Me again! I wanted to update you that I actually did some tatting this past long weekend!!
I made what I am calling a Da-Lily (not to be confused with the actual daylily flower) using the pattern Water Lily from Lyn Morton's book "Tatting Patterns."
It really is a lily, but I used a variegated yellow for the center and a creamy off-white for the outside, thus making my lily resemble a daisy...hence the name da-lily. :)
The leaf and "vine" are my own, something I made up and stuck on after I finished the flower...nothing too hard or exciting (and really, the leaf isn't all that great) but I think it added a bit of something to the overall effect.
This is one of the first things I've made from Morton's book, which is kind of pathetic considering I got it for my birthday...in October...2009...
Now, stop me if I'm wrong, but I've noticed that patterns written for needle tatters are different than those written for shuttle tatters? Needle patterns are (for me) much easier to read: 3-3-3-3 is pretty straightforward, where as something like "3ds separated by 3p" makes you think too much and are somewhat confusing. :) As a needle-only tatter (the shuttle really confuses me!), I really appreciate the 3-3-3-3 pattern style.
Usually if I use a pattern written "for shuttle" I start out by "translating" it into needle-tat language...I've found that most of the tatting books I own are written in the "shuttle" way, especially the many books I have with the "antique" or older patterns (thank you Dover publishing!)
For this pattern I didn't do the "translation," partly because it was a fairly simple pattern, and partly because Morton does such a nice job of diagramming her patterns. It was nice practice, maybe I won't have to do it so much in the future.
I am curious to all you tatters out there...are patterns for shuttle really different than those for needle? Is there any special trick to "translating" one way to another? (I feel like sometimes certain patterns just don't work well with the needle--especially those where you have a chain, a join, then another chain...any suggestions?)
**For those of you who don't like to read the comments, here is an excellent answer I received about my questions...Thanks Sharon!
"Tatting patterns come in 3 different formats. The long version (3p sep by 4 ds), the short version 4-4-4-4 and the visual diagram version. The very old patterns were only written in the long format. Later on both long and short forms were used. The newer form is to use visual patterns. The difference in pattern notation has nothing to do with whether they were written for shuttle or needle. Tatting Patterns and Designs by Gun Blomqvist and Elwy Persson was first published in 1933 using the short notation and it begins with instructions on how to shuttle tat. It may be the earliest publication to use the short form."Hmmm...suddenly it occurs to me I should read my copy of "Tatting: Technique and History" so I don't have to bother all you kind readers out there...**