Wednesday, 19 April 2017

quest for a tail

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tatting diagrams for 3 braids

3 Split Ring braids / tails 
derived from and for Jon Yusoff’s
Chinese Coin Bookmark 

I shared the completed body in my earlier post. Jon’s original bookmark ends in a long tassel which looks beautiful. Instead, I decided to make a tail, with a possible short tassel or charm at the tip. 

I made a couple of rough sketches, which are now converted into the following diagrams: 
These were my initial thoughts –
Split ring braid #1 rejected right off.
Couldn't decide between #2 & #3 (although I preferred the latter), neither whether I wanted a tassel or a charm.
Nothing to it but to start tatting one side ...
... and the shuttles decided to go with a single coin motif as charm :-)

The stitchcount for the entire tail is same as for the original bookmark.

After completing the charm, I tried to see how split ring braid #2 would look - after all it would be a miniature coin...
Nope, didn’t like it – seemed too angular.
Un-tatted and went with #3 and am very happy with the phase shift in chains !

As with a few other patterns, it was easier and quicker to switch shuttles and tat the chains with reverse stitch (unflipped) – no need to unwind & rewind main shuttle !
With direct chains, all tatting is from the front side, hence no reverse work, which adds to the confusion in such serpentine or magic square-type patterns.

TIP : I also discovered an easier way to join these RS chains with a down join. A down join, followed by the unflipped 1st half-stitch, creates the visibly complete stitch.
Pull loop of SH2 down through picot, pass SH1 through loop and snug. Make sure thread slides freely. 

These tails (and the bookmark itself) can be used as edgings and insertions or beaded jewelry.

Following the Chinese theme, I picked out a few related books ...
Peony was my first Pearl Buck book, and also my first literary window into Chinese culture. It was one of a few books that my friend gifted when she left for the US. While not in good state, I treasure it very much because she spent a lot of thought into which books to be given to which friend.
One thing I always remember from Peony - they wake a sleeping individual with soft music or songs, giving the 'wandering soul' time to return to the body.

Ten Thousand Miles Without a Cloud  This book I read a few years back and it was real eye-opener. Retracing Xuanzang's journey along the silk route in search of Buddhism in the 8th century, Sun Shuyung has woven a beautiful picture of the past and present. We studied a bit about the monk (our history books called him Huen Tsang), but to actually be brought to life in that era was a whole new experience. And to think all this was lost till an interested British archaeologist Alexander Cunningham rediscovered Buddhism in India !
The only thing I missed in this book were photographs. A few more photos would have done wonders, especially when the author was visiting and talking about real monuments, etc.

happy tatting and happy reading always :-)


  1. I love seeing a variety of ways to complete a bookmark! Pearl Buck is one of my mom's favorite authors. I've read a few, but I don't remember reading Peony. I'll have to check it out!

  2. Neat tail! Good to keep the theme of the bookmark. One of my favourite books is called The Yellow River, set in China during the Japanese occupation. I'll have to look up the author, but not right now.

  3. Great tail for that bookmark!!! :)

  4. The bookmark is very interesting and beautiful :)

  5. Fantastic solution in the quest for a tail.

  6. I must really learn to direct tat chains. I have a feeling that would help quite a few students I've worked with. Also must read Ten Thousand Miles. Thank you for these pushes!

  7. Beautiful tail for Chinese coin bookmark Muskaan!!! Must appreciate your working for diagrams and detailed explanation ��

  8. Thank you all so very much for your appreciation and kind words :-)

    I've read a couple more books by Buck, including some short stories recently, Diane.
    Will check out The Yellow River, Jane.
    10000 miles has an interesting backdrop of religious persecution and a rare glimpse into a society which has stayed closed for so long, Mel. And one understands why.
    I hope you tat them, Usha :-)
    Hugs, everybody :-)

  9. Replies
    1. Your bookmark reminded and inspired me, Fox :-)

  10. Oh that is very nice, Muskaan! Admittedly, I never thought about adding a tail like that. I'm always on the lookout for how I can turn something into a piece of jewelry :-D

    1. Thanks, Susan :-) Always nice to hear from you! Hope you enjoy the pattern too