Guest Author - Georgia Seitz ed. / Joy Critchfield
Padded Tatting Grapevine
As a followup to last week's inspirational pattern on a padded tatting bracelet by Joy Critchfield in the 2003 Online Tatting Class, please enjoy the "Heard It Thru The Grapevine" project. This project was specially designed as a teaching tool.
Using large thread and a shoelace, the stitches are easy to view. The student can easily see what the teacher is discussing and the teacher can watch the student's progress, even from a distance. The difference in the two threads used, makes them very easy to distinguish one from the other. Few "mistakes" will affect the construction. Most can be easily incorporated into the pattern. Little class time will be spent on retro-tatting and the student is less discouraged.
Skill development is sequential:
The first task is the easiest part of tatting (the unflipped second half of the ds.) Each new step adds only one new piece of information and allows for plenty of practice before going on to the next bit of information or skill.
The student who needs more practice can easily add to the pattern without negatively changing the end result. A student who needs less practice need not continue with the same task - only because the pattern requires it. The lesson focuses on one element at a time - the chain and the ring. There are NO Picots, NO Joins.
If the class time is limited, the class is easily split into two portions - the chain being done in one class, the rings in the next session. A few moments of review - and a little more length on the chain - will remind the student of the previous lesson before beginning rings. The complete project introduces josephine chain, josephine knots, set stitches, and standard rings and chains. Because no picots or joins are required, students can focus on the basic skills without worrying about construction problems.
Round cotton shoelace(This sample uses 24" 'classic round' shoelaces. Cotton thread (about 10 wraps per inch) (This sample uses Plymouth Yarn 100% cotton, size 8) 10' purple thread and 8' tan and 4' green. Paper clip.
Double stitch = ds
1HS = first half stitch
2HS = second half stitch
No shuttle is needed. Because of the large size of the thread, this pattern is much easier done on the fingers. To keep the threads from tangling, wrap them around a piece of card stock. A slit cut in the card stock will hold the thread end and keep it from unwinding.
Cut one tip off the shoelace. Tie the tan thread to the cut end and tat over tails using only the second half of the ds. The teacher should prepare the first six ds in advance. The student will not need to begin by hiding threads and it gives the beginner a firm place to pinch. The student will also have a basis of comparison as they make their first stitches.
With the shoelace on the left hand, these first stitches are wrapped (not tatted ) directly to the core thread , i.e., encapsulation, - no flipping is required.
A. Wrap 6 2HS to tat over tails.
Wrap another 6 2HS
Wrap 6 more using only first half of ds.
If the student can do these smoothly, move on to the next step. If not, repeat sets of six until the student is confident in their ability. The vine will only be slightly longer and will not adversely effect the end result.
Move the shoelace to the right hand, with the tan thread on the left. The following stitches are all tatted traditionally, flipping each stitch. The shoelace remains as the core and it is immediately obvious to the student when the stitch has not flipped. Because the core shoelace is much larger than the knotting thread, it becomes much easier for the student to relax the left hand in order to flip - and harder to "cheat" by yanking the right.
B. Tat 6 2HS.
Tat 6 1HS.
Tat 6 ds (begin with second half).
Go on to the tendril only after the student can confidently produce the flipped ds with the shoelace as core.
Move 2' out on the tan thread. Place paper clip over the thread and pinch. Tat ds (approx. 24) back toward the vine. The last couple stitches will fit snuggly against the shoelace. Remove the clip.
To finish the vine, return tan thread to left hand and continue tatting with the shoelace as the core.
Tat 6 ds.
Tat 6 2HS.
Tat 6 1HS.
Leave the threads long and go on to the ring portion of the lesson.
Begin in the center of the purple thread. Switch threads with each ring.
C. 1st ring - tat josephine knot of 8 2HS.
2nd ring - tat josephine knot of 8 1HS.
3rd ring - tat josephine knot of 5 2HS and 5 1HS.
4th ring - tat josephine knot of 6 2HS and 6 1HS.
Tie the two threads together with shoelace trick before going on to the next ring.
5th ring - tat josephine knot of 6 2HS and 6 first half stitches.
6th ring - tat josephine knot of 7 2HS and 7 1HS.
7th ring - tat 6 ds.
8th ring - tat 7 ds.
Tie as above.
The sample cluster contains a total of 26 rings with the largest ring being 16 ds. If a student is having trouble getting all the stitches in a ring to flip at any stage of the project, repeat that size ring before moving on.
Tie green thread to the purple thread and tat over one tail in the first ring, the last tail in the beginning of the third ring.
1st ring - 18 ds.
2nd ring - 24 ds.
3rd ring - 18 ds.
To connect the vine to the grape cluster:
Tie the tan thread to the base of the third ring (shoelace trick.) Clip the lace and sew the tan thread back into the core. Stitch in and out of three or four stitch bands and cut.
Because the padded vine holds its shape and the conical grapes hang from the stiff vine, this pattern makes great jewelry. Using a smaller thread size and beads, it can be used for earrings, bracelet charms, necklace pendants and brooches.