Two of the first patterns I tackled in this little project of working my way through the Priscilla tatting books were the leaf and rose motifs from this… doily(? Seems too big to just be a doily, but I suppose it all depends on the size thread you use.)
As you may recall, I renamed the rose motif, The Rose Motif From Hell because it was such a pain in the butt to do with the 1925 version of split chains (which are actually easier than the modern day version, but don’t look like the normal tatted stitches).
At the time I wasn’t sure if I’d ever go back and look at the pattern again, but time has past and as the memory frustration faded I decided to tackle it again on my train trip from San Diego to Seattle a few months ago.
The main thing that I wanted to figure out with this pattern is a way to make the leaves directly on to the roses. The instructions (as usual) are unclear on how to actually put the pieces together. The just say that there are 109 rose motifs (Yes, 109!) and 162 leaves. Then later in the instructions they say to join the motifs together. No explanation of how, though I suspect there’s supposed to be sewing involved.
I played around with it in size 20 thread and actually got to liking it though I didn’t get too far. Just enough to figure out a way to make two of the leaves at the same time while attaching them to the center motif while tatting them. That was two months ago and of course now I can’t find those pieces that I was playing around with, but I have decided to go ahead and try out the center part of the project. I make no promises to doing the whole thing, but I just had to try some more of it.
Finding a way to add ALL the leaves around the center motif in one go might be a project that’s doomed to failure just because with a piece this large it IS probably easier to make sure it lays flat if you make all the motifs separate and then are able to make easy adjustments while sewing them together. I could be setting myself up for more frustration, but my tatting sensibilities are such that I really prefer to put together the piece while tatting rather than later. (Though I do like the idea seeing what of a stacks of 109 rose motifs and 162 leaves would look like…) Also, at this point, I’m not planning on doing the whole thing so hopefully that should make it easier to get flat.
Making and attaching the leaves in sets of two seems to work pretty well. There’s enough give/overlap between the sets that it lays nice and flat so far. Adding the next set of 6 roses around shouldn’t be a problem, and it should still lay nice and flat. What will be interesting is when I add the round that’s all rose motifs, (18 of them!). That could get more complicated. I’m going to give it a try anyways. The knot-stitch is actually pretty fun once you get the hang of it and in size 3 thread it’s MUCH easier to control.
No promise on how long it’s going to take me to do the next 24 rose motifs that the next two steps of this pattern require. I’ve got too many projects started right now, I should probably try to finish up a couple of them at some point….