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Josephine Knot (Ring)

Josephine Knots/Rings

The First Half Stitch = French Stitch

The Second Half Stitch = English Stitch

Graphics by Mark Myers aka Tatman

The Josephine Knot/Ring, says Elgiva Nicholls in "Tatting Techniques", was named for the Empress Josephine, Napoleon's consort, and was found often in early French patterns. Rebecca Jones in her "The Complete Book of Tatting" also calls this element the Josephine "Knot." It has also been designated a Josephine Ring in many publications and a Josephine Picot in Therese de Dillmont's "Encyclopaedia of Needlework."

In Barbour's Prize Needlework Series - A Treatise on Lace-Making, Embroidery and Needle Work, Book #1, pg. 74, this stitch is referred to as the "Empress Knot"... Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, 1763 - 1814, first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Here we will designate this element as theJosephine Ring

In the Mlle Riego patterns, her designations for the stitches were:

single stitch = English stitch = today's second half stitch

reverse stitch = French stitch = today's first half stitch

It is noted that Mlle Reigo began her patterns with what we call the second half stitch today and the antique patterns do show this difference if examined closely.

Note that when 8-10 stitches are completed, the twist but may not yet be immediately visible in Josephine Rings of less than 10 half stitches. See rings C above. These rings clearly show the twisting that occurs in the Josephine Ring.

Working just one half stitch when making a chain creates a "twisted", or "rickrack" style chain. Working both half stitches in sets, i.e. 4 French / 4 English or 4 first half stitch followed by 4 second half stitch creates "Victorian sets", rick-rack tatting, zig-zag tatting or the node stitch. The Josephine Ring may be added to any chain pattern to add interest. It may also be thrown off as a floating ring when working a self-closing mock ring.

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