatting library for some time, but I had tatted only a few motifs from it. A call from the guild for additional motifs to be used in making table favors for the Shuttlebirds Workshop got me to tatting a few more of them. Pretty little things, an inch to an inch and a half in diameter. Some are quite ornate, and look like miniature rose windows. So, I loaded up the shuttles and started tatting. It did not escape my notice that the circular motifs were tending to cup quite a bit before blocking, so I redoubled my vigilance as to even tension between rings and chains. The result?no10-crop

No amount of blocking will flatten this puppy without overlapping chains and mangling petals. It is not a complete loss (could be a good start for a 3D Easter egg), but I really must face the fact that, despite my delusions to the contrary, my tension in chains does not match that of my rings. (sigh)


In closing, I leave you with a pretty assortment of motifs from Mini Tatsmini-tats

and the promise that I shall find out how to insert active links in the text before I post again. It is ironic that I have no trouble with this on the various cyber sites that I frequent, but do not seem to be able to make it happen on my own blog.

Because of an incident some years ago at the “Butterflies Alive” exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, in the course of which my digital camera got dropped and was never quite the same again, I have no particular fondness for butterflies. Their erratic flight patterns irritate me by reminding me of that day. So, it was with precious little enthusiasm that I embraced the Shuttlebirds Tatting Guild’s current workshop theme: Butterflies Take Flight. For the longest time, I used up leftover bits of thread while I fiddled around with 4-ring butterflies; destined to be added to nametags and such for the workshop. Then, as a member of the guild, I volunteered to help with other workshop prep and was asked to tat butterflies for the T-shirt design. Each butterfly was to be either original or from a pattern in the public domain. In a moment of madcap optimism, I tackled the task of designing one:

First draft of butterfly for the T-shirt

First draft of butterfly for the T-shirt

That wasn’t so awful. Encouraged, I pressed on to fine tune the pattern:

Meet Victoria

Meet Victoria

Off she flew to Spokane, along with two other designs from Sherry Pence’s book, which I was using with her permission, and I thought no more about butterflies. Then I learned from the guild newsletter that another large butterfly was needed for the T-shirt… The deadline for getting the design to the print shop is looming, so it did not seem wise to attempt to design another butterfly from scratch. After consultation with Patti Duff, the Workshop coordinator, I set out to adapt the butterfly from the ornate collar in Priscilla Tatting No 2, which is in the public domain. On the first run, I got a little carried away with stacking picots without enough space between them (these will not render well on a T-shirt graphic):

Adaptation of Priscilla No 2 butterfly

The lower wing treatment that was so much fun to execute also looked rather disconnected from the whole. So, I put this aside and started over. Five and three quarter hours later, I had this:

Lavinia

Lavinia

It was my intent to put the work aside and add a lower wing the next day. But then I looked at it again and deemed the creature to be complete, as is. The lower portion of the upper wing droops just enough to allude to the existence of a lower set of wings. She is a moth. Since this scan was taken, she has been blocked and is now en route to Spokane.

The first version, Miss Priss, deserves to be finished, and there will be  a picture for the next post.