Saturday, August 9, 2014

The "what if?" syndrome and the "why not?" factor

Some time ago I tatted this simple bracelet. I think this is my simpliest since I shuttle tat. It was some time last year, the same time as the Chandelier earrings. Simple lines, seed beads only to join the 2 edgings. Simplicity has its effect. Always. 

Last week someone helped me rediscover it and asked for the pattern. Pattern? I thought. It is the very first thing someone learns in tatting after the flip, the ring, the rings and chains... I'd say it is the third pattern in learning to tat. But this stimultated me to push more in this direction.
It is what I named the "what if?" syndrome. You have a pattern in front of you, or you start to work something and you take a small break and the question hits: what if I make this chain longer? What if I close this ring over the braid? What if I do the join here and not there? I suffer of it. It hits me all the time. Remember, I cannot really follow a pattern. Now you know the reason. I see potential and the other thing, I know anyway to do. Even if after this I must throw away thread, I still cannot resist.
Then comes the "Why not?" factor. When the shuttles just start to do what they want (somehow). And sometimes I get a big flop (yes, I keep them), sometimes I get a small hit.
I had to work a bracelet for a swap. I was missing the idea when the what if syndrome hit me.
Revisited the small pattern with a small twist. 2 shuttles project, same colour, the beads added. 
After I mailed it, I wanted to tat it again, for me, to have it. And I got hit again: What if I work it with 2 different colours?
I works, I liked it. I got bold. The why not thingy... 

As you see, a 2 shuttle pattern. Seems easy, it is not really easy. It is not enough to be able to work with 2 shuttles, you must pay attention a bit to the different layers created. 

What you need: 2 shuttles, seed beads, crochet hook or something place the bead, paper clip to hold the bead. Patience. Lots of it.  

First half is easy. 

Shuttle 1
R1: 15 - 5, cl, dnt
R2: 5 + 9 - 9 - 5, cl, dnt
Take Shuttle 2, place the seed bead, secure with paper clip, start ring. 
R3 18 - 2, place the ring between the previous 2 rings, make sure that the thread of shuttle 1 will remain in front, close ring, do not turn. 
Shuttle 1: R4: 5 + 5- 10 cl, dnt. 
Take Shuttle 2: Start ring: 2 + (behind R2) 18, pass shuttle 1 through this ring (so it remains bellow the thread of Shuttle 2), place the stitches between R2 and R4, close. 
Remove paper clip, lock join with Sh2. 
Turn work. 
Chain (Shuttle 2): 18 ds (you can work 16 with no problem), snug, switch shuttles (SLT), turn. 
R6: 5 + 10 - 5, close turn work. 
Chain (Shuttle 2): 18 ds, turn. 
Shuttle 1: R7: 10 + 5 - 5. 
And so on. 
Personal remarks: 
1. The paper clip ennoys. If you find a way to avoid it, let me know. You can make a fake picot before you work R3, work the ring, close... 
2. You must at any moment check that the threads from Shuttle 2 will end up by being in front of the ones from Shuttle 1, so tou can have a clean join for the bead. I passed the thread of Sh1 through the R3 and R5 before closing. There are more that 1 way to do it. 
3 You can choose to work R3 and R5 one after the other, but make sure you make the right joins when you work the rings with Sh1. 

There are 2 variants of this edging, if you want to work 2 of them: 
The simpliest: 

The more complicated one: 
As you notice, you must work the rings with the Sh2 at the same pass. When you work the R4 (Sh1) make down join through R2 (difficult, but possible). Work R4, pass the thread behind the thread of Sh2, work R5 (up join through R3). Do not forget the order of the threads (Shuttle 2 in front of Shuttle 2).  If you do not do it, the transition between the rings is not smooth, and the backside of the work is not neat, the join with the bead is not clean. 
Have fun... or not. The bracelet looks really nice, so I will work it again. 
P.S.: do not start with the small rings, or at least do not finish with a 5- 10 - 5 rings... you will want to hide the thread of the second colour. This was my mistake, I had to make one...


  1. Interesting pattern, I like the way the rings are worked in between, something I must try when I get finished some of the projects I have on the go.

    1. Thank you, Margaret. Have fun with this one. And if you find a nice way to do it, could you share?

  2. Another beautiful piece Corina~ I so love your work and you have really taught the tatting world so much! For that I thank you, so much!

    1. I must thank you. It is beautiful to find answers, challenges so I share as much as I can. And I feel I just scratch the surface of this beautiful tatting world!

  3. I'd like to tat this work right now!

  4. I too like the added rings in the middle you could call the "Corina's Rings" I don't believe I have ever seen this style beforE

    1. I could not tell. I did never see this way to close the rings over the other ones. I used it also for another pattern in Etsy (the small flowers). But if this is original, I could not say. Such a simple gesture... and with celtic tatting this might have been done already.

  5. Amazing idea! I've never seen rings wrapped around other rings quite like this. Tatting of the future!

  6. A wonderful 'what if'! I do like the wrap rings, interesting effect.

    1. Jane, if you decide to give it a try, just le me know if I need to change something about the instructions. ;)

  7. I've just rediscovered your blog and am so impressed with your beautiful tatting and your ideas! I very much appreciate all the instructions, tips and suggestions! Excellent drawings, too! So nice of you to share your research and to help simplify things! I'm very much into 3-D tatting and 'layered' tatting and interlocking rings, so your techniques are so interesting to see!

  8. Thank you, Kathy. I hope that all this helps someone. As you said, behind there is some searching and then a lot of thread goes to waste... or not. But it is a beautifl adventure. Like yours.

  9. Corina bardzo ładny wzór, a bransoletka prześliczna.

  10. Wonderfull!! Can you please tell me how do you harden your bracelet? Thank you very much!!