Sunday, 12 August 2018

the correct guess

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A couple of emailers & Ninetta came close, but Stephanie nailed it! In fact more than nailed it, giving 2 more ways to tat the braid/bracelet. Read her comment in this post. Thank you for playing along, tatters.

The July 19th Bellaonline newsletter carried an article on some of the laces featured in the latest IOLI publication. Skimming through, one word caught my attention – ‘split/self-closing mock ring (S/scmr)’First time I’d heard this term and was especially keen to understand because of my ongoing Mock Ring series. Randy Houtz’s tatting picture frame image was too small to realise what was going on. 
I asked Georgia immediately and she introduced me to Randy Houtz! What a stroke of luck ‘coz the internet-recluse was online! And this is what he graciously shared …

For making a split/SCMR –
after desired chain tatted past thread loop of SCMR, place thread loop on little finger, add third thread and tat un-flipped stitches (ufs) as would regular split ring over both thread of the thread loop. when desired stitches obtained, pass core thread through thread loop and close mock ring. Since you've added the third thread, it can be used for rings on the inside of the split ring. Hope this is clear enough to get you started?

This is my very first attempt following the above instructions, 
till I ran out of the scrap threads but not ideas.

This is my next trial from which resulted the first braid. 
I’m calling it Buttercup Trellis. Like the combo of split ring and scmr, this name is a combo of suggestions from God's Kid (Sue) and Anita Barry!

I continued on with more effects for the next two braids. Still working on them. 

UPDATE (Aug 2018) : A slight variation/adaptation of the s/scmr technique in the 2nd braid is shared with Sunrise Sunset bracelet pattern here.

Here’s the first pattern if you wish to give it a go, using the split/self-closing mock ring (s/scmr) technique … Let me know if you want in-process pics of the technique or the bracelet.

Buttercup Trellis
braid/bracelet pattern

Wind 3 shuttles with 3 different colours.
Sh1 – beige. This is the main shuttle throughout. 
Sh2 – purple
Sh3 – green
Note: If one does not want to switch colours in the trellis, then use ball instead of Sh3.

In Anchor size 20, 4 repeats of the motif measure 5cms in length, and ½cm wide. The tatted model (merely a sampler) with 8 repeats and end rings is about 11cms in length..

Abbreviations :
Sh – shuttle ; R – ring ; S/SCMR – split/self-closing mock ring ; SLT – shoe lace trick

How to start: Following is the way I started it, but you can choose to start in your favourite way.
Make a starting ring (R1: 12) with only Sh1, tatting over tail. Then make a loop for scmr and fold Sh2 thread over it. Start the chain, tatting over Sh2 tail.
For 2nd side of the s/scmr, fold Sh3 thread over loop. Work unflipped stitches, hiding this tail in the first few stitches.
Both halves have Sh1 as the core thread, but the top half has single core, while the bottom half has a double core since the unflipped stitches are worked over the loop.
In case of bracelet, attach findings to the 2 end rings.
The pattern is worked all from the front, from left to right.

With Sh1
R1 : 12.
**S/SCMR : 10 / 10. close.
R2 : 1-1-1-1-1-1.  rotate
R3 : 1-1-1-1-1-1. 
(make a 3rd ring for the center)
SLT with Sh2 & Sh3 from behind the flowers**
Repeat from ** to ** to desired length.
S/SCMR : 10 / 10. close.
last R (Sh1) :12.

To finish :
Make picot rings at end of each tail, at varying distances. Make 2 overhand knots at base of each ring to secure. Tie & Cut. No tails to hide!

For variation :
Try using a thinner thread for Sh1.
Add beads.
Finish off with tassels dangling on the tail(s).

The scmr has already had such an impact on modern tatting. I hope you create many more designs using this split/scmr variation with due credit to the Houtz brothers.

Gary & Randy Houtz’s latest book, Tatting GR-8 Triangles has several different tatting techniques, such as the split/scmr and a variety of two-shuttle rings i.e. alternate thread rings, un-flipped stitch rings, wrapped rings, and others. click here for more info on their books & resources.

In Randy’s own words …
Good luck with the Split/SCMR. It has tremendous potential since it gives opportunity to place rings on both sides of a split ring…. It is a technique that enhances the art of tatting and folks should know about it.

So, let’s rally round to thank him!

Loads of thanks to Randy
for promptly and selflessly sharing the technique
with the tatting community
Many thanks to all my tatting playmates, & a great big hug to Georgia.


  1. This is very exciting, thanks, I’m definitely going to try it.

    1. And I'll be waiting for your improvisations, Jane :-)))

  2. This is very interesting, I don’t have time today to read all and try but I will when I come back from Brussels.

    1. Have a great trip, Margaret, and bring back lots of pink square pics and anecdotes :-)

  3. Love it, very clever! thank you for pointing this out! And for the pattern!

    1. So, we can expect lots of beautiful beaded patterns, Ninetta?

  4. Ooh! This looks like a challenge I could really get into! Thanks for sharing the info you learned from Randy. I'm printing this post right now!

    1. And watch out for the next braid, Diane... it's bracelet version has bling but no unflipped stitches ;-D

  5. I am glad I could help with the name, even not knowing I was helping. :)
    Your Buttercup Trellis braid is beautiful!! :)

    1. Every suggestion counts, Sue :-))) Thank you

  6. The so-called 'SCMR'(1995) has been with tatters since around 1900. It was used in European and American designs long before 1995. Elgiva Nicholls wrote about it in her book, 'Tatting Techniques' (1976). Only the trendy name, self-closing mock ring' belongs to the Houtz Bros: the ring itself has been with tatters for over 100 years.

    1. Thank you, Judith :-) I will include your reference when I write the scmr part of Mock Rings series.
      The Houtz brothers should get credit for reviving and popularising this technique, and taking it much further in its application and effects, as is seen in the split/scmr, don't you think?
      And despite all efforts, we can't turn back time or popular names for instance - CWJ, clunies, onion rings ;-)