Saturday, 22 September 2018

twist n twirl, spiral n swirl

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doily tat-along and pictorial
Completed the tat-along a week back but too many presentations swirling around in my compy vying for attention! Without much ado, let me 'jive' in ….

Swirling Butterflies Tat-along 

I made a few tiny tweaks and here are my notes –

1. Treble as a twisted picot : The 2nd part of a treble is actually just a twisted picot!!! Well, well, well. I tried it on some of the tds. Pictorial at the end.

2. The double leaves : It is a very clever design where the leaves are asymmetrical but with graduated segments – from 3ds through to 6ds - creating a swirl of their own!
But my conjoined double leaves just wouldn’t stay flat. Finally I settled with a ring of (3+3) and 2nd ring (4+6), leaving them unattached to each other.

3. Bare thread under the butterfly. My little indolence served 2 purposes :
visually, I felt that the entire body on the twig made it seem more like a caterpillar ; tatting the butterfly was normal - only the double stitches of 1st & last trebles were encapsulated (2 core threads).
And instead of 3 shuttles,  I used a ball and shuttle,  ctm, for green, and 2nd shuttle for pink.

4. An idea – one can make the butterflies separately (single shuttle only – see here) and join to twig normally. Which means, we work the twig with shuttle and ball only! But the butterfly will need 2 picots on core thread held by paperclip.

5. Long picots made and snipped for the antennae.
6. Mutilated Wing – I made only 4tds on the wing instead of 5tds. I did not count the TJ (treble join) as a tds, hence the goof-up. Some of the butterflies look like elephants to me! If I hadn’t blogged, it would’ve gone unnoticed even now ;-P

7. Directional or fs/bs tatting: My way of doing the treble backside is simple – only work the ds part of it backside, keeping the rolled part as usual. Ninetta shared her method here. Always good to have choices!

8. Measurement : Worked in Anchor size 20 threads, the doily works to 4” with butterfly ; and 3” if one leaves out the butterflies.

9. Techniques used : fs/bs tatting, tds (treble tat stitch), spiral rings, floating/thrown rings, encapsulation (direct tatting with unflipped stitches), 3-shuttle tatting (I used 2 shuttles and a ball).

10. Spiral Rings : I believe the best effect of tds is in these spiral rings!

This new stitch is really catching on J 
The fun part is that it can do Everything that a normal double stitch does - 
including half tds, padded tds, and picots of all kinds !

For those who consider the treble a bit of a mystery, perhaps it’s similarity to a twisted picot will help? Most of us know of or have done the twisted picot. So, here’s how we can use the same movements to make the 2nd part of a treble tat stitch !!

Treble Tat Stitch worked as a Twisted Picot
Twisted Picot In the Treble Stitch !
Click on any image for enlarged view.
This is a alternate method of working the 2nd part of a treble stitch. 
It can be used as an eye-opener to show the 'common threads' running through 
seemingly different tatting techniques.  

4 tds can be seen on a chain, of which the first 2 were made normally 
and the next 2 were made using the twisted picot method/movement.
See Twisted Picot video here.

 1. Start next tds with a double stitch

 2. Pull loop through picot (not shown), tighten and pull another loop through it.
BUT do Not pass shuttle through this loop.

3. Twirl shuttle and Twist loop ! 
Now here’s where the twisting starts and the direction is very important. 
Hook/hold the loop on the shuttle and
rotate the shuttle clockwise like a ferris wheel – 
moving towards us from the lower side and away from us on the upper side. 
The loop gets twisted once.

If we rotate in counterclockwise direction, this is how the tds turns out -

 4. Repeat this movement again and now there are 2 twists in the loop.

 5. Repeat this movement a 3rd time so that we have 3 twists in the loop.
Keep the loop hooked at all times to avoid untwisting.

 6. Now pass the shuttle through the loop. 
This is the tricky part since the loop should open up sufficiently to allow shuttle to pass through.
If needed, tug the loop to lengthen it.

 7. Start pulling the ball thread to close the twisted loop. 
Then pull the shuttle/core thread to tension the stitch.

 8. Treble stitch all snugged and complete using the twisted picot method!

 9. 3 more trebles made in similar manner.

This method works well with this size 10 knitting cotton as well as Anchor size 20 threads. Does it work equally well for finer threads? Try it and let us know J

UPDATE : Check out My Tutorials page for more Treble tatting pictorials, variations and analyses 

That’s it for now, but I am super excited to show you my perfect Cluny leaf – finally happy with it – and absolutely no colour blips on either end. Will share the trick soon. 


  1. The butterfly doily is really lovely. Maybe I’ll gret on better if I use your method, I’ll give it a go. And watch victats’s video too.

    1. Have we finally managed to rope you in, then, Jane ;-P Mission accomplished !

  2. Love this, that is another post you can add in the TWoT series. I tatted green rings front side respect the spiral rings, so the butterflies have been tatted from the tail to the head, but starting green rings on the back side, butterflies can start from the head. Or you can tat them in both directions in subsequent chains... Hope this has a sense. Thank you.

    1. That's the beauty of TWoT, isn't it, Ninetta! You can decide beforehand how you want to proceed! Thanks for this tat-along - I enjoyed it :-)

    2. Thank you dear Muskaan, first for being so supportive of me since the start and then for sharing with us your invaluable talent in explaining things 💕🌹👍

    3. ((((hugs)))) my pleasure entirely, Nin :-D

  3. Wow this is gorgeous and a pleasure to view I like how you broke it up with other projects we can appreciate it more❤🦋❤

  4. I love your posts! I always learn so much from reading them. Although I haven't tried all of the techniques you have presented, I enjoy learning about them.

    1. Thanks, Diane :-) I totally understand! We all just do what we can within the limited time, yet enjoy watching and reading about a lot more than we can possibly accomplish ourselves!

  5. Wow, great job. So clear - we can see exactly how to do it. Thank you! :-)

    1. Thanks, Grace :-) Multiple ways to skin the poor dear cat ;-P