Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Motif #2 - Clovers and Chains

Again I’ve been delayed in posting to my blog because of distractions, mainly the fantastic weather we had here in Pittsburgh during most of September, and our wanting to be outdoors and take some fun trips around the area. We love retirement! However, there was one bizarre weather occurrence that abruptly interrupted our reverie:

On Sunday evening, September 14, around 7 pm, 50-80 mph winds from Hurricane Ike ‘blew in’ to Pittsburgh from Texas and blasted three Western PA counties for several hours that night, causing quite a bit of property damage and power outages which lasted several days for some. Reports from the utility company say it was the worst event for power outages in 35 years! We personally were fortunate in that we lost only a small branch from our cherry tree (but a lot of debris fell from the other trees), and our power was out for only about 10 hours. It was quite an unsettling evening, since the weather forecasters did not prepare Pittsburgh for such an event,
and they as well as everyone else were taken completely by surprise (they had predicted only 20 mph winds). After a few days of cooler temperatures, the weather returned to being ‘perfect’ for the rest of the month, and we were off again on new adventures.

I keep promising to write about how I actually learned to tat, and in my next post I WILL do so. However, I wanted to get another motif in to prove that I haven’t ‘disappeared’! I also want to mention here that I’ve very much appreciated the comments I’ve received on my posts! I’m still new to this ‘blogging thing’ and a little gun-shy about writing comments! I hope to overcome that.

MOTIF #2 Basic Three-Leaf Clover-and-Chain Pattern
[ In Antique Pattern Books, the ‘3-leaf clover’ was called a “Trefoil” ]

After learning to do single rings and chains, the ‘next logical step’ in basic tatting is to learn to join several rings, usually in a 3-leaf clover pattern, and then do a chain, and repeat the clover pattern. The ‘trefoil and chain’ is another one of those easy patterns that is quite attractive and is used often in tatting. I’m also fond of this pattern because I’m part Irish!

Here is the basic trefoil pattern on a cute little wood basket, (3” across, 4” high), where I attached a strip of green felt ribbon to better define the tatted lace. In the early 1990s these baskets were easy to find at craft stores and came in many colors. As I usually do with things I find at craft stores, I bought several of them, because oftentimes the stores will stop carrying items, or the manufacturers stop making them. That’s how I end up with a lot of excess ‘stuff’ in my house! My husband says I could start my own craft store !

My first tatting project early in 1990 was a handkerchief edging which I made for Mother’s Day for my mother-in-law (she was 66 then, and is now approaching her 85th birthday! I met her when she was 37 and I was 16 !)

The handkerchief came already embroidered and has the word “Mother” as part of the design.

I believe I used size 30 thread.

(The original of this photo from 1990 isn’t sharply focused.)

Apparently I ‘fudged’ the corners, as I didn’t know how to design my way around them, but I did manage to get a complete clover and the ‘point’ on each corner!

Here is another example of the standard clover pattern. I made this lace several years ago and set it aside, as I couldn’t decide how to use it. Because of this blog,
I thought I’d look around the house and see if I could find someplace to put it, and I found this beautiful filigree wood frame which I had stashed away!

I think my tatted piece has finally found a home!

The frame measures 12” x 9.5”.
The center opening is 8” x 6”
The tatted piece is 5” x 4.5”.
The background is a piece of green velvet paper (found at scrapbook stores).

The center is a pin !

Here is a 3-leaf-clover pattern I did early in the ‘90s, with more elements added – longer chains and lots of picots, plus inner rings.

It’s far from perfect and now has some discolored areas!

I apparently adapted this piece from a ‘pincushion’ pattern designed by Marion T. Leyds called “Summer”, from DMC’s book “Tatting for Today”,.

I didn’t copy the pattern exactly - it was supposed to alternate single rings between the trefoils. Also I ignored the instructions for 2 shuttles, which is why the inner rings aren’t ‘thrown off’ from the chains but are sort of ‘forced’ to lay flat. The chains at the base of the inner rings form a “V” shape rather than a rounded shape. At the time, I didn’t understand the need for two shuttles. (Mostly I was ‘intimidated’ about using them.)

Imperfect as it is (you might even say sloppy!), I think it provides an interesting pattern and looks kind of ‘antique-y’. The extra picots add to the pizzazz. The cameo provides the Victorian touch! This is mounted on a dark green velvet ‘frame’ (the only way I can explain it) which came with a ribbon attached for hanging. (The frame measures 4” wide and 4.5” high.)

* * * *

The weather is supposed to be cooler and ‘drizzly’ (actually we need the rain) so we might actually get some things done around the house and stop gallivanting!

So long for now!

1 comment:

TattingChic said...

I love the cloverleaf design. It is one of my favorites in tatting. I love it because of it's simplicity, and yet it's still very beautiful in spite of how simple it is. You've displayed it in some lovely ways. Baskets are always so cute. Your frame is lovely and the plaque with the ribbon attached for hanging is nice, too!