It’s relatively easy to design tatting pattern in various paint and draw programs. Although it can possibly be time consuming, the process is easy. If you’re already familiar with these programs then you’ll find it fairly painless. Just don’t be afraid.
I’ll walk you through some steps and we’ll see if we can design something simple, which will give you the basics for venturing out on your own in designing.
Step 1) Click on the CIRCLE or OVAL shape.
Step 2) Click on the area you’ll be doing your work. Don’t be afraid to put it in any given area, although I’d start in the upper left-hand corner. While holding down your left mouse button, (we’re going to do a drag command) drag your circle (stretching it out to be the size that you like: keep in mind that you’ll want to be able to make ‘tick’ marks to indicate your picots and you’ll want to be able to type in how many stitches. So, you may want your circle to be a fairly good size.
Step 3) We’re going to make three of these circles and since we want them to all be the same size we’re going to copy/paste this first circle to duplicate it. So, we’ll go to our left-hand menu and click on the dotted rectangle. Next we’ll go back to our circle and drag our mouse from outside the upper left corner of the circle down to the lower right corner. This will enclose the circle in a dotted box. You can now release the mouse button. In the upper toolbar, click on EDIT and then click on PASTE. (with paint you do not have to click on copy as the dotted rectangle performs this function.
Step 4) Now, you click the middle of your circle and while holding down the left mouse button, drag the mouse over to the right. Make sure you do not stop until you’ve placed the 2nd circle in the position you wish it to be in. Repeat this process for a 2nd circle.
Step 5) On the left-hand menu, click on the straight diagonal line. We will now draw our ‘ticks’ to indicate the picots. For this exercise, we’ll be putting three picots in each circle, thus we’ll draw three ticks. Let’s start with the original circle. I want to draw the first line (tick mark) in the very upper left corner of the circle. So, starting somewhere just on the inside of the circle, I’ll click on the left mouse button and drag my mouse up and to the left. This will draw a straight line (no matter how unsteady my hand may be) as long as I let go of the mouse button when I have the cursor where I want the other end of my tick line to be. I’ll repeat this process for the other two tick marks in this same circle. I’m going to keep in mind that I want the tick marks to be evenly spaced out because I’m going to indicate a pattern where the stitches between the ticks will all be the same.
Step 6) Repeat this process for the other circles. (You’ll most likely notice that none of the tick marks of the subsequent circles are remotely close to the tick marks of the original circle. That’s ok! Remember, this is just an exercise and as you learn this process and practice, you’ll become more familiar and be able to eventually work it out so that you’ll have the ‘joining’ ticks nearly touching in your pattern (lining things up and giving your graphs a professional look)
Step 7) Now, I want to draw curved lines from the original circle to the others; thus indicating a chain. So, I’ll now click on the pencil and hand draw my curved lines. I’ve yet to draw these lines perfectly straight with a slight arch to indicate my chains, but I’m not worried. My only concern is that I don’t forget to draw them at all. Next, I’ll draw a much longer curved line from the center of the first circle down toward the bottom left of the page. This will be the ‘stem’ of my ‘flower’ or ‘clover’ (whichever I decide to make it).
Step 8) Next, we need to put in the number of stitches. We do this by going to our left-hand menu and clicking on the text button; which is represented by a large ‘A’. Going back to out work area and down to the bottom out of the way, drag a rectangle or square to type in and release the mouse button. Type in the boxed area how many stitches you want. I chose to use 5 ds between each picot and on each side of the chain which will connect my rings. Now, by copy/paste, I can make several of these little ‘5’s’ to move to exactly where I want them. Repeating this same process for the other rings and for the chains (changing the numbers for the chains as I want), I’ll have my graph done in no time.
By following these steps you can create the most intricate graphs for your projects and designs. Don’t let it become undaunting. Remember, there are only three different things to remember: rings, chains and picots. And, putting them together on paper or in paint/draw can be fun and make your designs as professional as anybody else’s. So, keep working with it and you’ll realize how easy it really is.