Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Understanding Ankars

An Ankars piece is easy to recognize. I just found this piece here (you can recall it for sure) and I try to explain some of the distinctive elements. I do not touch the thread used. Only the construction elements or the foundation and the beads.  

1. The stacked rings. 
They are caracteristic for Rina Stepnaya's Ankars orientation. 
There are 2 big groups of this element "ring on ring" : the ROR simple and complexe ones. 
Golden rule: rings must very well closed, snug to get the stiffness necessary, make sure that the front side and back side are "clean", back side must be as beautiful and neat as the front side. You must develop  your way to close these rings. If they are not correctly and completely closed, you will have important issues for the final aspect and the balance of those stacked rings. One reason more to avoid coton, even the best one. 

There is no order how you work them. You can start from the larger ring, work all the joining picots and then the smaller rings, starting from the larger one to the smaller one, joining through the previous ring. No bare thread left between the rings, otherwise they will not pile up nicely. 
In noticed that up join and down join tend to place the rings under or on top of the base ring. For sure, this allows you to make clean joins, no twist for the thread. 
As you notice, a good planing is necessary. 

2. Sewed beads
There is no restriction in using the beads. 1 rule though: best quality beads. The regular shaped ones are kind to you and to your patterns. They are easy to incorporate. But don't stay away from the baroque beads. They bring personality and charm to the pieces. 
Crystals of glass beads: fire treaded ones, to avoid that the thread is cut. 
Easy test for the quality: give them a bath with concentrated soap. If after some hours they did not loose the colour, you can use them. But, again, for some beads you should not jump on the brand new ones... the older ones are sometimes better. 
How to plan them? 
a) you know your thread, and you adapt your pattern to your beads. 
b) you tat the foundation and then search the beads. 

Seed beads should be very regular. You can use them in the lace (godo planning required), sew them, use them as "stoppers" of "buffers" for bigger beads. 

Fire treated. 

No words. But make sure they are the good type. 

Yup, they are welcome. 

Check the quality. 
Sky is actually the limit. 

3. Beading skills are welcome in Ankars. 

4. The seed beads are often tatted in. There are a lot of possibilities, this required a full class. There are more ways to use them than picots or beads on core thread. You would be surprised. 

5. Often there is a central piece, a focus one. In this necklace  it is this cabochon. There are at least 4 ways to do it. Again, a blog entry would be necessary. Trust me, it is not the known way of tat an edging for the front, tat a flower for the back and we put them together with some beads. 
During the class I will give details about all these elements. 


  1. This is Very interesting . Thank you for sharing the elements systematically. Ankars tatting is on my to-learn list for next year & your posts will be very useful.

  2. Hi Muskaan, If you would like to have more info to start learning, please contact Susa K. Fuller (Tattind Designers FB group and ask her how you can join the on.line tatting classes. This Tuesday is the next meeting.

    1. Corina, thank you for the info. Unfortunately, I am not on Facebook. Will learn from other resources :-) I Love this technique.
      At present I am not tatting anyways - wool has beckoned ;-) Will pick up shuttles again after a few weeks at the earliest, when my afghan is finished.

  3. Thank you for this post and some informations about Ankars. It's very helpful. Thanks!