- what to tat,
- which pattern to use,
- which thread,
- what colour,
- what size
- any beads to add
- one shuttle/2 shuttles, etc.
This post will touch on one aspect of the forward planning in the tatting process itself.
It is generally accepted that tatters will always make an effort to reduce the number ends to hide at the end of the project. There are various techniques that can be used to hide ends such as,
- sewing in,
- magic thread,
- even the single-shuttle split ring, where possible.
One consideration to reduce the number of ends is to use either split rings or split chains, or both to jump into the next round. It is easy enough to say 'use split ring to go to the next round" but not all patterns indicate where and when to use these techniques. This is where planning ahead will help to smooth the flow from round to round. Using the chart for the Lace Mat, I will try and explain what I usually do for cases like this.
The Lace Mat has four rounds (minus the stand-alone clovers) and after studying the pattern, I think it is possible to make all four rows without cutting the thread at any row until the last.
Round 2 begins with a split ring. But, rather than making a split ring for the first ring followed by the chain, I need to study the steps for Round 3 first to decide how the split ring should be.
|Round 1 to Round 2|
However, there are two rings to each scallop, joined to the first ring of Rd 2. I need to decide which ring to make the split ring, else I will not be able to jump to Rd 3. In this case, it is the ring on the left in the chart below.
|Round 2 to Round 3|
Rd 3 continues with the long chain following the pattern. The last chain of this round is a split chain followed by a final ring as a split ring.
Round 3 to Round 4 requires two splits ring as seen in the chart below. The next steps continues as in the pattern until the end, and if my plans are right, I will end up with only two ends to hide
|Round 3 to Round 4|
However, do not forget the clovers. There are ways to work the clovers as part of Round 4 utilising split rings but I have not looked into it in detail so I can't be sure that it will work.
A point to note here is, using split rings changes the shape of a ring, especially if it is an imbalance or uneven split ring, i.e. the stitch count of the first half is not equal to the stitch count of the second half of the split ring. The first split ring of Rd 2 is an imbalance split ring. And, if you are particular about the shapes of your rings, like sometimes I am, you may have to endure the cut-and-tie to get the shape of the rings that you want.
In conclusion, there are various techniques that can be utilised to make tatting easier and saves time at the finishing end of it. Here are a few points to consider:-
- Study each pattern and identify where they can be used well before starting.
- If there is a chart with the pattern, mark the places where you plan to use the techniques. A clear picture of the tatting is sufficient if the pattern does not come with a chart.
- You may need to change the starting point to utilise the different techniques, such as split ring & split chains to move to the next round.