Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ankars tatting rules for a simple pattern

Please, do not make the mistake to believe Ankars means stacked rings, 3D tatting and multilayered pieces.
This technique uses common tatting patterns but there are some details which make from a common pattern an Ankars piece.
- work it with shiny, resistent, polyester thread (Lavsan, Isacord, Brildor, any machine embroidery brand you find as long as it is resistent, shiny, not elastic).
- tat the ds according to the Ankars requierments: right hand completelly still, no moving, thread tight, form the knot with the left hand. This is Rina Stepnaya's way of tatting for Ankars. This makes a stiff lace. The video of Karen Cabrera shows it perfectly. Remember it looks like regular tatting, but this makes the difference:

- combine 3 or 4 strands, one of them can be easily from a different colour or metallic.
- choose good quality beads, even ones (Toho, Miuki, quality ones).
- plan your beads to tat it the lace with extreme care.

I will show you how a simple tatting element can become Ankars. I admit, not the spectacular one, but it is something different than tatting with beads. And no, beanile is not Ankars, Nina Libin is clear about this one.
The simpliest rosette ever. Tatted with polyester thread (Penny 30), really stiff. All gold Toho rocailles 11.0 are tatted in.  The white and the red ones are sewed. This is one of the ways used in Ankars. 
You need to tat the rosette: 
12 x 4 = 48 beads for the rings (they will be on the shuttle). 
6 beads on the ball. 
To finish it: beading needle required 6 Toho white, 6 Toho red, 11.0 size. And 1 finishing crystal (if you wish). 

All rings: 10 - 5 - 5 - 10. 
All chains: 25. 
All joins are done between the beads. 

R1: take 11 beads in the loop. 10 ds, bring from the loop 4 beads, 5 ds , bring 3 beads from the hand, 1 from the shuttle, 5 ds, bring the last 4 beads from the loop, 10 ds, close ring, turn work. 
Remark: when you make those 4 beads picots, do not make them too tight. You will want to have some manoeuvre space when you make the join. 
Chain 1: bring 1 bead from the ball, hold it tight, start chain. 25 ds, snug as tight as you can (too bad for the aspect if you work with coton), turn work. 
R2: take 7 beads in the loop.  10 ds, join between the beads, 5 ds, make the diamond beaded picot, 5 ds, bring the 4 beads from the loop, 10 ds, close ring, turn. 
Repeat until you finish the flower. 
The last join is a bit difficult, make sure you make it between the right beads. 
You will notice that the flower is not stable in the center. 
You just come with the beading needle and wave in the beads you kept for finishing. My piece gained in stability after sewing the red ones. The white I added in fact just to bring some contrast. 
I played with one of those beaded centers by adding a 4 hole pearl and giving some volume to the piece. 

Do not be afraid of experimenting. But if you want to make an Ankars piece, just respect the Ankars basic rules. This way of making the ds will improve your tatting too, since this movement forces the thread to wrap better around the core thread. As for the beads, unleash your imagination, sky is the limit! There is actually no Ankars pattern... the originality comes from the way the elements are combined, the beads scheme and the colour scheme. 
Have fun and happy tatting. 



  1. What fun, and I love the red and gold great for the Holidays want to try this thanks for all the information
    hugs from Carollyn!

  2. Hugs back. Thank you for stopping by. I want to try it with different colours to. I like the star in the middle. It was not planned, though.

  3. Interesting, thanks. I have wondered what Ankars tatting meant.

    1. Morning Jane... With this information I just scratched the surface for thsi topic. There is an online class for thsi technique. Contact Susan K. Fuller if you are interested.

  4. Just what I was looking for. Many thanks for being so helpful.

  5. Hello Corina,

    This is a very cute pattern! However, I still have a couple of questions... Is there any specific way to sew the beads or am I just supposed to place the thread where it fits? Also, when using embroidery thread, I'm a bit nervous because I always fear that the different threads are going to tangle up. Is the a way to avoid that?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Sté`phanie,
      Thank you for the kind workd about the pattern. It is not much, but more a way to show how beads can change the most boring rosette.
      Your questions now. I would suggest that at the begining, you match the beads to the lace and not try to make the lace according the beads you have. Thsi until you gat a bit more routine.
      Working with multiple threads is not difficult. Personal experience: no bobbin shuttle. It costs time and it distracts to look always to the bobbin when you unwind or wind the shuttle. The threads tend to split and if they go between the shuttle and the bobbin, this creates big problems. So: post shuttle, the threads carefully aligned while filling the shuttle. If during the work the threads get uneven, unwind the shuttle 1m and re-align them, hold the finish point and wind the shuttle making sure that the treads stay even.