Pattern: Thistle edging

Thistle edging sample

Thistle edging sample; ignore the extraneous picots on the left-hand side

Today’s pattern is a simple edging I’ve been playing with for the last couple weeks, off and on. It reminds me somewhat of a row of stylized thistles, so that’s what I’m calling it for lack of a better name.

Each ring in the pattern joins to its two neighbors, and there are only two other structural picots/joins in the pattern; I’m going to mark all of the neighbor joins as picot N/join N to avoid going through the whole alphabet, and save A and B for the two picots that aren’t joining immediate neighbors.

  1. Ring 8ds, picot, 4ds, picot N, 8ds
  2. Chain 4ds, picot A, 8ds
  3. Ring 8ds, join N, 8ds, picot N, 4ds
  4. Chain 4ds
  5. Ring 4ds, join N, 4ds, join B, 8ds, picot N, 4ds
  6. Chain 4ds
  7. Ring 4ds, join N, 12ds, picot N, 4ds
  8. Repeat step 6, step 7, step 6, step 7, and step 6 (total of 5 short chains so far)
  9. Ring 4ds, join N, 8ds, picot B, 4ds, picot N, 4ds
  10. Chain 4ds (total of 6 short chains)
  11. Ring 4ds, join N, 8ds, picot N, 8ds
  12. Chain 8ds, join A, 4ds
  13. Ring 8ds, join N, 4ds, picot N, 8ds
  14. Chain 12ds
  15. Repeat step 13, step 14, step 13, step 14, and step 13
  16. Repeat entire pattern from step 2 onwards

Note that the picture at the top of the page has a few extraneous picots on the left-hand side; I was still working out the construction when I started this piece, but settled it pretty quickly and the piece is otherwise good.

thistle_drafts (1024x678)I’ve mentioned before that I generally avoid making decorative picots, since tatting with only structural picots is a lot more likely to be machine-washable than with decorative picots—the decorative picots crumple in the wash and look terrible, and are hard to straighten out again. On the other hand, pieces festooned with decorative picots can be strikingly lovely, which struck me again when I was working out the construction of this edging. The picture at the right shows some early drafts, where I made a lot of extra picots because I wasn’t sure as I was making it where I would want the joins to be. For the most part in those pieces there are picots every 4ds; if you want to add the decorative picots back in to my pattern, I would add picots every 4ds in every step except 1, 3, 11 and 13 (the rings facing into the lower circles).

blue_drafts (1024x768)I do have to make my usual disclaimer that tatting patterns are fine-tuned for a particular weight of thread, size of needle, and the idiosyncratic style of the crafter. However, due mostly to chance, I started drafting this pattern in size 10 thread with a size 5 needle (blue, at right) and size 20 thread with a size 7 needle (white thread above). The pattern seems to work for both, and my advice for altering it is to start by adding or removing a (chain 4ds, ring 4ds, join, 12ds picot, 4ds) to the upper arc.

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