Thoughts for No One in Particular

Degrees of freedom

***Apologies in advance if you were directed this post looking for an explanation of the mathematical notion… but I hope you will find some comfort in the fact that there is at least one more individual who just cannot take its mind off of it!***


As I have written in my profile, I am a tatter. Mind you, I am still a novice (I only began to tat last March) so I am neither knowledgeable nor skillful. But I believe my fellow tatters will agree with me on the many thoughts that are put in when taking on a project.


At first, I have all the freedom I can imagine – I can tat whatever motif I want, with whatever size and colour of thread I prefer, at whatever time I designate, and so on. So many things to consider! But since I cannot tat off the top of my head, I have to constrain as many of these variables as possible to pick the right project for me to take on at the time.


What motif? –It’s wintertime and I want to see some snow… maybe a snowflake.

Which thread? – I want to make it as real as I can… maybe in pale blue, with glitters, and in small size.

When? – I’ve already missed half the winter… maybe I should start now and finish quickly.


Now that I have a better image of the project, I start tatting. But soon after, I find I am faced with more variables that need to be fixed.

The motif is done in two rounds… can I climb out of the first round and do it in one take so I’ll only have to cut and tie threads once?

The thread slides less smoothly with all that glitter… can I still do Josephine knots, or should I change to normal rings which are more manageable with the skills I have now?

The pattern is simple and repetitive… can I keep the hype till completion, without giving in to boredom?


And when all degrees of freedom are lost, the project comes to an end and takes its final shape. It has a clear definition at last!




It is by no means perfect. So many flaws – uneven picots, distorted split ring, thread fuzzing due to undoing, and many more… Oh, the implications I must live with for all the choices I made under the name of freedom!


One thought on “Degrees of freedom

  1. Pattern: “The flower within” by R.P.
    Thread: “Lamé Stitch Pearl: Sky” by Kanagawa (polyester sewing thread, pale-blue, with glitters) – doubled for tatting
    Size: about 6 centimetres or 2 1/2 inches


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