Archive for Priscilla Project

Tea Cloth Update!

06 GreenIt’s been a while since I’ve worked on the pattern for Section 1 of the Tea Cloth, but I finally went back and added notes to all the pictures, added some new pictures and generally went through and updated the pattern.  I have some emails out to potential test tatters and a few more to send.  Hopefully, it won’t be long till I have a finished version of the pattern published.

I’m pretty excited about this piece.  It’s going to be on display at LACIS in Berkley, CA at their Tatting Exhibit this summer.  I drove through Berkley in December on my way to San Diego and got a sneak peak at the exhibit while I dropped off my piece.  I’m pretty sure they still hadn’t collected most of what will be on display and it was already an amazing collection.  I can’t wait to see it once it’s actually up and am so excited to be a small part of it.

Of course, this piece that I’ve tatted is only the first (and smallest) section of a MUCH bigger piece.  It’s the tea cloth from Priscilla Tatting Book #2.  The green and yellow piece I mentioned a couple weeks ago is the next section of it.  I’ve seen a 02 Orangeversion of it at the Lace Museum in Sunnyvale, CA that takes it through section 3 (that was a couple years ago, so I’m not sure if it’s still on display.  Does anyone know?)  Wodentoad on Craftree is doing an amazing job at consistent steady progress and is on the last section of it.  I can’t wait to see how it comes out!  Here’s a link to the forum thread about her progress, though I think you need to log into Craftree to be able to read it.

As I usually do, I’ve been bouncing around with different versions of this project (as well as many other tatting projects).  I’ve got a least 7 versions of the tea cloth started, all in different stages.  One day, I’ll have to collect them all together and snap some pictures.  Some I’ll finish eventually, but some are just trial runs as I am modifying the pattern as I go to make it work for me and for modern techniques and tatting.

Getting this draft of the pattern put together is pretty exciting to me.  I’ve had this goal of rewriting the patterns from the Priscilla Tatting Books and I’ve been working on it for the last few years, but this is the first pattern where I feel like I’ve actually gotten down a work-flow for making the samples, taking and editing the pictures and putting together the patterns.  Hopefully future patterns (from the Priscilla books and others) won’t take me as long to put together now that I’ve figured out a process that works for me!


If you’re interested in test tatting, please let me know in the comments or by sending me an email to jessica(at)

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Springtime in Seattle

Now that I’m back from Shuttlebirds and Camp Wannatat, I’m finally able to do some tatting on whatever happens to strike my fancy, rather than whatever has to be done for upcoming events. I’m sure I’ll write more later about the two events as I digest all the new ideas (I’ll be at it for a while as I learned and saw so many new things!)

On this lovely spring day in Seattle, I’m hanging out in the backyard with the dog, working on the tea cloth from Priscilla Tatting Book #2. I’m trying to do the inserts between the panels of the second section and am coming to the conclusion that I should have done these pieces before the panels.

They’re made up of 4 connected motifs surrounded by rings and chains that connect them to the panels. It’s that ring and chain portion that I’m doing now and it’s not that it’s hard in any way, it’s just hard to track if you’re joining it both to the set of motifs and the panels in the same round.

Since these pieces are only connected to the panels and not the inner set of rounds, it would be easier to just make the right pieces and then join to the panels while doing those.

So that’s how I’ll write the pattern and that’s how I’ll try it next time. Yes. There will be a next time. In fact, in the process of writing this pattern I’ll probably end up with a couple of these. Hopefully all of them can be tatted in such nice weather.

I’ll leave you with a picture of the dog enjoying the sunshine. 🙂

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The Other Tea Cloth Project

01 With YellowHere is the other piece I’ve been working on using the tea cloth pattern.  The green part in the center of this one is as far along as I’m going to go with the rainbow version I shared earlier.  This one still has some more to go to fill the spaces between what I’m calling the yellow “petals.”  I’m going to do them in the same green as the center.

In hindsight, I wish I had done the green in brown.  Then the parts between the petals in the green.  I think it would look like a sunflower that way.

I’m doing this one in Manuala, one of my favorite threads to work with.  I’m so sad that they’ve been discontinued.  I’ve been reserving what I have left for especially exciting projects.  The 8 petals too up the WHOLE ball.  I had only about a single shuttle full of thread leftover at the end of it.  I think I probably did have to cut out some chunks after finding mistakes which would have wasted some as well.

IMG_1942When I’m finished with this section I’ll be only about half way through the full tea cloth.  I might do the third (out of four) sections after this, or I may just stop here and start a whole new one after this.  Eventually, I’d like to have a nice finished version of the tea cloth for each of the 4 stopping points.  Here’s the full piece again from the original Priscilla book.  Still need to zoom in to see where I am.

