A few weeks ago I came across a blog post describing how to make a tatted houseplant. Basically what she does is to make strings of tatted rings connected by chains, and then arranging them in a little flower pot to look like a plant. Go look, it’s lovely!
My mind immediately went to how those same strings of leaves could serve as lianas, vines, and leaves for hanging plants for our model. So of course, I started to play with the idea:
I basically filled my shuttle with pearl cotton (no. 8 for the left four vines, no. 5 for the rightmost one) and tried out different variations of the basic pattern. Depending on how many leaves you put in the same place and how long the chain between leaves is, you get fairly different results, all working from the same recipe. The two vines at the left have picots added to the leaves, giving another possibility for variations.
For the vine in the middle I tried adding beads to depict flowers or berries. To achieve this, you need to add the beads to your thread before filling your shuttle:
Start working your leaves, leaving the beads pushed towards the ball of thread. When working the chain with the thread coming from the ball, slide a bead up to your work at the place where you want one, and then work the next double knot, leaving a picot with the bead behind. This only works with beads on the chain, though.
I’m sure there are lots of other variations possible! I love to play around and see what you can do with a pattern, and a simple one like this is a great starting point. And since we’re imitating nature, you can’t even miscount! It doesn’t matter if your leaves and chains vary in size or if not every picot looks the same – nature’s messy like that! This would be a perfect practice project for a beginning tatter. The writer of the original post is needle tatting, I work with a shuttle, and the simple pattern works perfectly for both techniques.
Here’s the vines hanging over the edge of the platform: