8 Jul 2006

Cluny Leaf in Tatting

I finally won my battle with making Cluny leaves. After several failed attempts, I managed to make a cluny leaf that closed right. I even managed this butterfly with 8 cluny leaves in it. Cant’t say they are perfect – each leaf turned out a different size and shape. I told myself that is how it is in nature.

I found the tatting instructions for the butterfly here.
Huh! What language is this? The butterfly was tempting. I just had to try it out. How hard could it be to follow instructions? Art has no language right? RIGHT! I decided to give it a try.

O = is obviously a ring
C = chains
- we know stands for picots and
+ a join
o / = split rings and therefore
c / must be split chains

I copied and pasted the first line of of the pattern page (which I now know is in German) in google search as I did not know the link to this pattern. I found there is an option to translate this page. Hmm... After all the struggle to decipher what the instructions said!

Split rings I know but split chains? A Google search and here is what I found.
Jane Ebroll Split Chain
Split Chain 1.
Split Chain 2.
and I found this interesting link on Knotless Tatting.

Several wrong closings of the Cluny leaf (and a couple of times of pulling the thread so tight that it snapped) later, I went back to check if there is some specific method to close the leaf. There is – I just assumed I knew when I didn’t.

Instructions for making Cluny leaves by hand.

I had to start afresh a couple of times and the result is the butterfly in the picture. I did not leave a length of yarn at the beginning to join fresh yarn for making the split chain and so I decided to cheat. I sewed the butterfly onto the denim base and worked the body in weaving stitch. A Single ring for the head and the butterfly looked natural complete with feelers.

I added a few leaves in weaving stitch, the carpet of grass in detached buttonhole, a few sequins and beads for field flowers. Not too satisfied with the pink beads. So I added a couple of flowers in the same shade and it blended with the yellow of the butterfly. Very few colours are available in pearl cotton. So I decided to try stranded cotton for the flowers. It worked. But I only had two small lengths of yarn (stranded Cotton) in that particular shade of pink and so I compromised on the number of picots in the last ring of both flowers. While I can't say the finished piece is wonderful, it is not so bad either. I might make this the focal point of my first ever CQ block that I plan to do in shades of blue.


  1. Anonymous4:54 am

    Anyway I can find butterfly pattern, link not working anymore GROAN!

  2. They probably moved. This was posted so long ago, I don't even remember where I took the pattern from. Lokks like I have to start maintining a log.

    Anyway, try this link


    for free tatting books on the web. There are a lot of butterfly patterns. Enjoy!


  3. Hi, your butterfly it's wonderful.
    I must trie to work on make cluny. I never did. But your make me love it very much.
    Isa in south or Sweden