12 December 2009

To lock or not to lock - that is the question!!

Interesting question here!!!

I was reading this blog yesterday and it got the old brain cell out of hibernation!!!  Thanks, Rose Anne for permission to link, much appreciated (it woke up number 3)!!!

I looked at her little practice piece (that's the second picture down) after admiring her first designs.  First thing that I noticed was that she'd tied a knot to start.  Exactly what I'd have done in that situation because I'd be wanting to get to the real issue which was the false picot.  

I then (because of the knot and where brain cell number 3 was going) got to thinking about the magic thread trick and why I've never used it (well, I did once and the ends came straight out!).  So here is my 'how to' for starting off a ring without tying a knot or using the MTT (although actually the following is an MTT without the hassle of extra bits of thread or wire or flossers).

I tuck the small end round my core thread and TOTT (tat over the tail).  Here's what it looks like before the ring has been closed (left).  Hang on, I've got a drawing that I've done for the next TIAS.  I'll pop that in here too (that's the one on the right!).

Now, 'what if' (like Rose Anne) you have a split ring next with a 'false picot' in between the two.  There are several ways of dealing with this but this works best for me.

In the scan below I have started the ring exactly the same way as above by TOTT - but this time I have laid the second colour alongside and behind the original small tail leaving another end to tat over.  This doesn't make the ring noticeably thicker.  Well, I don't think it does!!!  

A handy 'hint' here if you're clumsy like me is to put a paperclip on the second end's tail to stop you accidentally pulling it back out!!!  How and why did I learn that trick?  Guess - I did pull the end out several times!!!

So the ring is worked over both tails and closed.  If you look at the scan below you'll be able to see the gold end 'peaking out' where it finished.  Normally I'd make sure the end was left at the back and it would stay there until I'd finished the whole piece.  I'd then give it an extra tug before snipping so that it would slacken off and wiggle back into the work.  Please note that I was using 'rat's tail cord' for this demonstration - not easy to work with!!!

Now, if you need to leave a false picot in between the ring and the next split ring it is currently being advised that folks should do a lock stitch (tie a knot).  I'm going to throw a spanner in the works here and say - please don't!!!  It will make an ugly place in the tatting.  All you need to do is leave a space of bare thread and start the first side of the split ring.  See next scan.

When the first side of the SR has been finished - leave another small space and make the second side of the split ring as normal!!!  Again take  a peak at the scan below (left).  Viola - no need to do a lock stitch!!!  

The scan on the right shows the same thing but with the lock stitch in between.  I rest my case and will put brain cell number 3 back into hibernation!!!!

Oh, before he goes I may show a way of avoiding the lock stitch if a chain is going to be worked after a ring or SR.  Does anybody want to see this?


Miranda said...

Very interesting post. Somehow, in all my years of tatting, I don't remember ever having this situation where I hadn't started CTM. I don't know why, because I very frequently use 2 colors. I've done it where I made the first ring a SR, tatting over the tails of each thread on its respective side of the SR. If you need to make that first ring all one color, this technique would be useful. I wonder about the lock stitch, though. I see your point about it being ugly, but I would worry about that second tail getting pulled out. I would need to play with it to see which way I like better.

Jane Eborall said...

That is a 'worry' about the second tail. That's why I sometimes 'anchor' it to a safety pin/paperclip so that it won't pull out! If you do that you can hold the pin with the shuttle too - if you like. Then pull back that tail before starting the second side of the SR.

Wendy said...

I have always tatted my ends in like that. With a split ring I tat over the first end and then loop the new colour through the last ring (if there is one) or just tat over the second colour end in the second half of the split ring. (as in your fig a.) Not sure if that is what you mean, but it seems to work. I only ever get ends to sew in at the finish of the piece.

Ridgewoman said...

Well, amidst all that's going on around here; trying to wrap my brain around what you've shown. I frequently TOTT; and, if I have to cut a part out I tat over the piece that I've left from the cutting. It doesn't seem to make the chain or ring much thicker when using thread smaller than 20.
I don't make a lock stitch as I think it looks ugly, also. So, I'm going to have to work through the explanation. XXXX P

Maureen said...

I've actually had to print this one, because it's way over my head! I find technical things difficult, so that's the reason I stick to simple patterns. But it's very good for my brain, to develop an understanding of things which just don't sink in - my father, who was an engineer, despaired of my inability to grasp spatial concepts.

Tatskool said...

I would have thought that the short tail could work itself out long after the tatting is finished. I agree about not doing a lock stitch between split rings, not necessary. Would like to see how YOU avoid it before a chain.

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
I beg your pardon? I didn't quite catch what you said.