Monday, June 4, 2012

Attention To Detail

Remember that I said (as I always seem to say) I was trying to pay attention to each and every stitch?

Well, I am still trying to do that, and have noticed, as I wrote a few weeks ago, that I have indeed seen a change in the way my tatting looks and the way I feel when I am tatting.

I wish I could get my words around this process because it all has to do with “mastery,” which is a solid part of every creative journey.  Since really noticing this process, and trying to stay awake to it, I have been enjoying tatting even more than before and I believe I do not even get as frustrated.

As I write this I must admit that I realize it is likely that this introspection shall soon pass and I will be back to the old hair-pulling routine, but I am enjoying the ride for now. : )

One thing: I see that I had not been closing the rings entirely, and when I did - particularly with #80 thread, I pull out a length of thread that had been hidden in the tatting before I pulled, creating a bare thread.  Do you know what I mean? 

The thread stretched as I closed the ring, leaving new exposed thread after the close. This is irritating, as I cannot figure out why it is that I am pulling out that little bit of thread. Something to do with the way I hold the thread when I pull?

Since this discovery, I have been closing the rings very slowly, trying to uncover the reason for the problem, but with #80 thread - difficult! It seems I have to pull quite determinedly to get the rings closed tightly, or there is an open bit.

The first round piece of tatting above is what I am working on, as time away from the hankie edging, and I am concentrating on closing the rings.  Because the thread is larger, the process is easier, but I see clearly that in the past I have not paid much attention to the process.  This new awareness SHOULD contribute to a finer finished piece.

I am wondering if the second half of the edging will be noticeably better than the first half, at least to my own eye...


  1. I know exactly what you are talking about. I often find that passing through the stitches when closing a ring will cause the thread to twist and kink up a little bit. This makes it hard to close the ring all the way. If it's really bad, I will close the ring partway, then dangle the shuttle, then re-open the ring. This seems to get that extra twist out and I can close the ring all the way. If this is happening a lot, I will start making my stitches a little bit looser.

    Another thing that can cause it is if your hands are a little bit sweaty, and the thread has absorbed some of this moisture. The only thing that helps in this case is to put the tatting down and come back to it in about 20 minutes. This gives the thread time to dry and then you can close the ring.

    1. Yes, Miranda, I had forgotten to mention that twist. I too let the shuttle dangle, but find that often the ring is still difficult to close with thin thread. Thanks for yours comment. It is good to be understood!

    2. I can't master closing a ring with small threads, I don't know why --and that's even with me using a jar opener to pull the thread (so I don't hurt myself, LOL). With Size 20, I let my shuttle dangle and dance before I wrap the thread around my hand. It usually takes care of the twisting so the rings close easier. I let it dangle before taking more thread onto my left hand, too. My thought is that if it's not so twisty when it goes on my left hand, it'll be more cooperative later on...

      Stephanie Grace

    3. You've put it perfectly! I have exactly those two problems. Never want to put it down and come back later though! :)

  2. Lovely colors again, and your edging is fabulous!

  3. The edging is really Fab.

    I agree with Miranda about moisture in the thread. No way to close until everything is perfectly dry. I also drop my shuttle through the ring before I close - it makes the close flatter and neater.

    But the real way to get better rings is the same way as the answer to this old joke - How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

  4. Hi Fox,

    I fully understand what you are saying, gorgeous heart and lovely edging. love the colours

    Love to Gian

  5. Your work has inspired me since I started this tatting journey. Your pieces have color and beads, and look so nice. :)
    I am hoping to have the socks done this weekend(which were inspired by you).

    1. Thank you for those kind words, S! I look forward to seeing those socks!
      Fox : )