Friday, 27 May 2016

Part 2 present and past

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continued from Part 1 - Ikuta's Picots on a Chain

Here is the second part of the tat-along exercise on Method 3 of Ikuta’s Picots.
But besides this, there is something wonderfully interesting at the end !

After the 1st exercise, we now have some understanding of how each picot effect looks (layered and overlapping) and how it is constructed on a chain. The same basic principle follows for the ring.

PART 2 of tat-along exercise

A ring, unlike the chain, is a closed loop, increasing the difficulty a bit. Yet, we can still identify the commonalities between the chain and ring arrangement, as shown in the combined picture below. 

On the left is the chain which we have already made ; on the right is how the elements for a ring will be laid out.
In the ring,
  1. think of the ring loop as the blue scrap thread of chain
  2. yellow scrap thread remains the same - a chain thread
  3. the blue shuttle thread in ring replaces the red core/shuttle thread in chain
For the sake of continuity, clarity, and comparison, the same 2 visible colours have been used. 
The red core thread of chain has been replaced by the SH1 blue thread.

The above picture shows how we can loop and hold the threads taut. Holding the threads in this manner, we can work alternately on the ring loop and the chain thread without having to drop & pick repeatedly.  

Personally, I had to drop the ring loop when making the yellow stitches, since I am used to wrapping chain thread very loosely once around the pinkie. So, do whatever is comfortable. (Please read related discussion on how to construct below)

To start each part of this tutorial, make a ring loop with SH1 blue thread, 
and attach SH2 yellow thread to the base.   

We will follow the same sequence as in Part 1, starting with the easier layered effect.
Download my previous pictorial on Ikuta's Picots (Method 3) for tips and suggestions on how to start & end a ring, how to connect, and much more.  

V. Layered Picots on a Ring

As the term suggests, the picots are in two distinct layers, just as we saw in the chains in Part 1 of the tat-along. This is in Section V (page 8) of my pictorial pdf 
These picots do not require a 2nd shuttle (unless using 2 colours) and can be replaced with a ball and single shuttle, without cutting off the thread, ie. by continuous thread method.  

Start as shown in Pic 21, and make 3DS on the ring loop with the blue SH1. 
Leave yellow picot space & make 3DS chain with yellow stitches. 
(this was termed 'chain segment' in my pdf) 

Keep yellow SH2 to the left, pick up the ring loop, leave blue picot space & tat 3DS . 
(this was termed ring segment in my pdf)

Again wrap yellow SH2 thread around pinkie, leave picot space & tat 3DS , as in pic 22.

Repeat these alternate blue and yellow segments till end. Close ring.

Notice the placement/layering of picots : each picot is separate, but yellow picots lie in front or above, and the blue picots lie behind throughout the ring.
These colours can be switched. So how about a bit of homework before we proceed further ?

homework : 
For practice, make another ring, but this time have blue SH1 picots lie above & the yellow SH2 picots lie below. Compare with previous ring. 

And for the sake of interest, let’s turn the previous ring over to see how it looks from the back side ....
The colours are switched ! But the homework is to tat this colour effect so that it lies in front.

Just playing around .... the central ring has only 1DS separating the picots. 
Thinking of an aster, in the right colours, of course ?! So many tatted flowers are possible !!!

And here, all I've done is added a normal picot in the center of each segment. 
Each segment between the overlapping picots is [2DS,p,2DS].

I will continue and conclude this tutorial with the overlapping picots (Method 3) with both over-under & under-over overlapping picots. There will also be a comparison with Daisy Picots.


how to construct ?

With reference to the wrapping of the ring & chain threads, this paragraph was included on p9 :

"Some experienced tatters have compared Ikuta Picots with Shuttle Brothers’ Alternate Thread tatting or AT Rings technique from their book “Tatting Alternate Threads”. Gina Butler’s video for Alternate Thread Wrap is inspired by this technique & is a practical way of holding both threads in position : 
Mituko Ikuta’s book “Shuttle Lace - Tatting & Bead Tatting 3 was published in the late 1990s & 
Shuttle Brothers’ published their book in 2009.
I do not possess either book, hence am not qualified to determine."

BUT , instructions for this construction have been around for a century and a half !!!   Mlle Riego, in her 1868 book "Raised Tatting Book", details how to use the ring and chain thread to make layered picots, all facing the same side (p10). She has a beautiful star insertion pattern (pp10-12) using picots of differing lengths. 
This is my first practice trial, following her instructions only for the ring. The lower flower is seen from the back side. I will be tatting the entire pattern as a sampler.

is this pearl tatting

Instead of a direct answer to the question asked in Part 1, to which a few answers have been ventured, let me first delineate what I consider the characteristics of Pearl Tatting.

