27 January 2011

I've been thinking!

No, don't worry - it won't last and I'm sure it's not catching.

As the TIAS has been progressing I've noticed 'things' about the way people work.  Only minor 'things' but 'things' nonetheless!!!  

The first thing that sprung to my attention was that many people nowadays  seem to start their tatting with CTM (continuous thread method) which  obviously couldn't be done with the TIAS.  The CTM  while allowing the worker to avoid tying a knot at the beginning, seems (to me!) a big fiddle before you even start.  Unless you know exactly how much thread you're going to need (and not many patterns tell you) there seems little point in doing this as you'll still have some thread left on the shuttles when you finish!  I know some people then use the 'remains' to make little diddly things (I personally take the thread off and re-wind it back onto the ball).  The TIAS involves starting with two colours which prevents the CTM totally!!

A lot of people have used an overhand knot like this to start.
Now obviously this isn't 'wrong' and people have their own reasons for starting this way but there are other ways.  Personally I do prefer to knot my ends together when I start IF the item is going to be a 'wearable'.  But I always use a weaver's knot which can be found here.  Why a weaver's knot?  Simples (does anybody from the UK follow the meerkat adverts?) - because it makes a much, much smaller knot.  I then tat over the two ends too - one end in the first ring and t'other in the following element.  I just sorta feel 'safer' using a knot too!!

If the item isn't going to be worn or suffer a lot of wear then I just start without a knot - here's a link for some ideas.

The one 'trick' that I've only ever used once or twice is the magic thread trick for which you can find a link here.  

There are two reasons for this - the main one on which I fall at the first hurdle is planning!!!  

Also I feel there is no point in using it at the start of the work as the ends can be hidden so easily.  The second reason is that it does take some working out on where to put the additional threads - if you are using it as a finishing off method.  

I did try it once but the ends came out a few days later!!!  I know, I know that some people will say that I got the 'wrong sort' of additional thread and probably I did - BUT it's something I'm not going to risk again.  Not when I know that for me it's so much easier to tie a double knot (reef knot) and then, using a self threading needle, sew the ends in!!!

Which reminds me - another tip is to add the needle onto the thread before cutting it.  That way you can judge exactly how little you need!!!

The above are only my personal opinions and are a true report of how I work!!!  Here endeth today's ramble!!


geraldine said...

i have used the magic thread method for a few years now.at first it felt funny. but oh!! NO sewing ends in, what a joy.

Maureen said...

One of the very clever Qld Tatters has a sort of "Magic Thread that isn't" built-in to the last element. It's brilliant - but I can't really remember how she does it,she is going to run a class on the technique during the course of our next few meetings. It involves unwinding the shuttle and using the thread doubled to tat the last chain - something along those lines. Then you just feed in the end, pull, and magically there are no ends!

Jane Eborall said...

Oh, my GOSH. I think I know what she's doing there and it's BRILLIANT. Least I think it is but will have to test it for myself!!! I wonder if it's along the lines of this
I'll try it later!!!

TAT19540 said...

A weaver's knot and the in and out hiding of the thread work! Ends don't come out, it doesn't come apart while finishing piece or a lot handling. I have never done magic thread trick and sewing in ends works. So as I say if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I'm glad others like magic thread and it works for them. That is the joy of tatting so many ways to do the same thing.

Unknown said...

Maureen!!! Thank you for that hint. I think i'll have a go at that method too.

Thanks Jane for the ramble. I like to tat over the ends at the start and I'm a great fan of the magic thread but i can see that this QLD idea would mean that you would only need 1 magic thread at the end.


Ridgewoman said...

It is so easy for me to stitch under the caps that I’ve never felt inclined to fiddle with the magic thread trick. Also, I use your (Jane) way of beginning without knots. On this TIA, I added in the other color when I came to it ~ without a knot. I’ve never made anything ‘to wear’ so would definitely use a reef knot to secure something of that sort.
Thank you for sharing your personal ‘tips’ and methods. It is educational and interesting; stimulates conversation. I especially liked the idea of adding the needle before ends are cut; so you know how much you need! Peachy Keen! xxxx P

Bonnie said...

I like when you do your thinking.

If I can't do the CTM to start then I prefer the reef knot you spoke about.

I do have a problem with hiding my ends. Currently I sew them in under the caps, but I don't always like the way it bulks up the top of the tatting in that area, or it even stretches the thread and distorts the stitches.

After 3 years I still have so much to learn. I'd like to work on the T.A.T. program again, but even that intiminates me. :-)

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