Working on this piece has made me - ONCE AGAIN! - re-evaluate the methods to deal with ends. Along with the FS/BS issue, it's another interesting one with tatters having various favourite methods. For a while, I was really keen on the "magic-loop-method-without-a-magic-loop". This is where you fold back your thread on the last chain and finger-tat with the loop. When you get to the end, you pass the other thread through the loop, and pull back until both threads are within the last chain. Difficult to explain in words (as many tatting methods). I did make a pictorial of this but I have now removed the link from my Techniques page for the reasons below. Since the pictorial I had been meaning to make a video of this but then I had a few too many times where I couldn't pull the threads back and I ended up breaking one and then it's too short to fix it and that can be really infuriating. Because of course, that happens right at the end, when you've done all the tatting! I've even had a couple of instances of the tatting falling apart after I'd completed everything and that's pretty awful too. These are the reasons that have prevented me making a video of this method because I find it doesn't work perfectly every time.
And then there are the magic loops and I think that can be a good method but you must remember to put one in at the very start and then I find it gets in the way a bit as I tat. It has to be the right size too or it can also be difficult to pull the thread back and I've had a few fights with those!
So then there is the sewing in of ends. For some reason, I used to dislike doing that with a passion. I don't really know why. I love tatting and I just wish there was some magic way to make those ends disappear! Woosh, they're gone, they're strong, the tatting won't fall apart. But no. There are no magic wands for making ends disappear.
On this piece, I have reverted to sewing them in with a needle. It works fine, the threads are knotted first so they won't come apart and when done well, is practically invisible. I'm starting to tell myself that if I spend that many hours on tatting some lovely lace, surely I can spend a few extra minutes sewing in the ends.
What about you? What's your preferred method? Are you completely happy with it?