Sunday, 22 July 2018

dissecting the tds

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Before I start, a note about the edging pattern in previous post
There was a slight error in the diagram (I missed out a join). 
It is now corrected and post updated. Nevertheless, here is the new pdf link.

Ninetta's videos and posts are very clear and it was fairly easy to learn treble tatting

The tds has a multiple of steps reminding me of crochet, padded ds and vapour picot. Was the resemblance to them actually there? Why was there the need to pull up 2 successive loops for the first part? Where did the ds disappear? These were some of the questions that plagued me. 
I got the How easily enough, but the What and Why needed some minute dissection.

In order to observe each step of the tds closely, I chose thick threads in contrasting colours and took pics of each step. These pics visually tell the story of it’s construction, and also the engineering genius of it’s originator! 

So the following is how I deconstruct treble tatting and also list some characteristics (see also A visual study, here) .....
Just to be clear at the outset, this is how a crochet chain and treble look : 
the crochet treble is clearly different from this tatted treble stitch. 
A single chain stitch, however, is similar in both cases. 
YET, the chain is similar to what we would do in a picot join - pull a loop up !

Treble Tatting (tds)
Analysing each step
 1. I have started a chain with 4ds, 1vsp, 1ds.

 2. Insert hook and pull up a loop through the vsp -
just as if we were making a picot join.

3. The loop is visible.

 4. Insert hook through this loop now …

5. … and pull up another loop (again like a picot join!).
Notice that this looks like a crochet chain. 
NOTE: Keep this stitch taut. If it is loose, it spoils the appearance later.
Although not yet visible, this ds and chain form the 1st half stitch of a tds.

 6. Insert the shuttle through this loop from back to front. 
This is the start of the 2nd half.
Note the full ds at the base, with 2 'legs'

 7. This is how it all looks after step 6. 

 8. Now pass the shuttle through the open space between threads.
(this movement is similar to what we do for a vapor picot on the 2nd half stitch)

 9. The ball thread tends to twist.

 10. Repeat step 9 two more times, so that there are now 3 twists in the ball thread.
UPDATE: see how this step can be worked like a Twisted picot !

11. CAUTION: While making the wraps, the core thread tends to twist like in this pic. 
Make sure that all the twists are transferred to the ball thread (as in pic#10) 
and the core remains free to slide.

12. We now start pulling the ball thread upwards to tension the wraps. 
Though hazy, this is to show how the core thread is held taut around the pinkie 
and the ball thread is pulled up.

13. The wraps are closer now. Tug a bit more till all unwanted thread is pulled off.
Note the single thread (pink) around the core thread at the base. 
This forms the 3rd leg of a tds.

14. 2nd half complete.
Notice how the 1st half also looks coiled and similar to the 2nd half? I think this is where her brilliance truly lies! The 1st half, tends to ‘twist’ or lie on it’s side which has a coiled appearance!

However, at this point, the 2 threads (ball & shuttle) are quite apart, as you can see. 
They need to be brought together in order to continue….

15. Leave space that is equal to the height of the tds. Then tat 1ds.
(This space acts as a picot for the next stitch and the ds becomes part of the 2nd tds too. ) 

16. We now repeat steps 2 to 15 to tat the next tds. 
In above pic, 3tds have been made.
Notice that at the end of a single tds or a row of tds, 
there will always be a picot space followed by 1ds.

17. The crochet is pointing to where the picot lies between 2 tds. 
This is where we make joins when linking a new element to it.
If desired, this can be made longer to give a decorative effect.

But when we need to join a tds to a previous element/picot (as in this triangle motif), it requires a slightly different approach. There are 2 ways to do it, both of which will be shared in next post.
Also in the next post, I will share my way of making a 4-wrap tds.

A few more characteristics of the treble ds :

  • A tds is worked with one shuttle.
  • Tds can be made on chains as well as rings, including mock rings and thrown/floating rings.
  • 1 tds has 2 half stitches just like a ds. But each half stitch is constructed quite differently. They look visually similar, but are not mirror images as in ds.
  • A single treble comprises of : vsp, ds, 2 loops (chain), 3 wraps, vsp, ds, where the last ds becomes part of the next tds or element. 
  • Thus 1st half stitch of a tds comprises 1ds, 2loops ; and 2nd half comprises 3 wraps; both flanked by a vsp.
to be continued ...

happy trebling J


  1. It looks very neat when you do it. What is a vapor picot?

    1. Thanks, Jane :-))) Vapor picot is another of Ninetta's many 'inventions' and the link to Karen's video is in the post -
      I shared my first trials (resulting in a doodle) in Feb 2015. At the time I didn't know it was Nin's.

  2. Beautifully worked out Muskaan. Comparison with crochet trebles makes it easy to understand. Thanks for step by step pics with explanation. A must try. Hope I do not tremble while trying them out.

    1. Thanks, Usha :-) I'm expecting you to make good use of this in creating new designs and effects !

  3. Wonderful explanation/illustration of how to do it. Before seeing your tutorial it sounded very difficult, now I think I can do it. Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie :-) Once shuttles are in hand, everything can be worked out ;-P I got the how fairly easily, but the above process helped me comprehensively understand it.

  4. I just noticed a typo in step #10, which is now corrected.

  5. Very informative, thanks for another wonderful lesson!! :)

  6. Thank you for the very interesting and step by step instructions of the TDS

  7. My pleasure entirely, Sue & Margaret :-)))
    Have a great weekend