Tuesday, 7 June 2016

connecting with joins

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Wanting to get back on track last month, I chose a ‘simple’ one like Day 10. But as always, I have a penchant for complicating everything ! I have continued to play with colour combinations & placements in this snowflake, too.

The Tenth Day of December Snowflake
Lene Björn

Con-joined !

Visualization : The USP of this snowflake, for me, is the elegant curves of the long chains, which I wanted to highlight in a single colour (yellow here), keeping the rest of the pattern in the background. Could this be accomplished without an overhand tie, since the SLT would create a slight dent or break in the chain ?! If not SLT, then what else ???  

Round 1 – measures just over 1”
3 strands of Anchor embroidery cotton : 0325 .
Techniques : single shuttle, rings-only, join last ring to first ring, hiding ends with SSSR, and hiding ends with whip stitch.
Simple round. To avoid hiding ends, I used SSSR for last ring . And hid the other tail with whip stitch on pink segment of 1st ring. 
The whip stitch really works !!! Much easier, too, and I have been using it this past month. Thanks Carollyn !

Round 2 – measures 3¼” final
Anchor Size 40 yellow 4054-0293 in shuttle 1
Anchor Size 50 lavender 4054-098 in shuttle 2
Techniques : 2 shuttles, mock rings, Reverse Join (RJ), outer thread join (otj) , ball thread join, folded chain, picot joins (PJ), floating or thrown rings (FR), decorative & graduated picots.
fhs - first half stitch ; shs - second half stitch ; vsp - very small picot

To fold chain, start with a very small picot followed by seta (2fhs) or by setb (2shs). Folding the chain automatically reverses work, re-positioning the shuttles/threads. The same is true for reverse join, where shuttle positions get switched. Hence, one may have to continue to tat from the back side, even though this has not been indicated in the pics. (Please note : all pics, except #6, are taken from front side, even though work may have been reversed)

Working Round 2
Except for the lavender floating ring, all tatting was done with shuttle 1 .

1. Mock ring in order to split it into 2 colours. Reverse Join used to link to Rnd 1.
I also experimented with outer thread join, but preferred RJ. 

2. Fold chain (vsp, seta) at end so that lavender thread comes to the left ; 
normal picot join to vsp of previous chain to make a 2-coloured mock ring (inset)

 3. Make last picot of floating ring very small ; fold chain (vsp. setb) at end .

 4. Reverse Join to Round 1 ; again complete 2-coloured mock ring, but with reflected colours.

 5. Ball thread join to vsp on lavender floating ring. 
Now there are yellow picots on either side of lavender ring !

6. (as seen from back) Make normal picot on chain; fold chain ; 
Reverse Join to Rnd 1, and continue from 1.
My notes :
  • To compensate for difference in thread sizes, I added a few stitches to size 50 lavender in Round 2.
  • The picots on both sides of the lavender floating ring should’ve been longer. This would’ve prevented the yellow chains from being pulled into an angular curve. The yellow chains stayed continuous, no breaks or colour blips, but the elegant curves were lost due to the picot lengths.
  • It was only after the 2nd join, that I realized that the picot colours on either side of the lavender ring were different !!! (arrows in pic below show the mismatch on either side of lavender rings)
    The ball thread join came in handy here. I chose yellow picots, but the alternate is equally possible – keeping all picots lavender. (pic #6) Hmm, yes, I should've gone with lavender picots ! 

Outer thread join is something I have used (& spoken of) in my patterns for a long time, without knowing the correct name. It is Teiko Fujito's "outer thread joining method". I even confused it with the slope & roll join since it's construction is basically the same, except that one ‘pops’ the shuttle thread through the picot. This ‘pop’ encapsulates the core (SH1) thread, giving a blipfree join. The formative movements are the same as split ring joins . 
And the fun part is that shuttles can be switched in function, but the result will remain the same !!! (more on this in a future post - Part IV of Joins in Shuttle Tatting series)

My visualization did not take shape, but the happy note is that I could figure out how to choose a path(s) in order to reach the destination. Learning never goes to waste, and my growing repertoire of tatting techniques & diverse joins afforded me this freedom. I may tat this one again.

I have completed Day 7 using 3-coloured onion rings a long time back, but haven't been able to put together a post. Am currently on the last part of Day 17, where again I have used the running scroll to create mock rings in same colour, without SLT. That takes care of 10 snowflakes. To be on par, I still need to tat 2 more snowflakes this month.
Renulek's Wiosna Round 10 is over, but needs to be blocked before photographing.

happy tatting :-)

Lene's Snowflakes Day 1 , Day 2 , Day 3 , Days 4 & 5 , Day 6 , Day 11


  1. Ty, always all useful. I used once what you call the ball thread join and forgot it! Thank you!

    1. Ninetta, this is Martha Ess' ball thread join. You must show me yours :-)

  2. Awesome snowflake!!! :) I love the colors!!! :)

    1. I'm so glad at least one person likes the colours, Sue ;-) I'm experimenting with various combos from Anchor's limited colour range

  3. I'm glad that you try to accomplish what you envision. I learn a lot from your experiments, and I'm sure others do as well. Thanks for another very informative post!

    1. I sometimes wonder why I put in so many hours on presenting the detailed posts (tatting is quicker than writing it all out!), Diane, but then somebody contacts me through email and I know it is helpful to at least a few. Thanks for your support & encouragement :-)

  4. I have been using the Teiko join to get a blipless join, rather than a shuttle join. I love how you not only experiment but write up your experiments too.

    1. Thanks Jane :-) Yes, Teiko's method is simple & effective - I love it!
      I find it more exciting to experiment (with any & everything) rather than follow the same repetitive route ;-P

  5. Very beautiful snowflake, and tips to go with it I have been so busy last couple weeks and now got another row number 11 to start but before that I need to make a pair of requested earrings for my daughter and make up the pattern too :) have a great rest of the week :) hugs from Carollyn

    1. You have me all agog with the mystery earrings, Carollyn! I'm sure you'll come with something great :-)
      My internet connection is giving trouble, hence affecting my blog-hopping/commenting for the present :-( Hope to catch up soon. Still to start Rnd 11 - lots of other interesting things going on ;-P

  6. I started reading this post a couple of days ago and realized that I wanted to come back to it when I could give it more concentration. I'm very intrigued by this outer thread join and would definitely like to know more about how to do it. I love the option it gave you for controlling the picot color in this snowflake. Please tell me more.

    1. Eliz, outer thread join (which, incidentally, I thought I had 'invented' when I couldn't find anything similar on the net ;-P - hence asked on InTatters : http://www.craftree.com/forum/threadfs/9110) is simply Debbie's Slope and Roll Join (http://www.ds9designs.com/patterns_free/Joins.pdf) but letting the shuttle thread "pop" back through the picot, which Debbie specifically says not to. This encapsulates the shuttle colour and only the chain colour shows. And core thread is not locked.

      For picot colour I used Martha Ess' ball thread join (link in post) which is a LJ made with 2nd shuttle ! So your core thread remains free, and chain thread gets locked. But leave a faux/mock picot space before making the join.
      Hope this helps ?