Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Perpendicular Concentric/Onion Rings

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Tatting Tutorial

I am taking a short break from the Deconstructing Patterns from Magic Square series to post a couple of tutorials. Will return to it soon.
The following is an elaborate, step-by-step explanation of how I did the perpendicular arrangement of Josephine Rings for the centre & buds in the Tiny Heart Poppy flower I shared here.

Perpendicular Arrangement of Concentric Josephine Rings

My tutorial involves Josephine Rings in 2 types of Concentric Arrangement :
        I.      Normal/Flat, same-plane, concentric Josephine Rings, &
     II.      Perpendicular, two-plane, concentric Josephine Rings

I have not tried this with normal rings because they are not as dense & hence tend to be more floppy than JRs. However, with metallic or nylon threads, this might be overcome. Secondly, the shape may not be as circular as a JR.
It, may , however, be worth a try ….  Maybe with Padded Stitch Rings ?!

Abbreviations/terms Used :
JR – Josephine Ring ; hitch – half stitch ; SSSJR – Single Shuttle Split Josephine Ring

I. Normal Concentric/Onion Rings 
Normally, in concentric rings (onion rings), after making the 1st ring, one would start the 2nd  or outer ring by forming the loop around the periphery of inner ring, in the Same Plane (in geometric terms). These are the ‘normal’, ‘flat’ onion rings we come across. So if the 1st ring is in the horizontal plane, then the 2nd ring that goes around it, will also be in the horizontal plane.

Refer to Figs 1 & 2 below . I have used size 20 yellow thread .
Fig 1
Fig 2
Start with normal JR1 - 10 hitches. Close ring. 
JR2 - 21 hitches . Close ring. 
This is how they will look when both JRs are closed. They lie in same plane, flat, and are like normal ‘onion’ rings, except that we’re working with Josephine Rings here.
This set has been made for comparison purpose only.

II. Perpendicular Concentric/Onion Rings

In this case, the 2 concentric/onion rings are in 2 different planes geometrically. Each plane is at right angles (90˚) to the other. Hence these can be termed as Vertical or Perpendicular  Concentric/Onion Rings.

Fig 3
For clarity, I used size 10 variegated thread here, such that the 2 rings come out in different colours (inner white & outer pink).

JR1 - 15  (white). Close ring. (adjacent Fig 3)

JR2 - 21. Before starting JR2, hold JR1 at base and bring the shuttle thread in front, to 'midpoint' of JR1 & make loop over and across the base ring, (but around the inner ring for final overlap). Figs 4 & 5 below.
Basically, one is turning JR1 at a 90° angle on Y axis. 

Fig 4
Fig 5

Fig 6
Fig 7

Start JR2. Fig 6 shows 3 hitches made.

Continue, counting the hitches as you go, till you reach the top of the inner ring. This is the approximate halfway point, & the outer ring will now start to descend on the other side of JR1. Fig 7.
The number of total hitches needed for Outer JR may vary with thickness of thread used, one’s own tension, etc. Hence, it is a good thing to count upto this halfway point, to get some idea of how many more hitches are needed to complete the outer ring such that the inner ring is snuggly enclosed/enwrapped. (for instance, when using size 20 yellow in my Tiny Heart Poppy, I required only 15 hitches to complete JR2 when JR1 was 10 hitches)

Thumb Rule for calculating number of hitches required for Outer Ring (JR2) :
Twice the number of hitches upto halfway point + Hitches needed to span the inner ring top hitches on both sides).
Thus, in this case, JR2 = (8x2) + 5 = 21 hitches
Fig 8
Now that JR2 is complete, slowly start to close ring, keeping the inner ring in position, sitting snuggly within the outer ring. Fig. 8 above.
Fig 9
Fig 9 shows the Perpendicular Concentric JRs from various angles. I made another in white (size 10) & one in yellow (size 20) & all 3 sit comfortably within a shuttle bobbin !

Tabular Comparison of Concentric / Onion Josephine Rings
(refer to Fig 10 below)
Normal Concentric/Onion Rings
Perpendicular Concentric/Onion Rings

All rings in same plane
Rings in different planes
Ring2 is made Around the periphery of Ring1
Ring 2 goes Over & Across/Around Ring 1
2 Dimensional effect
3 Dimensional effect
Rings lie flat (180˚ between 2 rings)
Rings are perpendicular or at an angle to each other (90˚ between for 2 rings)
View from top : only single line seen
View from top : 2 lines crossing at right angle

Fig 10

Some  Possibilities & Ideas

1. As beads ! Immense possibilities. Can be made with metallic, nylon, or silk threads .
Use within other motifs/medallions/braids, or as a string of tatted ‘pearls’. One can go from one perpendicular concentric JR bead to the next via a chain or thread space.
2. OR make the outer ring SSSJR ( I’ve tried this SSSJR & it works ) !

3. Add a medium-sized bead in center of JR1 and then make JR2 .
4. Medium bead in center and 3 overlapping JRs using thin thread ? 
5. Make perpendicular JRs, but JR2 as split ring, then add bead, … repeat with alternate JRs & beads to desired length, for a mixed tatted 'bead' and seed bead necklace.

6. Use different colours for each JR and / or bead.

7. For JR2, add a few variably padded hitches on top variably for graded effect.
8. Add decorative picots on outer JR for lacy / flowery effect.

9. In Tiny Heart Poppy, I used Jane Eborall’s Josephine Ring technique for the outer JR in buds. Love the woven texture, although difficult to photograph clearly ! This, along with auxiliary thread, increased the size of the buds.

10. Extension of the Technique to other elements : How about using Block Tatting to complete a turn around itself, & joined to the beginning, to form a cylindrical hollow ?!!

These are just a few of my thoughts. I’m sure all you creative talented tatters will come up with plenty more :-)

Now I really must get an appointment for a manicure … sorry for the grossness ! My earlier set of pics, with smoother shinier skin, had to be discarded coz the threads didn’t work well.

I will, next, describe & illustrate how I used auxiliary thread to make the buds in the 3D Poppy referred to above. It is a simple technique solution ...



  1. Hey perfect timing, I just posted the poppy I made from your blog :) and I love this pattern, you are so sweet, and hop over and take a look :)

    1. Thank You, Carollyn - I just saw your version & LOVED it ! I think it has turned out even better than mine :-)
      I need to be more crisp in my writing, though - tend to ramble on with all possibilities ...
      Hugs :-)

  2. I am very poor at writing and patterns are very hard to do, I think it is because you want it simple but you want to tell every one about all the possibilities. You did a great job at designing it and if is very sturdy and will last along time, I feel I made it too straight when I added the picot and your way made it have a little natural ripple in it and that looks more real than mine. I love the twisted picots in the sprig of green too! hugs and kisses from Carollyn :)

    1. The sprig made with twisted picots is my favourite too :-) And it is so quick to tat up ! I think it can be a good addition to any flower arrangement or corsage.
      ( (( Hugs )))

  3. Good idea, thanks for showing us.

    1. Oh, Jane, this tut was meant more for beginners .... You are far advanced in creating spectacular tatting :-)
      I do so appreciate your comment though.
      ((( Hugs )))

  4. I am learning SO much from this site. I can never thank you enough for the clear instructions and photos for so many techniques. i am always coming back for help for one technique or another!! It is my first stop for a "go to" site.

    1. It is always gratifying when the work is of help, Liz 💗
      Thanks for your kind words, and feel free to comment or email in case of questions, etc. 😀
      Happy tatting 🌹