Friday, March 6, 2009

This is harder than it looks

I had a request for the Coral Reef earring pattern. I thought about just sending you all to the webpage where I found the antique book - but then it occurred to me that I'd like to write my own book of patterns someday...and just the other day I was reading on e-tatters about programs to diagram your own tatting patterns...the freeware program Inkscape was mentioned. Having never heard of this one - I've tried others and given up in frustration - I thought I'd download it (it's free) and give it a whirl. Good grief. There are so many different buttons and things and windows opening up all over the place and I didn't even know where to start.

At some point I figured out enough to open up a scan of the Coral Reef earrings and then open another layer over it. I started to draw objects on top of the picture itself, tracing the picture as I went - using freehand lines, ovals, dots for beads. The stitch count numbers came next. Finally I deleted the underlayer (the initial scan of the earrings), grouped all my drawings together and exported it as a bitmap file so it could be uploaded here. Voila! You see it there - and it only took me like 8 hours! No, I'm just kidding. It took me about 2 hours of trial and error, and I'm sure the next time will be easier (as long as I don't wait 6 months before opening the program again).

I hate typing up instructions longhand - and actually I much prefer diagrams when reading and tatting a pattern as well. But, for those of you who DON'T like diagrams, or if you don't use beads often and are unsure how those get added - here's the pattern for you (I hope you can read it as I'm also not so good at writing them longhand!):

Two Shuttles.
R = ring
Ch = chain
- or p = picot
vsp = very small picot
+ = joining picot

Load 6 beads on shuttle #1 and 4 beads on shuttle #2.

With shuttle #1: Pull up 6 beads into the ring you are going to make. In other words, the beads should be on the part of the thread that is wrapped around your fingers.
R 4 - (place two beads in the picot) 4 - (pull a bead up from shuttle #1, put it next to the last ds, made and make a picot around it) 4 - (place two beads in the picot) - 9 - (place two beads in the picot) 9. Close ring. RW.
Ch 7 - 3 - 3 - 3. Lock join to 5th p of last R. Do not RW.
With shuttle #2. Pull up 3 beads into the ring you are going to make.
R 3 + (to last p of previous Ch) 4 - (place three beads in the picot and pull the 4th bead from the shuttle, place it next to the last ds made, finish the picot) 4 - 3. Close R. Do not RW.
With shuttle #1: Ch 3 + (to last p of previous R) 3 - 3 - 7. Cut threads and tie off to vsp of the 1st R. Make another and you're done with your earrings!

And for those of you who could not read either the diagram or my version of the longhand pattern - here's the link to the book it came from. The .pdf file is down near the bottom of the page, under "mongraphs". The stitch count is slightly different than mine, and of course, it doesn't have the beads added. Have fun with whichever pattern you use.


Carol Schockling Lawecki said...

Hi Elizabeth, Wow, it certainly looks like this program would be worth the effort. You did a fantastic job with the diagram. Thank you for sharing your version of this pattern and pointing out where the antique book is.

Your Coral Reef earrings and necklace are very elegant.

Have a great day!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the pattern. I have some designs I want to put down in a readable format for the computer for online use, but I don't really know where to begin. I wonder where the link to that freeware you used is.
Thanks for sharing. :)

Elizabeth said...

TattingChic - click on the word "Inkscape" in the post and it will take you to their website where the download is available.

It's definitely the most user friendly program I've tried, but it still takes some playing around with to learn.

Kathy Niklewicz said...

Hi Elizabeth - This post is SO HELPFUL! I'm glad to know that doing the diagrams isn't easy, as I sometimes feel SO 'left out' of this techno-stuff, and if YOU find it tricky, I feel a lot better!

Also I'm grateful for your written explanation of how to manipulate beads. Beadwork requires a good deal of concentration - much moreso than 'normal' tatting! And your jewelry is perfect, down to the smallest detail.

Then you provided a link to the original pattern. You've covered ALL the bases, and it is much appreciated. I know this post took a lot of time and patience, and you're not exactly lounging around with time on your hands.!


Prabhdeep said...

Hi Elizabeth-

I'm going to try the pattern that you just posted and also try the freeware program. But I'm so glad you pulled it through. Illustrations always work for me. Thanks, for sharing all the info!

Take Care!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the link, Elizabeth! I just downloaded it and who knows maybe by next year I'll have a pattern or two to share, LOL!

Unknown said...

Hi Elizabeth! I just came back over to say:

Hope you stop on by for my 1st Blogoversary/100th post celebration! I'm even having a giveaway! Do come on over! Everyone is invited!!! :)

Marilee Rockley said...

Awesome pattern, Elizabeth!
I admire your patience with the drawing software. You did great!