We all become a little bit Irish on St. Patrick's Day and shamrocks are a welcome sign of spring as well. To me the shamrock is a memory of a special tatting moment.
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.
The Shamrock Pattern:|
R 11 picots separated by 3 DS cl ring. Leave ½" space. Do not rw
R 13 picots separated by 3 DS cl ring. Leave ½" space. Do not rw
R 11 picots separated by 3 DS cl ring. Leave ½" space. Rotate to position to chain.
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 9 picots separated by 2 DS Attach to ring with the shuttle join. Repeat, attaching space between rings. CH 11 picots separated by 2 DS. Attach to ring with the shuttle join. Repeat, attaching to space between rings. CH 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 11 picots separated by 3 DS. Attach to ring with the shuttle join. Repeat, attaching to space between rings. CH 13 picots separated by 3 DS. Attach to ring with the shuttle join. Repeat, attaching to space between rings. CH 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.
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