Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Reinventing the Wheel

I love old fashioned tatting.  One of my favorites is the classic wheel motif. 

Yes, this one here.

It turns out the wheel is quite well suited to be adapted to buttons.  Simply omit the center ring and join the small rings directly to the button.

There is no "one true" pattern for the wheel.  The number of stitches or picots may vary as long as the concept is the same.  For the blue wheel above, worked with size 20 thread, the inner rings are 5 + 5 and the outer rings are 5 ± 3 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 3 ± 5.  The buttons here are about 1/2 inch diameter.  

Totally independently, my friend Stephanie was making wheels with buttons about the same time.  Her stitch count was similar, but her buttons were a bit bigger, around 5/8 inch.  Tension and the length of the bare thread spaces and picots may play a part in the difference.  You can make your rings a little bigger or smaller to fit whatever buttons you have.

Guess what else the wheel can adapt to? Ice drops!  I'll be teaching that at Palmetto TatDays in September.


  1. Oh wow, love these updates of a classic!

  2. Excellent! I was trying to arrive at some such formula for my blossoms project but so far it hasn't fit. Still hopeful ;-P
    Lovely colours !!!

  3. It's fun to see these variations, including the ice drop! The tatters of the early 1900s came up with some amazing designs, which have stood the test of time.

  4. I can see other possibilities with that simple but effective way of tatting with buttons, thank you for the inspiration.

  5. I wish I could be there to take your class! I love your adaptations of the classic wheel motif!