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Now With Blue

05 Blue 1Here is the ongoing center of the tea cloth, now with the blue “half circles” done.  Actually, in the original book they’re called “Half Circle Joining Motif of Fourth Circle” which is a bit cumbersome.  I call them the “Jellyfish motifs” which seems more accurate to their shape.  I’m excited to have gotten this far along.  All that’s left are the 8 “Oblong Motifs Outside of the Fourth Circle” and then I can call this one done.  In this particular project all I wanted to get done and photographed was this first section.  I’ve split the whole tea cloth into four sections and am trying to rewrite the pattern 05 Blue Closeso that you could easily stop at the end of any of the sections and still have a really cool piece.  The whole thing is pretty intimidating by shear volume of tatting, but this first section is pretty straight forward and not actually very large compared to a lot of the other doilies out there.


Here’s a close up of the jellyfish.



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Rainbow Center of the Priscilla Tea Cloth



I04 Purple 1 have been working hard on the tea cloth from Priscilla Book #2 lately.  I’ve gotten much further along on another version of it, but today I wanted to share this new one that I started.  I’ve used split rings and chains to combine a lot of the little motifs that made up rounds two and three of the original and I realized that when done all in one color (as the other one I’m working on is) you can’t actually tell.  So for writing out the pattern, I’ve started this new version in which each round is done in a different color. I think it helps make it much more clear.  At least I sure hope so!


I’ve actually almost finished with the round after this one, (which is done in blue) and I’ll post a picture of that soon.  Then one more round (in green for the complete rainbow) and some work on finalizing the pattern.  I’m pretty excited to have gotten thisIMG_1942 far, but of course, this is only the very, very center of what will be a much larger piece.  For reference, here’s a picture of that.  You’ll have to zoom into the center a lot to see where my little piece fits in.  🙂

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New Doily! New Threads! So Much NEW!

DoilyI have been super busy this last month with my new job, with taxes for my accounting clients and with lots and lots of new thread dyeing.  Here is the first few rounds of a new doily from Priscilla Tatting Book #1.  I’ve been really focused on the first book since I’ve decided to publish my patterns in the same order that they are in the original books.   There’s another couple rounds left on this doily, but this was all that I could get out of the little mini-skien that I dyed in this batch, so the rest will be white.  I make mini-skeins for myself out of the leftovers from winding the 50 yard skeins that are for sale.  This one I’ve named Wisteria and it’s available in my Etsy shop.  It’s exactly the soft color change I’m going for with my HDT and I had a good time tatting with it.  Over the weekend I finally went through and got all my new threads listed.  Well, all of them except for the few that were still drying.

Doily 2

I have plans to do some more dyeing tonight, but we’ll see how my time goes.  Things have been so busy that I’ve basically just made a list and am getting to whatever I get to, but not trying to actually predict anything.

Let’s see… What else is new?  Mostly it’s the thread dyeing, but the other big thing is getting ready for Shuttlebirds.  Yesterday I finished up the instructions for the carnation hair clips, so I just have one left to do and then I’m ready for my classes.  Patti wants the instructions by the 28th so I should have it wrapped up by then.  The thread dyeing is a large part of getting ready for Shuttlebirds too, since I’m planning on selling there too.

Close Skein

I’m teaching this weekend at the Lacemakers of Puget Sound meeting too, so I’ve got to take some time to get ready for that.  I’m going to be teaching split rings and beaded split rings.  I’ll be teaching projects that I’ve taught before so the patterns are ready, I just need to get around to getting them printed out and double check that my teaching kit is in good order.   Nothing that will take long, but I’ve just got to sit down and do it!

That’s been a lot of my life lately.  Things that I’m super excited about and things that are mostly not too complicated to do.  Just need to get around to doing them.


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Sea Breeze

Oh my.  It’s been so long.  So much to talk about.  I’m going to start with a piece shameless self-promotion.  I am now starting to sell hand-dyed threads!  I’ll be ramping up slowly over the next couple months.  I’m getting a new custom-made adjustable swift for making the skeins next month which will help immensely.  In the mean-time I’m winding some of smaller skeins.  I’m excited about the swift because it will let me to make very long skeins so that the color changes can be very long and gradual.  I tend to like the softer changes and so that’s what I’ll be dyeing.

photo 3

This blue and teal skein is one of a batch of only 4 skeins in Lizbeth size 20.  I love the colors and am excited about the mini-skein I saved for myself for tatting the samples.  I’m calling it Sea Breeze.

I’ll be posting a lot more threads as I make them.  I wound some size 80 and King Tut too, which I’m excited to try soon.  Any color requests?

It’s going to be a while before I have a really good system down.  Because every one of my batches is different and because I want to have a finished tatted sample to show the variations and color changes it my be slow going.  Hopefully the final products come out great.

