Ila Frost Block Tatting Exercises
Some time ago this article on block tatting was posted here on BellaOnline.com:
Block tatting refers to a solid motif composed only of chains joined in a manner to create a square or rectangle. This block can be tatted using a shuttle and ball but it is preferable to use two shuttles. NOTA BENE: if you are using a ball thread and one shuttle you will need to cross your threads using the simple shoelace tie. This brings the solitary shuttle back into proper position.
To practice this technique in the traditional method use a large thread. If you are using two shuttles, wind them in the continuous thread method (CTM) to eliminate one set of tails to hide. Begin by tatting a simple ring to give you something to hold and then a short strip of chain, OR, create a mock picot by wrapping the thread around a paper clip, tapestry needle, safety pin, or anything to give you a bit of slack for the picot. Tat a chain the # of DS required by the pattern for the first row.
All the picots which occur in the process of the block must be extremely tiny, mere bumps. As the block is formed the rows of chain will have the bar of the DS all on the same side. Be sure to tighten the chain by compressing all the stitches back to the previous starting point. The chains should lay flat against one another, with as little curve as possible.
Here is a practice pattern demonstrating the traditional method of turning the chain over, back and forth, with tiny lock stitch picots at the end of the row. Each following row will join to the end picot.
Recently, this pattern was brought to my attention with a request to explain in what direction the tatting progresses. It is by Ila Frost.
The block is visible in the lace. It is positioned between chains which precede and follow rings. The tatted block may substitute for a chain. Recall that a ring starts at point A and ends at point A; a chain starts at point A and ends at point B. The tatted block starts at point A and ends at point B. Block segments made be the same in the number of ds or graduated for size or design.
In this sample the block is a series of chains in graduated lengths.
R 3 - 3 - 3 - 3 clr rw
CH 3 - 3 rw
R 4 - 4 - 4 - 4 clr rw
CH 4 - 4 - (block begins)
CH 5 bump picot rw
CH 6 join to picot at the start of the CH 5 segment bump picot rw
CH 7 join to picot at the start of the CH 6 segment bump picot rw
continue pattern increasing following numbers on the diagram.
When block is finished, begin floating rings and chains.
*R 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 (Do not reverse work between floating rings.
Repeat twice more.
R 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2
Repeat block in reverse order.
Please see http://www.georgiaseitz.com/2012/blockpatterson.jpg for more detailed directions.