As I understand it, pearl (perle) tatting has 5 main characteristics :
  1. picots or perles or pearls
  2. multiple threads
  3. core thread slides freely
  4. double-sided tatting ("double pearl")
  5. encapsulation (implied in #2) usually with reverse stitch (direct tatting/wrapped/unflipped stitches)
Some of these conditions are essential and basic to pearl tatting, while others are merely a ‘by-lane’ - one of many paths to reach the destination. It is these by-lanes that lead to variations (& confusion !).

Let us examine each characteristic in relation to the layered picots ... 
# 1 - yes, picots are definitely present.
# 2 - In a chain we were clearly using 3 threads. And as the comparison picture (2nd pic from top) shows, the same reasoning can be applied when tatting the ring. So yes, we are tatting over 2 threads.
# 3 - yes, the core thread slides freely.
# 4 - no, all stitches and picots face the same direction - all are on one side. 
# 5 - encapsulation exists, but so far in the tutorial direct tatting or reverse stitch (RS) is not used. However, in the overlapping picots to be tackled in Part 3 (which are the "real" method 3 of Ikuta's Picots), we Can use direct tatting in the chain segments. Refer to Sec II - Using DS-RS & under-over picots on p.4 of my pictorial pdf. 
On the other hand, Mlle Riego also does not use direct tatting in her 1867 "Pearl Tatting Book". She works pearl tatting (or pearl beading) by reversing work for each segment worked with the extra shuttle(s) or worked on the other multiple thread(s).
So this direct tatting feature of pearl tatting can easily be considered as "optional".

Based on the above, is this form of one-sided or "single pearl" not a variation of pearl tatting, with picots & stitches all facing the same direction instead of opposite directions ?
Your verdict ?

For those who do not attend Georgia's Online Tatting Class, I will talk a bit about how the name "Ikuta's Picots" came about. 

Many thanks 
to Eliz Davis for her valuable feedback on the comparison pic ;
to Judith Connors for patiently guiding me, which includes leading me 
to the wonderful world of Mlle Riego's tatting ; 
to Georgia Seitz for introducing me to these beautiful picot effects ;
and to all tatters who have shown an interest in this tutorial.

to be continued


  1. It's always a pleasure reading your deep analysis of techniques, you have that ability to go through each step in slow motion and focus on details. I tend to synthesize information, so my answer to your question is yes, I "see" pearl, maltese tatting, ikuta's picot, all variations of the same basic technique. But I agree that they must have their own name, when we talk about it we need names.

    1. Thanks, Ninetta, and very neatly put ! A name makes referencing, visualising, and recall so much easier.

  2. Very interesting. Naming can be difficult when techniques are related but not identical.

    1. So true, Jane. And these 'overlaps' often create confusion ! When is a 'new name' justified - perhaps that is the question ...

  3. Another very interesting post! I'm really going to have to try this out!

    1. You already have a bulging to-do list, Diane, but I do think you will find it easy enough :-) And I will be sharing some inspiring photos in my next post ... so watch out & keep the shuttles ready :-)

  4. Awesome tatted pieces!!! :)
    I am saving these tutorials so that I can use them when I get a chance!! :)

    1. Will be on the look-out, Sue :-D Thanks

  5. I really like that chain with the alternating regular and Ikuta picots (second to last photo in this post). Are you planning on incorporating it into any patterns?

    1. For the present my 'designer' hat is laid aside - if I start designing, I can't focus on the tutorials :-(
      But I did have a couple of very simple ideas coz I really like the effect - one of them as a bookmark tail with switching chain directions and returning back (a spiral back).
      Go ahead and use them as you wish, Robin ... you will do a much much better job than I ever can :-)

    2. It sounds like both of our queues are pretty full, you with tutorials and me with design ideas! It may take a while for me to actually give this technique a try, but I will be coming back to your written tutorials when I finally get the chance. I would love to incorporate it into something!

    3. ... and I keep adding to my queue, Robin ;-P
      All my design ideas are relegated to sketches in the diary :-( My brain & time can only hold that much, LOL

  6. Always such in depth analysis, I thank you for taking the time to show each step.
    I am still confused on the naming but the clarity will come.

    1. Thanks, Bernice :-) I guess, we just have to let things their own time to brew properly

  7. Working through your tutorials is helping me to have a better concept of where the threads are all the time. I think I may have been largely lucky the first time when I worked through the class material on my own. Now I need part 3 before I'll feel ready for Ninetta's butterfly. :)

    1. I'm so glad this is helping, Eliz :-) You are absolutely right about understanding where each thread is - the basics remain the same. Working on Part 3 - hope to post in a day or so.