Thursday, 20 August 2020

dandy options

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 Solai S asked for help with Teri Dusenbury's Dandelion Chain Link Bookmark after seeing a few recent versions inspired by mine. I needed to refresh my memory by reading the pattern and my blog notes. Huh, turns out I already had the SCMR in place of SQDR idea back then. Time to test it!

SQDR = split quadruple directional ring. It is basically a split ring but has only 1ds on the first side and the rest is worked on the 2nd side, using reverse (unflipped or larks head knot) stitches. Working moves counterclockwise. Rings thrown off the center are worked with same shuttle without any switch. 
If shuttles have different colours, there will be 1ds (on 1st side) that will of one colour and the rest in 2nd colour.

SCMR = self closing mock ring. This is a chain that closes into the shape of a ring. Working moves clockwise, and rings can be thrown off by switching shuttles.
It makes no difference if shuttles have 2 different colours - the entire SCMR with thrown rings will show the same colour stitvches.

The post is long because I am showing 3 alternate methods of working the Dandelion motif, all using the SCMR instead of SQDR. A lot of tips are also thrown in, giving the tatter an opportunity to pick and choose steps as desired. Feel free to skip the working you do not intend to make. 
And for even more options on ways to tat a central ring with several thrown rings, read the article, and download the tabulated pdf. 

Note that since thrown rings in SCMR are worked from left to right (a to e, in above left image), the start and end stitches of the SCMR are as notated. It may also be a good idea to make the motifs first, then make the chain link surround (the black rings in above bookmark), joining on the go.
Please follow the original pattern for stitch count and instructions, making necessary adjustments. The following is merely a depiction of alternate methods of working and/or using 2 colours. And knotless starts.

ASingle colour, 2 shuttles, wound ctm (continuous thread), SCMR with thrown rings.

Red - shuttle #1 ; Yellow - shuttle #2

A-1 : Loop Sh2 as if starting a chain. Bring Sh1 around the pinky once .... 
A-2 : ... to hold open a loop of Sh1 and start SCMR with 5ds.

A-3 : Making the 1st thrown ring with Sh2.
A-4 : Closing the 1st thrown ring off SCMR

A-5 : Follow pattern to make 4 more thrown rings, finish SCMR with 3ds, and close the open loop after passing Sh1 through it. Continue with stem using Sh1 as core and throw off the next ring.
A-6 : Follow pattern to complete the motif. Notice there are 2 tails that can be hidden in the chain link later.  
TIP : For a standalone motif, and to avoid sewing in tails, hide one tail in the last stem ring, and tat the final segment (10ds) of the stem as a floating chain as I did here for the rose
Tutorial -

The tails in above motifs are not hidden in order to keep my options open for future.

B. 2 colours, 2 shuttles, SCMR with thrown rings    

Red - shuttle #1 with teal thread ; Yellow - shuttle #2 with pink thread  

You can start by knotting the threads. I prefer a knotless start, tatting over tails in separate elements.
B-1: (left image) I usually cross the threads as seen in left image. Each tail is hidden in a separate element.
(right image) This time I simply placed the tails one above the other and continued as below.

B-2 : Wrap the threads as above, holding a loop of Sh1 open.
B-3 : Work 5ds of the SCMR, tatting over tail.

B-4 : Switch shuttle and work the st thrown ring, switch shuttle to work the SCMR stitches,....
B-5 : and continue to make the rest of the thrown rings and 3ds to complete the central ring.
TIP: Notice how I inserted the pink tail inside the open loop, and also passed Sh1 through the same loop.
B-6 : Now close the loop/SCMR. But for Version 2 of pattern, we need switch threads for green stem stitches.
B-7 : The most common solution is SLT (showlace trick). I prefer to avoid it. Instead I did TwW (twist work) as in this bookmark. With Sh1, make an unflipped half stitch, but while tensioning, ensure that the shuttle moves to the top, thus repositioning threads and shuttles into desired positions.

B-8 : Work the chain with Sh2 core (hiding the pink tail), thrown ring with Sh1, and chain with Sh2 again. At the end of this segment, TwW to switch shuttle positions.
B-9 : Continue and complete the motif. The tails can be hidden in the chain link later.

C2 colours, 2 shuttles, SCMR with thrown rings, starting from bottom, ctm 
Red - shuttle #1 with brown thread (and later with lavender) ; 
Yellow - shuttle #2 with brown thread 

C-1 : Wind Sh1 with stem thread; pull out a length from the ball and cut. Pass this end through the respective chain link ring (if you make this frame first, as per original pattern), and wind the rest on Sh2. Thus, we have joined, with no tails to hide at the start. 

In my standalone model, a picot space is held open with a paper clip (dead end start). Thus, if the motif is worked first, this paperclip picot can be used for joining to the chain link frame.
Work the stem and leaves.
C-2 : Snip off the Sh1 thread, leaving a tail (the shuttle at the bottom of pic) which can be hidden under any element. Sh2 becomes the core thread shuttle for SCMR. 
Wind lavender on a shuttle, tat over tail to hide end and work the SCMR with thrown rings as per pattern. (add thread on chain)
C-3 : Close SCMR and hide ends.

It's been over a week since I heard from Solai, and have no idea whether she has started the bookmark and has any issues. But this seemed like a good opportunity to try out the substitution idea and share with you. 
So, pick up your shuttles and get started :-) What colours will you use?

One more question - do you like the size of the images? Any changes you would like to see in the presentation?


  1. It’s a really stunning bookmark. Once again you show us that there’s more than one way to create an effect. A friend of mine wants me to tat bookmarks for sale, so that might be a good reason to try this.

    1. Great news, Jane! Yes, please do try the bookmark - I think this bookmark still remains in the top 5 all-time popular posts in my blog, even after all these years.

  2. I have never heard of the SQDR. To me it sounds as complicated as a figure ice skating jump. The SCMR sounds easier! Thank you for the options and detailed instructions! You really have a lot of patience to come up with more ways to do one thing, most people would just stop at one that works ok.

    1. Ah, but figure ice skating is so elegant to watch, Lavi ;-D
      I think left-handers would prefer the SQDR to the SR or the SCMR, since the former moves counterclockwise, while the other 2 move clockwise.
      LOL, I start out with only 1 or 2 ideas, but the brain keeps wondering 'what if ....' and I still fall short on the actual tatting.

  3. I love tatting split rings but never tatted that bookmark. What I really do not understand is why calling it in a different way. You did a great job with all 3 samples, another great post to save. Pictures are showing normal size in my browser, I'm reading with the phone in this moment. I should read it again with more attention, I learn a lot from you. Thank you very much.

    1. Thanks, Nin :-) See, the SQDR lies somewhere between the SR and the Reverse Ring. But much easier than the RR. The 1ds on 1st side of SR stabilizes it, and we can throw ring off all around the central ring. At the time, I am sure it must have been quite revolutionary - clever certainly!
      Now tatters prefer the SCMR, obviously.
      Thanks for the feedback on the images. I downsized drastically this time, and was wondering how they would show up!

  4. Wow, so many innovative tatting techniques! The tips on hiding ends are so helpful. Bookmarking this for future study. Thank you for sharing. Great photos and clear explanation, as always.

    1. I'm glad you find this useful, Marilee :-))) Thank you

  5. Another great lesson and great flowers!!! :)