My adventures in needle tatting are gaining, if not speed, then consistency. I am now getting very few bits of tangled thread that could never pass as tatting. Hurah! Here are a few of the many resources I have been taking advantage of and the resulting bits of tatting.
First off is this piece, which is the pendant part of a necklace by TotusMel over at Instructables. The pendant is slightly baroque and does a good job of introducing beginners to reversing their work, making picots that will be linked up way later on and to clovers, which is the three very tight loops at the bottom of the design. More information about reversing your work can be found on Tatted Treasures as part of their Absolute Beginner Tatting Series. Reversing your work is, until you try it out yourself, super confusing. They key, as far as I figure, is to see not only which way you want your chains to curve but also what side of the work the knot lands on. This is helpful when you are working form a design that includes a picture.
Two-coloured tatting is another Instructable by totusmel. She’s fab. This one is a video, which was fun too. The I had trouble getting the knots between the two colours as tight as I wanted them, and I also found the design a bit flimsy and fold-y where the two colours met. I think I need more practice and maybe to try it with two thinner threads than what I have been using.
I then made this pretty row of flowers (which I am planning to make into a bracelet once I get my hands on the correct latch hooks) following a thong tutorial by agasunset on Instructionables. The thong was really not my cup of tea, but I definitely liked the flowers and the way they tied together. What I changed early on was the order of the work. I started with one flower and finished it off with two knots. I then started my second flower completely separately from the first and attached it as I did the last two chains on the second flower’s edge. What all that meant that I only had an awkward amount of work in my hands for a limited amount of time. I then finished off the second one, started the third separately, rinsed and repeated.
I know that it is a relatively ungraceful way of doing things, and it meant that my bracelet had four closing offs instead of one. I have found that the bigger a project gets, the more easily I get my pulled thread caught as I close a ring or drop it and forget where the heck I was in the pattern. This step by step way of working allowed me to finish a piece without too much stress, and that’s perfect by me. In the same way as I don’t stress about what the back of an embroidery piece looks like, I am not going to stress about how many tiny closing knots are in a piece of tatting. Done!