Friday, April 25, 2014

Fake maltese chain?

Yesterday Joanna Joyce Posey presented us a tatting riddle. I do not know if it was her intention, but it made us think. And test. And tat. Late in the night we got to a solution, Sherill Hare got it! The thread is in the Tatting Designers group and one blog entry will be done with my solution. Pretty interesting to be used in some projects. This one comes later. 


But the reason of this blog entry is that I played (again) yesterday. I got frustrated because I did not get the effect right so I distracted myself. I had in my hands 3 threads, one of them a shuttle, so I amused myself and made the first ds, then the next ones, then I filled a shuttle and gave the idea a body: 

No, it is not maltese chain (or pearl tatting). For this one you have to use 3 threads: 2 shuttles and a thread to support the ds done with the shuttles. First ds with shuttle 1 flipped, then take the second shuttle and make unflipped ds around the third thread. This would be my resumee of the maltese ring technique. 

My thing is closer to this except I did it with the shuttle: 

Responses I got: 
1. Maltese ring. 
2. The Shuttle Brothers (Alternating thread technique, thank you Martha Ess, this one I did not know).
3. Encapsulating technique from Sherry Pence (Fiona Trapana)
4. Jane Eborall pointed me her butterfly
5. Mary Lena send me a link close to it
Might be something Martha said. 

What you need: 1 shuttle, 2 balls (or 2 other shuttles, if you prefer). I go for 1 shuttle and 1 ball (CTM) and the other one for the contrast colour). Too lazzy to fill the other shuttle CTM method. 


I hid the end of the red thread while making the ring. I let a longer end not to have surprises while working, this thread has no knot what so ever (I really don't like them). I will cut it clean AFTER I make the first ds with this thread. 
Now comes the fun part. 
Wrap the threads like this: the one you want in front of your work on the index finger and the other one on the middle finger. Maintain this order for the whole piece. Remember (no insulting the advanced tatters intented), this side is the back side of your work. IF you did not worked the ring as a back side... 

Make 2 ds with blue, snug. 

Don't change anything with the threads. Use now the red thread. Let some thread for the picot (I let 2 mm), make the 2 ds, snug. 

Change to blue... same procedure as previous. 
Take the red... 

This is the result. 
As you see, not really pearl tatting, no encapsulating. Closer might be the Shuttle Brothers technique wich I never saw, because I never have seen a book from them. And I do not do it with a G8. 
You can play with the ds amount, with differents lenghts of the picots beads on the smaller picots, beads hanging on the longer ones. You can even think about using the picots for funny joins (letting the the other coloured picot on top of the join, why not?). Sky is the limit. 
You can make also rings with the same technique, you will have always a continuous core thread. 
It is a bit unconfortable at the begining working with 2 threads on the left hand, I admit. I for sure not recommend to use a shuttle with a hook. 
As you see, my balls have the thread blocked with paper clips. Like this I have less problems while working. They behave just like shuttles, I can let the balls unwind as they want. 
I ask you again, if you identify the technique, please let me know it. 
Have fun testing it. I know you will. 

Addendum: I found this one looking like mine. It is inspired from Gary and Randy Houtz. It has to be done with3 threads.  


  1. Just got my 'Tatting Alternate Threads' by Gary and Randy Houtz (2009) out and it's the same technique. Least it's got a name!!!! I've managed easily with two hooked shuttles too when I've played with it. Great fun but not easy until you get used to it!!!

    1. Followed the info given by Marth Ess, found the Houtz to. Did not see it before and I did only see their technique for the rings. This is the reason they use 2 threads. Could you look in the book if they use it for the chains too and how?

    2. Corina, I think this is the Daisy picot technique I learned the technique from the Shuttle brothers in 2003 at camp Wanatat
      at Bobbie Demmer's place. Also learned it from a workshop at the Palmetto Tatters Tat days in 2004 I was not there but got the workshop of Mark Myers He was the one that called the technique Daisy picots.
      I played a lot with the technique and it ends in a small book I send you the book as an e-book
      Hope you like it and you can used it on your blog or in workshops as long as you tell the tatters my name
      Riet the B-engel

  2. Interesting post, I will be back to read it again and try this when my eye is better, for now simple patterns that have been done over and over are the order of the day, until I regain full sight.

    1. Wish you get better soon. And not only for the tatting. ;)

  3. You tatting is wonderful and perfect and your posts are so nice to view, you are a good designer and applying your skills to this is fantastic to view, thank you for your posts. they make me happy! :)

    1. Thank you, Madtatter. My tatting is far from perfect, learning every day something. Like all of us.

  4. Thanks, Interesting. I'll come back and study it more closely.

  5. I love the design in the red and black motif!!! :)

    1. I made the first try with red and green and longer picots... Perfect for Christmas! Now, iy you decide 3 colours, white, red and green, it will be more interesting.

  6. That is pretty! I made my "Celtic Pendant" necklace by using this technique. I was thinking that the technique is Maltese chain.Thank you for the information.

    1. Hello, What you used for the pendant is Maltese chain. This one is different, see the upper part of the ds are at the same level.

  7. J'avais vu cette discussion sur le groupe et j'étais restée assez perplexe ne comprenant pas comment c'était réalisé. J'ai hate de voir la technique !
    La technique a 3 fils est intéressante et peut avoir un très beau rendu.
    PS: Merci pour l'info pour le fil à coudre. J'ai essayé en triplant le fil et ça marche très bien effectivement. J'ai juste un peu de mal à démarrer tellement les fils glissent les uns sur les autres.

    1. Fais une seule fleur avec ces chaînes, et tu auras plein d'idées la tête, je t'en assure. Pour l'emploi des fils à coudre dans la frivolité, ça marche à merveille, une fois dompté la peur et mes mains accoutumées à manier fermement la navette. Quand tu fais la boucle pour commencer un ring, prends garde à ce que les fils aient la même longueur, C'est l'unique chose qui puisse créer des problèmes. Pour démarrer... Quand tu fais le noeud pour unir les fils, laisse-toi seulement les 6-7 cm nécessaires pour faire le noeud. De cette manière quand tu le fais, les 3 fils sont égaux. J'avais promis de faire un tuto avec toutes ces choses, mais j'ai pas eu le temps de le faire.

  8. Corina, Please let me know your e-mail address so i can mail you the book
    My is :
    Thank you in advance
    Riet the B-engel

    1. Hi Riet This technique is closer to the Anternate Thread Technique, but youmade me so curious!
      Thank you. My mail is