Saturday 28 June 2014

Interlaced Rings - II

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Tatting Tutorial
Part 2 : Under & Over Rings : Back to Front Shuttle Movement


Interlaced Rings make such an elegant braid, using 4 shuttles ! Judith Connors shared her beautiful braid on InTatters in a thread titled “Reverse Stitch”, which I have elaborated on in my previous post on Front to Back movement.
In a gist,
The overlap of rings depends on the movement of the 3rd shuttle. If it is passed front to back, then the 2nd ring (on right side of braid) will lie over & under the 1st ring.
If the 3rd shuttle is passed from back to front, the 2nd ring will lie under & over the 1st ring.

This post is a continuation from the previous one. Here I share how I did the Under & Over overlap of rings, by moving the shuttle back to front.

Common Details :

Thread used : Anchor Mercer Cotton size 20.
Lemon Yellow – 4054-0293  &  Mehandi Green – 4054-0256
Length of braid : 13 pair repeats = 5 inches.
It took less than half a bobbin of each shuttle to tat this length. So fully wound shuttles should give you a length of anywhere from 12-15 inches.
Abbreviations used :
CTM – continuous thread method
Sh – shuttle. Each shuttle is numbered from 1 to 4 : Sh1, Sh2 form one pair ; Sh3 & Sh4 form 2nd pair.
SR – Split Ring
RS – Reverse stitch (used in some pictures to indicate 2nd half of split ring stitches)
DNCR – Do not close ring.

Directions :
Start with 4 shuttles & wind threads :
1st pair - Sh1 & Sh2 : Wind yellow thread CTM
2nd pair – Sh3 & Sh4 : Wind green thread CTM
Each Split Ring : 9/9

A Short Note :

Please disregard the 1st pair of rings as seen in Figure 1 below. This was done front to back (tutorial in previous post) as per the photo that Judith had posted. This pair will, however, serve as an immediate comparison for outcome of the two directional movements of Sh3 : front to back & back to front. Notice how in the 1st pair, the green ring goes over & under the yellow ring . However, for back to front movement, the green ring goes under & over the yellow ring !
Update :  Here is the detailed step-by-step tutorial for how to begin the 1st pair of interlaced rings.

Secondly, many images do not show the shuttle 1 thread clearly; it is outside the frame of the picture on the left side. Mea culpa. I wanted to focus more on the green ring being made for a clear visual of Sh3 thread in relation to others. If you have gone through the Front to Back tutorial &/or tried it yourself, you will have got the hang of it already.


1. Make Split ring (9/9) with 1st pair of shuttles (Sh1 & Sh2) in yellow thread, but Do Not Close Ring (DNCR) !
It is through this unclosed loop that the adjoining SR will be interlaced.

2. Pass Sh3 through the unclosed yellow ring from back to front. Fig 1.

3. Insert your index finger between the right side of SR1 (yellow ring) & the Sh3 (green) thread. Pull a length of the Sh3 thread from the outside. (The shuttle hook points to which thread needs to be pulled in Fig 2.) This loop will be wrapped in order to start the green ring. Wrap & hold the thread in a pinch to form the core thread of the new ring with Sh3.

UPDATESee how to pick up and wrap the loop around the hand to start tatting this ring in this pictorial.

4. Make 9ds with Sh3 – 1st half of SR2 completed.  Fig 3.

5. 2nd half of SR2 (9ds or RS) are completed using Sh4. Fig 4.
Please Note : Needle points to how the SR2 loop & Sh4 thread are on one side (above or on top of) the yellow SR1 ring, while Sh3 thread is on the opposite side viz. under SR1 yellow ring.
If rings are closed at this stage, Sh3 & Sh4 threads will not be adjacent to each other & will mar the next green SR. Hence they need to be on the same side viz., on top. This is accomplished in next step.

6. Pass Sh3 back to front a second time in order to bring all components of SR2 in line/on same side, adjacent to each other. This is an important step as explained above. Fig 5.

