It's such a lovely time of year just now and though weddings are lovely at any time, Spring and Summer are my favourites. Recently I've been trawling the Internet looking for inspiration for wedding keepsakes and there are some lovely patterns out there. In the end I returned to a tried and tested pattern, a lace horse shoe for good luck, however I have a confession to make because it isn't crochet.
Nope, no crochet in sight. It's actually tatted lace though it does need a crochet hook to make joins. Some years ago I bought a starter kit from the Ring Of Tatters and using their DVD, taught myself shuttle tatting. I only learnt the basics and after making a few items I returned to my first love of crochet as I found it easier but I have always loved this simple horse shoe pattern from Be-stitched. It's a beginner's pattern which is lucky for me as it is all I can do.
Tatting can be made with either a tatting needle or a shuttle, I use a shuttle. Some shuttles have a hook at one end for joining purposes but as mine doesn't I use a small steel crochet hook. The stitch used is called double stitch and is made in two parts, these form the chains and rings and even the picots.
Using white crochet cotton, I wound the shuttle full of thread but didn't cut it from the ball.
The thread is held by the left hand while the shuttle is worked around it. The ring was worked by making a loop of thread around the fingers and holding the thread between the index finger and thumb. The shuttle is then worked around the thread of the ring and when enough stitches have been worked the ring is tightened by pulling the shuttle thread to close it.
The horse shoe pattern starts with two rings joined together at the first and last picots using the crochet hook..
It then continues using chains and rings
until the other end of the horse shoe is reached where it is finished by making two rings joined together to mirror the first two rings of the horse shoe.
The horse shoe is finished off by knotting the two threads and weaving the ends in at the back of the motif. A little blocking and it's done.
If you fancy trying tatting I recommend checking out the Ring of Tatters link above, the DVD I learnt from is still available and was much easier than trying to follow written directions. The tatters from the Ring I met demonstrating the craft were all lovely ladies who were incredibly patient and helpful. The Be-stitched site has some gorgeous tatting pics on the pattern pages too.
I love this little horse shoe and hope the bride will too, especially with a cute little pageboy or flower girl to present it to her.
Having picked up my shuttle again I plan to learn some more tatting techniques but crochet is still my first love and I'll be back to blogging about hooky times again soon.
Til next time,