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Tatting Lessons Index

Logs - Previous Sessions Class Chats

Links in this Lesson


Photos Showing Lock Join

Lock Join Discussion

Starting the SCMR

Rings on Ball Thread SCMR

Candy Cane Demo for Changing Colors New! Pattern now included


Rosemarie Peel's Valentine Heart

Center for a Round Robin for Beginners

GR8 Butterfly

Extra Credit German Snowflake

Lesson 3

Welcome back. This week we will study:

  • Lock Joins
  • Shoe Lace Trick (SLT)
  • 2 color tatting
  • Rings Off Chains
  • Self Closing Mock Ring (SCMR)

Lock Joins

A lock join occurs when the core thread of a chain is closer to the joining picot than the working thread. One joins the core thread to the picot by means of a knot. The lock join is so named because the previous work is locked in place, so before making this join, always make sure the previous chain is SNUG and the size/shape that you want. You can undo this join, but it can be rather difficult.

For a wonderful set of photos showing a lock join (also called shuttle join) I refer you again to Jen's Tatra Sutra here. You can read more about it in a classic lesson from the On-Line Class here.

In general, a lock join does not count in the double stitch count, and one usually makes a full ds after it.

A pattern for you to practice lock joins: Rosemarie Peel's Valentine Heart

Shoe Lace Trick (SLT)

Needle tatters will already have been using this manueuver - they tie the needle thread with the ball thread at the end of a ring (like tying your shoe) to hold the ring in place. Shuttle tatters find this "trick" useful too, particularly if they find themselves running out of a thread on one shuttle yet need to tat a little bit further to get to a good spot to add new thread - or to the end of a round. Requires 2 shuttles.

Two Color Tatting

This sounds more difficult than it truly is. Most likely you have already done it, because all you need is your shuttle/needle loaded with the color you will want your rings to be and a ball of the color you will want your chains to be. Simply tie a knot (a reef knot or square knot is best) and begin tatting.

Extra credit: One class near Christmas got rather fanciful in their discussion of the possibilities of color and controlling where it goes. Here is the resulting Candy Cane Demo for Changing Colors that makes use of SLT to break the guideline of "rings one color, chains the other color." NEW! Pattern now included!

Rings off Chains

Frequently as you look at patterns in books, you will see rings standing up on chains instead of being made at the end of chain arches. For shuttle tatters, these rings on chains require that you use 2 shuttles to tat the motif, replacing the ball with the 2nd shuttle. For needle tatters, you will need either a 2nd needle to use on what was the ball thread, or you can just thread and rethread your single needle as you switch from one thread to the other.

By now you have developed the ability to tell the shuttle or needle thread from the ball thread as they exit the work, without looking around for the ball. The working thread will be the one exiting the core of the main rings and chains; the ball thread will be the one forming the stitches on top. It will exit at an angle to the working thread.

To form the ring on top of a chain, stop making the chain at the appropriate place. Do not reverse your work. Drop the original working shuttle or needle, and use the shuttle or needle attached to the thread which used to function as the ball thread to make the ring as called for in the pattern.

After closing the ring, put this thread back over your left hand into the chain position. Pick up the shuttle or needle which was the working thread before you stopped to make the ring, and continue the chain.

Let's look at a tatted piece: Center for a Round Robin for Beginners. The 2nd round of this motif consists of chains interrupted 3 times for rings to be tatted at the top of them. This round also requires shuttle joins of the chains to the center rings.

Self Closing Mock Ring (SCMR)

A Self-Closing Mock Ring is a shuttle tatter's term for a chain that has been formed into a ring by means of passing the shuttle through a loop of the chain's core thread left at the base of the intended ring. Needle tatters will recognize this as the ring they usually make!

Gary and Randy Houtz named and popularized the SCMR. They have a 2-part set of instructions diagrams showing how to make them.

Part 1: Starting the SCMR and Part 2: Rings on Ball Thread which shows making the SCMR off of a chain.

If you like, try their GR8 Butterfly pattern.

Extra Credit Pattern: German Snowflake as translated by Robert to practice hiding ends and your rings-off-chains, not to mention your pattern-reading skills.

Original pattern is German Snowflake - the top link.

The list of abbreviations in German:
A=Arbeitsanfang (Beginning)
R=Ring (self-explanatory!)
B=Bogen (chain)
DK=Doppelknoten (double stitch or ds)
+=Anschlingen (join)
-=Oese (picot)
o=Ring auf Bogen (ring off chain)
-->=Arbeitsrichtung (direction of work)

Have fun!!

Questions: contact your teachers

Mimi: ntrop at ix dot netcom dot com
Cynthia: brasthatfit at yahoo dot com
Jane: stujane82 at embarqmail dot com