Variations
Deliberate OR Accidental
Tammy, Erin, Wally and Patti have kindly given their permission to include their designs here for an introduction to variations.
Tammy's carnation pattern gave me the inspiration to create the 'fur ball' and cuff for Santa's cap. I worked just the first two rows to make the fur ball. My first ever attempt at a split chain. Fortunately, it is buried very deep and not visible! For the cuff, I just added extra rings and chains to the first row until it was about two and a half times the needed length, worked a second row. The center picots were then threaded onto a thread the length of the cuff.
I still have not sewn the front to a backing yet because I really want to write the instructions for this Santa.
Erin's square motif was so much fun to work. I found a small ball of 30 thread and had the first round completed before I went to bed that Sunday PM.
When I got up the next morning I picked it up and then looked for it for weeks. So I started another at work. When I realized that I was running out of thread, I looked at what I had already tatted. If the third repeat were joined to the first, it should lay flat also. I worked more triangles, joining one to each side of the first one. I tried picots of different lengths on the large center ring.
I am still playing with filling in the next three triangle, turning once and using a lighter colored thread. There is an overlap, but this is just to demonstrate what can happen when the end of your string is near.
I also did my homework and worked one complete motif according to Erin's instructions.  Erin's original square motif 
Then we started 2002 with Wally's Blizzard Snowflake, the first of the year. It was delightful. Someone during class asked about how to get the little rings to lay directly opposite each other. As can be seen from my first attempt to work the design, my little rings do not lay easily opposite each other. (Again, I got to the end of my thread before I got to the end of the design, so as I write this, my first attempt is not finished or blocked, YET). With proper blocking and stiffening, the little rings should lay like they are supposed to.
By using different colored bugles, I liked the way the different colors enhanced the concept of squares in the center. I had intended to repeat that concept in my next working of the design variation of the snowflake. It didn't work quite that way (another of those unintentional design variations). 

The most obvious variation worked into the second design is increasing the ds in the little rings from 4 to 8, eliminate the picot, and join them. 

The second variation has seed beads added. 


So far the variations we have looked at have been mostly intentional. In a recent conversation with Patti Duff, she told me about the little candy cane motif she included in her book, "Mini Tats.
She said that she had always simply blocked the curve in. Then in working the example for the book, she made an unintentional design variation. It was not until she was adding that piece to the proper page that she noticed the design variation and THEN she realized that it made the curve lay just right without extra blocking. She promptly adjusted the directions for this design. Patti was delighted to be able to share this with the class. 
I have worked the candy cane as per her adjusted (as printed in the book) instructions and it does curve nicely. This example has not been blocked so that the natural curve can be easily observed. 

