Friday, March 29, 2013

Interlocking Rings made with Shuttle - Part 1 of 2

Last summer, thanks to the inspiration of other very talented tatters (see story below),   I discovered a way of doing  the Celtic interlocking rings using the slip-and-slide method of manipulating a shuttle.  ( I happen to prefer a bobbin shuttle with a hook, but that’s just my choice.)  

 I  explain my interest in and obsession with these rings at the end of this post and also in my own post of Aug. 6, 2012:
Although I haven’t updated my blog for a while (partly because of  ‘blogaphobia’ due to my difficulties with posting, even after four years!) ,  I am coming out of hiding because I want to share my ‘discovery’ with my fellow shuttle tatters, especially Fox!   : )   
This is my first tutorial, and I will be doing it in two parts.   (I’m holding my breath as I upload a total of  11 photos in this post! )      I hope to do the second part ASAP, which, of course, shows connecting the last ring to the first ring - (the part you’re really waiting for!).
In the meantime, you can practice making the rings. 
 NOTE THAT FOR THIS TUTORIAL I DID NOT USE TWO DIFFERENT THREADS.  I used a VARIEGATED THREAD (Lizbeth size 20, #621), and it just happened that my first ring was yellow, and the next ring was pink, etc.  ALSO, I LEFT THE THREAD ON THE BALL, as I found when I was learning to do these rings, it was a way of keeping track of the  first ring, especially if I used a single color thread.  It will just sit there and wait to be cut off later.  For the PHOTOS, I put double-stick tape on my board to keep the rings under control  
So here goes!  

The rings I’m making are 10 – 10. 
Bring shuttle thread OVER THE TOP OF THE RING and DOWN, forming a straight line.
(My thread is now pink).     Leave a distance of thread going to the shuttle.
PHOTO 2   
This is the key to  creating an interlocking ring:
Pretend you are doing a ‘down join’ :    Reach behind the straight (pink) thread in Photo 1, and pull that thread from front to back of the ring, creating a loop.  However DO NOT PUT THE SHUTTLE THROUGH THE LOOP.   You will ENLARGE THE LOOP SO THAT IT FITS OVER YOUR LEFT HAND, in your normal tatting position  (see next photo)
PHOTO 3   
Secure the loop around your left hand, in your normal tatting position  (I  use the ‘crochet hold’, but that’s my preference)

VERY MPORTANT: The bottom of the loop which goes through the ring is ‘near’ the  shuttle.
When you pull the shuttle upwards, the thread at the bottom of your hand moves with it. That’s when you know you have put your hand into the loop in the correct way. 


Start tatting the second ring near the BASE of the first ring.  (All the rings will be done from this position, and will start in this area at the base of the rings)
Don’t leave a thread space,  snug the first stitch near the base, but not too tightly.
In this photo, I’ve tatted three stitches on the second ring.
 Finish tatting the second ring
Start closing the second ring.
You can see that it will close ‘under’ the first ring,
creating the interlocked effect.  Pay attention to closing the ring by keeping the shuttle thread under and behind both rings.
The second ring is almost closed, and is going under Ring 1.
(The start of the ring is going ‘over’ ring 1.)
Remember to keep the shuttle thread BEHIND both rings and tug to the left to close the ring, the way you would normally close a ring.
PHOTO 8   
Second ring is fully closed.
You can ‘jiggle’ the ring to
’pop’ it into the ’over’ position.   
Shuttle thread is now in position to be brought forward over the front of the second ring, which is pink.
PHOTO 9   
 This is similar to Photo 1.   
Here the thread is in position to be pulled from behind to form a loop to go onto your hand
 (See PHOTOS 2 and 3)
PHOTO 10   
This photo shows the beginning stitches of Ring 3
PHOTO 11   
This shows the position that the rings are held as you tat all the rings counter-clockwise.
 I usually do five rings, then stop to do the sixth one, WHICH CONNECTS THE FIRST.    I WILL EXPLAIN THAT IN PART 2. 
My ’history’ with interlocking rings.  
I’m very interested in Celtic, 3-D and layered tatting. I first became aware of interlocking rings when I noticed them on Rachel Jackson’s blog (“Piney Woods Tatter”) around February of 2012.  I was fascinated with her use of them as a ‘center’ for her beautiful  motifs and pendants, and her VERY unique and ATTRACTIVE way of  building ’layered’ effects on those motifs and pendants.   Rachel is a needle tatter, and she generously shares her instructions for these rings - using a needle.    And it did seem that they could only be efficiently made with a tatting needle.   I CAN needle tat, but I prefer the shuttle.    
Therefore, I took notice around June 2012 when I came across Karen Cabrera’s blog (“Entre Lanzaderas”, in both English and Spanish)   and I discovered her amazing tatting tutorials (an astounding 100+ videos!), with #77 showing how to use a SHUTTLE to do the interlocking rings.   Therefore I realized that they CAN  be done with a shuttle, even though there may be a little fussing to join the last ring to the first.   My only stumbling block with Karen’s video was her Reverse Riego method of manipulating the shuttle, so I set about trying to figure out how I could use the slip/slide method of shuttle tatting.  After many experiments, I finally  developed a way of  making them fairly quickly – after a LOT of practice!  I have MANY sets of these sitting around waiting for enhancement into larger motifs!)
 Without Rachel’s amazing inspiration and Karen’s showing me the way,   I doubt I would have come up with achieving these rings on my own!