Saturday, 6 October 2018

3 colour Cluny tatting

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In the 2-Colour Cluny we worked with 3 threads – one on the loom and 2 for weaving. I showed how to add & hide the 3rd thread, how to alternate the 2-colour weave, and how to avoid colour blips when closing. We now move to 4 threads where 3 will be used for weaving. Since they are all different colours, we get 3-coloured stripes or bands on the Cluny leaf.

These pics were also taken last December. I discarded an entire set of pics for the 3-colour Cluny (3-CC), and re-photographed with more comprehensive steps, but have included 2 from that batch here. That first 3-CC is the one just before the split ring in some of the pics.

If I were to tat a 3-CC now, I would definitely follow Edwige’s first step which I called ‘hitch the loom’ to remove the blip at the bottom of my tallies. 

Three-Colour Cluny Leaf
(4 threads and 3-coloured striped Cluny leaf)

Try different number of passes or wraps for a banded or graduated effect. eg. in the collage above, the pendant is a hanging Cluny where I started with 2 wraps of each colour twice, then narrowed the stripes to 1 wrap each. A crystal bead had been strung on the loom earlier, between Warp1 & Warp3 (ie. the top loop).

Choose any order of weaving, place 2 colours on the left and 1 on right, and so on. Lots of possibilities!

I have used a card loom. But choose a loom of your choice - the principle & concept remains the same. 

Loom/Warp thread : mustard 
Weaving threads   : Colour 1 on the right – green;
                  Colour 2 on the left – pink ;
                  Colour 3 on the right – yellow.
Sequence of weaving : green, pink, yellow.
1 wrap/weave = 2 passes (across Warps and back to starting side)

 1. Wind the loom as usual, with 3 Warps, using mustard thread.
One 3-CC has already been made, followed by a split ring. 
Pink is hidden within the left side & yellow on the right side of the split ring.
I have threaded the weaving threads. Tapestry needle works well, but shuttles are fine, too.
TIP : Place the needle(s) on a flat surface when not in use, to avoid tangling.

2. Move green and yellow to the right – Under, Over.
NOTE : In order to avoid any colour blip, hitch the loom with the colour of your choice. 
(not done here, unfortunately)

3. All positioned, we are now ready to weave.

4. Move green to the left for 1st pass (Under, Over, Under) …

To add new thread: This is the stage where new thread can be added. In case of my first tally, I had to add yellow colour. The collage shows how I trapped the new thread within the first green pass. The tail can then be lined along/parallel to Warp2 or Warp3 to hide, and snipped after a bit of weaving. See adding new thread options here -

5. and back to the right for 2nd pass (Over, Under, Over).
1 wrap/weave complete.

6. With pink thread -
1st pass to the right (Under, Over, Under) …

 7. and back to the left (Over, Under, Over).
1 pink wrap made.

Keep packing down the weaves.

8. With yellow thread, keeping it above the green –
1st pass to the left (Under, Over, Under) …

9. and back to the right (Over, Under, Over).
1 yellow wrap made.

3 wraps made so far, one in each colour.

10. Start with green again, keeping it ABOVE the yellow.

TIP : Leave some slack along the edge, enough to span the 2 coloured wraps before it comes into play again. Pulling it too close will distort the tally edge.

11. Repeat steps 4 to 9 to desired size, shaping the Cluny leaf along the way.

12. To hide colour blip :
Insert all 3 needles through the top loop from below….

13. … threads are emerging out through the top loop now

14. To close tally
Remove top loop and start pulling Warp2 downwards till the loop disappears completely.
Notice how all 3 colours are emerging from the top, covering/hiding the mustard loom thread. 
For the next element, we can easily pick the colour we want to show.

If we skip step #12, this is what happens (tally on right in pic) – In my first 3-colour tally I forgot to pass the green thread through top loop before closing. That thread emerges from the right side, making it untidy and leaving some mustard blip.

15. Slip the bottom loop off the loom and pull Warp2 upwards to close it.

16. One 3-Colour Cluny leaf complete!

See the tiny mustard blip on the right side of tally base? 
This is the blip that hitching the loom prevents! 

My pictorials show only the basic Cluny leaf being worked in colours. But as I pointed out at the start, this colouring of a Cluny leaf works just as well for a hanging Cluny leaf, a Split Cluny or a broad Cluny (which will be the next in this 2018 Cluny tatting series). 

As a reminder, here’s a throwback pic of my trials shared here. Most of these are hanging Cluny leaves. I was trying to get the 'hang' of coloured Cluny tatting!


  1. Wonderful post, 😁 I forgot about the hanging clunies I also think the stripes remind me of pretty caterpillars 💕🐛💕

    1. Carollyn, you are the 3rd person to think they look like caterpillars ! Your long Cluny leaves would make excellent caterpillars with these stripes! I should try out a pattern :-)

  2. Phew muskaan, you have to keep your wits about you for this one. Really good effect though.

  3. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing :). Really wished I had more time to tat. Maybe next year :).

  4. Great pictures! I'm usually intimidated by clunies, but I do like color, so maybe someday I'll give it a try. Thanks for posting your tutorial!

  5. Maybe, with a loom, I could do it.

  6. Beautiful effect and great tutorial!

  7. Wow!!! Your clunies in the darker colors remind me of Indian Corn. They would be great in an autumn doily.

  8. I guess you're right, Jane ;-P And watch out for even more of a thread-twister in next series post ;-D

    Jenn, it's nice to see you around again after being MIA for so long :-)

    Marilee, I can't wait for you to take it up!!!

    Yes, better on a loom than hand, Linda (finally a conversion ;-P?)

    Thanks, Ninetta :-)

    Now that's an idea, Sue! So many possibilities to play with colours. Georgia thought they looked like the woolly worm :-D

    Thank you everybody for your lovely comments :-)))