Not too long ago, Georgia sent out a request for help finding the source of this doily. She did know it was from a Needlecraft magazine from 1926. I collect those off and on, so I pulled out my boxes from under the bed and found it in the April issue. The designer was Mildred Thompson. Georgia also invited me to write out the instructions for modern tatters. How could I resist?
As you may know, vintage patterns are hard to follow. Not only are they usually written in a different style than we are used to, but test tatting and proof reading were apparently not done.
First off, the instructions say each motif has 20 rounds. This is wrong. Of course I did not realize this until after I had worked one whole motif. Studying the photo reveals that the central motif has 18 rounds and the outer ones have 19 rounds. You could make it with more rounds if you wanted to, but I think it does matter that the center motif have one fewer rounds so they will fit together. At this point I am doubting that I have enough thread on the ball for a whole doily anyway, so I start over.
Then comes the issue of how to join the motifs together. The orange thread in the picture above is the way the pattern is written. Who would want to work that asymmetrical mess? No wonder the designer writes that the small fill-in motifs are not worked in, but sewn on top. That's one way of covering up the problem. I have devised a method for a neater way to join the motifs and work in the fill-in motifs, but will it work? Will the whole thing lie flat when I am done? Time will tell. (Lots and lots of time....)