Angeline Crichlow was an inspirational tatter. To celebrate the 1976 USA Bicentennial, she pubished a book on tatting, "Let's Tat!" Several books followed in the next few years. Angeline and her busband actually printed and bound their books themselves. The paperback booklets are bound with silk ribbon. All her books are difficult to find now especially the one hardback book, but worth the search.
Let's Tat (hardback)
Workbook 10 lessons: for beginners with projects
Medallions for Beginners 36 motifs easy to advanced
Volumes 1 - 7 are soft bound hand tied books 8 1/2" x 11"
Vol. 1 10 Tatted Hearts; 10 hearts + 2 heart edgings
Vol. 2 Challenge to Tatters
Vol. 3 Butterflies in Tatted Lace
Vol. 4 Single Shuttle Only; 40 motifs + 4 edgings with no ball thread
Vol. 5 26 Crosses
Vol. 6 50 Stars; 4 Dozen 5-Point Stars all kinds of stars +
Vol. 7 Solid 3-Dimensional Tatting; Stuffed Toys
The Story of Priscilla's Shamrock
Back in 1980 I had only been tatting a year and I carried it with me everywhere. One day at the laundromat in Sacramento, CA I pulled out my shuttle to tat while I waited for the wash to run through the cycle. I soon noticed a rather elderly lady watching me and we struck up a conversation when she pulled out a shuttle, too! She asked me if I knew the pattern, "9, 11, 13 make a shamrock green?" And she proceeded to teach me this shamrock pattern.
Patterns were mostly limited to the Workbasket and vintage 10-cent booklets back then. Rebecca Jones' "The Complete Book of Tatting" was not in print yet and Mary Konior's books had not been imported to the USA even. I was all curious to find out what book the shamrock was in and so I asked. The lady just smiled and said she had learned the pattern from Priscilla.
Many of you are probably smiling by now, and, yes, it is true, I was so new to tatting I did not even know about the Modern Priscilla needlework magazines from the early 1900's. Some time later I started collecting the tatting patterns from those magazines and today I try to share the modernized, rewritten and diagrammed patterns with other tatters.
But there is more to the story. I was introduced to Angeline Crichlow by another tatting historian, Mary Lou Tiffany. Angeline lived in Sacramento. Her bicentennial project for 1976 was to write a tatting book, "Let's Tat!" Angeline went on to write more books and I believe she pioneered tatting in 3-dimensions and made many toys in tatting. We corresponded for years. Some where along the line I found out that she lived 3 blocks from that laundromat! Was it Angeline who tatted with me? I will always think so.
This modernized verions of Priscilla's Shamrock is an excerpt from Book 2 of the Ribbonwinners Series, "Tatting: It's Not Just Doilies Anymore!" Georgia Seitz 1994. Note: Angeline Crichlow was also a participant in the Book 5 "Tatting with Friends" 1995, edited by Georgia Seitz.
This pattern is very easy to indiviualize. Simply adjust the size of the rings number of picots on the chains to suit your eye. The basic method is to make the rings in a row with about ½" space of thread between them. The middle ring should be slighter larger than the others. There should be an odd number of picots as center picot (slightly smaller than others) of each of these rings is used twice as a join for the outer chainwork.
The picots of the rings should be relatively small. The second row of chainwork picots should be a little larger and the last row of chainwork should have good picots. This is a suggested pattern. You may add or drop picots as you like as just remember you must maintain a balance to the work and preserve any picots used for joins. You may also want to use a gauge to measure the size of the picots. The areas just before and after the joins should be free of picots to add definition to the shamrock shape
R 11 picots separated by 3 DS cl ring. Leave ½" space. Do not reverse work.
R 13 picots separated by 3 DS cl ring. Leave ½" space. Do not reverse work.
R 11 picots separated by 3 DS cl ring. Leave ½" space. Reverse work.
Work the next rows all in chainwork around the outside of the rings attaching chains to the center picot of each ring and the two spaces in between rings.
CH approx 9 picots separated by 2 DS (Add or subtract DS to reach the picot or space where join is to be made.) Attach to ring with the shuttle join. Repeat, attaching space between rings.
CH approx 11 picots separated by 2 DS. Attach to ring with the shuttle join. Repeat, attaching to space between rings.
CH approx 9 picots separated by 2 DS. Attach to ring with the shuttle join. Repeat attaching to space between rings. Do not turn. Do not cut thread.
Second row of chain work:
CH approx 11 picots separated by 3 DS (Add or subtract DS to reach the picot or space where join is to be made.) Attach to ring with the shuttle join. Repeat, attaching to space between rings.
CH approx 13 picots separated by 3 DS . Attach to ring with the shuttle join. Repeat, attaching to space between rings.
CH approx 11 picots separated by 3 DS . Attach to ring with the shuttle join. Repeat, attaching to space between rings.
Stem: After attaching last chain segment continue to chain approx 2". Make a small picot, chain 6 DS and join back into that picot. Tie and cut. Whipstitch or glue or hide ends properly in back.
With few supplies it is easy to make this shamrock into a pin to wear. You will need a pin back (approx. ½" oval; adjust to fit size of thread used), hot glue and a heart-shaped green faux gem. Starch shamrock heavily or use fabric stiffener and pin out the picots. When dry, attach to pin back with small of hot glue and use faux gem to cover glue by placing it directly in the center. Size 8 thread will make shamrock about 3" in diameter.