Saturday, June 11, 2011

Another Round Robin Doily From the Past

I've received a few questions about round robins so I thought I'd answer them from my own experience as I post an image of the doily that was mine at the end of the round robin that also produced the purple and black one for Sue Hanson (see previous post).

The specific guidelines for a round robin group can vary greatly, but the basic guidelines are usually pretty similar. You usually try to match people of similar skill levels. There is room for lots of flexibility.

The doily is usually begun by the member who will own it at the end of its travels. You send your center, the instructions for what you've done so far, and the thread, beads, etc., to be used in the project. As the piece moves from member to member, each adds another round or two (determined entirely by the tatter to get the look they envision) and encloses the instructions for the parts they have added. When it returns to the person who created the center, they have a completed doily and the instructions to reproduce it, as well as any leftover supplies.

Round robins don't have to be made with original designs. In some of my earliest efforts, we were encouraged to tat a motif we liked for our center. Edging patterns or other doily patterns were sometimes used for succeeding rounds. You do need to add picots that others might use in successive rounds. The first few people might choose to add something different every time, but the last few are going to have to think about how to bring it all together to look finished, especially the last tatter. That is one reason a tatter may add more than one round. Their part may not look finished without them. Sending the instructions around with the piece provides members with the information they need to repeat elements from an earlier round in their own round helping to pull the design together.

It is also a long commitment.  There is usually a limit on the amount of time you have for each doily, but it must be long enough to give you time to think out your part as well as produce it. I think we usually had a month, so you can see that, depending upon the size of the group, you could have project commitments for many months. There is also the expense of postage as you send each piece on its way.

In terms of designing, it is very similar to me to the agonies I go through in deciding what edging to put on a hanky. It is a matter of deciding what will look right with what is already done.

My one regret about my own round robin experience is that I didn't get the patterns for all of the doilies I helped to create. I think the difficulty of putting the final pattern together is one of the reasons for that. If I did one today, I would want every group member to scan or photograph the pieces as they progress and mail or email the instructions and image to the other members each step of the way. Then all members would have all of the patterns without any extra work at the end.

Is it challenging? Yes! Is it fun? I think so. Would I do it again? Definitely!


Martha said...

I am really enjoying seeing the round robin doilies. I participated in a few of the motif round robins with Maus, but I had not gotten the nerve to join a doily group by the time she stopped hosting them.

JB said...

Our guild used to participate in what we called a friendship doily. It's the same premise except we all used the same pattern. It was amazing to see how different each doily looked even though it was the same pattern.
Yours looks pretty. I remember looking at a round robin website when I first started tatting. Those were some amazing doilies.

ai said...

These are amazing. I just clicked on the 'next blog' link and found you. Will be back to explore better later. :)