A version of this pattern appeared in the May 2000 Tatting Times
Size 10 thread in green and brown (wind shuttle and leave attached to ball); 2nd shuttle for green thread (wind and cut from ball) one 2-hole button 3/4 to 1 inch diameter and four 2-hole buttons 1/2 to 3/4 inch diameter (novelty buttons were used in this model).
Begin lower trunk using brown shuttle and ball
R: 9-4-8 CH: 6
R: 8-4-7 CH: 5
R: 7-4-6 CH: 5
R: 6-4-5 CH: 4
R: 5-4-4 CH: 4
R: 4-3-3 q
Branches, leaves and “fruit”
CH: 8-4+ (join to larger button)
¤ Josephine CH (JCH) 8+ (to last CH p) 20-
CH: 4 (this part is an ordinary CH)
Note: The JCH is made using only the second half of a double stitch. This causes the tatting to twist. I like to add the twist every four or five stitches to keep the ripples regular, by turning the tatting a full turn.
Cut ball. The shuttle with brown thread now becomes the “ball” thread. Work the cut end into the first or second green ring.
With green shuttle, R: [2-] 9 times] 2
R: 2+ [-2] 10 times
R: 2+ [2-] three times, 2 + (to smaller button) [2-] 4 times, 2
Using brown shuttle as ball thread, CH: 4+ (to opposite CH p)
JCH: 20 - CH: 4+ (to same hole on large button)
Repeat from ¤ joining once more to same place on large button, then repeat, joining second brown “branch” from third cluster, and branches from fourth and fifth clusters to second hole on larger button. Each small button is joined to one of the side green rings so there are four buttons between 5 green clusters.
After last cluster, CH 4+ (to corresponding CH p) JCH 15-8+ (to button hole;
CH 4+ (to previous CH section) 8.
Cut off green shuttle, work green tail into tatting and return to using brown shuttle; adding ball thread for chains. Tat second half of trunk, working backwards from q (even the Rs for the trunk are worked in reverse stitch order). At bottom of tree, tie and cut, leaving long brown threads for sewing-on as appliqué.