Sunday, August 14, 2011

Daisy Chains

I decided to keep reading and take another lesson from Elgiva Nicholls. This time, the lesson was Daisy Chains. Now Daisy Chains look fairly simple, but this little pattern did present a few challenges for me. First, I decided to eyeball the size of the picots... pretty uneven. I used a picot gauge on the last daisy, and I was much happier with it. So, I think I'll stick to using picot gauges. I knew there was a reason I started using them!

Do you see the mistake between the first and second daisy? Apparently I'm still having trouble following directions. I joined the second daisy to the wrong picot. Oops!

I decided to take my Daisy Chain lesson  a little further. The bottom row is the Daisy Chain from the first picture. The top row shows my continued lesson. I used my picot gauge for all of these daisies, but I also decided to use the width of my shuttle as a measure for the thread length of the "chains" between daisies... much more even. I used a smaller picot gauge for the first four daisies. They seemed too mushed together (notice my used of advanced tatting vocabulary). I then switched to the larger picot gauge pictured. I think the daisies look much better, but I think I could have gone with an even larger picot.

Do you see how the daisies look a bit wonky (another technical term) at the beginning of the row? I started out dropping the shuttle through the ring before closing. I've been told that this makes it easier to open the ring, if necessary, and that the ring lies flatter. I must be doing something wrong, because my rings look terrible! The last three daisies were made without dropping the shuttle through the ring. I guess I'll stick with the method that works for me. Do you have success with dropping the shuttle through the ring?

I also experimented with my joins. On the pink Daisy Chain I used all up joins, the method I originally learned. On the cream colored Daisy Chain I used all down joins. I had read somewhere that a down join gave a smoother look to the ring. After experimenting with the two joins again, I've decided that the down join is for me. Which join do you prefer?


  1. I have tried dropping the shuttle through the ring before closing also - and it is easier to open the ring. However, like you, I found that the rings didn't lay flat - so I've stopped doing that.

    I've tried both up & down joins - but it doesn't seem to make a big difference to me? Maybe it depends on what the piece is.

    The loose threads between tatted elements are difficult for me - getting that even length!

    Love your vocabulary - very similar to mine :)

  2. Verry nice i love it your tatting.Greatings Marie-Claire

  3. I drop my shuttle through, and my rings lie flat. It's also easier for me to open them if (when) I find a mistake.

    I've noticed that if you are making a join to a ring or chain of a different color, an up join will not show a blip of color on the front. If both elements are the same color, the down join looks nicer. Jane Eborall has figured out a way to make joins without leaving a color blip on either side - check out her pattern pages:

  4. I use an up-join on the back-side, and a down-join on the front.

    Like Sharren, I find an up-join on coloured threads does not show the blip as much.
    Fox : )

  5. ...I need someone to show me how to facilitate the picot gauge! I feel like I am all thumbs!

  6. I've never dropped my shuttle through the rings, and I have no trouble reopening them (and I do reopen rings a lot).

    If you do front side/ back side tatting, then the join makes a difference. When tatting on the front side, a down join will make it look more like a normal ds; on the back side, an up join looks like a ds. In this case, since you didn't have to reverse work, you were always on the front side; that's why you noticed the difference. If you don't normally do front side/ back side tatting, then it won't really matter.

    It is true that doing your joins this way will allow a color blip to show if you're working in two colors. I can usually minimize this by controlling my tension on the join very carefully.

  7. I used to drop the shuttle through, it does make rings easier to open, because the last stitch doesn't seem to get so tight, but because of the way the ring lays, I have stopped dropping the shuttle through and can still open a ring if I am careful. as for the join, I do front side/back side tatting and do a down join on the top and an up join on the back. Also, I haven't worked with Jane Eborall's method of blipless joins, but do occasionally use the method that Bina Madden details on her website Paradise Treasures. go to her technique links it is listed under joins and is called a Lark's head picot join. it is actually a link to the wayback machine, for Loopy Lacer.

  8. oops, try this link instead

  9. Diane, it is not a mistake, it is innovating. In fact, I kind of like the slanted look of the daisy with the join made to the 'wrong' picot.

    I never drop the shuttle through when I close a ring, unless I am working the pattern with front/back tatting and I am closing the ring on the back side.

    The same reasons for the up and down join method where I normally use the down join.

  10. No dropping the shuttle through the ring for me either. It seems to twist the ring and they will NOT lie flat. I don't have any trouble opening rings, so there seems no point in making twisted rings. I like using picot gauges for lots of little picots together, but am so lazy, I usually eyeball 'em. Yours look nice and even. As for up and down joins, I generally use up joins as they are easier for me and I don't do front/back tatting.

  11. Diane, I also drop my shuttle through the ring before closing on all my tatting and my rings also lay flat. The trick is after you close the ring pull the thread tight and the ring makes a perfect close without ever rolling over..I can open my rings with either method. ALL my tatting is front side backside tatting and I always use an up join. They say if doing front side backside tatting your suppose to use a down join. I never do, all my tatting is done with a down join. If you take Tatters Across Time they recommend
    dropping the shuttle through the ring. So all it boils down to is what makes you happy. But practice does make perfect.

  12. Wow, what an informative post with these great comments! I wish you all lived closer so I could sit and tat.....reading and watching are two very different things for me. Watching you do these things would be very beneficial.
    Thank you, Diane, for a great post!


Just like you, I love getting feedback!