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Josephine Knots/Rings


The First Half Stitch = French Stitch








The Second Half Stitch = English Stitch

The Josephine Knot/Ring, says Elgiva Nicholls in "Tatting Techniques", was named for the Empress Josephine, Napoleon's consort, and was found often in early French patterns. Rebecca Jones in her "The Complete Book of Tatting" also calls this element the Josephine "Knot." It has also been designated a Josephine Ring in many publications and a Josephine Picot in Therese de Dillmont's "Encyclopaedia of Needlework."

For class purposes, we will designate this element as the
Josephine Ring

In the Mlle Riego patterns, her designations for the stitches were:
single stitch = English stitch = second half stitch
reverse stitch = French stitch = first half stitch

It is noted that Mlle Reigo began her patterns with what we call the second half stitch today and the antique patterns do show this difference if examined closely.

See rings A and B below. Ring A begins with English stitch. Ring B begins with French stitch. Samples prepared by Dee Dannenberg.



The Josephine Ring is found as a thrown-off ring from a chain, thus requiring a second shuttle. The ring is formed and only one half stitch is done in repetition. Either the first half or the second half stitch may be used.

It must be quickly explained that doing just one half stitch in repetition causes a TWIST to occur in the ring. This is seen when more than 8-10 stitches are completed but may not be immediately visible in Josephine Rings of less than 10 half stitches. See rings C above. These rings clearly show the twisting that occurs in the Josephine Ring.

Working just one half stitch when making a chain creates a "twisted", or "rickrack" style chain. Working both half stitches in sets, i.e. 4 French / 4 English or 4 first half stitch followed by 4 second half stitch creates "Victorian sets" or the node stitch.

For practice using the Josephine Ring:
Rose Rogers JK #110
Rose Rogers JK #36
Susan Phillipo's Lilac pattern

More information using the Josephine Ring may be seen on Lisa Trumble's pages:
Lisa Trumble Flower Pattern
Lisa Trumble's JK notes

Many thanks to Mark Myers for the wonderful graphics illustrating the half stitches!

Any questions? You are welcome to email me.
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