a. Tat over the tails. Plan ahead so that the next segment to be tatted will be a chain. Leave the tails long and over tat as you work, leave tails about 4" long, run a drop of blue down them and twist together. Let the ends stiffen into a point, or thread ends on blunt tapestry needle.
Tat first half stitch and after the loop has been transferred, stop, insert the stiffened tip of the tails or the needle into the loop thus formed following the shuttle thread. Hold both tail and shuttle thread together taut and tighten half stitch. Bring tail/needle to front. Tat the second half stitch and after the loop has been transferred, insert the stiffened tip of the tails or the needle into the loop thus formed, again, following the shuttle thread. Hold both tail and shuttle thread together taut and tighten the half stitch.
Note that the tails enter the loop following the shuttle thread alternating from one side to the other. Also remember to tighten the stitches extra tight as you are covering more than one thread. Do this for the complete length of the chain. This method is almost invisible if you keep good tension when tightening the stitches.
Tatting over tails.
Hand position change.
b. Apply the split ring wrapping technique to over tat the tails by laying the tails along the shuttle thread and holding together. You may either use a third hand, clamp or alter the position of your left hand (for right-handed tatters) so that the forefinger and middle finger are together and extended full length while the thumb, ring finger and pinky hold tight to the last stitch previously made.
Tat the stitches in reverse order, i.e., second half stitch tatted first, and pull extra tight since again you are covering more than one thread.
5. If you are tatting a pattern where the last ring joins back to the first ring made, then plan ahead by preparing the initial ring to hide the ends by means of helping loops. These loops may be thread that is a size smaller than that being tatted or, use a mono filament thread, such as invisible sewing thread or fishing line, or a dental floss threader. Use two pieces each about 6" in length. Fold in half and tape ends together. The loops will be inserted into the tatting so that one loop hangs down on each side of the ring with the loop at the bottom and the ends toward the center of the ring. Over tat the helping loops as explained in method 4a. At about the midpoint of the ring switch to the second helping loop.
Close ring very carefully and secure the hanging loops with tape or clamps so that they will not come out of place while you tat the length required. When finished attach last chain to base of initial ring. Cut leaving 6" tails. Insert one tail into each hanging loop and gently pull the loop and tail into the ring. Completely pull thru and trim closely allowing the end to recede into the tatting. Be very careful when cutting.
Ring with 2 helping loops in position.
Anita Adamson shows a helping loop in a necklace.
A detail of the hanging loop.