The next design I explored in Tatting Techniques by Elgiva Nicholls is "Diamonds." It's a pretty simple design, but I was surprised by a couple of things.
First, the author states, "The fourth ring joins to the first picot of the first ring. This join is a difficult one as it is an awkward position. It occurs in many medallions." That's it. Period. She gives no suggestions on how to make that last join! I can see where that would stop many beginning tatters from going any further.
The next thing that surprised me was the join between motifs. See how there are 5 picots on the outer edge of the ring? The directions call for joining the 2nd and 4th picots in that cluster. It made no sense to me. The center picot was just left dangling, and if anything, it looked like I had forgotten to join it. So I backed up and joined all three of those picots. It makes a nice firm join, which I imagine would be helpful if it's being used as an insertion.
Still not satisfied with the join, I decided to leave out the center picot, as you can see on the right hand ring.
I thought it might look a little different, and it might have if my picots were longer. I don't think there's a significant difference in the look. However, there is a difference in the feel. If I decide to make more of the insertion, I think I'll stick with joining the 3 picots because of the nice solid feel.
On another note, the cream color is size 20 Lizbeth. The blue is size 50 Oren Bayen. I think there's a significant size difference, so I'll make sure I don't combine these two threads in a single piece.
Hmmm... seeing these together makes me wonder how this motif would look as a coaster or table mat. That's an idea for another day!