Needle Tatting, Rings and Chains Technique

Appearance in pattern - rings and chains

For rings and chains technique
Holding the Thread: Thread the needle leaving a 4" end (see illustration 5) Place the thread ball at your left and pick up at the length stated in the individual instructions; hold it behind the needle.
Needle Tatting, Rings and Chains Technique
For a double stitch (ds), to make the first half, hold the thread (not the 4" end) with the left hand and wrap clockwise from the front over the top and around the index finger; scoop the needle under the thread (see illustration 6) and lift the thread off your finger, forming a loop on the needle, pull snug. Move the right index finger over the loop to hold it in place. For the second half of the stitch, wrap the thread counter-clockwise under the index finger from the back and over the top; bend the finger forward and scoop the needle tip under the thread from the back (see illustration 7), lifting the thread off your finger, forming a loop on the needle, pull snug against the last loop and hold it in place.
Needle Tatting, Rings and Chains Technique Needle Tatting, Rings and Chains Technique
For a picot (p), with the index finger, hold the thread against the needle and make the next ds about 1/4" from the previous ds (see illustration 8, always use this length unless a longer length is stated), slide the last ds over, so all are snug together; the loop is the picot. Pull each picot to tighten the thread around the needle.
Needle Tatting, Rings and Chains Technique
For a ring (R), make each double stitch (ds) and picot (p) for the ring as instructed.
To reverse work (rw), turn the work right over left so the back side of the stitches is facing you. The stitches made after reversing the work will curve the opposite direction from stitches made previously.
To secure the end of a row, leave an end long enough to thread the needle and cut the thread; run the ends back inside a few previous stitches to hide.
To close (cl) a ring, hold the needle tip with the right hand fingers; grip the stitches with the left thumb and index finger; without letting go, slide the stitches past the needle eye and onto the thread. Continue pulling the needle thread (not the short tail) until there is a loop at the end; run the needle up through the loop, forming the ring; pull until the ring closes. The tighter the thread is pulled, the smaller the ring - be consistent; you want to keep all the rings or chains with the same stitch combinations the same size. Turn the work, right over left to the back side of the stitches (see step 10 for the front and back of the stitches); the threads will cross, forming a small oval; bring the needle up through the bottom and pull tight.
To reverse work (rw), turn the work right over left so the back side of the stitches is facing you. The stitches made after reversing the work will curve the opposite direction from stitches made previously.
For a chain (Ch), make each ds and p for the chain as instructed; to close (cl) a chain, hold the needle tip with the right hand fingers; grip the stitches with the left thumb and index finger; without letting go, slide the stitches past the needle eye and onto the thread. Continue pulling the needle thread (not the short tail) until the thread is tight, and the loop disappears at the bottom; turn the work over and bring the needle up through the oval. The back side of the stitches is now facing you; hold it so it doesn't turn back over. Notice the direction of the natural curve.
To attach the thread to begin a new step or section, thread the needle with the ball thread; from the back, run the needle through the attach point, pull the needed amount of thread to the front of the work and tie the thread ends together once; lay the needle against the half knot and proceed with the next ring or chain.
To join, make the stitches up to the joining; hold the thread behind the picot to be joined and pull the thread through to the front with the needle tip (or use a crochet hook), place the loop of thread (not the picot) on the needle and slide tight against the previous ds - this loop is counted as a join and is not part of the ds on either side.
To connect the beginning and end of a round, run the needle through the base of the first ring or chain of the round, pull the thread snug and tie a square knot. Leave an end long enough to thread the needle and cut the thread; run the ends back inside a few previous stitches to hide.
To determine the front or back side of the stitches, follow the threads of a picot to the base. On the back side between the picot threads, there are two short threads running in the same direction as the picot threads. On the front side, there is a short thread crossing each picot thread, forming tiny bumps.
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