This is what I've been doing lately -- my latest homework from Sharon Briggs' Design-Tat course. (This is just so much fun!) She found this image for us to use for inspiration. To me, it looked like a blurred paper-cut snowflake, so it took me a while to see anything else. Then it took time to figure out how to connect all the little rings I stuck on the picture. Everybody's work looks different, and mine look a little different from each other. The first one is from my original drawing and is made in two rows. Made with size 50 Omega thread, it is 4 inches (10.5 cm) across. It's actually the one I made last, because the pattern looked too round to be a snowflake. It might make a good beginning to a doily, though. The pink one in the middle is the one I did first. By leaving out the center ring and changing one element of the top, it looks quite different. That change also allowed me to start at the outside of the first round and complete the entire thing in one pass. It is made with size 20 Lizbeth thread and is 5.5 inches (14 cm) across. I thought maybe the center was too unsupported; it seemed a bit limp. Sooooo... The third one has a more dense center, but is still able to be completed in one pass. I changed some of the stitch counts, so it looks a bit more relaxed than the pink one, which had to be severely blocked to lay flat. It is 4.5 inches (11.5 cm) across and is made from "Singing the Blues" thread (hand-dyed on a size 30 Cebelia).
Tatting while listening to audio books is what I call relaxation. I get home from work, get dinner out of the way, then park myself in my favorite chair. I pick up my lap desk covered with shuttles, patterns, strings and beads, stick the earbuds in and say, "Checking out!" Nobody bothers me then -- until it's time to go ride the stationary bike, that is.