7. Now that everything is aligned, start closing the rings. 
Figs 6 & 7.

(While notating the images, I noticed that Sh3 thread seems to be emerging from within SR2. This could be due to a bad photography angle or an inadvertent mistake. 
However, so as to avoid all confusion, for this step,  simply close the SR2 as you would Normally do with any ring.)

8. Both rings are closed & all 4 shuttles are now ready to start the next pair of rings. Fig 8.

Continue in similar fashion, starting with SR1, for as long as you would like the braid.

A Variation

Judith, in the 'Reverse Stitch' thread, has spelled out her variation, where the back to front movement is done twice together Before making SR2 (unlike mine where I pass it once, make SR2, then pass it back to front a second time)  :
* Take #1-B shuttle through the opening from back to front (twice) to form the wrap for the B split ring.
* Tat the B ring.
* Close both rings A and B.
* Tat a second ring with pair A, but leave it open slightly.
* Take the #1-B thread behind this ring and pass it back to front through the A ring (twice) to tat the B split ring.
* Close both split rings.
(Note: here #1-B refers to Sh3; B ring is SR2;  & A ring is SR1)

If you follow my instructions above, then Judith's method requires the Sh3 movement in Step #2; and Step #6 can be skipped since it has already been incorporated in Step #2.
Hence, the logic & basic technique is similar. Only the timing of Sh3 movement differs.
Yet I could not get it right, try as I might. I just could not figure out which loop to pull & how to wrap it in order to make SR2 !!!
Sometimes a mental block prevents us from accomplishing a task; but at a future date, this same daunting task comes almost naturally, like ‘what was the big deal’! So patience. Maybe an excuse for a 3rd pictorial post in the making when that happens ?!

My hearty thanks to Judith Connors, for this wonderful learning opportunity.

That's it for the present.
I continued on to make 1+9+3 pairs of interlaced rings (where only the 9 centre rings were done Back to Front) & since I was running out of thread in one of the shuttles, I closed off with an encapsulated cord, hiding the 4 shuttle threads. I used alternating ds & RS to encapsulate 3 threads at a time.  

Check out the TIPS on working with 4 shuttles & applications of the braid.

UPDATE : Patterns using interlaced rings have also been uploaded in 2020. Click to see all posts with interlaced rings.

Happy Tatting :-))


  1. Great instructions! Thanks!: )

    1. Thank you so very much, Fox, for taking the time to read through :-))
      I enjoyed the process very much .

  2. A step-by-step pictorial on how to start the 1st pair of interlaced rings is now posted :

  3. How can I download or save pattern?

    1. 1. At end of post is a panel where I have a pdf widget. Click to convert.
      2. You can right click on your mouse/device and choose 'save as'. It gives you an option to save as pdf.
      3. You can download an offline version of the page and save to your files.
      Hope one of these will be successful.

  4. Thanks for this tutorial. I never see this technique used and I am looking for an example for my students. Do you have a pattern idea that uses this technique?

    1. Hi Lilas, a Polish tatter had made a beautiful bracelet using, if I remember correctly, 3 SR braids interlaced. I think she used 3 shades of purple. Thought I had pinned it, but no luck. I follow her nog and it was within the last year. Oh, I think I got another clue - will get back later.
      If not, heee are a couple of simpke ideas -
      1. add beads on the SRs and bracelet findings.
      2. Add a row of chains along on one or both edges with picots or beads, for a broader version.
      3. Try asymmetric SRs for one of the 2 braids and it will curve inward into a circle that can be linked back to the first.
      Let me know.... I'm so glad you intend teaching this. It is one of my most popular tuts, but rarely do I come across any actual project 😄

    2. Thank you very much Muskaan. I try to prepare full tatting courses. There are so many techniques, it's a big job! I will think about a pattern, I will surely share it on my blog. I guess it will be useful to others. Take care of you, friendly.

    3. Hi again, Lilas :-) Oops, I can see so many typos in my answer - was on the tablet ;-P
      I spent over an hour last night looking for that Polish bracelet, but unsuccessful.
      It would be great if you design something! I will add a link to your post here for everybody to enjoy.
      Love & Hugs

    4. Lilas, I found it, phew !!!! Here are 2 projects -

    5. Great! Thank you so much Muskaan!!!