"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

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Slow Progress

I was making great progress on the doily, but then the work week started up again, as it will do. And then by today the housework had reached the point where leaving it undone would be more unpleasant than doing it, so that also ate into the tatting time. So I've only completed one more motif since the last time I posted.

I do want to share something I've been doing with these motifs to make hiding the ends a little less noticeable (I hope). This would be a moot point if I were starting the outer round CTM, but since it's in different colors that doesn't work.

The first ring of the outer round is very small, and of course I tat the tail into it.

Tatting over tails necessarily adds a little bit of bulk to that section of the tatting, but it's usually not noticeable. However, because that ring is so tiny, I don't want to add even more bulk by working the final thread into it as well. Too many threads in too small a space is what it boils down to. If there were two or more rings side by side it wouldn't be a problem; I'd just work the final thread into a different one. But since they are just single rings, the only way to avoid having two ends worked into one ring is to end in a different place than I started.

I accomplished this by cutting the ball thread off, a bit long, after the final ring, threading it on a needle, and wrapping it through the base of the first ring.

Then I used split chain technique to work my way back to the last ring. In this particular pattern, it's a very short chain, so it's easy to do.

The tatting is now complete, and after tying the two threads together I can sew the shuttle thread into the last ring instead of the first for a smoother look. The ball thread can be worked into either chain (I choose the longer one because I don't feel three stitches is sufficient to secure the end).

It's true that if the last chain were much longer, I wouldn't bother with this method; I would just finish with a normal chain joining to the first ring and live with the extra bulk in the first ring. But the option does exist to do it this way when it's appropriate for the particular pattern you're working.

And yeah, there are color blips in my joins. With a larger thread, I can usually tension those out, but it's harder with a size 80. I've also tried Jane's "blipless" joining method a few times in the past, but I must be doing something wrong because it never works for me. For this particular project, I've decided to call the blips a design element.


  1. Excellent tutorial for a tricky situation! And the blips are just fine as design elements! You may think you're making slow progress, but I think you're whizzing along! I'm making absolutely no progress - on anything! I seem to be content right now just watching everyone else's progress!

  2. To be honest I don't worry about blips at all as nobody other than another tatter would even see them. I live with blips! Gorgeous work and I love the colours you're using.

  3. Thanks for sharing your tips! Although I usually remember the tips after I'm finished, it's nice to know that there are ideas out there to make our efforts easier. I don't worry about color blips... I kind of like them!

  4. Beautiful. And, I completely understand about the house work.

  5. I love how the motif looks with the colours you chose. I overlooked this pattern when flipping through the book since Jan always uses white or off white thread. I want to tat it now too. I'm glad you mentioned the blips of colours from the joins in the light coloured rings. I love how it looks! I think it looks intentional.

  6. I figure it would be bad to live in a blipless world! Oh, beautiful blips!

    I can't get Jane's method to work for me either... I just tie and sew my ends in...

    1. Well yes, so do I. The point is just to have a different ring to sew into. :)

  7. Very nice tatting and hiding ends are extra fun with color and variegated ones too :) great tips