Tuesday, 6 December 2016

All in chains

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free chains-only tatting pattern and prototypes

Numerous circumstances have ensured that the last couple of months were fairly unproductive for me. I haven’t touched a shuttle for the major part of this duration. Even presentation and working at the desktop was limited. Well, backlog is about to suffocate me, but things are finally settling down ;-P
Hence, deviating from my usual style, I have decided to start sharing the patterns that were meant for Set II of the TWoT series, while I continue to work on the latter at an intermittent pace. I was so hoping to get all snowflakes & other patterns up before the holiday season, but the Grinch is at play; so proper pdfs may have to wait for a bit.  

Bangle Enchained pattern is final & written on the picture itself for sharing at this point. 
The other two are prototype doodles, with the pathway and main details notated. The stitch count can be personalized.
The last is an old prototype which I never got around to reworking again (hope to soon).

There are many personal firsts here !!!

Bangle Enchained
My first attempt at Tatting over a ring/bangle and embellished jewellery. Marie's (West Pine Creations) excellent Embellishment Tatting tutorial gave me the immediate impetus to overcome my dithering.
My design process - I had started with the blue one, but didn't like it. 

Materials :
2 shuttles
Gold Metallic seed beads – 10 per repeat
Anchor Mercer Crochet size 20 – 4054 00046 (red)
Anchor Embroidery Thread – 3 strands of M101 (gold!)
(Well, it’s supposed to be gold & my old skein is definitely golden. But these new 2016 skeins are closer to copper!)

Lock Join 
SLT (shoelace trick) or Reverse Join 
covering  plastic (cabone) ring with tatting – Jennifer Williams & Jane Eborall 
Block tatting – you can choose your favorite method of block tatting.

I covered the bangle with tatting - it was quite mesmerizing! There are tiny picots for the next round to join to. Covering is optional - one can join directly on to the bangle/ring as one tats, as seen in the design process pic.
I think the abbreviations are self-explanatory or can be referenced from the tatting model. In case of any difficulty, free free to ask.

To get the Oriental arch/curve in the block instead of a well-defined angular block, I used a combination of Julie Patterson’s and Patty Dowden’s methods of block tatting.
The only changes made to Julie’s instructions: instead of a 1 double stitch (or reverse stitch) riser before each chain, I used 2 half stitches
(two unflipped second half stitches when starting red chain ;
two first half stitches when starting gold chain)
Two similar half stitches causes the chain to fold slightly, thus decreasing the sharp edge of a block.

TIP : After the 3 beads are brought forward in the block, and lock joined, make SLT in order to switch shuttles IF working with 2 colours. In single colour, this step is not necessary.
Moreover, instead of (lock join & SLT), one can make a Reverse Join which is basically encapsulating the other thread when making a lock join. This automatically switches threads. It is what I used for my tatting.

Second shuttle was joined after covering the bangle. 
The 3 strands of metallic embroidery thread tend to show a white inner core at times. Hence care needs to be taken when tatting.

I think this might look fine as a tree ornament,  if suspended ?

Block Leaf (a prototype)
Recently I did a comparative & exploratory study of block tatting, and this leaf form emerged from it. It starts out as a regular 5-chain block of 6 stitches each, then moves down & around in a broadening V-shaped block, with CWJ at center. The stitch count increases as required. Reworking of stitch count is required to bring a few loose chains lie more compactly. The short stem is a chain folded twice using same half stitches.
Pathway is indicated with numbers & arrows on the picture of the tatted model, and the 2 colours used. After joining the 5th chain normally, it continues down in the V shape …. I followed Martha Ess' excellent notes for the increase.

Snail Doodle (a prototype)
This coil is another first for me. Oh, I’ve made (and love) curlicues/dead end chains, but to make a closed coil using the CWJ and without any picots, was a first. Coils are also known as Catherine Wheels (and a gruesome story behind it), hence the name of join – Catherine Wheel Join. Other names for the same join – Dora Young Join, onion ring join.
I had fun making it in size 20.

Heart Block Doodle (a prototype)
Here’s a little puzzle for those interested … trace the pathway of this tiny Heart block doodle. I had tatted this back in 2014 – my 3rd block ever (the first 2 are seen on the left side; I was following Jane Eborall’s tutorial) & when I was asked for the pattern recently it took me while to confirm what/how. Reworking & pattern will have to wait till I can pick up my shuttles, though I did find the starting stitchcount & diagram !
I had designed this for a very specific purpose - it was meant for the I Love Tatting doodle. Later changed it to a dimpled heart.

FYI – I got stuck during the process of changing my patterns & design page . Please consider a work still in progress. I had decided to change it in order to make space to accommodate all the patterns that will be included. I’m trying to make the pics thumbnails. Any help & advice is highly valued !

That's it for the present ... more soon :-)

happy tatting always :-)


  1. Love your doodles! Tatting round a solid ring is on my to do list, but I haven't got around to it yet.

    1. I found the tatting around bangle pretty mesmerizing & reflexive after the initial few stitches, Jane ! Made me wonder why I had held back for this long :-)

  2. I love the heart block doodle!

  3. Maybe one of your snowflakes would fit inside that beautiful bangle! Thank you for sharing your pattern.

    Tatting over a ring is something I've wanted to do for quite a while. I started with purchasing Jon Yusoff's book, cabone rings, inexpensive bangles (both plastic and metal), as well as more thread and shuttles meant for completing the project. Shall we say that I stalled after collecting all the materials? ;-)

    1. Love your snowflake within bangle idea, Diane ! Or a few charms dangling within ?
      Like I told Jane, it's the first step that we hesitate on - the rest is smooth sailing. Do give it a try - you might get addicted ;-P

  4. The little snail is adorable! Also, I can't help but see an acorn if you turn the leaf upside down :)

    1. So true, Robin ! And perhaps the density of block tatting is better suited for an acorn than a leaf ! Must give it a try ....

  5. Awesome, I love your Embellisment tatting. Nice for the tree.

    1. Marie, You were the inspiration behind my shedding of my fear/hesitation ! Can't thank you enough for that tutorial. I still need to find good glass beads or old jewelry to embellish, but bangles I have a-plenty :-)

  6. Love the tiny block heart! And the leaf reminds me of a cappuccino - you know, where they do the fancy pattern on top.

    1. I know exactly what you are referring to, Grace !!! And it would be such a welcome beverage in this cold ;-P
      It is so interesting & exciting when different eyes see new patterns !! Thanks :-)

  7. I like your a small snail :) The heart is also beautiful.

    1. Thanks, Anetta :-) The snail was just whimsical ;-D