Ribbonwinners Tatting Patterns & Shuttles by
Georgia Seitz
11460 Via Appia
Anchorage Alaska 99515-2905 USA
Tatting with Joy
Rebecca's Cotton Candy Necklace

What is a picot - exactly?

Can you remember back to math class in elementary school? Do you remember your teacher explaining the value of 0? And what a nifty little tool a zero could be?

In basic math, 0 is called a "place holder".
It is the object that holds a space open.

[Footnote: When we subtract zero, what's left? Or as one child asked his Dad.... "What is the difference between zero and nothing?" Dr. Math answers "Most mathematicians consider 0 to be a number, and "nothing" to be the empty set" Zero

So... IF we have the set of real numbers... say.... { 1, 0, 1 } THEN, in actuality, we have a set with THREE things inside ....yes? AND, If you have a zero inside brackets {0} take zero away, you get { } ... the empty set, eh?

Got it?
Ok - now let's do some tatting math!

In this cotton candy necklace, the candies (00000000) are the zeroes.Some believe that 1+1 = 2, no more and no less. Some would say that one double stitch plus one double stitch equals two double stitches (period, end of story)

BUT, tatters are a gentle and creative people. They are often known to take nothing and make something beautiful of it. For example, Teacher tells us that to make lace...start by taking a hole ... and surround it with thread!

Remember our set with three numbers inside?
Let's do it again...this time - Tatter Style!

1 ds + 0 + 1 ds = 3 spaces where a ds *could be*

Ok, now take away the zero {crunch, munch, munch}
Smush it back together...

And You Have a PICOT!!!

How much space does a picot take up?
Well... we smushed all the extra space out ....
So the answer is None!

Yummm.... delicious, let's do it again.
Three double stitches ... ds ds ds
Plus three place holders ... 000
Plus three more double stitches ... ds ds ds
Equals {crunch, munch} an Even Bigger Picot!

So...how much space does this picot take up?
Well... let's smunch it up and see ...
Exactly the Same Amount of Space as the other ...
Nothing, Nothing at all!

So, when we are tattting, how do we count the picots???
The answer is - We Don't!
Well, we *would* count the zeroes... if the 00 (zeroes) were still there...
But they aren't.... (Someone ate them!)
And now that they are gone ... Nothing Remains!
(Remember, Zero take away Zero doesn't equal Zero.... It equals ... Nothing, Nothing at all.
Ok - let's take this thought and turn it into a tatting equation.
How about this pattern?
CH (a chain of ) 1 - 2 - 3 - 3 - 2 - 1
Ok, now munch!
No wonder we use negatives signs to signify picots...
It's to remind us that a picot is the space where a double stitch isn't !!!

The ratio of the dimensions of a double stitch stays consistent regardless of the size of the thread. The double stitches get smaller with small thread, larger with large thread and the ratio stays the same. It is, therefore, possible to use the width of a *** double stitch *** as a measuring device! If a standard picot is the width of one double stitch, a larger picot would be two widths, etc. A tiny invisible construction picot might be one half the width of the double stitch.

They're elementary... once you do the math.
Easy as 1...2...3... Even a child can do it!
Right, Rebecca?

Thank You! to Rebecca G. who is very good at math and is going to grow up to be a great lacemaker someday soon!

Many thanks to Joy Critchfield for preparing this charming introduction to tatting for newbies. If you have questions you may contact S Joy direct.

Any questions? You are welcome to email me.
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