Sunday, August 14, 2011

A new challenge

After reading Cindy's posts regarding chains, I decided it was time I learned a little about them myself. I am a voracious reader, but if I want to remember details, I need to go back and read over and over again. Even then, details don't always sink in!

I've read, or maybe I should say I've skimmed, Tatting Techniques by Elgiva Nicholls several times. There are some fascinating pieces in this book, and my favorite is a shuttle shaped design on page 97. I also adore the corner piece on the cover! However, reading/skimming and practicing the techniques presented are two different things, and this morning I decided that maybe I should do a little practicing.

As Glinda the Good Witch states in The Wizard of Oz, "It's always best to start at the beginning." And so I did...

I've never understood why anyone would start their tatting with a chain. However, right there on page 15, I found instructions for starting a chain on a continuous thread. I read; I tried; I conquered! (My apologies to Caesar and Michelle.)

This is very exciting for me! I now understand why there's a need to use a paper clip or striver (so you don't lose your picot at the beginning of the chain, if you want a picot). I also am beginning to see how I can accomplish tatting the beautiful piece on page 97!

I love when I start to understand something!


  1. I too have been inspired by Cindy's post and have tried the chains she described as I had forgotten some of the techniques.

    Because of this post I pulled out my Nicholls book - *sigh* - lots I have forgotten! Thanks, Diane!
    Fox : 0

  2. Ha-ha!!!
    Frivole's quatrain starts with a chain but after looking at that book with Cindy on Friday, I can see I have a lot to learn. One really wonderful thing about that is that it reminds me what the students go through in my class!

  3. I LOVE it when things click! I love that shuttle shape in the book too.

    It seems like I usually have to know the "why" behind it all for it to make sense. And it helps to have tatting buddies to share those "Aha!" moments with.


  4. It seems I also need to go grab my Elgiva Nicholls book, as I have never understood what a down join is. Isn't it just another way to say "lock join?" (I always thought so.)

    Inspiration for us all!

  5. I’ve always found EN’s books very interesting; but I know she would have been quite vexed if I were her student. Her techniques are very exacting and mathematical and that makes me crazy.
    But her patterns are beautiful. bj


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