Georgia Seitz Ribbonwinners
Tatting Patterns & Shuttles
1227 CR 1760 E
Greenup Illinois USA

Chains, Chains, Chains; Chains of Tatting

The set stitch has also been called the node stitch, rick-rack tatting and Victorian sets. It refers to the creation of either ring or chain by tatting a multiple of each half stitch in repetition. Picots can be placed which face either direction in the technique.

Examples of chain treatments:

In this photo we see several types of chains.
1. A regularly tatted chain (needle tatting example, all picots are still on the needle.)

2. A chain tatted using the first half stitch only, also called an "S" chain.

3. A chain tatted using the second half stitch only, also called a "Z" chain.

4. A chain tatted with Victorian sets, in this pattern 4 x first half stitch followed by 4 x second half stitch. Also called node stitch, rick rack stitch and zig zag stitch.

5. A chain tatted in the maltese or pearl tatting fashion requiring three threads; no picots on sample.

6. A chain tatted in the maltese or pearl tatting fashion requiring three threads; with picots on sample.

Here is a diagram from (see review) Rebecca Jones' "The Complete Book of Tatting," page 49, which illustrates the zig zag or rick-rack type effect:

This excerpt from
(see review)Elgiva Nicholls' "Tatting Techniques," page 113, shows a set stitch with picots:

The set stitch also be employed in rings as these further examples from the Nicholls' demonsrate:

For more information on the tatting decorative chains please visit these sites:

A chain by any other name is still a chain

More tatting abbreviations
I do not recommend all of the terms listed but as the editor says, there will never be a complete list.

This pattern was donated by Sharon Briggs for the class to practice the set stitch.

Please take a moment to send Sharon a note of thanks:

Sharon's bookmark utilizes sets of stitches for the "tail" The sample picture was actually done with SCMR's before I knew what they were called. I've had students use a safety pin to keep the starting picot open until the ring is completed. It allows the students to do a "chain only" pattern that actually looks like something when they're done. I've done variations of this with a small daisy and a small heart although I haven't tried doing the heart one in chains only. Sharon says this is 1) quick, 2) used only chains, 3) simple and 4) didn't have any ends to hide.

Using CTM, start in the middle and work toward both ends. The butterfly starts at the bottom arrow and when it is completed, threads are back to the bottom and the tail is just a continuation done in sets of stitches with a tassel added at the bottom to hide the ends. I thought it was a clever idea and real newbies can do it quickly with a great sense of accomplishment whether they do it chain only or with rings.

Any questions? You are welcome to email me:

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