Monday, 29 May 2017

rising a month late

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tatting on a paperclip - free pattern

Radiant Sun Paperclip
This little project was worked in 2 days flat – from ideation to execution to presentation – so that we could have a surprise paperclip pattern before end of April.

You know that I am not proficient with beads or their terminology, etc. So there were many senior moments here. Only later after pdf was made and sent (in record time for me! And this included a quick test tat and valuable feedback from Phyllis), I emailed Nina Libin for info and she graciously explained the correct terms along with links (which helped immensely during class). Georgia also shared links I didn’t know about, in class. I have used those terms & links in this post.

It all started when I saw a jewellery ad in the newspaper and wondered if I could get beads to stay positioned as free-floating rays using a shuttle.
I had an idea and quickly searched for similar projects & tutorials but as often happens, nothing came up close.
Pattern is a simple chain with beads radiating freely around .
To execute my idea I needed the end/stopper bead to be large.
Slip bugle bead and pearl bead on to a picot loop ;
Before tensioning the picot, loop it over the pearl snuggly like a noose (like we do for the SSSR or LTROR);
Pull back the extra length of loop, ensuring that the wrapped thread stays tightly noosed around the bead.
Continue with chain.
Pretty simple, easy, and no extra tools required.
Now to put it to the test, I started to tug at the pearls – 2 stayed in place, but one fell off.
One can use this method only if the piece is going to lie flat – glued or appliqued, and not worn/used.
Back to the drawing board. This time I used a beading needle to thread back through the bugle bead only. Of course it worked. But it has been around for ages – called the beaded fringe*

 pattern is so small, that it can quickly be finger-tatted . Or needle-tatted

A 'luggage tag loop' is used to start. It creates a complete double stitch. 
Care must be taken to keep the shuttle to the right.

I chose a blue clip for sky with the yellow sun emerging. 
For the right shade, I used 3 strands of Anchor embroidery thread.

If I leave tails on both ends, doesn’t it look like a headdress ?!

Many more ideas radiated from this, but the sun is setting for now :-)

* other terms : beaded stem (Corina Meyfeldt prestrings the beads and pulls into place when required) ; single file beaded picots (Nina Libin, Book #18)

this is not my first pattern with bugle beads on a paperclip - I made several trials of another pattern in February (remember, Ninetta? :-P), but have let the final tatting & presentation lapse. Should get back to it ....

Grateful thanks to Georgia, Nina, & Phyllis

hope you enjoy tatting this quick little pattern :-)


  1. Sweet! And clever. I'll have to try it.

  2. Thanks Jane & Sue :-) It does tat up very quickly and is easily adaptable.

  3. What fun! I have some paperclips around here somewhere, and I know I have plenty of beads.

  4. Really radiant looking tiny clips!!!

  5. Thanks ladies :-) It does tat up quickly with barely any thread required and the 'radiation' can be customized :-))))

  6. Looks like this could be a hairstyle for a tatted person or mermaid 🌹❤️🌹