Tatters don't like to deal with many thread ends, or at least I have not come across any who look forwards to having loads of ends to hide. So the best way of addressing this is to reduce the number of ends to hide. This takes a little bit of planning even before you start tatting.
|Start with CTM where possible|
If you are working on motifs that are worked in rounds, study the picture or the chart and see if you can utilise split rings or/and split chains to jump to the next round. You will be spared hiding ends after each round.
But, there will still be that last pair of thread ends when you finish your work. I am sharing here two methods that are often used to hide ends. These are not the only methods to use. There are other ways to hide ends but I have not tried them before, so I cannot say much about it at this time.
When you have made the last chain (or ring - I am using the chain here as an example) cut a tail of about 6 inches of both thread. Tie the ends to the beginning of the motif with a square knot.
Thread one of the ends to a blunt needle and sew in the thread in between the double stitches, going in first in one direction and coming back again in the opposite direction, (pic 2). After each pass, give the thread a slight tug to make sure that the thread is pulled under the caps of the double stitches. Do this over a number of double stitches.
|Sew in the ends by taking the needle in between the double-stitches|
Another method is often referred to as the Magic Thread Method. This method requires pulling the end through the double-stitches with the aid of an another thread. Again, study the design and pattern to see where is the best place for you to put in the magic thread. In this example of the same pattern as above, I have started with the CTM. I have decided to add the magic thread in the first chain because that is where I will end the motif.
Before making chain, cut off a piece of thread, preferably in contrasting colour and thinner than the thread you are using for you tatting. Hold your tatting as you usually do when making a chain. Fold the magic thread into half and lay it over the core thread of your chain. Make sure the the curve of the fold is facing the opposite way of your chain progression, as shown below.
|The magic thread should be lying along the core thread|
|Post the thwo ends of the magic thread through the half-knot before tightening the stitch|
|Double stitches made over the core thread and magic thread together|
But, in my example, I am not using another thread. Instead I use a floss threader to function as the magic thread. When you are about five or six double stitches from the end, place the magic thread over the core thread of the chain. Make a first half-stitch and post the ends of the magic thread though the half-knot before tightening it. Continue doing the same for each half-stitch until the double stitch that you need to complete the chain. For this last double stitch, only post the magic thread ends through the first half-stitch and complete the second half-stitch as normal.
|Double stitches made over the magic threa|
|Two magic threads placed at the beginning and the end of the motif.|
|One thread end is put through the loop of the magic thread, in this case the floss threader.|
Here are the two samples of the motif with the ends hidden, one made by sewing in and the other by the magic thread method.