Tuesday, August 16, 2011


The next design I explored in Tatting Techniques by Elgiva Nicholls is "Diamonds." It's a pretty simple design, but I was surprised by a couple of things. 

First, the author states, "The fourth ring joins to the first picot of the first ring. This join is a difficult one as it is an awkward position. It occurs in many medallions." That's it. Period. She gives no suggestions on how to make that last join! I can see where that would stop many beginning tatters from going any further.

The next thing that surprised me was the join between motifs. See how there are 5 picots on the outer edge of the ring? The directions call for joining the 2nd and 4th picots in that cluster. It made no sense to me. The center picot was just left dangling, and if anything, it looked like I had forgotten to join it. So I backed up and joined all three of those picots. It makes a nice firm join, which I imagine would be helpful if it's being used as an insertion.

Still not satisfied with the join, I decided to leave out the center picot, as you can see on the right hand ring.

I thought it might look a little different, and it might have if my picots were longer. I don't think there's a significant difference in the look. However, there is a difference in the feel. If I decide to make more of the insertion, I think I'll stick with joining the 3 picots because of the nice solid feel.

On another note, the cream color is size 20 Lizbeth. The blue is size 50 Oren Bayen. I think there's a significant size difference, so I'll make sure I don't combine these two threads in a single piece.

Hmmm... seeing these together makes me wonder how this motif would look as a coaster or table mat. That's an idea for another day!


  1. This is interesting stuff. If you were to do it as a coaster or mat, would you use a split ring to move from one to the other?

  2. I wondered about using a split ring as well. Otherwise, you've got all those threads to hide!

  3. Interesting notes & options, Diane. Some of the older patterns are so pretty, but I am not very good at altering!

    Why does the size 50 thread look larger than the size 20? (Just when I thought I had that sorta figured out.)

  4. If I had any confidence in making split rings, I might be able to figure it out! I'm sure I'll lie awake trying to make it work in my brain, so that my fingers can take over and actually try it. I've been playing with the pattern tonight, and I just can't make the connection!

    The only explanation I can come up with for the size 50 looking larger is that there must be different numbering systems in the various countries.

    I'm sure there are experts in Tatland who could answer these burning questions!

  5. The four rings (diamond?) always frustrate me so... I usually wing it and hope for the best! ^_^

    Might try out your methods though next time. Settling for less than perfect never works out in the long run.

  6. Another reason we need to get together . Split rings are not hard! Jane's dead spider technique is the bomb.
    Have to think about what you discovered. And yes with those instructions a new tatter might type their shuttles on the air and ask what is the use! lol.

  7. Very interesting, amazing how different patterns are written, no wonder beginners have problems sometimes.


  8. I don't think I have any Oren Bayan in 50 but I do in size 20. Or is it size 12? I'll have to look when i get home!

    I'm finding Lizbeth thread is a smidge smaller than many brands in size 20.

  9. I wonder if Elgive knew about the folded join to avoid twisted picots?

  10. I love the blue one you tatted. You are always so helpful...

  11. This is a very interesting tutorial (it had to have taken some time to post!) and also shows that the instruction books often leave us 'hanging'. Also shows that thread size is just not standardized, although I can see how that would be difficult for manufacturers to achieve.

    Fortunately, my teacher showed me the 'folded' join right off the bat - although I still find it amazing (20 years later) that it works! If the world was waiting for me to figure it out, they'd still be waiting! However, I still have to 'think' about it when I do it.

    I found a way to do split rings fairly easily; but it's having to wind that second shuttle (determining how much to wind on) that stops me. A bigger shuttle (like Tatsy) to act as the 'ball/shuttle' would probably be a good idea for me, but I haven't tried it yet!

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  13. The diamond designs look so nice Diane! Looking forward to seeing what you're going to make. I'm attending a family reunion in B.C. this week & I brought along my thread & tatting shuttle because I'm hoping someone can show me how :)

  14. The last join on this type of motif can be a pain, especially for beginners. I did a video demonstration showing how I achieve this without folding the tatting. Here is the link, Diane, http://toptattyhead.blogspot.com/2008/03/tatting-demonstration-beading-non_14.html
    if any of your followers would like to take a look.


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