What exactly is a LTR? It was developed by Bina Madden as an extension of Matthew Takeda's single shuttle split ring technique. However, the LTR is not used as a split ring; it is a means of making the shuttle thread pass through a bead both before and after a ring, so that the bead will sit just below the ring without having a thread pass outside the bead. In one pattern, Bina also uses LTR's as a way to tat a ring on a ring. I personally still prefer to use the SCMR for this, but it's good to know that there is another way of doing it.
LTR's will be easier to understand if you know how to do a single shuttle split ring. If you are not familiar with SSSR's, please see Anne Bruvald's video demonstration.
I will show two methods of closing the LTR. The first is the original way, and is exactly like closing a SSSR. The second is a modification that allows you to make joined LTR's.
To begin a loop tatted ring, pull a large amount of thread off the shuttle.
Next, place a bead on a crochet hook. (You don't actually need the bead to make the ring, but there's not much reason to use a LTR without a bead). For most seed or bugle beads, I recommend a 0.5 mm crochet hook.
Grab the shuttle thread with the crochet hook and slide the bead onto the thread.
Put the hook down and enlarge the loop of thread above the bead.
Wrap this loop around your left hand, just like making a regular ring. I pinch my tatting with my middle finger instead of my index finger, but if you use the index finger, do it the way you're used to.
Continue to pull more thread through the bead, so that you have a small loop after the pinch. This loop will act as your shuttle thread while you tat the ring.
Finger tat the first double stitch using the loop. Make sure that the first stitch is snug up against the bead, but not too tight.
Now that the first stitch is made, the loop is secure, and you can adjust as needed. Pulling one side of the loop will cause the ring to start to close; pulling the other side will move the shuttle thread. You can thus enlarge the ring if you need to, just like you can with regular tatting.
Continue to finger tat the rest of the ring, using the loop as your core thread. Keep your tension nice and relaxed. If you tat too tightly, you will have trouble closing the ring. This photo shows the ring ready to be closed.
ORIGINAL METHOD for closing the LTR: This is exactly like closing a SSSR. First, pull on the side of the loop that will close the ring.
After closing the ring, you will be left with a very long loop.
Wrap the loop over the ring so that it sits between the base of the ring and the bead.
Pull gently on the shuttle thread to tighten the loop.
Continue pulling until the loop is completely tightened.
MODIFIED METHOD for closing the LTR: If you have joined the LTR at any point, you will not be able to wrap the loop around the ring. This alternate method of closing the LTR eliminates the need to wrap.
Pull one side of the loop, as above, to close the ring itself. Then insert the crochet hook up through the bead.
Use the hook to pull the loop down through the bead. The loop will now lie next to the shuttle thread.
Pass the shuttle through the loop.
Pull on the shuttle as before to tighten the loop.
I hope this tutorial has been at least vaguely comprehensible. Please let me know in the comments if you did or didn't understand. If it didn't make sense, I'll try to do better.
Here are a couple of examples of other ways you could use LTR's.
Right, it's time to make lots of pretties with beads and LTR's. Get on it, all you designers!