Diane: Testing the old centre

Diane pattern with old centre
Trying out the old centre to confirm it will not work.

Just to confirm that the same pattern will not work without the plastic centre ring, I tatted a ring with the same number of stitches, but without the plastic, to see the result:

  • It is swimming in the centre of the snowflake because it is too small without the plastic.
  • It could work with really big picots… but that would add stress to the snowflake without adding structural integrity.
  • I intend to sell the pattern once it is ready, and this would be a source of frustration for anyone trying to follow the pattern. If I said make “really big” picots or picots “exactly x long” it would only be a lucky guess if someone else’s work turned out to be the precise same size as mine. If their work wasn’t the same size as mine, they would have a frilly, wavy, non-flat snowflake. I don’t want to cause frustration in other tatters.

Diane: Centre removed

Diane pattern with centre gone
First step to remove ring from the centre

The first step in the experiment to modify the Diane pattern is to remove the centre and see how the pattern holds together without it. As you can see, not well. The centre now looks like it has a gaping hole.

The stability of the pattern is also lost without the centre. This round doily can warp into oblong shapes easily. As you can see in the photo, the middle rings are not evenly spaced… and they will move if you pick it up.

So now to try out possible new centres.

Diane: The design problem

Diane Pattern Initial Design
Initial design for tatted snowflake Diane.

Last year I worked on a new snowflake pattern I called Diane. The image shows an example of how it turned out. I’m not happy with the pattern.

The problems with Diane are:

  1. There is a plastic ring in the center of the design. So we have a lovely traditional Edwardian or Victorian doily… with a piece of plastic in the center of it… it’s a bit of anachronism that bothers me.
  2. It is too big – which makes it a bit clunky. It is about 11cm (4 1/4 inches) in diameter. It has to be this big because of the plastic ring in the center.

So I am on a mission to rid the design of the plastic core.


Florence: Final Pattern

Florence Pattern Completed
The final result of the pattern I created for my 2015 snowflake I call Florence.

Icy cool thread inspired snowflake pattern: Florence

Chilly spikes with lots of intricate structure to keep you looking, as you notice new bits. This should be a point to stare off to on your Christmas tree.

This is the final result from my snowflake pattern creation for my yearly new design. I really like the result, so I will be selling snowflakes like this on my Etsy site, knotshire.etsy.com soon!

I will also be selling the pattern soon, but I have yet to finish writing it down, and then I need to test it a few times before it goes on sale.

Florence: The pattern settles

Final pattern settles
The final pattern settles, it sits flat, the points are prominent, and I’m happy with the result

Snowflake pattern Florence is good to go. The last change that makes it work is:

  • making the rings of the outer points bigger
  • making the echo rings between the points the same size as the outer rings

I’ve used thinner thread for this iteration of the pattern. It is made with size 12 thread. I typically use size 8 thread when creating patterns. The thicker thread makes problems stand out. The size 12 thread I’ve used here makes for a very delicate snowflake. It is about 9cm (3 1/2 inches) in diameter.

I did make a mistake with this snowflake, so it’s not one I will sell in my Etsy shop, knotshire.etsy.com, but it does make me happy with my pattern, so it is a success.

The next step is to repeat the pattern a few times in different threads, and then I will use the pattern with the inspiration thread for the snowflake Florence.

Florence: Spacing works, but points are muted

Points have lost their prominence
Spacing problem is solved, but the points have lost their prominence

Snowflake pattern Florence is getting much better. The spacing problem was solved with:

  • reducing the number of stitches in the centre chain
  • increasing the number of stitches on the outer ring chain

The most appealing part of the four-sided pattern that I started with were the well defined points with echo points between them. Unfortunately, they have been muted in this version of my new pattern. The doily is looking unfortunately round. I wanted 6 points that were, well, pointy. And the echo points are a bit too big. So I still have some modifications to make.

I have again used some spare variegated thread that I had on hand to create this iteration of the snowflake pattern because the inspiration thread is also variegated. I used a black & grey variegated thread, the photo is actually in colour. It does not work well to have the variegated thread used for the chains, rather than the rings. I’m glad I used this opportunity to find that out!

Florence: Six sided, but warped

Spacing problems with six points
Spacing problems still need to be worked out, but the pattern is getting into shape

This is my first partially successful attempt to create a six sided tatted snowflake which I will call Florence. It’s still a bit warped, but it is coming along.

The changes I have made from the original four sided pattern so far are:

  • making six points
  • reducing the size of the first, inner row by making the rings smaller
  • reducing the smaller, echo point between major points on the second, outer row down from 3 rings to 1 large one

But as you can see from the photo, more work on spacing is needed. It’s a bit fluted along the edge.

I have used some spare variegated thread that I had on hand to create this iteration of the snowflake pattern because the inspiration thread is also variegated. No, this thread is not very snowy. It’s looks more autumn before the snow falls. But it does demonstrate how this pattern works with variegated thread.

Finishing a six sided snowflake – even if it still needs work – is encouraging for me. I think I will be quite happy with this pattern when all the wrinkles are worked out.