A Return of the Rose Motif From Hell (Not So Hellish the Second Time Around

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.

Not wanting to end up with a doily, I’ve decided to make it in size 3 so that if I DO decide to go ahead and make the whole thing I’ll end up with a small tablecloth.

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….




  1. Fox Said,

    July 28, 2011 @ 9:28 pm

    You are a very brave woman! I love this pattern and have tatted it exactly once! I don’y know if I have the right stuff to tackle it again and just look at you go!
    Fox ; ))

  2. Michelle Said,

    July 29, 2011 @ 4:38 am

    Wowie, you are a brave person! It looks lovely so far!

  3. Gina Said,

    July 29, 2011 @ 5:41 am

    I have to admit it’s a bigger project than I’m willing to tackle, at least for now. I’m happy to follow your progress though!

  4. IsDihara Said,

    July 29, 2011 @ 5:53 am

    This size of this project is enough to stymy me. Crossing fingers (and toes and…) that this time the Rose Motifs will be tatting heaven for you. You’re off to a great start!

  5. admin Said,

    July 29, 2011 @ 9:56 am

    Thanks everyone! I haven’t committed to making the whole thing yet, but I am leaning that way. In the size 3 thread I think it will be pretty awesome as a tablecloth.

  6. Karen Said,

    July 29, 2011 @ 6:45 pm

    Yikes! You’re a talented lady and YOU CAN do it. Am looking forward to seeing the progresion and I know it will be nice. It’s more than I want to tackle. Have fun, Karen

  7. admin Said,

    July 30, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    Thanks Karen! I’m looking forward to seeing what it will finally look like. 🙂

  8. robin mosenfelder Said,

    August 21, 2011 @ 7:31 am

    i have all 3 of those tatting books…am wondering which book the rose and leaf doily pattern is from…I have ambition to make the butterfly collar from number 2..pictured on page10. You are so right about the vagueness of the directions. At this time I have figured out how to make the largest butterfly…am using 20, for the main bits and 40 for the outer border. the wings are done and the outer border of one side is finished…the center portion got warped a bit in appearance but is doable…this is going to be affixed to a card and sent to a friend,who is newly widowed. discovered that the background netting is a part of the design..without it the butterfly is basically just an outline..so am planning to add extra rings in various colors as fill…otherwise it could be glued to some fabric. There are “ferns” on either side of the butterfly on the collar..those directions are so vague I may never figure them out…have only been tatting 8 months.

    sorry to read about your hand pain…RMD is the pits and you are correct..rest is very important..from now on..do not over do..and any pain..stop and rest at least a week..or PT (physical therapy) has helped some.

  9. admin Said,

    August 22, 2011 @ 7:24 am

    Robin. Wow! You’ve been tatting for only 8 months and you’re tackling the patterns in the Priscilla books! I’m impressed! This pattern is from book #3. It’s labeled as “knot stitch” tatting. I love that butterfly from book #2. It’s on my list as one of the next ones I’m going to try. I’d love to see a picture of yours if you have one.

  10. Sondra Said,

    November 2, 2011 @ 4:47 am

    You’ve amply renamed this pattern.

    I found your blog via actually searching for any help online with this exact pattern; my problem so far is the dang LEAF! At first it was coming along just fine and looked just like the picture until I got to the last two chains. WHAT?? I cannot figure out how to finish it. I see you somehow did it. Did you follow the directions or did you have to improvise? I’ve tried every way that I can think of and then finally gave up. I’m stumped.

    I also am dismayed that they need to be stitched together. It just seems wrong somehow.

  11. admin Said,

    November 2, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

    Hi Sondra,

    If you make the rose a lot it gets easier. I’ve made it 5 or 6 times now and it’s definitely slow, but not too bad. As for the leaf, the last two chains are easier than they look. Reverse-work as normal after the last ring and make the first chain then do a shuttle-join (a join using the shuttle thread instead of the working/ball thread) in the same place you did the last join in the last ring. Then continue with the last chain. Join and finish off at the same place you started.

    Hopefully that makes sense. It’s confusing to write it out all in words. The trick is that it’s a shuttle join to the same join as earlier in the ring. Did you see my post where I wrote out the modern-day instructions for this pattern? If not, I diagrammed it out and that might help. http://www.snapdragonlace.com/?p=130

    As I mentioned in this post I’m working on figuring out how to attach the pieces as you go. I’m pretty happy with doing two leaves at once and attaching those to the rose as I go. I worry that doing more than that will make the piece stiff and less forgiving to variations in tatting tensions. Two leaves at a time means there’s still a decent amount of give and it’s sure to lay flat.

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