Split Rings

We begin now a voyage of exploration. You will need to pack your shuttle, needle, thread. and hemostat. And don't forget your thinking cap...'cause you're going to need it!

Let's us begin by concerning how the split ring might enhance our work.

The following is an excerpt from Book 3 of the Ribbonwinners Series, Tatting Tiny Treasures: Miniature Tatting for Dollhouses. Copyright 1995 Georgia Seitz

Enhancement Techniques

The manner in which tatted lace is created gives the rings the appearance of being all right-side up and the chains of being wrong-side up. However, it is possible to create tatted lace which is all right-side up. It only requires a small change in techniques when beginning the chains.

After a ring is completed, reverse work and prepare to chain. Begin chain with the second half stitch first. If you consider the double stitch in two parts, the first carries the thread under and then over; the second half carries the thread over and then under. I count the stitches by thinking, "...and...one...and...two." Picots can be created as the second half stitch, or and, is drawn up. After the chain is complete reverse work and begin to form next ring. You will observe that the chain and rings are both right-side up.

Additionally, this right-side up look can be accomplished by using the reverse tatting technique , split ring style or tatting upside down method. Here the ring is completed, but do not reverse work. Prepare to chain, but keep the working thread (between your forefinger and middle finger) taut. Do not let it relax. Do not let the loop be transferred. Instead pull shuttle thread gently down towards the bottom of the thread until it is in position next to the last stitch of the previous ring. Begin with the second half of the ouble stitch as described above. When chain is complete, do not reverse work.

Many tatters feel that it is not necessary to worry about the lace being right-side wrong-side up. Others feel that it should always be right-side up. I decide which method to use by considering if the piece has more rings or chains. If chainwork predominates, then I use one of the above methods to create the tatting all right-side up. Please experiment with these techniques and judge for yourself.

Now let's look closer at the technique:

The following is an excerpt from Book 4 of the Ribbonwinners series, Tatting on the Edge...and Beyond, available from Georgia Seitz 11460 Via Appia, Anchorage, AK 99515-2905; AKTATTER@aol.com. Used with permission; copyright 1996 G. Seitz

There is more than one way to accomplish the split ring technique. There is more than one way to hold the hand when making a split ring. This description is the starting point for learning all about split rings.

The Fascination of Split Ring Tatting

Written for the tatter who is just learning the split ring technique, this is a step by step look at how to build tatted lace edgings using split rings. Wind one shuttle and then unroll enough thread to wind next shuttle from the other end thus eliminating one set of ends.

To create the basic tatted split ring, begin with two shuttles wound with acontinuous thread. Use shuttle one to tat the first half of the ring in the normal fashion. When finished, open the ring a little extra. Physically reverse the loop around your hand. (I accomplish this by supporting the loop with my right hand while I remove my left hand to the left. I bring my left hand over to the right hand side of the loop and enter the ring from right to left.) The new pinching point for the ring is the point where the ring started. Hold on to the first stitch previously made and begin to tat upside down in the opposite direction.

However, you must keep the working thread (between your forefinger and middle finger) taut. Do not let it relax. Do not let the loop be transferred. Instead pull the shuttle thread gently down towards the bottom of the loop until it is in position next to the first stitch of the ring. In order that the second half of the split ring have the appearance of being right-side up, begin with the second half of the double stitch as described above.

If you consider the double stitch in two parts, the first half carries the thread under and then over; the second half carries the thread over and then under. I count the stitches by thinking, "...and...one...and...two." When working the split ring picots would be created as the second half stitch, or and, is drawn up. After the ring is complete, return ring to original position and use shuttle one to close the ring. You will observe that both sides of the ring are right-side up.

So if you have followed these steps you have realized that the double stitches in the split ring method are not "tatted" but wrapped onto the core thread.

Now think back to the padded tatting class.

Made the connection?

Split ring technique is a manner of encapsulating thread(s) by wrapping . Examine the scan of the flower. Note the tail/threads held securely in the hemostat so that they cannot so slack. They remain taut at all times. See how the dark green thread "wraps" around the tails. This is encapsulation.

The split ring delevopment has allowed the tatter to eliminate much of the tedious work of cutting and tying so common in older patterns. Its use allows the tatter to climb out from the center of a pattern and work to the outer rows without cutting the threads.

To understand its use as a construction tool, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the tatted ring:

ring A, ovoid ring B, round rinc C, mock picot
Ring A is a normal OVOID tatted ring.

Ring B is a round center ring tatted in the traditional manner of beginning the ring in the middle of a set of DS and then cutting the threads and hiding them on the back.

Ring C is a round center ring tatted with full sets of DS and "climbs out" by means of the mock picot.

This example shows a round center ring, mock picot and a split ring (needle tatted version) about to be closed:

Now you can practice the split ring in this exercise from the online tatting class '99.

This doily and the diagrams were developed during classes by several members of the online tatting class in Jan '99. Since the new pinkpig class has so many students who learned the split ring recently or are about to learn, I feel that the emphasis should be on practicing this technique.

By the time you have gone completely around your doily, you should have complete confidence in tatting split rings.

We learn from examining the center motif of the pattern the method of using a split ring to "Climb Out" from the center to another row. Now let's use the split ring as a decorative element.

Round four is accomplished in two passes:

*R 6 + (joining to the center picot of the chain of the previous round) 6
close ring. RW
CH 4 RW
R 6 - 6 close ring RW
CH 4 RW Repeat from * around.

rows four and five

Depending on how tight your tension is you may need to adjust the length of the chain. Add a couple of stitches to reach the next point of attachment if necessary. Then maintain that count around.

I suggest that you lightly starch and iron this round before continuing.

The outer edge:
Wind your shuttles CTM. If needle tatting, stiffen end of thread which goes through the needle's eye and keep a needle threader handy. Attach thread to any ring of last round; use a shuttle join.

*Split ring: 6 / 6 close ring.
R 5 - 1 - 1 - 5 close ring. (Make the center picot longer than the side picots.)
Split ring: 6 / 6 close ring.
Shuttle join to the next ring of the previous round.
Repeat from * around. For added stability you may want to join the regular ring to either or both split rings. Your choice.

The finished doily:


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