Sunday, June 21, 2009

S.O.S! Earing Distress! What is the Secret?

There is fraying where the thread hangs on the hook. See the bottom picot of the blue earring? I took the hook out and put it on the top picot, when I saw this. I noticed it before on the second pair I made - the black ones. Why does this happen?

Also - please advise:

1) What kind of pliers do you use? Mine have a flat and not needle nose end. They seem too big, but they are for jewelry.
2) Do you use a little ring before the hook? Does that prevent fraying?

I would appreciate all the input you are willing to offer on the logistics of earring-making! I have done my homework and checked online before turning to the Tat-land, but these questions I could not find answers to.

I seem to have been bitten by a strange bug, indeed! I do not wear, let alone own more than a few pieces of jewelery - not my thing at all; it is strange to have an overwhelming desire to make pretty, little, hanging, baubles and want to load them up with tiny beads and crystals....

I find it even odder that this must-do activity craving strikes after midnight!


  1. Yes, a jump ring would help. it would prevent the thread from wearing on the hook.
    as for a pair of pliers, all I have is a small needle nose pliers from the hardware store. If I was going to actuall make a lot of earings or other jewelry, I might invest in a good pair of needle nose pliers made for jewelry - they don't have a sharp "teeth" in them that make marks on the rings and hooks.

  2. Hi Fox, I would suggest you look at Krystledawne tat's most recent post and Heather's (The Tarnished Tatter) blog, too. They both have earrings up on their blogs right now. Notice that the jump ring or earring hook or whatever they use to attach the earring hardware goes around a FULL THICKNESS of tatting. Your hook goes into a measly little thin picot. Picots are nice and they are great for joining and a lovely part of design element, but as part of a tatted structure they are the weakest part of the entire tatted piece.

    In any given piece of tatting there is 3 to 4 thicknesses of thread due to the double-stitches that make up tatting, EXCEPT at the picot where there is only ONE thickness of thread. The thin metal used to make the earring just slices right through that. It doesn't matter if you use a jump ring or not, it's still think metal and the picot is still one thickness of thread. Some people even go so far as to tat a tiny floating ring off of the big ring or chain JUST for the jump ring or tatting earring hook to go through to prevent this fraying.

    I suggest going to a bead store or a craft store to get the proper pliers. There are a few different ones used in beading, not just ONE. I went and hunted around and then went to a hardware store and bought a cheap electricians plier set for thin wiring going for $9 and tossed (gave away) the ones I didn't need. There were at least 4 in there that I could use and it saved me $30 in purchasing the overpriced pliers at the beading stores and craft stores...they were the same tools just had red handles instead of pretty pink or blue ones.

  3. I've been working through that problem recently, and the best options I've come up with involve hanging two jump rings in so it still faces the right direction, or recently I tried joining onto a jump ring at the top, by doing a Lark head picot join, and that seems to work well. I did it on these earrings-

    The problem would be coming from the thread catching on the opening of the earring I would think.

  4. Well, it seems you've already got it figured out. I think a jump-ring joining the tat to the hook would definitely help. I have a great little pair of pliers for jewelery. (I got them at Arton) They have a really small, round, needle-nose. And for the record, I have compulsions to make things I don't normally wear all the time!

  5. Ladytats, TattingChic, Krystle and Julia, Thank you all for your speedy rescue notes! Much appreciated. I will follow the advice and see what happens next! Fox : )