see link in My Patterns
Motif #21 in 2nd 25 Motif Challenge of 2016
With tatting direction much on my mind lately (see muskaan's This Way or Tat), I couldn't help noticing that the tatting progresses in a clockwise direction with the 3 inner rings and then changes to counterclockwise to complete the outside round. As you can see from the colors in the small split ring on the right of the left butterfly, the second shuttle that formed the unflipped stitches of that split ring, became my 'ball' thread as I reversed work to begin the outer round. This is very clear in the diagram (image) pattern, too. It was a great beginning to my afternoon of tatting because it really helped me get oriented in regards to actual tatting and a diagram.
Variation of Small Cross Bookmark
see link in My Patterns for original
Motif #22 in 2nd 25 Motif Challenge
So, now I felt ready for a challenge, and with a pattern that I didn't design.
Tatted Cupcake 2 by Nancy Tracy
shared at http://be-stitched.com
Motif #23 and #24 in 2nd 25 Motif Challenge
If you remember, I mentioned orientation earlier in this post. I tend to try to follow patterns in a clockwise direction regardless of whether or not I'm actually tatting in that direction (largely because I really haven't paid any attention to the direction in which I was tatting). I now realize that this is why I sometimes struggle with a diagram or find myself referring to the written instructions as I work through the diagram. It became really obvious to me as I worked these cupcakes. Once I started following the diagram in the direction in which I was actually tatting, following the diagram became so much simpler!
So, first some basics about the differences in the two cupcakes: The one on the left is worked with double stitches and reverse order double stitches to produce an obvious front and back side. (I'll have to remember share my little mental trick that makes this as easy for me to do as traditional tatting, even though I rarely do it.) The one on the right is tatted with traditional double stitches only. I reversed work and used the shoelace trick where indicated in both cupcake bases. Since I already had two shuttles loaded with matching thread, I didn't bother with the shoelace trick in the top on the left since I could easily change the working shuttle.
I decided to consider the first ring tatted to be the front of the pattern--probably the most common assumption. I've displayed them both for you with that ring facing you in the image. The basic shape of a ring surrounded by a chain is the start of both the base and the top. Since I used a solid color for both bases it is hard to see the order of progression. The wonderful thing about the variegated threads is that they make the direction very obvious. Take a look at the center rings in the tops of each. Remember those center rings are facing you just as they would if you were tatting them but they are upside down. Notice the way the thread color progresses out of those rings to move to your left? When I reversed work, I actually started moving around the diagram to the left. This was unaffected by whether I was tatting with DS and RODS or with DS alone. You can see the thread color progressing out of the top of the rings and into the chains on the left in both cupcake tops.
By habit, I kept referring to the right side of Nancy's diagram as if I were moving clockwise, which kept sending me back to her written directions to clarify what I was doing next. When I realized the discrepancy between my tatting direction and direction in which I was following the diagram, I started following the diagram in a counterclockwise direction. Wow! The tatting went much faster and smoother after that with no more need to refer to the written instructions.
I realize that I didn't get oriented properly to muskaan's diagram when I posted about my observations with her first exercise and I'll be posting a revision of that along with an explanation of what I think threw me off. I hope I didn't cause any confusion for any of you who are following this or experimenting on your own. Even though I've seem some of what muskaan will be sharing with us in the weeks ahead, and even worked with many of the diagrams, I really feel it's only now sinking in as I apply the awareness to actual pieces I'm tatting and their diagrams.