Sunday, 8 May 2016

trials and jubilation !

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Trials can cause tribulation; perseverance & practice can turn those trials into jubilation !

Ikuta’s Picots

When Georgia posted the May 2nd class material online, I immediately wanted to try out the 3rd Method of Ikuta’s Picots. These are from Mituko Ikuta’s book “Shuttle Lace - Tatting & Bead Tatting 3” published in the late 1990s. 

The 3rd method has a beautiful overlapping & interweaving of picots along the edge. But it took me over an hour of trials & tribulations to figure out how ! That called for some jubilation.

We have a review class this Monday, based on the pictorial I prepared. As usual, once I start, it is difficult to stop – from the main road, diverging on to alternate paths & by-lanes. Well, one needn’t make the entire journey; or one can make it at one’s convenience. The main pictorial is just about 3 pages, rest includes the by-lanes. 
Here is my pdf link for free download : Ikuta Picot Method 3 Pictorial .
Ninetta shared a couple of pics and a beautiful butterfly using these picots (also included in the pdf). She will be sharing the pattern soon – keep an eye out :-)

  1. The pictorial is based on this pattern here :  This is a 6-ring pattern without any joins.
Pattern for each ring : 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3 – 3
(blue numbers indicate ring segments & SH1 picots; pink indicate chain segments & SH2 picots)
  1. Requires 2 shuttles.
  2. Effect is more visible when using 2 colours.
  3. The tatting is broken into alternating segments as seen in the 2 colours that show up :
ring segment worked with main shuttle as a normal ring , and
chain segment worked with 2 shuttles as a chain.
  1. The chain segment can be worked either as normal Double Stitches ( Sec I of pdf ) or by using Reverse Stitch (unflipped/wrapped stitches) but ensuring that the caps align with the previous segment ( Sec II p4).
  2. One can start (& end) by hiding the tails in different ways, as depicted in Sec III pages 5 & 6.
  3. The need for 2 shuttles arises because 2nd shuttle has to be posted through the ring in order to achieve interwoven picots. These picots can be interwoven either Under-Over or Over-Under based on their visible overlap. The former are covered in Sec I & II ; the latter are explained in Sec IV on p7.
  4. In the pattern, the 2nd shuttle thread can perform the function of joining adjacent rings (as seen between rings in lead pic) or become a decorative bridging ‘faux picot’ (Sec IV p7). This faux picot has been used to excellent advantage by Ninetta as antennae for the butterfly !
  5. An easier spin-off is the “Layered” picot (Sec V p8). By keeping 2nd shuttle to the left at all times, the picots formed do not intertwine, but do overlap in a layered effect. One does not need to post the shuttle in this formation.
  6. I haven’t tried it at the time of making the pdf,  but these picots can be tatted on a chain too. Scroll down for details & sampler. 

There has been a suggestion that the process of tatting Ikuta Picots on a ring is the same as the Shuttle Brothers’ Alternate Thread Ring (ATR or AT Ring) from their 2003 book - "Tatting Alternate Threads"
I later came across Gina Butler’s video inspired by the ATR technique. The way she wraps the threads is same/similar to what I figured out. 
As for the picots themselves, from my internet search, Ikuta’s picots overlap differently from those of the ATR. I do not have any of the books, so cannot make a conclusive statement. Hopefully it will be discussed in class.
I tend to agree with Nina Libin that if one knows the AT tatting method, then making these picots is a simple variation of effect rather than technique. I have no idea of the process Ikuta herself followed.
Some stunning effects can be created by stringing along beads !!! Nina shared pics of her Beanile pieces using ATR technique and probably Ikuta’s picots. 

The same interwoven picots effect is possible on a chain. Here is my quick trial. It first reminded me of Jane Eborall's Double Chain ( sampler #27 here ) because 3 threads are needed. However, they are different. More about that in some future post.

Here's how to get the method 3 effect on a chain :
Use at least 1 shuttle which acts as the core thread (red in pic) throughout. 2 more auxiliary threads are required (yellow & green in pic) which make the alternating double stitch segments. Leave sufficient length of picot space before starting each segment. Both types of overlap (under-over & over-under) are possible by bringing the necessary auxiliary thread forward. It is very quick to tat up & can make pretty braids, outlines, decorative elements, etc. 