In other news, I’ve got a new program set-up for diagraming patterns so I’m really getting going on the Priscilla project.  I’m hoping to have a couple patterns all finished out (formatted and everything) by the end of the month.  I went through the books and broke them down into what I think will make good separate volumes.  If I go with that and don’t change anything, it makes for 14 volumes.  This is going to be quite the project!  I’m excited to finally be getting on to the production portion and past the research portion.

In my personal life, I have a new bookkeeping client that’s going to end up being an additional 20 hours a week.  I’ve enjoyed the extra time I’ve had by working part-time between the CPA exams and now, but it was time for me to pick up the hours to take my bookkeeping business up to a full-time job.  I’m determined to keep making progress building a business out of Snapdragon Lace so stay-tuned for more exciting adventures in tatting!



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Doily Draft 8?

Doily Draft 2Just finished going back and redoing those last three rows on the doily.  It is definitely working better, though I’m not sure it’s at 100% yet.  There’s still some ruffling going on.  I’ve put the doily under a stack of textbooks and am hoping that will be enough blocking to make it lay flat.  It’s been pretty crinkled up in my tatting bag for the last week so that probably wasn’t very good for it.

If that works, I’ll continue on with the last row.  Though to be honest, I really think the pattern looks fairly complete now.  The last row is just a double row of rings-only done with a single shuttle and I think it has a bit of a different look than the rest of the doily.  The solidity of the rows I just finished make for a nice finish, I think.  On the right is the picture from the book of the finished piece.  It will be interesting to see how mine turns out!

Doily from book

This was just a test run with some size 10 DMC that I had laying around.  The next step to redoing this pattern from the Priscilla books is to do it once more in Lizbeth (probably size 20) and write out the pattern as I do so.  Then on to playing with my new diagraming program and seeing if I can get it looking nice.




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Snipping Away the Rows

Doily Draft 1


Doily with rows removed.

Well.  I got another two rows done on the doily, but I’m not happy with them.  I found the pattern really started to ruffle.  The last two rows were just too big for the inside part of the doily.  I’m not actually surprised by this since I did make changes in the first few rows that made them smaller.   So I snipped off the  last three rows and I’m going to try them again with less repeats of the pattern.  There are 64 rings in the last three rows.  I’m going to eliminate 1/8th of them and bring it down to 56.  That should be enough to get it to lay flat.  At least I sure hope so!


Doily Removed RowsI snipped off the last rows and now I have them laying around.  Not sure what to do with them.  I think I can cut off the first of the three and then the second two will actually make a nice loop.  Not sure what to do with it though.  Maybe put it around a pillow.  Course that means that I have to either find or make a pillow that’s just the right size for it.  Excellent.  More projects to never actually get around to.  🙂

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Modern Picots vs. 1909 Picots.


This weekend I made what is I think the 6th attempt at this doily and it’s finally laying flat.  It’s a pattern from Priscilla Book #1.  It’s not done yet.  There’s another 3 rounds, but I think this version finally works.

To make it work I had to make quite a number of changes to the second round.  That seemed to be the one that was messing everything up.

I did make one other change.  The first, third and the motifs of the 4th round all called for the stitch count to be two and a half stitches in between every picot. I found that to be strange looking and annoying to do, so I made it 2 between them all.  You might say, “Hey, if you go messing with a pattern like that you can’t be surprised when the rest doesn’t work as written.”  In fact, it actually should have helped with the pattern.  The problem I had with the second round was that it was just too small to fit around the first.  Making the first round smaller should have helped with that.

What actually seems to be making the difference is picot size.  In modern day we tend to make our joining picots smaller.  In fact I think we often learn that they are best if they can’t be seen at all.  Back in the early 1900’s it was the exact opposite.  Picots were accented, (I think to make the pieces look more lacy), and joining picots were not done any differently than the others.

One of the reasons why it took me so long (and so many tries) to figure this out was because I was first tatting from my print outs from the Antique Pattern Library.  Either it was the lack of ink in my printer or just the quality of the scan, but I had trouble seeing the picots and how it was joined together.  The instructions were no help as they just tell you to join as shown in the picture.  That’s a pretty common instruction in the books, unfortunately.  It wasn’t until I pulled out my original copy of the 1909 book and looked at the pictures that I could see what was causing the trouble and where the joins should be.

It was actually a very nice reminder of why I’m doing this project of rewriting the patterns from the Priscilla books in the first place.  I really want these patterns to be saved and used and there’s just so many strange things like picot size that make them difficult for modern tatters to figure out.

I have a couple big orders in my Etsy shop to work on this week, so I may not get to this piece until the weekend.  Too bad.  I’m so close now and after having worked so hard on the first couple rounds I’m very excited to finish it.


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