Thursday, 30 June 2016


Pin It now!

I had selected my pin for the pinterest challenge & started early this month ! But like the proverbial hare, I happily took a short break. Then came 2 unexpected but very exciting & absorbing projects, and this hare couldn’t get back on the original track. Needed to find a “shortcut” ! Thus under-PINning undermining my resolve to not include tatting, this month’s post is all about that : my very First tatted edging , with pattern & possible variations ….

My brief was to tat “a simple edging in size 20” for a handkerchief set that my MIL wanted to gift her friend. My MIL was tatting one edging herself (she learned to tat at the age of 50 & had made lots of simple edgings during that phase). But simple ring & chain was boring & I took the opportunity to design my own edging !!!
click on any pic for larger image ....
A narrow handkerchief edging tatted in size 20, with easy corner where required, 
that can be doubled back in various ways for other applications.

The track wasn’t straight – many stops & starts because this tatter was really harebrained and dithered on timely decisions ...

The Design Journey
TRACK I : Made a few sketches, & chose to tat this pattern, using threads left on the shuttles. 
TRACK II : Chose the final colours & added a double picot to raise the flat line between 2 trefoils.
But colours seemed too dark for the hanky & picots would be difficult to control when the hanky was washed; they would require blocking each time.  Not practical.
TRACK III : Hmm, a Josephine ring cluster could raise the height and complement the trefoil – like little buds perhaps ? Here, the trefoil rings are not joined together.
Started JR cluster with a loop tatted JR over the left JR (LTROR method) – looked good. Then switched to SCMR method only because it so much quicker to tat.
But, the top JR in the cluster kept twisting. Wasn’t totally happy, & tried a couple of tweaks midways, but continued tatting. Until finally, I just couldn’t go on & needed to re-think. After all, this edging was going to be gifted ….
TRACK IV : Joined the trefoil rings ; increased center ring by 1 ds on either side ; made requisite changes to the JR cluster. Yes, the floating JR stayed in place ! Also realized that the floating JR needs to be started as close to the SCMR as possible, for it to stay afloat properly. But 2ds increase messed up the proportions. Finally stopped again.
TRACK V (the final version) : Back on track & tatting full speed ahead ….
All changes incorporated & this is the final pattern. A total of 32 repeats, coming to a bit over 1 meter. Corners form easily with the trefoil sewn close 

Look at the distance this hare covered, all because it took too long to take a decision 
– one step ahead, two steps back ;-P 

See the threads still wound to the bobbins? I intend to use these discarded lengths in some of the following ways ….
Running Ahead 
I like the versatility of this edging. Some possibilities .…
insertions, braids, bracelets, bookmarks, .....

Back on Track or backtracking? 
The edging was to be sewn on to the hanky in the pic (hence the choice of green in edging), using a couple of tutorials on how to sew tatting to fabric from my Stitches & How-tos board, including using crochet. This later changed since MIL bought fabric & stitched the hankies. And logistics didn't work out anyways ...
So off went the edging, along with a tiny freeform floral motif to sew to a corner ...
The motif is 1¼” high & ¾” wide, tatted in size 40 green, & 2 strands of variegated pink silk thread.
The edging is slightly over ½” wide & 3 repeats (of trefoils & JR clusters) are 4" long.
A total of 32 repeats were required for a length of a little over 1m or 40" approx.

Retracing My Steps

A few words about the pattern itself …
It is made of alternating trefoil & Josephine ring cluster.
Each trefoil has 2 split rings at base & a normal ring with graduated picots in center.
Each JR cluster starts with a self closing mock ring (worked as a JR), with a thrown JR on top. The SCM(J)R, after completion, is followed by a short chain & then a normal JR.
It is a very quick tat, if we know the techniques.

A quick pictorial on how to tat the Josephine Ring Cluster ….
Josephine Ring Cluster pictorial
TIP : Make the half stitches 'lose' so that the Josephine rings look & function better.
Step 2 is very important in order for the ring to lie flat later. Do not leave any space/bare thread between the mock ring & the top JR.
TIP : I ended each JR with a shs, which I don’t normally do. In this case it seemed to reduce the twisting of the JRs, allowing them to lie flat.

I tatted the short chain with unflipped/reverse stitches (direct tatting), thus avoiding reverse work (RW) totally. Although one can RW & tat the chain normally, it would be very good practice to try out direct tatting, especially since one is already familiar with split ring & the same technique needs to be applied to a chain setting.
One can add a half stitch at either end of the chain, if desired. I liked the slight layered look.
TIP : Use Down join if Josephine ring is made with 1st half stitches (fhs) because it imitates the fhs.
Use a normal Up join if JR made with  2nd half stitch (shs).
The 3-page pattern pdf contains the diagram, written pattern, and the JR cluster pictorial (without text).

Final Lap

Download pdf here : Split Colour Edging pattern

Phew .... my race was not against any tortoise (or pin chicks), but against time, desires, temptations, late decisions ! And also against erratic internet servers :-(
But what are the talented pic chicks up to ? Let's take a little 'de'tour, shall we ;-P
I'm going a-blog-hopping ; have a LOT of catching up to do .....
the pinterest challenge race is open to all hares & tortoise; come join us ...

happy tatting, happy pinning :-))))


  1. Love this sweet delicate pattern and your technique too!I too resolved not to do tatting but I guess we love it too much huh? Have a wonderful day from Carollyn!

    1. Thanks, Carollyn :-) Yes, tatting does rule our life, so what's a gal gonna do ?! ;-P

  2. That is a sweet pattern! I've had lots of incoming projects lately and Bach Festival is just a few weeks away. As soon as the edging on my shuttles is finished, I'm putting this one on! Thank you!!!

    1. Oh, I would Love to see you work this edging with your beautiful tatting precision, Mel !!!

  3. The challenge kept you more or less on track, despite some meanders that might prove useful later. I like your hankie edging, and the fact that you thought about the edging needing blocking after washing.

    1. True, Jane :-)
      When one is gifting to an 'unknown', why bother them with instructions & extra work, especially with something that will be washed often ;-P

  4. wow Muskaan this is so lovely and what a special gift. I'm so jealous of your tatting skills. I really really want to learn how to do it. your edging would look pretty on a linen skirt too. grrr I want to learn!!!!

    1. I like your linen skirt application idea, Suzanne :-)
      Would love to 'coach' you on tatting whenever you like ! Only remember that you don't Have to hold the shuttle & make the movements Exactly like in the videos or diagrams - find your own comfort position first ; the rest follows :-)

  5. This is so beautiful, I wish I could make something like this.

    1. Thanks, Margaret :-) You are so creative yourself !

  6. I love it! And you did a terrific job on the pattern. Thanks for sharing some of the possibilities for it as well.

    1. Thanks, Eliz, glad you liked it :-)
      Hmm, just struck me as I am typing this ... could the variations be used to make a concentric square/rectangular doily ??? LOL

    2. You figure that out and I'll test tat it for you.

    3. Eliz, you're on ! Give me a few weeks, though - want to complete a lot of other posts & projects. (((Hugs)))

  7. Now that took a lot of patience! I'm not sure I'd spend the time retracing my steps, retaking, and then posting about the whole process, but I'm glad you did! Very interesting post!

    1. The actual tatting was pretty quick, keeping me motivated Diane :-) Laying it all out as a comprehensive post , with a touch of humour - ah, that took time ! And the heavy weather didn't help in the blocking process either.

  8. Lovely pattern and gorgeous edging for a special hanky

    1. Thanks, Margaret :-) Glad to see you back. Hope you are doing well.

  9. Thanks for this lovely edging! And for showing your design process, too. ;-)