Ribbonwinners Tatting Patterns & Shuttles by
Georgia Seitz
11460 Via Appia
Anchorage Alaska 99515-2905 USA
AKTATTER@aol.com www.georgiaseitz.com

September Snowflake of the Month
The Hen & Chicks Snowflake

Welcome, Gentle Tatters, to an exploration of a traditional tatting pattern, the hen and chicks one shuttle edging. One of the oldest patterns used in tatting it can be found on many antique lace pieces. From a clear and crisp white cotton edging on a hanky to a bright and boldly colored dresser set, the hen and chicks pattern never fails to charm.

This excerpt from Book 4 of the Ribbonwinners Series, "Tatting on the Edge...and Beyond" gives you the basic pattern for the hen and chicks design.

I had always thought that the hen and chick pattern could be adapted to a snowflake. In early September I made a diagram of what I thought it might look like and raised a call for proof tatters. I want to thank everyone who assisted in this project. Below is the diagram given to the proof tatters.

These suggestions were included.

Using one shuttle start in the center with the six rings and leave a very long tail on the thread. Climb out on the sixth ring (A) using the tail and finger tatting the bottom side of the split ring.

Leave enough thread to approximate the length of the picot (you do not need to tie the threads) and do the split ring (B) again finger tatting with the tail which can then be trimmed. Use magic thread trick to hide tail as desired. And study this diagram provided to the class by Matthew Takeda. Matthew is a technical illustrator whose first book "Theoretical Tatting" we are anxiously awaiting.

The diagram shows how to hide an end in a ring and add on a new thread in one shuttle work.

The first model showed us we needed to watch out for puckering, so the picots of the hen and chickens pattern had to be adjusted.

The next model adjusted the picots and the length of shuttle thread. But the outer row stretched out a bit too much in the next model so that the points of the flake were lost.

hen Tammy Rodgers had an idea. She developed a method to measure the length of the shuttle thread left against the number of double stitches.

his developed a great hexagonal motif but was not precisely 6 points. Hmmm. On the original diagram, rings F and G were not indicated as joining anywhere. The next proof tatter found that it made it too floppy.

So the ring G was brought in to join to the picots on the inner six rings.

But that left ring F floating around and flopping every which way. So the next proof tatter minimized the shuttle thread in all points and that left us with a pretty good looking tight design with definite although subtle points.