Ivy League Tatting

Ivy League Tatting
Ivy League Tatting
This month I have noticed many graduates up at the Old Main building where once I studied English Literature taking photos. Old Main makes a great backdrop with its ivy covered walls and castellated towers. But if any of them had taken a class (back in the old days) in that building during the summer, their memories of that building might not be so fond.

There was no air-conditioning in those days. Nor was casual attire such as shorts or tank tops permitted...I don't even think they had been invented yet. The only help was the many tall skinny windows which let in air. But, by July, the windows were closed and we sat there sweating like the proverbial pig. (Do pigs really sweat? I must look that up.*) But why were we denying ourselves even the hint of a breeze?

Simple, there were gingko trees just outside the window. That beautifully formed leaf on those gorgeous trees is a delight to see. But they emit the most foul stench during their time of propagation. Back then, no one would consider even standing in front of them for a graduation photo. But, I digress. Ivy on the towers of Old Main also made me think of a tatting pattern from the January 1923 Illustrated Needleworker. It is called, "Ivy Edge of Rick Rack and Tatted Rings."

We have combined rick rack with tatting to good effect before
See: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art52931.asp

sample of tatting and rickrack

So I opened the file and rewrote the pattern in modern tatting notation. Thread sized 30 is suggested and "one bolt" of rick rack braid. Begin by counting out 147 points of the rick rack and sew together. (Hmm, can this be correct)Then it goes on to instruct the tatter to count out 6 points and sew together the first and last point of the rick rack. That leaves 4 points of the rick rack braid free. Only now have we reached the tatted part.

R 2 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 2, joining to each of the free points, clr secure ends.
Repeat with the next 6 points which will face the opposite direction.

But wait. This description does NOT match the image on the page. I scanned and enlarged the photo and to my dismay it is not even tatting! This has been put together by crocheting from points to the headers.

And next I remembered that during the series of tatting combined with other mediums I had addressed this type of rick rack and tatting previously.

The pattern booklet Corticelli Lessons in Tatting was published in 1916. It is available as a free download. (See the list of free tatting books online here on BellaOnline.com, http://www.bellaonline.com/subjects/3137.asp ) Shown on page 4 is Insertion #104. The instructions are easy. Size 60 thread is suggested but choose a thread that would work well with the size and thickness of the rick rack selected.


sample of crochet and rick rack misidentified as tatting and rickrack




Join to the points on the rick rack. Using a pattern pricker to make a hole on the points first will make the joining easier.

R 3 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 3 close ring. Do not reverse work.
CH 4 shuttle lock join to two points at the same time.

The original directions then call for cut and tie and sewing the ends to the back of the rick rack. However, I think that after joining the two points with the chain, why not pull both threads to the back of the rick rack and join them to the next point of rick rack to the right. Then using a split ring tat the next repeat and continue.

Split Ring 3 / 2 + 2 + 2 + 2 + 3 close ring Do not reverse work.
CH 4 shuttle lock join to two points, etc.

I encourage all tatters to experiment with combinations of tatting and other mediums.
And, when it comes to vintage patterns, be prepared for errors.
Happy Tatting.

PS. *Live pigs sweat very little which is why they wallow in mud to cool off. The term "sweating like a pig" comes from the iron making industry. Molten metal is poured into a form, the pig, and when it cools it enough for condensation to form, sweats, it is ready to be further processed.



You Should Also Read:
Free tatting books online
Rick Rack & Tatting Motif-Bookmark Wally Sosa

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