Thursday, 28 July 2016


Pin It now!
The weather calls for frequent cool refreshments; my memory calls for frequent refreshers !
This post is a refreshed version of my previous post where I had a posted a hasty response as update. I was not fully satisfied. 
Reason : I had tatted the SQDR in 2014 ; then the RR in 2015 ; and was writing the post in 2016. During the intervals neither of the two techniques were used. High time for a refresher course, right ?! And I needed to confirm my explanation/comparison. 

This time, trial tats are included for easy comparison.
Also, as I hunted online, I found a few more tutorials/videos. Incidentally, I had already tatted samplers of some, & only later found that videos were already online. So here I go again ….

Practice Pattern Used :
SH1 – pink ; SH2 – shaded green.
2 colours used for clear distinction. Variegated thread gives more idea of the direction & progression.
I start with a 1” long lock chain to show clearly where the threads emerge after central ring is closed.

Disclaimer : This is not a tutorial but a collation/annotation of methods, with a few trials thrown in. The terminology, origin, & collection is limited to and limited by the knowledge & comprehension of the blogger, and to the resources consulted to date.

Common threads Set II : Rings On Ring

The traditional method of tatting the ‘daisy medallion’1 is to make a central ring with picots, then cut & restart the next round, or climb out with a mock picot. The next round consists of rings that are joined at each picot either at their base when using single shuttle (with bare thread between rings) or at their tips with chains between adjoining rings when using shuttle & ball.
But tatters have long since hit upon ways to tat rings directly on the central ring. These are called thrown off rings, thrown rings, or floating rings. No picots or second round  required – all tatted in one pass. The thrown rings can also be Josephine rings.
I was interested in seeing whether one can throw multiple rings off a central ring, yet emerge out at the starting point. There seem to be at least 4 main ways to achieve this goal :
  • Loop Tatted Ring on Ring
  • Wrong-Way Tatting or Reverse Ring;
  • Split Quadruple Directional Ring  aka Ring Off Split Ring;
  • Mock Ring or Self Closing Mock Ring

I continued the experiment a bit further, branching out to separate exit points or using 2 different ways to throw rings off the 1st side of a split ring. But these are off-shoots of the above set. One can also tat the central split ring using Dora Young Method and throw rings off it2, but it is rarely used for SRs any longer. If one is working with a single shuttle, then this can be an option.
I must also admit that with the ease of tatting a SCMR, many of the other methods have limited use.
A 3-page pdf includes the 3 pics above. Click here to download pdf
Since it is all tabulated/notated, I am restricting textual explanation here to comments/pointers & some tutorial links.

1. Loop Tatted Ring on Ring (LTROR)

Most useful when tatting with a single shuttle.
Some dexterity with finger-tatting is required (although loop can be inserted into a shuttle temporarily). 
Size of central ring & number of thrown rings are limited since the central ring is a true ring.
LTROR with pattern by Sabina Carden-Madden 2008 , diagrams by Jane Eborall 2012 and diagrams by Jane Eborall and by Anastasija P. Yelisejeva 2012 , video by Karen Cabrera 2013

2. Wrong-Way Tatting or Reverse Ring (RR)

Tatting direction is opposite to that of LTROR, and central ring is tatted with reverse stitch instead of double stitch. Core thread differs from stitches, hence 2 shuttles required. Care must be taken when starting the ring. Limitations similar to LTROR. 
This method of tatting may be ‘normal’ for left-handed tatters.
Rebecca Jones' 1985 book 'The Complete Book of Tatting' calls it Method Five - Wrong-Way Tatting (p26)3; Ruth Perry's Tatted Reverse Ring with Rings Thrown Off video & her RainBeau hedgehog pattern 

3. Split Quadruple Directional Ring (SQDR) or Rings Off Split Ring

The central ring is a split ring, with thrown rings on the 2nd side. If the 1st side has a single DS as in this pattern, then the threads exit almost at the starting point as in LTROR & RR. If both shuttles have same thread, the split is almost indistinguishable. Teri Dusenbury 1998 named it SQDR, with instructions & pattern. This term has been substituted by the Ring on/off SR - diagrams by Jane Eborall 2008, and video by Karen Cabrera
The 2nd model on right side has more DS on 1st side for comparison, but notice the exit of threads. 

Loop Tatted Ring on Split Ring (LTROSR) 
Major limitation of Rings on SR is that thrown rings are made only on the shuttle2 side.
This limitation can be overcome by throwing LTR (loop-tatted rings) on side 1, as seen below, But threads will exit from a point other than the starting point :
See also MROR below.

