Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Beaded chain, Nina's Libin method

I empty my shuttles and play, or learn, or test while I am doing it.
This time I had some beads on the shuttle, so I fooled around with some rings and beads. I used Nina's Libin method: tat the ring normally and then climb on top of the ring with the bead which will stay in the ring. So smart and simple. What I added was this little "collar". It ended up to be a nice chain or braid and I intend to use it as the middle part of a bracelet.

How I did it:

Starting point.

Work ring

Turn work that you have the starting end of the chain to your right, wrap the thread to make a ring.

Work the ring and close it. Do not rush, you want it to close nicely, on the back side of the chain.

Bring 1 bead from the shuttle and place it in the ring.

Make lock join to fix the bead in place.

Of course, I could not resist, and I made a variant, by bringing another bead between the rings: 
After the lock join, bring one bead, make the next ring. Turn work, make "collar ring", close, bring the bead to place it in the ring. 

I worked this with Lizbeth 20, my beads were 1,5 mm. I used for the normal ring: 4 - 4 vsp 4 - 4, and for the collar ring: 12 ds. 
For the variant, the collar ring had 14 ds, so it lays flat. 


1. Do not rush! The horizontal rings are a bit stuborn to close. The closing point has to be always on the back side of the work. You cannot trick it, it does not have a nice appearence. 
2. Choose, if possible, beads with a bit larger hole to place between the rings (for this variant). The lock join knot will be hidden by the hole and the chain has more stability. 
3. Make a test before, so you can know how many ds you will have to use. 
4. Careful when you start any new ring. No thread should be left visible. 

When I make my lock join I use a small trick, like this I do not have any surprise and I do not have any bare thread by accident. I pull the thread like for the Catherine Wheel join but I do not let it pass to the other side. I snug this loop by pulling the shuttle thread in my direction (holding the thread under my left thumb). Like this the knot is very tiny and even. I do not know if this was done before, but it works for me. 

I hope you will give it also a try, just tell me how it turned out. 
Happy tatting. 


  1. Great design!! :) Looks wonderful!!! :)

    1. Thank you. I like it because with this one no more split rings with bead in the ring... A bracelet, a rosary... just nicer to do!

  2. Very interesting tutorial! This technique is new to me, I have never seen it before. Thank you for explaining it so well.

    1. Thank you, Marilee. This way of climbing with the bead from behind the work was in one of the booklets of Nina Libin, for one of her bracelets... At least this is how I remember it.
      It opens a lot of dors for designing. I did it also from the front side of the work (but you have to make another join). It looks interesting especially if you want your beads to lay on the ring.

    2. Thank you for the tutorial, Corina. :D

      I've just recently read about this technique in a book by Eeva Talts and wanted to try it - and then I saw your tutorial. I like the rings around the others and it's much easier to follow than the book which only has written instructions.

      Instead of doing a lock join I pull the thread through the picot and enlargen the loop to become the next ring - that's the second method from the book, the one I'm currently using. :)

    3. Sylverscale, this is interesting. I will search for the book. As for the loop, I think it is more or less like the old interloking rings method? Only that you pass the thread through the picot and not through the ring.
      The book of Nina Libin: One shuttle, lots of beads (Lace of beads no, 6), 2004 (revised 2008). I hope this helps.

    4. It's called "Das große Buch der Schiffchenspitze: Occhi - Frivolité" in German or "Suur pitsiraamat. Süstikpits." in Estonian, first published 2012. I don't know if there are versions in other languages. Not a bad book, some of the patterns are really interesting and she combines tatting with other crafts. But it's not that good for a visual person like me. Too little pictures and too much text.

      I must admit I don't know about the old interlocking rings method but if you pull the thread through the ring to form another then yes. ;) Works quite well and looks better than the lock join - at least when I do it (no little "bridge" between the rings).

    5. That sounds like a very interesting technique. I will definitely have to give it a try seeing as how I really like the looks of the finished piece.

  3. Interesting. Thank you very much for you clear explanation. I'll have to try that!

  4. You have done a nice job they are beautiful I too have made a necklace out of this book I got long ago I will have to check to see if it is the same one you did your with. I think people have forgotten it!

    1. I used only the way to add the bead in the ring from Nina Libin, the other part is not hers. I think this method saves a lot of nerves but it brings other issues: if you do not want a beaded ring, then you must know how to make a sssr... ;)

  5. Beautiful. Will need to try this. It looks interesting.

  6. Dear Corina, this is exquisitely elegant ! Very interesting technique as covered thoroughly in your pictorial. I have never done something like this before & do not tat much with beads ... but this is now on my to-learn & make list !!!
    Thank you so much for sharing :-)

  7. Querida Corina.... no lo entendi, me lo podrias explicar en español? Mi mail: Gracias!

    1. Grace, necesitas solo una lanzadera, con las cuentas enfiladas. Son solo anillos y, en principio, se trabajan normalmente y se sube para el proximo anillo con la cuenta. Te lo explico:
      1. Trabajas un anillo normal (es el principio de la cadena.
      2. Trabajas un otro anillo, con un picot muy pequeño a la mitad (se va quedar en la parte alta del anillo). Yo he hecho 8 - 8 para una cuenta de 1,5 mm.
      3. Das la vuelta al trabajo de manera que el primer anillo trabajado apunte a la derecha.
      3. Te preparas para trabajar un anillo. Yo he hecho 12 nudos dobles. Cuando cierres este anillo, hazlo de tal manera que la cadena se quede al interior de este anillo. Cuidado en cerrarlo: el punto de union tiene que quedarse de bajo del trabajo. (mira las fotos).
      4. Trae una cuenta y colocala detras del trabajo. Dar la vuelta al trabajo manteniendo la cuenta y hacer una union (lock join) con mucha atención, que el nudo no se te quede grade.
      5. Trabajar el proximo anillo para la cuenta.

      Si quieres, puedes traer entre los anillos una otra cuenta., pero tienes que adaptar los nd para el anillo horizontal.

  8. Grazie per i tuoi splendidi tutorial !!!!Sei insuperabile...

  9. Thank you Corina! Brilliant. Will try it.