Wednesday, 6 September 2017

floating beads PART 4

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edited Sep 7, 2017
This floating beads (FB) method I’ve been boring you with, arose out of a specific situational and visual need.
I was working on a 3-row necklace tatted in one pass (Tat Days attendees will get to see it way before I can post it here!). And instead of a bead in the center of a ring attached at both ends, I wanted it to dangle freely from the base.
The Swarovski bead was 4.5mm and the ring was a thrown ring. At least 3 such beads were needed (perhaps even 5) in the very 1st row itself. And in later rows there were pre-strung seed beads with more tatting and teardrop beads too.

I tried out some established methods and had to reject them because -
pre-stringing – more than 1 bead and too large for a Pony shuttle – they jutted out.  
down picot (2fhs B 2shs) – if made at start or end of ring, bead would not lie in the centre. But more importantly, it also required pre-stringing.
beaded fringe – as in Corina’s beaded stem - again required loading on to shuttle!  OR
Nina’s single file beaded picot using a needled tip/thread. This could work since bead was loaded only when needed. But it required unwinding, loading bead (with stopper bead) & rewinding shuttle every time. Not only would I have to unwind an almost fully loaded shuttle, but there were pre-strung seed beads for other elements in the way.

These alternative methods increase our range of options and each has its benefits and limitations. Specifications of each project and of the individual can determine our choice.

Starting with Nina Libin’s recommended method –

Floating Beads - Beaded Fringe method
My adaptation of Nina Libin’s explanation
I have taken the liberty of using some of Nina’s own words here.
Materials – 2 shuttles, bead
Additional Materials – a stopper bead (tiny seed bead), white glue or clear nail enamel to make a “needled tip”.
Needled Tip/thread – the tail end is sliced diagonally and dipped in diluted white glue and twisted along the grain of thread. Keep repeating till the glue dries and a stiff, pointed tip emerges. This acts as a needle! 

 1. A thrown/floating ring large enough to accommodate bead is made off a chain.
 2. Unwind/unload the shuttle. This thread has a needled tip.
TIP: I use clear nail enamel for a needled tip since it dries much quicker. 
 3. String the large pearl bead and a smaller seed bead …
 4. and go back through the large bead. The green seed bead acts as a stopper.
 5. Move the 2 beads along the thread length, to the base of thrown ring, evenly tensioned.
 6. Rewind the shuttle and continue with the chain.
(Repeat the above procedure if more such thrown rings with floating bead are required).
7. Floating bead in thrown ring using the beaded fringe alternative

Bit of a hassle for the bigger necklace project, but great for small earrings, etc. or if the large bead is needed towards the end or is the last to be added. 
If core thread length is manageable, one can resort to finger tatting – no shuttle hassle.
Undoubtedly, despite reasonable limitations, the method works splendidly with any level of expertise!!!

Adding a bead with CWJ in split ring
Ninetta Caruso
After seeing the bead under a chain, Ninetta sent me this link to the method she uses - a Catherine Wheel Join on the 2nd half of  split ring, after flipping it over.
Well, I had to try it ! See, one more option and this time in a split ring.
I need lots more practice, though. The last large ring is where I tried to dangle the bead lower – it doesn’t show clearly from this angle.

Floating Beads - Sequins
If beads, why not sequins, right ?

Exactly the same method and steps – one with 3 sequins on chain and another with a star sequin inside a ring.
Floating Beads – with Tatted Rings 

You know my preference for beadless tatting. I had been thinking about trying to ‘dangle’ tatted rings within rings. Would the substitution work? Before I could work on it, Ninetta again sent me some links.
This beautiful Berry Wreath pattern uses the same half hitch/overhand/half knot at base of Josephine rings as in Step 2 of the FB method ! This led me down memory lane – I had used the same half hitch to stabilize JR in this 2-colour edging a couple of years back.
In the blue-green one, the inside ring is a 4ds dot. In the larger heart ring, they are Josephines.

Jane M suggested an idea when she did a quick trial of the FB method – would it work on her lovely Cascade earrings? I’ve been meaning to tat a couple of her earring patterns for ages. Time is ripe !
Started this morning, following her method to get a feel of it. I love it! (No pics yet, though I’m almost through).
The next one will use FB. As I worked it out I my head, the order of working the 9 rings will be completely reversed – instead of bottom to top, we’ll have to move from top to bottom, using SRs! Well, that’s my thought process – tomorrow will tell.

So yet another post (are you keeping count,  Nin ;-P) on FB but this time with earrings.

Many many thanks to all the generous and innovative tatters above
happy tatting as always :-)

Related Posts
(all links to previous posts & pictorials will be updated on the My Tutorials page)


  1. You're buzzing with ideas muskaan! I have used Corina's method effectively too. A lot of sliding back and forth, but the beads are strung on the ball, which is easier than having them on the shuttle. I look forward to seeing your earrings!

    1. I agree, Jane! It simply boils down to project specs and personal preferences. It's nice to have options :-)
      But I'm done with beads for the present - couldn't get myself to complete the FB version of earrings y'day :-( But I will be sharing the interesting observations!

  2. You sure have been busy learning and experimenting!!! :) Great looks!! :)

    1. It was really exciting while it lasted, Sue :-) No one say beads now ! I bank on my talented readers to carry it forward ....