Planning for the end(s)

I have been wanting to tat butterflies from the book Tatted Butterflies by Adelheid Dangela for a long time now, and finally got around to doing it .  There are many techniques used in the book that I have not tried before, or maybe just tried once before like block tatting, onion rings, and even mignonette style. Then,  there is the butterfly that uses the leaf pattern as in Ruth Scharf style, the long twisted picot, and even a cluny butterfly.

I have only tried tatting a cluny once before and that was only learning the technique, not even trying to make anything from it. I have to search the net for tutorial on cluny when I reach that pattern in the book.

I will be making the butterflies in the sequence they appear in the book.  To start with are these three butterflies.
Top left is Alfa, bottom left is Birte and right is Celine
Alfa is the popular 4-rings butterfly which is the upper one of the two.  I modified it slightly by tatting a head for the butterfly with a SSSR which is also to tidy-up the ends, instead of tying a knot.  I also used the SSSR  to finish the ends at the head of Birte which means that I had changed the starting point when I tatted it.

I tatted the head for Celine as an onion ring, but I think I made the antennae rather short.  I had some problems with the chains in the upper wings because they overlap each other, on both wings.

Below is Diana, still a work on progress with only one side of the wings done.
Diana - in progress
The ring in the lower wing is not an onion ring but a chain tatted over a ring and joined back to the base of the ring.  To hold the chain in place, it is joined to the top of the ring, in this case, with a Catherine Wheel join. I made the antennae with long twisted picots.

One side of the wing is done first and ends by joining it to the body.  But, that would leave me with a problem of where to hide the two ends because there isn't a suitable place where I can sew then in.  I prefer to sew in the ends because the other methods don't seem to work for me, except for the SSSR where suitable.   In this case, I am going to undo that chain and do it up again as a split chain coming form the body and ending at the join at the top of the ring where I have more choices of places to hide the ends.

If you have managed to read this far, you will understand the title that I chose for this post. In summary, it is important to decide what you plan to do with the ends even before starting a project.  Study the pattern or picture or chart carefully before starting. If using the magic thread method of hiding ends, mark out on the pattern where the auxiliary threads are going to be placed. It can be at the beginning or the at the end of the work.

In the meantime, I also made another kilt pin with tatting attached to it.

.... and tatted these hearts.
left, Queen of Hearts by Mary Konior; right, Happy Heart by Frivole


  1. Love the kilt pin.

    Ah, yes, the ends dilemma. Often I do not think that far ahead and have to be very creative. I do think that the place where I sew in the ends is the worst part of all my tatting. Though I use Jane’s suggestion and use the Calyx needles, I prefer something called the ‘chenille' needle in the smallest size, (24, I think) but these are hard to find and they break easily. They do hide the ends well, wherever you place the though!
    Fox : )

    1. I do have little problem when using variegated thread when the ends that I am trying to hide is in contrasting colour with the colour of the ring/chain that I want to sew it in. When that happens, after I have pushed the needle through between the half-stitch, I give the thread a good tug and hope that the contrasting colour does not show up very much.

  2. Everything looks soooo beautiful!! :)

  3. Wow, your kilt pin is soo beautiful. It's Beanile lace method inspired, isn't it? And the hearts and the butterflies are very nice! You are so right, thinking about the ending in advance is realy helpful :-)
    Regarding Adelheid Dangela's pattern, she normaly uses #80 thread and she therefore just makes overhand knots on the backside, as far as I remember tating with her. She does not glue it. But I can give her a call if you would love to know.
    If you need information for tatting cluny my instruction sheet for "Marit" will be ready soon, which includes cluny technique. Would you like to be a preview tester?
    Happy tatting spring butterflies!

    1. I have never test-tatted for anyone before though I have requested tatters to test mine, and I am forever grateful to them.

      I would like to give this a try. Thank you for the offer.

  4. A very informative post! I also prefer to sew in the ends, and it's better to have a good area to sew them into.

    You've obviously been quite busy! Very nice examples and explanations. It appears you started Mary Konior's heart in a 'different' place also. I found starting with ring A makes it difficult to hide the ends after attaching the final chain to a picot.

    1. I started MK's heart at the right ring, but I ended it at a different place. I used the split chain technique to make the chain from ring A and end at the base of the last ring of the heart.

    2. Thanks for the reply! I never would have guessed split chain as that technique is still beyond my skill level! In fact, I had some difficulty with MK's heart when I tatted it a few months ago; but I love the pattern. I also love the thread color in both hearts.

      I forgot to tell you how much I like the kilt pin. I love the colors and the beads!

  5. I love butterflies, and yours look lovely, I don't have this book but the patterns look gorgeous.

  6. Your tatted butterflies are beautiful. Love the tatted kilt pin and your tatted hearts. Blissful tatting...

  7. Beautiful butterflies, I wish I had that book.I look for it.
    I also sew ends.

  8. Hi Jon! Adelheid has such cute butterfly patterns, don't you think so?
    I did them about three years ago: (You'll find the google translation gadget down at the right side.)
    And finally I decided what to do with them: I've put them in bangles as I have seen in a picture once. Will post a picture of it soon...

    1. Anke,
      I took a look at your butterflies in your blog. I do agree that Adelheid's butterfly designs are beautiful and your tatting have shown that very well.

  9. I've been trying to read some of your posts now and again...when I can squeeze in the time with my other online activities. I do enjoy thinking ahead of what/when/where/how and we know the 'why' is TO HIDE THE ENDS. LOL

    Thanks so much for putting a piece of your brain down on cyber paper for us.


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