22 Jun 2011

Pointed Chain

I have read all your comments to my previous post, where I first wrote about the subject.  At that time I didn't have a name for it.  I wasn't sure if it made any difference or if it is worth pursuing.  However, encouraged by your comments I looked at it further, and for discussion purposes I am calling this a pointed chain.

I made another sample motif again with three different version of chains joining the rings,

The first chain is a regular chain and the second is the pointed chain.  The third chain is made with lock stitch at the top, as per Miranda's comment (copied below)
Miranda said...
Oh yes, I can see the difference. It's like a Gothic arch. I sometimes achieve this look by doing a lock stitch at the top of the curve. Is that what you did? 
I can see differences in the three chains by the different methods.   The regular chain is rounded and the pointed chain has a point, of course.  The lock stitch method also creates a point but the curve is not smooth where there is a slight jump before and after the lock stitch is made. (The fifth chain is also with a lock stitch and you can see the jump better in it)

Here is my explanation of how I put in the point in the pointed chain. The basis of it is to add extra thread width in the caps of the double stitches.  This is the opposite of adding extra thread width to the legs, as in the double double stitch, to straighten the curve of the chain.

You can add the extra thread width in any stitch of the chain, either the first half-stitch or the second half-stitch, but the second step must follow immediately in the next half stitch.  In my example here I started at the second half-stitch of one double stitch, followed by the first half-stitch of the next ds.

Make the second half-stitch as normal but do not tighten the half-stitch
Bring the upper shuttle thread (or ball thread) through the loop ..
.... resulting in a knot made with the upper thread over the core thread (lower shuttle thread

Tighten the upper thread slowly and slide it very close to the previous half-stitch. Be careful not to allow the knot to tighten before you position it.
Close up of the second half-stitch with extra thread width in the cap of the ds.
Next, to add a second thread width to the next half stitch make the stitch as normal but do not tighten.
As before, slide the upper shuttle thread (ball thread) through the loop .....
... and form a knot.  Slide the knot to the previous half-stitch slowly, as shown earlier. to tighten the knot and finish with the second half-stitch.
A close-up showing the extra thread width in the upper part of the chain.

I hope you can see the extra thread width added to the upper part of the chain even with the picture being blurry due to it being highly enlarged.


  1. This is an amazingly clear explanation- thank you so very, very much!

  2. aahh, very smart Jon, I will have to keep this in mind. I can see some good uses for it.

  3. That's a very clever idea. I've never seen it before. You're right, it does make the point smoother.

  4. Yes I can see the difference and thank you for explaining so clearly.

  5. Thank you so much for another great tutorial! Excellent photos and a clear explanation. This effect could indeed be another design element. I'm envious of those just learning to tat! They have almost 'instant' access to information and new techniques such as ths.

    Maybe we should call it "Jon's knot"?? :)

  6. Thank you, Jon! When I get my Internet access back next week, I'll try it out!

    (Posting from Barnes and Noble a half hour from home)

  7. Smart, clever, amazing ... BRILLIANT!! Tatting was pretty much the same for hundreds of years, then, voile, in the last few decades there have been tremendous strides made in how we tat.. and we are NOW witnessing JON making tatting HISTORY!! So, Jon, do you also have a new pattern using the pointed chain??!! How lucky we ALL are to be tatting in these times! Thank you, Jon, for sharing your talent with us :-) ~Tatikan/Sher

  8. Oh Sher, you make me blush .. he he he
    The pattern is still to come.

  9. I'm happy to discover that winds of creativity are spread all around! and you are one of the better! Your knot equals to the puncetto-knot, and if I may add a bit, if the ring was made as SCMR, there's no problem to insert one of those wherever you want! I hope I was clear, I'm looking forward to see one of yours cat with pointed ears! Hugs, Ninetta.

  10. Coolio! I like this tutorial! I have seen this before but I like the pictorial tute you have here! Bravo! Bellisimo! (clapping hands) :)

  11. I like, I like! Thanks. Now, what to do with this knowledge? Can't wait! Thanks!!!!!

  12. I know this is an older post, but I just recently had a need for a "pointed chain". I've been watching your blog for a few months and saw this post when you added it originally. I'm new to tatting and recently wanted to try "creating" a flower with a slightly pointed petal. The pointed chain is perfect! And, being new to the art, I wanted something I felt confident doing. Again, pointed chain is simple and your instructions made it fool proof for me. Thank you!

  13. Great result, for sure !
    I just hope I manage to figure out how to apply this tutorial to needle tatting ^^
    Thank you ! ♥

  14. Looks stunning, I love the shape in the chain. I've look online so much to find this technique and this is much better by far. A lovely clear presentation too. Thanks Jon :)

  15. Thank you so much for this tip.

  16. I've just used the pointed chain for the first time. Thanks very much for this excellent tutorial!

  17. I have tried this and I find that using a paper clip to hold the "would be knot" into place (right next to the half stitch) prevents it from knotting too soon. Thank you for this technique.

  18. Neat idea. Do you have info on how to make the point using needle tatting?

    1. I am not very good with the needle. You can try this to see if it works. Basically, what is required is a knot made by the ball thread (in needle-tatting). Bring the knot close to the previous stitch on the needle, then continue making the other stitches of the chain.

      Now, you've got me thinking. I can't do the point in rings with the shuttle, but it may be possible to have pointed rings when using needle.
      Thanks for this comment.

  19. I like it..! Good idea..and thanks for sharing. Will have to try it with the shuttle.

  20. This was extremely helpful. I have been frustrated trying to get a sharp looking point to some of my tatting. I think this will solve it for me! Thank you so much for sharing.

  21. Creating an angel pattern fora friend, and this is EXACTLY what I wanted for the tips of the wings. Just have to practice it a few more times to get it in my head. Thanks so much!


Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate it