Thursday, February 4, 2016

Looking at your design

How are your designs coming along? Did you have difficulty coming up with a second round to the little motif? Remember all of those little bits of edgings we made? Try laying them around the base motif. Do they give you ideas? what about overlapping the little bits to see what different effects you can get. Those little bits that were annoying to tat, have now become design tools. You can use any piece of lace already tatted to give you an idea of what you might tat and how it might fit together.

We started asking what it was that was your biggest problem about designing and generally there are 2 main obstacles. Those are primarily, just knowing where to start and knowing how many stitches to use. Designating a small motif as a base to work from eliminates the first one and having little snippets of lace to play around with simplifies the second one.

You will have noticed that the base motif has 4 equally spaced picots for joining the second row. That often means that your design will result in 4 equal sides or a square motif. See how easy it is to turn a round design into a square? You could just as easily turn a square design into a round one. Or you could turn it into a heart, or a butterfly, or a snowflake.

Take a critical look at your design. Do you have a nice lace to space ratio? Are segments stretched out, or crammed in? Is the over all shape you ended up with pleasing to look at? Did you insert some variety into your design? Do you have a harmonious design or is it lopsided? Was it a stinker to tat? Some designs give the end results you want, but they're finicky to tat and that's OK if the end result is really worth it. Sometimes a design is complicated to tat and not really all the special when it's done. Think it through again and see if there isn't a slightly different way to do it to give a similar effect. Take a look at you stitch count. People will find that designs that have very repetitive stitch counts more relaxing to tat than designs where they have to keep checking the pattern after every segment. If the design doesn't need weird stitch counts, why use them.

These are the kinds of things you have to think about as a designer. If you are making lace just for yourself, it doesn't matter, but if it's something you want other people to enjoy you have to learn to be thick skinned and look at your work critically. You made it and you like it, but try to see the faults other people will see. If you find the faults before they do, you can correct them, and they'll never know. I'll let you in on a secret, a lot of the wonderful designs you see? They were accidents. Shhh! Don't tell anyone. If it works, just pretend that it's what you were trying for all along.

1 comment:

Eliz Davis aka Tatknot said...

I got behind in following these lessons again, so I'm playing catchup this morning.

I really like the appearance of a particular snowflake I designed many years ago for an exchange, but it was not enjoyable to tat. I have never shared the pattern because I realized that if I didn't enjoy it enough to do it again, no one else was likely to want to tat it. While not all of my efforts are pieces I want to replicate or share with others, I enjoyed designing them and learned lots in the process. I also have some interesting finished pieces that are truly one-of-a-kind.