Sunday, 10 May 2015

Tatting technique : Curled Rings Concept

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Ninetta’s Curled Rings - The Concept

This little ditty is dedicated to you & your rings (Layered & Curled), Ninetta,
that I have been going round & around & around ever since you posted about them ! ;-P

‘Ring’ing in the new !

Universe is made
of swirls and curls

Not straight lines
but quanta and rings

Not flat and visible
but waves and strings

Not uniplanar
but 3Ds and multi-Ds

So here  is  Nin
With her Curled Ring 
and Floating Layers
In Modern Tatting !
April 25, 2015

You’ve heard me talking (ad nauseum?!) about, & applying Ninetta’s Curled Rings these past few weeks.

She graciously granted permission to do a tutorial on these rings. And that is how it would’ve been – a pictorial series of options on how the curled rings could be made, used, applied ; the possibilities, the potential. But options kept growing (including valuable suggestions & tips from the designer herself) & my brain went into a swirl with so much ….
Now, after stepping back for a few weeks, & a few posts later, I came back to this.

Something had changed, though. Something had evolved. 'Behind the scenes' ! 
If I had the perseverance, I would approach the pictorial that will follow a bit differently. But I don’t have the inclination to start afresh & re-photograph each step (My apologies. You are welcome to ask questions, & contribute suggestions, though).

Now, as far as I know (& I don't know much about history, diversity, evolution of tatting, so jump in to correct ), Ninetta's Curled Ring is a completely New & Original technique .
Hence, a bit of conceptualization, an overview seemed in order, instead of simply jumping into a how-to pictorial . The following is my own perspective/understanding, based on my limited experience & experimentation with this …  I have tried to add some collated images & relevant links to images/patterns wherever possible.

1.  What is a Curled Ring ?

It is a normal closed ring, folded over itself, which may or may not encapsulate another element such as a chain or a ring. This horizontal folding over creates a cup-shaped dimensional effect, due to half the ring ‘disappearing’ behind.

  • Any ring can be curled, so long as there is a picot towards the tip, to anchor the fold neatly.
  • The ring is made normally ; closed normally.
  • Then it is folded horizontally & a join is made through the picot, at the base of the closed ring.
  • Voila ! A curled ring is formed.
And the thread is back in position to where the ring had been started , ie. at the base of the ring ; and pattern can continue as desired.

2.  Can all Rings be Curled ?

Any, & I stress, Any ring can be curled . And the ring is made “normally”, & the curling is effected only after closing the ring. All it needs is (1) a very small picot in the right place (ideally at the very tip) which will anchor the fold/curl ; and (2) a ring large enough to make the curling possible & visible.
One can make it with a normal ring, onion/concentric rings, split rings, large rings, single shuttle split rings, & so on. ( I have tried all these myself. One can play with more types of rings, rings within rings, .... )
Beads can be added too ! 

3.  What about Folded Rings ?
 (click on each heading for link to respective page) 

Fold made before ring is closed
Fold made after ring is closed
Fold due to insertion of half sts
Ring is normal, all ds same
A Segment(s) within ring folds
Entire ring folds in half
Ring takes on diverse shapes
eg. crescent, paisley, …
Ring shape remains constant ;
after curl, a cup-shaped half circle
Dimensionality negligent ;
manifests thru’alteration of ring
shape only
Clear & distinct dimensionality ;
ring has ‘2 layers’ after fold

Wonder how Folded Rings would look when Curled ?! Another experiment down the line ;-P

4.  Can there be Differences in the Curl ? 

Yes, minor differences can exist , although basic concept remains same . The differences can be due to personal preferences, or requirements of a pattern. eg.
  • Curl Up / Curl Down : Is the tip of the ring (picot) brought up to lie over the base when curling ; or is the tip folded in downward direction so that the base lies on top of the picot when joining ?
  • Curl Over / Curl Around : Does the ring curl over itself or does it curl around a chain or ring, thus encapsulating that element?
  • Curl In / Curl Out : Does the curl face inwards or outwards ? Usually, a Curl In encapsulates an element.
  • Join : Curl can be anchored using a Normal Picot Join, Slope & Roll Join, or a Lock Join.
  • Curl can be Single or Multiple – in the sense that the curl/join is made through a single picot (normal ring, onion ring, split ring) or the join is made through several rings simultaneously.
  • The length of picot that is anchored while curling, Or a space of bare thread left before anchoring, can also alter the look of the curled ring ! A vsp will curl the ring into a perfect half folding over itself. But a longer picot or bare thread space can ‘show’ more of the curled ring, like an cascading overlap
  • A picot that is offset, ie. not in the centre of the ring, will give a slight unsymmetrical curling of ring. 
  • Very large rings may also behave differently especially when curled over themselves (as in the image above)   

5.  Why Curled Rings?
But beyond that, I believe I found a couple of other practical uses, especially, if like me, you don’t have the necessary jewelry-making supplies on hand.
  • As in my pendant above, where I used a triple onion ring as a pendant hook, through which the chain can be inserted. Not only is the curled onion ring sturdy, but it also continues from the pattern itself.
  • Similarly, for a bracelet, I made a curled ring at one end & a normal/Josephine ring at the other. The curled ring can be inserted through the normal ring & bracelet can be 'locked' in place; to ‘undo’, simply tug on the curled ring. It acts like a bracelet toggle !
6.  Notation for Curled Rings

Can we denote them as CR or C-R ?
eg. for a normal ring, CR would’ve sufficed.
But if it was a split ring, then CSR or C-SR ? Or in case of a single shuttle split ring : C-SSSR ? 

Or should we simply say 'Curl Ring' after the stitch count for ring is given ?


I believe, after reading the above, it will be clear that the technique is extremely simple & all it needs is creativity application. I hope at least a few of you will be tempted to try it out without the need for any tutorial . I will, however, start posting the tuts, especially after having worked on them for so long (And made you wait ;-P)

Your thoughts & all suggestions are most welcome
& eagerly awaited. 
I thank you for reading through, if you have ;-P
happy tatting & experimenting :-)


  1. Thank you for this post! I ciuldn't figure it out before but this "theory" behind it makes everything crystal clear! ( thank you for your tips and tutorials, they are so refreshing and inspiring!>

    1. Oh, I'm so glad & relieved that this post has helped ! It is quite verbose, as most of my posts tend to be ;-P Thank you for your kind words, Michelle :-)

  2. Wow, <3 thank you very much for the poem I'll never forget you and thank you for this post actually it makes things looking neat. They are simple rings, after all :-)

    1. Simple things can be Transformed into something very Special :-D
      Mucho Grazie

  3. You do your homework :) Always enjoy the information one day I will use this tatting technique when making up my unfinished flowers of the month I did a while back :)
    Ninetta is very talented glad to know her through blogging :)

    1. Your flower of the month was what drew me to your blog in the first place, remember ?! So happy that you haven't forgotten about that series & will resume it ... eagerly waiting to see how you will use these techniques ... You always turn out an inspiring & beautiful piece of tatting :-)

  4. Very interesting and thorough overview muskaan. Thanks.

    1. 2 days of sequestering myself from blog & tatland distractions paid off ;-P