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Traditional One Shuttle Tatting - 4 row edging

One shuttle work is the most traditional of tatting patterns. Many tatters of the 1800's only learned how to tat the ring and made miles of tatted edgings. Using only one shuttle, the tatter may create not only rings, but half-closed rings, Josephine ring/knots and mignonette stitch. It is a basic pattern called Hen and Chicks because of the large ring with small rings (or chicks) on each side. When Hen and Chicks is attached to rows on rings all the same size, it is called Hen and Chicks on Eggs.

On a visit to the Lace Museum in Sunnyvale, CA I was able to study several pieces of antique tatting. This is a photo of one of those pieces which illustrates one shuttle work, i.e., Hen and Chicks on Eggs. Great precision is needed to recreate this pattern. The bare thread spacing between rings is as important as the length of the picots on the ring.

The pattern is simple. Using only one shuttle:
*R 2 - 2 close ring rw (chick)
R 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 close ring rw (egg on opposite side)
R 2 + (join to picot of chick) 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 close ring rw (hen)
R 2 + (join to last picot of egg ring) 2 - 2 - 2 close ring rw (egg)
R 2 + (join to last picot of hen ring) 2 close ring rw (chick)
R 2 + (join to last picot of egg ring) 2 - 2 - 2 close ring rw (egg)
Repeat from * for the length desired.

The picots should measure 1/2" when CLOSED.
The bare thread space between rings should measure 1/4".

The next double row of "egg" rings are all the same size.
*R 2 + (join to last picot of previous ring)2 + (join to middle picot of "egg" rings on previous round) 2 - 2 close ring rw
R 2 + (join to last picot of previous ring) 2 - 2 - 2 close ring rw.

This edging can be made as wide as desired by adding rows of "egg" rings.

The bare thread space can be measured by cutting a small square of cardboard. Make a notch in one side 1/4" from top. Place completed ring in slit and hold. Stretch out the thread to the edge and begin next ring. Do not remove from slit until the second ring is done, then repeat.

To measure a picot it is recommended that you use a picot gauge. For this pattern cut a gauge from plastic or cardboard that is 1" wide. When the picot is CLOSED it will be 1/2" wide.

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