Now for the design for tonight's class; Snowflakes deliberately including suggested variations. The center is varied by the adding of just one ds & p. Each center has 6 different variation suggestions, one for each point of the snowflake.
First, just a brief word about picots because picots added or eliminated can dramatically change the appearance of a design. Picots can be long or short, have 1 or 2 ds between, can vary in length, i.e., longer to the center picot then shorter, or so the longest or shortest is the length as desired for the design.
Remember picots of varying lengths or of the same length, long or short, can always be added or eliminated wherever desired or needed. I frequently make the picots needed for joining just long enough to join.
These two snowflakes begin with almost the same center.
The first center (A):
R 1: 7  7, RW Ch 7  7
* R 2: 7 +[p of R 1] 7, RW Ch 7  7 * (X 5)
J last Ch at base of R 1, T & C
OR
Ch 7 & Bridge (Split Ch) 7
start next round SR 7/7
Point # 1A:
R 1: 7 + [any p of center] 7 RW
Ch 7 ( 1) x7  3 DNRW
R 2: 3 + [last p on ch] (1) x12 3 DNRW
Ch 3 + [last p of R 2] (1 ) x6, 7, RW
>R 3: 7 + [p of next center chain] 7, RW
Ch 7  7, RW
Point # 2 A:
Variation: 2 ds between p on the ch, picots clumped together at the outer curve of the ring.
R 1: 7 + [same p as last j] 7, RW
Ch 7 ( 2)x5,  3, DNRW
R 2: 4 + [last p of ch] 7 (1)X5, 6  4 DNRWv
Ch 3 + [last p of R 2], (2 )X5, 7 RW
R 3: 7 +[p of next center ch] 7 RW
Ch 7  7 RW
Point # 3 A:
Variation: a very long chain topped with a simple cloverleaf. If the chains are not pulled snuggly, but evenly a natural twist can easily be created adding a different appearance to the snowflake.
R 1: 7 + [same p as last j] 7, RW
Ch 7 ( 2)x6, 3 DNRW
R 2: 2 + [last p of ch] 6  2 DNRW
R 3: 3 + [last p of R 2] 3  (2 )x6, 3 DNRW
R 4: 2 + [last p of R 3] 6  2 DNRW
Ch 3 + [last p of R 4] (2  )x5, 7 RW
R 5: 7 +[p of next center ch] 7 RW
Ch 7  7 RW
Point # 4 A:
Variation: a five ring cluster creating an overlapped effect.
R 1: 7 + [same p as last j] 7, RW
Ch 10, DNRW
R 2: 9  3
R 3: 3 + [p of R 2] 9  3 DNRW
R 4: 5 + [p of R 3] 5  (2 )x5, 5  5 DNRW
R 5: Repeat R 3, j accordingly DNRW
R 6: Repeat R 2, j accordingly DNRW
Ch 10, RW
R 7: 7 + [p of next center chain] 7, RW
Ch 7  7, RW
Point # 5 A:
Variation: simple SCMR, good for practice. This SCMR does not lay even because the last chain stitches were not snugged up before the RW. It is so important to remember to do this EACH time for EACH chain.
R 1: 7 + [same p as last j] 7, RW
Ch 7, DNRW
SCMR, {Ch 7, SS R 1: 15, SS Ch 7} CL
Ch 7 RW
R 2: 7 + [p of next center chain] 7, RW
Ch 7  7, RW
Point # 6 A:
Variation: SCMR in cloverleaf a little more complicated.
R 1: 7 + [same p as last j] 7, RW
Ch 7, DNRW
SCMR {3 + [last p of ch] 4 SS
R 2: 5 + (skip I p of ch, j to next p) 3  3
R 3: 3 + (last p of R 2) 3 (2)x5,  3
R 4: 3 + (last p of R 3) 3  5 SS
Ch 4  3}CL
Ch 3 + p of last ch, 2 (2)x6, 7 Rw
R 5: 7 + [p of next center chain] 7, RW
Ch 7  7 DNRW
R 1: 7  1  7, RW
Ch 7  7
R 2: 7 + [last P of R 1] 1  7, RW
Ch 7  7
* (X 4)
R 6: 7 + 1 + [R 1], RW Ch 7  7
J last Ch at base of R 1, T & C.
OR
Ch 7 & Bridge [Split Ch] 7
start next round with SR 7/7
Point # 7 B:
R 1: 7 + [p of next center ch] 7, RW
Ch 7, ( 1)x7. 3 DNRW
R 2: 6 + [last p of ch] 5  (2 )x4, 5  6, DNRW
Ch 3 + [last p of R 2] (1 )x6, 7 RW
R 3: 7 + [same p of center as last j] 7 RW
Ch 7  7
Point # 10 B
This SCMR is a little more complicated, but not difficult.
R 1: 7 + [p of next center ch] 7, RW
Ch 7 SCMR {3  3 SS
R 2: 7 + [p of last Ch] 7 SS
Ch 3  3 SS
R 3: 7  7 SS
Ch 3  3 SS
R 4: 7 + [p of R 3] 4  3
R 5: 4 + [p of R 4] 7 ( 2)x5 [vary lengths of p], 5  4
R 6: 3 + [last p of R 5] 4  7 SS
Ch 3  3 SS
R 7: 7+ [p of R 6] 7 SS
Ch 3  3 SS
R 8: 7  7 SS
Ch 3  3} CL
Ch 7 RW
R 7: 7 + [same p of center as last j] 7 RW
Ch 7 + (p of R 8) 7 RW
Point # 11 B
R 1: 7 + [p of next center ch] 7, RW
Ch 7 ( 2)x5 RW
R 2: 7 (  2)x7, 7 [vary length of p if desired] RW
R 3: 12  3
R 4: 3  12
R 5: 3 +[p of R 3] 3  2)x7 [vary length of p] 5 + [p of R 4] 3 DNRW
Ch (2 )x5, 7 RW
R 6: 7 + [same p of center as last j] 7 RW
Ch 7  7 RW
Point # 12 B
R 1: 7 + [p of next center ch] 7, RW
Ch 7 SCMR
{R 2: 7  3 SS
Ch 4 SS
R 3: 5 + [p of R 2] 12  5 SS
Ch 5 SS
R 4: 5 + [p of R 3] 5
R 5: 10 + [same as last j] 2 ( 2)x11,  10
R 6: 5 + [last p of R 5] SS
Ch 5 SS
R 7: 5 + [same p as j] 12  5 SS
Ch 5 SS
R 8: 3 + [last p of R 7] 7 }CL
Ch 7 RW
R 9: 7 + [same p of center as last j] 7 RW
Ch 7  7 RW
Points on a snowflake need not be the only practical application for these design variations listed here. Use the suggested cloverleaf or cluster arrangements, add connecting picots and create edgings, motifs, or add more rounds and make doilies or center pieces. The possibilities are limitless.
Questions? Contact Mary Maynard direct.