UPDATE : For beginners,  it may be a good idea to start with the picots on a chain ; then try the 'layered' effect, before moving on to the actual Method 3 with interwoven picots.

This is also very interesting, especially if one adds beads to the long picots, or one interweaves them. It is something I had tried a couple of years back, inspired by an image, not knowing the name of the picot then. . These are simple long picots that are joined to the adjacent ring. We know them as Double Picots when they are joined back to the same ring. 
My practice piece of 2014 varies from the original image in the use of 2 colours to highlight the overlap between picots. Hmmm, I now notice that these have an over-under overlap ! 

The lesson shared goes a few steps further : There are 4 long picots in each ring, 2 of which are joined to the adjacent ring, creating a lot of overlap. I had to abort it, though, because the stated picot length of 1" (or 2" when open) turned out to be too short for the effect to show, as can be seen in the collage. 

Secondly, the instructions said to join picots 1 & 3 of each ring to 1st & 3rd positions in next ring. However the tatted model shows that picot 1 of ring 1 is joined to 2nd picot position of ring 2; and 3rd of ring 1 to 4th of ring 2. 
I chose to follow the image, but added an interweave. But another trial with at least a 1.5 to 2" long picots will show the effects.
Can't celebrate yet; just happy to be on the right track ....


And before I leave the topic of picots, here's a reminder of my Double Daisy Flowers - love the picot effect here !


I’m sure you remember my tribulation during Ninetta’s small Curled Rings trials here. I needed to redeem myself as well as gain confidence that indeed I have understood it. Hence here is another sampler I tatted that includes 3 versions of her Bracelet Capriccio. Her videos were a great help ! All her videos can be accessed on Georgia Seitz's Online Advanced Class Videos 
Still not there, but I do think I can celebrate a bit ... the tatting went very quickly this time, with minor mistakes.


And the latest from this amazing designer : Mediterranean Tatting Diet ! A tat-along bookmark !! I had time to tat only one strawberry in size 40 thread. The calyx is in shaded silk thread, doubled up.


Many thanks to all the wonderful tatters named in this post !
happy tatting :-)

Related Posts :  Daisy Picot flowers


  1. This is very helpful and I have dappled in these techniques and did not have an idea of what to make with it. I love the Egyptian colors used with the blue and gold, and Ninetta butterflies are wonderful use or application of the Ikuta's picots. Of course there is an Korean doily using this method and I have this on my to do list so your post will be referred to much in a while, Thanks so much and enjoyed the review and lessons learned, :) Hugs and Thanks so much again from Carollyn

    1. Carollyn, that doily must look very pretty & airy ! Curious to see it :-)

  2. Love that picot technique and thank you for your insight and thoughts on it!! :)
    Looks like you are off to a great start on your strawberry bookmark!! :)

    1. Thanks, Sue - I am really eager to make that bookmark ... need to go on a crash diet ;-P

  3. Wow! You have published another very detailed and interesting post! Thank you so much!

    1. I'm letting the academician in me take over, Diane, leaving the designing to Ninetta ;-)

  4. Thanks, muskaan. So helpful! I haven't tried them yet. I've joined double picots to the next ring, and still think of them as double picots, but I really look forward to trying method number 3.

    1. Eliz, you are absolutely right ! I think of them as double picots too, wherever they may be joined.

  5. I saw some of your workings in Georgia's email. I really like the little butterfly with the Ikuta picots, especially the onion rings in the upper wings. I know I'm not going to get around to trying this out anytime soon, but maybe I will pop in to Monday's class to follow along with the discussion :)

    1. Ninetta's a designer par excellence, Robin & her work is both inspiring & challenging. Hope to see you in class, in case you attend the 2nd session .

  6. Thanks for sharing muskaan so the rest of us can travel the road more quickly!

  7. Forgot to add that I have added another photo with explanation on how to get the same overlapping effect on a chain ...

  8. That's why is worth coming here often.... :)

    1. just my devious way of ensuring a continuous stream of eyeballs, Ninetta, hahahaha !

  9. I received all the information of these picots by email the other day and only printed it out yesterday, I have been busy on something else but will be trying these as soon as I get time.
    Very interesting post.

    1. Thanks, Margaret :-) I would suggest you first try the 'layered' effect - it is the 'easiest' because 2nd shuttle remains to the left at all times & we don't have to remember to post it through the ring loop.