"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Friday, September 21, 2012

Progress Made and Unmade

Tatting along on the bookmark, I had gotten to this point...

...when I happened to glance at the previous repeat, and saw this.

"What is that odd thread?" I asked. I picked at it a bit and found this.

It's a loop from a join that got caught and didn't get pulled all the way up. I didn't notice it right away because it was lying so close to the previous ring. I briefly considered cutting the threads. At this point I had made both rings and chains with both shuttles after the goof, so cutting both would have been the easiest way to get back to that spot. However, that would have given me four ends to deal with, so that would have been just as much trouble as unpicking all the way back, and probably wouldn't have looked as good. Since I had only done part of one repeat after the goofy join, I decided that unpicking was worth it.

When untatting, I find it most efficient to make the threads much shorter than I do for forming the stitches. I also find that untatting causes a bit of twist to form in the threads, so I let the shuttles dangle frequently. Once I am done, I wind the threads completely back onto the shuttles and let them relax for a while. Letting the threads just sit on the shuttles for a couple of hours takes out the kinks so they are easier to work with when I do start retatting; plus, after untatting a long way I'm usually so irritated that I need to take a break anyway.

The ring with the goofy join happened to be right where I started this morning, so I literally had to take out every single stitch that I tatted today. Grrrr. But it is fixed now, and I am ready to retat and move on.


  1. Been there, Done that, can I get the t-shirt?
    isn't it annoying when something like that happens. just realize that we have all done that or something similar from time to time.
    good for you to know when you need to walk away.
    That bookmark is going to be so awesome when it is finished.

  2. WOW! That was a lot of untatting! I really admire your willingness and ability to do so.

    I probably would have taken a bit of the darker colored thread, passed it through a few of the caps on one side of the ring, pinned down the extra thread the way it was, and then continued to sew the dark thread under a few caps.

    I'd then be unhappy with it because I didn't have the patience to undo it and do it back the right way. lol

    1. Yeah, I did consider whether I could just hide it somehow. But since this is not for me, but a gift for somebody's grandmother, I knew I had to do it right.

  3. Don't you just HATE that?

    I did something similar today - I had to cut off the last round of the Tat-Along Doily! I had tatted a terrific beginning, but I did not like what I was seeing thread-wise, so I bit the biscuit, cut it off and now must begin anew... Grrr, loud and clear, over here in my corner of Tat-land!
    Fox : )

  4. My husband calls it " distatifying" when I unpick. You deserve a star for all that work that will never be seen!

    1. That may be the best word I've ever heard for it!

  5. I was exhausted just reading this! Amazing tips on letting the thread 'rest' for awhile.

  6. I can honestly tell you, I understand your irritation. Most of the time, my tatting time is limited to my lunch period at work. Lots of times I find that I've made an error at the beginning of that period of work. Which I then spend the entire period untatting what I'd just tatted, ending up making no progress at all for a hour's worth of work. Sad, really sad.