29 September 2009

One of my favourite tatting tools.

A few years ago I discovered this type of safety pin - a coilless (or, coil less!!) one.  It's about 2 1/4" long and doesn't have that 'bit at the end' where you always get the threads either caught or on the 'wrong side'!!!

I now cannot tat without them!!!  I'll show you  why and what I use them for.

Firstly I use them to hold bits and pieces!!!  These are the small centres of motifs, tiny butterflies and anything which might otherwise get lost down the side of the chair.

Secondly I use them to make a very small picot space.  It's not really a gauge but it's sometimes useful just to 'mark the place' of a vsp  (very small picot) which might otherwise lose itself!!  Sometimes they do that if you put a vsp at the base of a chain or even sometimes when working block tatting.

Thirdly I use it to 'hold' beads on a very long picot.  It leaves enough of a space at the end to enable a join (later) which is very useful.  In the 'To Bee or Not to Bee' pattern which I taught at Palmetto it not only held the beads at the end of the first very long picot in the tail - it also held all the others too.  This meant that I only needed one 'holder' for the entire tail - fewer safety pins/paperclips to get muddled up!!!

Finally I use it for this trick.  It's a neater way of making the first split ring after a ring (when CTM can't be ued) - OR of adding in a 3rd shuttle  like when making Millie and Carrrter which were two patterns I taught at Palmetto tat days!!

You add the second thread whilst working the first ring.  Just put the safety pin on the end of shuttle 2, hold both shuttles together and work a few doubles to cover both the ends.  (See below).  Now, of course, you can do this without the safety pin but I used to pull that short end out time after time by mistake.

When you're ready to start the second side of the following SR you can pull the shuttle up so that the safety pin lies next to the ring.  Don't take it off until you've worked the SR and then tug it before cutting and the end will hide itself in the ring. 

PS you can buy these in the USA - here's a link.  http://tinyurl.com/y8vpsy2 
I ordered mine online in the UK.


Sally Kerson said...

Not having used these safety pins for quite all you have suggested - yet - I tottally agree how wonderful they are, you gave me a packet a few years ago. When I've had to use the other ones have frequently got the cotton twisted at the bottom and its so frustrating.

Anonymous said...

Interesting - but where do you get them? In the UK or can you get them in the USA? Love reading your blog, mum was an English war bride from Watford, Herts. Robert, from northern Iowa, USA.

Jane Eborall said...

I got mine through ordering online here in the UK. You can get them in the USA. Here's a link which might help. http://tinyurl.com/y8vpsy2

MimiD said...

In the US I get them at Michaels by the large packet for a reasonable price. I find them with the beading supplies (findings section - area with clasps, etc). I've been told by some that they are called "Knitters Pins" (knitters having similar need for keeping the coils from fouling their stitches - yarn being even more grabby than thread!) --Mimi

Gina said...

I like these too but don't think I have any right now. I think you can find them in quilt shops too. Had not thought of all the uses you've described though!

Valerie said...

very useful tips, jane. i'm going to try and hunt them down...

Ridgetatter said...

love the coil-less pins. I began using them when we did your T.A.T that turned out to be a girl! Now, I always try to remember to stick 10 or so in tatter's gift or exchange packages. Esp. in those place where they are hard to find, like China.

Maureen said...

I've seen tiny gold pins like this in Spotlight, but they are only big enough to hold one stitch. It would be useful to have some of the bigger ones - they'd make great stitch markers for knitting as well.

Anonymous said...

In Colorado, I get them at Joann's, and like MimiD said, they can be found with the beading stuff.

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