Isn’t it pretty? This is the first of Camelia’s doilies that I’m trying to replicate. The center part is what I used for the snowflakes/Irish Roses from last week.
Out of the 12 of Camelia’s doilies that I photographed extensively in detail to try to replicate (no promises that I’ll get to them all) I picked this one partly because it’s one of the smaller ones and so I thought that would be a good one to start with. Smaller, yes. Not necessarily very straight forward. Camelia does interesting work with some innovative techniques. Even once I figure out how to replicate it I’m still left with trying to figure out how to explain it to someone else in instructions that make sense. So don’t be expecting patterns for these anytime soon, but the project is very slowly coming along.
I think though that I’ve come up with a pretty good system for figuring out how to make them. When I was there I took not just overall pictures like this one, but many, many close-up detailed pictures of each section of the doily as well. When I tackle a new one I start with looking very carefully through the pictures and writing out the stitch count. When I’ve got the whole thing written out I start tatting from that and adjusting the pattern as needed. Usually for some of her more innovative techniques this also involves trying to write out my notes to myself about how to do it in way that someone else might have a shot at understanding. I always use two colors so I can follow the first and second shuttle portions later.
This is actually similar to what I do for working through the old patterns from the Priscilla books, except there I am working through the old-style of writing out the directions and rewriting them in modern notation. I WISH the Priscilla books had detailed pictures, but no such luck.
I’m actually getting close to finishing my first of this doily. It got put aside a while back when I was packing up to move so it’s been squished up in a small tin of tatting for a while. It’s on my list of weekly projects to finish at some point this year, so maybe you’ll get to see a finished version sometime in the next couple months. Unfortunately, I know there’s no way that my finished version is going to turn out as nice as Camelia’s. Maybe after a few more practice ones.