4. Mock Ring (MR) or Self Closing Mock Ring (SCMR)
This technique has solved all problems or limitations of above techniques. Rings can easily be thrown anywhere around the central ring; both central & thrown rings can be as large as one wants; the threads will emerge at the starting point; all tatting is from front in clockwise direction, using only DS.
The only limitation is if one wants thrown rings in 2 different colours.
Mock Rings have been around for over a century4, although SCMR is a relatively recently coined popular term. Diagrams by Jane Eborall 2008

Mock Ring in Split Ring (MROR)
I have included this method to compare with LTROSR. It uses MR to throw rings on side 1 of a central SR, although strictly speaking the threads will not exit at the starting point ...
Interestingly, side 2 is tatted first, then side 1. Multiple rings can be thrown on side 1 of the central ring, but the multiple loops are difficult to control. Moreover, since the loops remain open till the very end, size & number of rings need to be curbed. Requires quite a bit of practice, but if one single thrown ring is required, this can be adopted. 
diagrams by Ninetta Caruso 2012,  as well as stepwise pictorial with tatting ; video by Karen Cabrera

Here are my trials with the MROR ... even with these many trials, I could not control the shape & the central ring tended to lose it's curve.
Tried multiple little tweaks & kept referring back to the pictorial, diagrams & video. Finally I have come to 2 conclusions : the thrown ring has to have a certain minimum stitchcount for a good shape & control ; it may not be advisable to have a large central ring, or multiple thrown rings. One medium to large MR on a SR is ideal for me.

To Summarize :
This compilation has explored the various choices one has. But with the ease & scope of a SCMR, this has become a bit of an academic exercise. Notwithstanding, each technique can have it's advantages in specific situations, to get out of a tight corner, or for a designer.
How one chooses a particular technique of a combination of one or more, may be determined by :
  • pattern requirement,
  • colour placement when working with 2 colours,
  • size of central ring,
  • number of shuttles being used,
  • number, size & position of thrown rings,
  • exit or climbing out point(s) of threads,
  • skill & comfort level of tatter. 

Phew !!!! Hope some of this is helpful to someone ! free pdf download

happy tatting :-)

1 Elgiva Nicholls' 'Tatting: Technique & History' 1984
2 discussed by Patty Dowden in this Craftree thread
3 cited by Judith Connors' in this Craftree thread
Judith Connors' An Illustrated Dictionary of Tatting'

Related post : Ring with Thrown Rings


  1. This is so helpful!! I usually get questions from the experienced tatters here on these "fringe" techniques as they call them. I happily demonstrate what I know. Now I can refer the curious to your blogs for more information! Thank you!!!

    1. I'm so relieved, Mel ! This study is also the result of a question ;-P My hope, in including lesser used/forgotten terms, is to prevent confusion arising when one does encounter them in old patterns. Focus on the technique & movement- not on the name, right?

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us & all the time you expend on your blog. I keep wanting to begin tatting but it looks overwhelming to someone who has only held a tatting shuttle one time. Appreciate you

    1. Bren, a couple of years back this would've been equally baffling to me, despite having tatted for 20 years ! There are very good beginner sites, tutorials, videos, books in tatting that you can refer to. Leave such posts for later :-) Hope you pick up your shuttles again & feel free to ask anytime ...

  3. Thank you, muskaan. It is so helpful to have a comparison with the advantages and limitations of techniques that produce such similar results. I've added this to my design notes for quick reference.

    1. That is sweet of you, Eliz :-)) Thanks a heap !

  4. Very useful, that helps a lot for the terminolgy that confuses me often! I absolutely agree with the last paragraph "to summarize", everything we learn could be useful, sooner or later.

    1. Good to know that it helps, Ninetta :-) Tatting has multiple paths, each with a different appeal ! I tried for hours, yet couldn't get your MROR right :-(

    2. I think you'd not pull too tight at the end and block the 8 shape at the the end with your finger. I've never done multiple mror in one ring, but once I did multiple dimpled in a ring and it was very difficult!

    3. It does require practice & dexterity. Nin :-) I could practice some more, but I'll do it when I need it for some pattern; till then, it's nice to know one's options.

  5. Hi I have not been blogging for weeks and the same with tatting too! I also could use the refresher on this and fun reminders on technique. I did think that tomorrow was last day of month and so I posted my pinchicks post a tad early, sorry about this I got sidetracked with so many other things and left the computer alone for a while. hope everything is going well and I feel like tatting again soon :)

    1. So good to see you back, Carollyn ! I had noticed your absence & was hoping you'd re-surface for the pinterest challenge :-) Off to check out your project ....
      I was on a tatting=free break too, but it lasted only for a week, before this technique thing cropped up in my previous post ;-P
      Hope you get back your tatting mojo soon. Stay creative anyways

    2. Thank you, hugs from Carollyn :)

  6. Fascinating! I didn't know that thrown rings could be made with only one shuttle (never heard of the loop tatted technique). I've done the SCMR before, and it is very versatile, but sometimes I wish it would start at one end and finish at the other (like a split ring) so that a long succession of rings with thrown rings could be made in one pass. Looks like the loop tatted split ring is a good technique to use for that.

    1. I do like the loop tatted technique, Robin. Takes a wee bit of practice. I didn't cover Dora Young's method - that, too, can be done with a single shuttle, but you can have only 1 thrown ring on the first 'half' but multiple thrown rings in 2nd half.

      And as for your SCMR dilemma, remember, one doesn't have to follow a single technique throughout - try a combo as in the off-shoots I covered.