Tuesday, 29 August 2017

floating beads PART 1

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Floating Beads – how to pictorials
Part 1
muskaan © August 2017
There are ways to dangle a bead in tatting such as Corina’s fringe, threading the bead when needed, using a long picot, to name a few. But what if one needs to dangle a bead inside a ring – a thrown/floating ring at that? What if the bead(s) that need dangling are large and would hamper tatting if pre-strung on a shuttle?

I came across tutorials and images of a bead in the center of a ring/mock ring, anchored at both ends. I was looking to freely suspend a bead in a thrown ring without distorting any tatting or unwinding any shuttle. After many unsuccessful or unsatisfactory attempts, I figured out this Floating Beads method and my first trials gradually led to many more applications of the method. This method both suspends and secures the bead(s) in an element.

After consultation with Stephanie & Georgia we settled on the term Floating Beads since the bead is not anchored at the other end, and does dangle or float. 
Perhaps it can be abbreviated/notated to FB ? What do you think ?

I will be sharing the various elemental applications over 3 or 4 posts including 1 alternate method (on Nina Libin’s suggestion) and the earring pattern. 
Eventually these will be converted into pdf  - I can’t decide whether to have them in one single pdf or multiple pdfs, and in which sequence. I hope you can suggest something going forward.

Introductory posts showing various applications: Bead(s) in rings ; Bead(s) under a chain

I.  Floating Bead in Thrown/Floating Ring

The method has 2 steps - step 1 to position, step 2 to secure.
Step 1 can be altered to suit bead size and numbers (this will be shared later).
Step 2 can be repeated if one wants the bead at a slight distance from the top.

Materials used
Shuttle 1 red; shuttle 2 blue; Anchor size 20 threads; 4.5mm Swarovski crystal bead ; hook to load bead

 1. Make a chain. 
 2. Before starting the thrown ring, pull shuttle 2 thread through bead.
3. Fold the loop back around the base of the bead; 
 4. Bring bead closer to base, rotate bead slightly so that the openings are horizontal.(see pic5) 
Keep the anchored part of loop under left hand finger while pulling on shuttle thread to tension the loop around bead. This takes a bit of practice initially.
Important Notes :
  • For the bead to dangle properly & avoid distortion, it is important that there is a tiny space on the shank, and the bead is just sufficiently snug.
  • In case of small bead, instead of looping back, pass shuttle 2 through the loop, position with rotation, and tension. Continue with next step.
 5. Fully enclosed but position can be unstable. Hence one more step to secure …
 6. Bring shuttle 2 thread around the bead …
 7. and pass shuttle through the loop. 
8. Tension it, making a half hitch or overhand knot at the base encapsulating the bead. 
Note : By repeating this step (on a longer shank) the bead will dangle lower.
 9. Start thrown ring with shuttle 2 normally and tat around bead. 
 10. Close ring
 11. Switch shuttles and continue chain.
 12. Floating bead in a thrown/floating ring ! No distortions !

My sincere thanks to all my tatting friends - Georgia, Stephanie, Eliz, Nina, & Usha - for their active interest and participation in this journey; and to all my readers who also showed an interest, leaving comments and sending emails.  

to be continued ...


  1. The term Floating Beads (FB) is very good :) Interesting idea and tutorial!Thank you:)

  2. Clever! I'll try it, it seems very useful in earrings... The acronym fb, unfortunately it is widely used for the famous social network, but really is an acronym needed for this lovely floating bead?

  3. Interesting technique, many thanks for sharing it :-)

  4. Interesting post, I like the new term FB.

  5. Loved concept of Floating Beads Muskaan!!! Nice idea for jewelery using dangling beads.Thanks for sharing.

  6. Appreciate all your comments, dear friends :-)

    Ninetta, perhaps FB will bring in more eyeballs - see I'm devious ;-P

  7. I love this idea. I know I have wanted to do this sort of thing before - and now I know how! :-)

    1. Looking forward to many new patterns/application, Grace :-)