Wednesday 30 March 2011

Starting on a Chain

I'm currently making my Quatrain motif which starts on a chain.  In my instructions, I say to put a paperclip on the thread before making the first stitches.  I start first with an unflipped second half of the stitch, followed by a flipped second half of the stitch and that counts as my first stitch.  I then carried on with the first round with the paperclip left in place.  BUT, I just realised this morning that in fact, by making the unflipped stitch first, it does completely prevent the thread from sliding and closing the small space that you need a the end of the round.

So the great news is that as soon as you've made the first chain, you can remove the paperclip and carry on tatting unhindered by the clip!  I'm really pleased with that as now you don't have to keep worrying about flipping the paperclip out of the way or getting your thread tangled around it as you work.

You just must make sure that you start with an unflipped second half of the stitch, pull that tight against your paperclip and then carry on with a flipped second half of the stitch and that counts as your first double stitch.

Just thought I would let you know. 

Now back to tatting....

Best wishes,


  1. I have avoided pieces that start with a chain, because I couldn't figure out what to do. Even with the paper clip, I have lost that first picot when I took the paper clip out. Thanks for sharing! I will try this!

  2. Yes, that's right Diane, if you start with a regular double-stitch, your picot will disappear as the knots will be able to slide back. Would it help if I took photos of the whole process?

  3. I also agree with both of you. Looking good so far well done with working out how to begin on a chain. I nearly always have a tiny flat knot, not possible when you need to wind a new shuttle.

  4. I purchased (on eBay) some of those coil-less safety pins for about $4.00 - including mailing.

    I find if I use those to begin the chain there is less chance of a sloppy stitch when I join up at the end, because the beginning picot is so tiny. Just a thought...
    Fox : )

  5. Hi Fox,

    Thanks for the tip. I've never seen the coil-less safety pins. But my little bird paper clips are thinner than regular paper clips and make a very small gap. I don't think I could go any smaller or I wouldn't fit my hook back into it! As it is, I have to wiggle to make the join.


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