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A Useful Edging - Godey's Lady Book


In a recent article posted on BellaOnline I rewrote a vintage pattern using modern tatting terms and abbreviations. At the end of the pattern I advised the tatter to be careful as vintage patterns are notorious for having errors in them. I repeated a favorite saying, "If in doubt, draw it out!" Later the following week I had more than one inquiry as to what I meant by draw it out. If you can read a tatting pattern which has no photo or illustration and then draw a diagram of the progression of the tatting, i.e., the direction in which the tatting travels as it is made, then you can tat that pattern. If you can't draw the pattern out, then it may be that the designer has assumed information on our part that we might not know today, or there may be an actual error in the instructions, or the construction of the lace is not yet clear for you.

Here is a pattern you can practice this idea on.[url]http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art2179.asp[/url] There was a tatting pattern for children's clothing given in the "Godey's Lady's Book" from September 1857, pg. 266. [url] http://www.uvm.edu/~hag/godey/fashion/p5709266.jpg [/url] Please view that article for the full text of the pattern.

I thought it might be challenging if we tried to rewrite that pattern in today's tatting style. Let's study it a few lines at a time.

A Useful Edging.--Fill the shuttle, and on the end of the thread put a rug needle, which is used alternately with the shuttle itself. Begin with it, doing, five double stitches on the thread, picot, six double on the thread, picot, four double on the threads, *.

One shuttle wound CTM (continuous thread method)and a needle attached to the other thread tail. Begin with the needle.
CH 5 - (picot) 6 - 4 rw (Alternating rings and chains normally have a reverse work between them but the pattern does not specify this. So it may be that the designer assumed this knowledge on the tatter's part.) * (The star or asterisk has been used to identify the start of a section to be repeated.

Now take up the shuttle, do three double, join to the first (not the nearest) picot, six double picot three double. Draw this loop up and *, work with the needle a bar thus: four double, picot, four double.

R 3 + (join to the first picot not the nearest picot) 6 - 3 clr (close ring) rw and Repeat from *.
CH 4 - 4 rw
R 3 + (join to the first picot not the nearest picot) 6 - 3 clr (close ring) rw and Repeat from *.
CH 4 - 4 rw

Drop the needle, and with the shuttle do three stitches, join to picot of the last loop, six double, picot, three double. Draw up this loop, *. Drop the shuttle, and with the needle do another bar. Then another loop, and again a bar.

R 3 + (join to picot of last ring) 6 - 3 clr rw
CH 4 - 4
R 3 + (join to picot of last ring) 6 - 3 clr rw
CH 4 - 4

The fourth loop is made thus: Three double, Join to the picot of the last loop, seven double, picot, two double. Draw this up, and work with the shuttle another loop thus: Two double,join, seven double, picot, two double. Drop the shuttle, and with the needle-work on the thread three double.

(Now by my count this is the 5th ring not the fourth but let's see what happens.)
R 3 + (join to picot of last ring) 7 - 2 clr (assuming here the fact that we leave no space of bare thread)
R 2 + (join to picot of last ring) 7 - 2 clr rw
CH 3

Then do the point loop, three double, join, eight double, picot, three double. Drop the shuttle, and with the needle do a bar of 3 double. Then with the shuttle two double, join, seven double, picot, two double. do the next loop with the shuttle, without a bar between, thus: Two double, join, seven double, picot, three double.

(Point loop?? This is the first clue that this is not going to be a straight line edging.)
R 3 + (join to picot of last ring) 8 - 3 clr rw
CH 3 rw
R 2 + (join to picot of last ring) 7 - 2 clr (this direction makes it clear that we leave no space of bare thread)
R 2 + (join to picot of last ring) 7 - 3 clr rw

With the needle, do a bar, of four double, and then join to the picot of the opposite bar; after which, do four more double. With the shuttle, do the next loop thus: Three double, picot, three double. Draw it up,and make another bar of four with the needle. Join to the centre of the opposite bar, do four more, then another loop with the shuttle, like the lst;

CH 4 + (join to picot of chain opposite) 4 rw
R 3 - 3 clr rw
CH 4 + (join to picot of chain opposite) 4 rw
R 3 - 3 clr rw

then another bar, then another loop, then a bar of four; join to the last picot of the last loop, ten double, picot, six double, picot, four double. Begin again at the mark *,

CH 4 rw
R 3 - 3 clr rw
CH 4 rw
+ (Join what?? Pull the thread from the chain up and join to the last picot of the last ring???
R or CH it is not yet clear. 10 - 6 - 4 - and repeat from *

Not so easy was it? This pattern will take more work. Perhaps one of you can figure out where I went wrong in the directions and share the corrected pattern with all of us. I will be happy to post your interpretation.
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Content copyright © 2013 by Georgia Seitz. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Georgia Seitz. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Georgia Seitz for details.

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