Monday, November 3, 2014

Book Review #4: "Tatted Snowflakes"

Title: "Tatted Snowflakes"
Author: Vida Sunderman
Year of Publication: 1995
ISBN: 978-0-486-28303-6 / 0-486-28303-8
Number of pages: 32

Number of patterns: 40 
"Little Ring Snowflake"
Type of pattern notation: Long notation with abbreviations (ie: R of 5 ds, p, 5 ds, lg p, 5 ds, p, 5 ds, cl r; rw). The patterns are very detailed, including giving information of how much thread to wind on the shuttle, where strung beads will be (shuttle or ball thread) and some picot spacings. There are also four diagrams spread throughout the book, but they are only labeled for where to make joins.
Types of patterns: The book is called "Tatted Snowflakes" for a reason--all 40 patterns are snowflakes. All but one are 2D (you can see the one 3D snowflake in the middle of the cover above).
"Whirlaway Snowflake"
Illustrations: All patterns are illustrated with a black and white photo, which is helpful. For the most part, the photos are clear, but sometimes the colorless beads are hard to see in the photos. There are five color photos on the front and two on the back, as well.
Notions: Each pattern is helpfully listed with suggested Materials, which in different combinations include thread sizes 10, 20 and 30 and ribbon floss, beads, crystals, a bell, ribbon and/or glitter and glue.
"Beaded Snowflake"
Shuttle or needle? The patterns are written for the shuttle (one or two shuttles are called for in the  materials section of each pattern) but I have done a few with the needle and found them challenging but workable. If you are ok with working with two needles or leaving spaces with the needle you should be fine with these patterns.
"Star-Shaped Snowflake" (Needle Tatted)
Other inclusions: The book starts out with an Introduction with 3 illustrated (black and white drawings) pages of "How to Tat," including sections on shuttles, thread, how to tat, picots, reverse work and joining. There are also two further pages with details on fold-over joins, the square knot, using two shuttles, the continuous thread, correcting mistakes, finishing ends, laundering snowflakes, blocking snowflakes and working with beads. None of these last are illustrated (with the exception of the square knot) and although the text is very detailed, for a true beginner I think it would require a bit of imagination to fully comprehend/utilize. The final page of the introduction includes ideas for Decorating with Snowflakes, Abbreviations used in the book and helpful, reproducible Blocking Diagrams for five and six-sided snowflakes.
Some patterns need a lot of this "Unique Snowflake"
Skill level: Beginner-Intermediate None of the patterns are specifically "rated," and some are quite simple, but others include multiple cut/tie/hides or other more advanced skills, which are not always fully explained in the patterns.
"Pinwheel Snowflake"
For example, to make the chains all face the same way in the Pinwheel pattern above, those chains without the join needed to be tatted somewhat "backwards" (unflipped stitches made 2nd half first, 1st half second), something the pattern completely left out. 
Skills needed: Tatting with beads, using a picot gauge, two-shuttle tatting, SLT, Josephine chains, ability to adapt pattens "on the fly"
"Small Loop-Stitch Snowflake"
"Large Loop-Stitch Snowflake"
Availability: Although the books is a bit older, it is still readily available both in paperback and digitally!! In the US you can buy it directly from the publisher, Dover Publications, or from, and in paperback only from Be-Stitched and Handy Hands. also carries both formats.
Price range: Digitally $4-8, Paperback $6-10 (US Dollars)
Personal Notes: Although this book isn't maybe as visually grabbing (being full of black and white photos and using the long notation) as other snowflake books, the patterns included are more than worth the small price you will pay to own them. This is a book you can grow with--not all of the patterns are "doable" for very beginning tatters, but some are, and the more you learn, the further in this book you can progress. To me, if you're going to own just one snowflake book, this is the one to get.
"Ruffled-Star Snowflake"


  1. Another good review, Kristen :-)
    Some of these snowflake patterns are somewhat unusual in a very interesting sense. Would be a pleasurable exercise trying these out.
    You've done a great job tatting the samples !!!

  2. I really enjoyed your book review. Very informative for those of us who would be interested in purchasing this book.

  3. Wonderful job on all your snowflakes!!! :)
    I have this book and really like it too!! :)