I’m also working on a large piece from the Priscilla books which is an easy pattern but which I’ve chosen to work up in a rather large project. So I wanted to do a fairly easy pattern for today that wouldn’t take up much time. Since the leaf motif came together so easy on Tuesday I thought I’d do the pretty little rose that goes with it.
Yeah, that didn’t work out as well as I thought it would. This unassuming little rose was more complicated than I expected. You see, this rose is the introduction to something Priscilla calls “Knot tatting.” It’s basically their version of the split chain. Here’s the pictures and written instructions for it, “A” is your shuttle thread, “B” is the ball thread or the thread you are covering:
I have no way of knowing, but I suspect the usual split chain must not have be around when this book was written in 1924 or else they would have shown that. This is a cool little knot. Unlike the split chain which is done in two passes (you have to pull two loops through the space to create the finished knot) this one only takes one pass so it’s a bit easier and faster to make. The big difference is that the split chain ends up looking like the normal tatting stitch, where as this one doesn’t. Also, with the split chain the threads that wrap around the core thread fall into place naturally as you do the knot. With Knot Tatting you have watch and guide them into place a bit more. It’s slightly easier for it to get unruly.
Each one of those “spokes” on the rose is made up of a series of these knots. About half way through I was frustrated and sick of them, but by the time I finished I’d gotten a little more comfortable with doing them and I was so pleased with the way it looked I’m sort of ready to try another. Maybe not right away though. Here’s the instructions for the rose.
Over the ball thread, do 4 knot stitches (I’m calling them ksts in these instructions)
Ch 3ksts over ball thread leave picot, Ch 8-8
*Join shuttle thread to next picot on center ring leaving space.
Ch 3ksts, pick up ball thread, leave picot, and Ch 8-8*
Repeat between *’s around the center ring then join to picot at top of first spoke.
Ch 5ksts over ball thread, leave picot, Ch 2(-2)x5
**Join shuttle thread to next picot on round 2, leaving space.
Ch 4ksts, pick up ball thread and Ch 2(-2)x5
Join shuttle thread to next picot on round 2, leaving space.
Ch 5ksts, pick up ball thread and Ch 2(-2)x5**
Repeat between **’s around. You’ll be making 4ksts on top of all picots in chains and 5ksts on top of all picots above spokes. Join to picot at top of first spoke.
WHEW. It won’t really make sense until you try it, but hopefully it’s sort of clear once you’ve got thread in your hands. It took me quite a while to get this little rose finished, but by the time I did I was getting more comfortable with the knot stitch. In the first round I was getting a bit frustrated with the way it was coming out because I was having trouble keeping it even, so I did a couple spokes in the normal split chain to compare them. The knot stitch is faster, but a bit harder to keep even. This little rose certainly gives you plenty of practice with it.
This rose and the leaf motif from Tuesday are part of a large centerpiece. The final piece has 109 rose motifs. 109! That works out to about 9,000 knot stitches.
I don’t know if I’m up for doing that many. I might decide that life is just too short to spend my time doing knot stitches, but I do really like the way this rose motif came out and do like the little leaves. Maybe I’ll just do a couple of smaller pieces with just one rose and the leaves around it. Here’s the full centerpiece. Enjoy it now, it might be the only time you see it on my site.