Tuesday 15 November 2011

Loop-Tatted Rings and Catherine Wheel Joins

For people who like more advanced techniques, this post is about loop-tatted rings and Catherine wheel joins.  I think there is a myriad of patterns that are perfect with just simple rings and chains.  If you only ever used rings and chains, you could still tat a lifetime and not run out of patterns to tat.  Still, there are many techniques out there which I find interesting and I like exploring.

First of all, some people were interested in a video on the loop-tatted ring technique as used in the Candlelight Snowflake (version with bugle beads).

This is a second version of the snowflake which I showed over at In Tatters.
Here I used three beads instead of bugle beads for the loop-tatted rings.

Small question for viewers of my videos:  should I change to a white background?  Is the red distracting too much?

And finally, I've been having a go at Catherine wheel joins.  This is a lovely smooth join which looks really neat.  I've not made patterns calling for it yet but I'm sure eventually it will be exactly the thing I need at a particular spot in a pattern.

On some of them you can hardly tell there's a join, don't you think?  I love how it keeps a nice unbroken curve on the outside chain whilst still making a join.  I don't plan on making a video for this technique because Yarnplayer has the perfect one!  Until seeing her video, I couldn't get my head around this technique but her demonstration is very clear.

How about you?  Have you used Catherine wheel joins before?  And does anyone know WHY they are called that?

(Meanwhile of course, I'm not making much progress on the knitting!!)

Best wishes,


  1. Check this out on Saint Catherine:

    Fox : )

    p.s. I love that technique. Learned it , like you, on Yarnplayer's blog - excellent video!

  2. also, this is better...


  3. I use the CWJ quite often, I like them too. There is also a good tut over at snowgoose. that is where I learned them, long before videos on the internet.

  4. First- I've never had a reason to have a looped tatted ring but I'm ready to find one. Beautiful video. I like the red background. Maybe next time not a pink thread though?

    I haven't tried CWJ and I'm not sure why I need them? Your tatting looks lovely as ever and I'm sure this is why. What's different about them? (I have watched Marilee's video too)

    Beautiful as always!

  5. I love your work and appreciate it. You ask for my opinion, its not the background that I would change but your choice of nail polish.

  6. I love this pattern. I must try it.
    Your's look beautiful.

  7. Hi Fox, thanks for the links! Found out more about the Catherines - though I knew some of it as we celebrate St Catherine's day in Québec (or used to when I was young). We make a special toffee called "tire de la Ste-Catherine".... But I still don't get the relation between St-Catherine and her wheel (what a gruesome story!!) and the Catherine wheel join... The other Catherine wheel is that special firework that spins around when you light it up (we had two this year on the 5th of November). I suppose if you did CWJs all the way around a small ring, it could look like a wheel?? Yes, that makes sense now.

    On another note, Michelle, you are right about the pink thread on the red background. I always hesitate as to the thread colour.... Trying to find a "medium" colour that shows up well. Maybe I'll try a blue next time. I need to find a better place in the house to make my videos (if I make anymore that is!). Hard to find a place with no other distracting elements in view so I do them in front of our very long curtains in the dining room.

    As for my nail polish...

  8. I love your video, thank you for sharing how to do it, I will have a try at it but it wont be for a while, as I dont have time at the moment, with mother in hosp and going on holiday, I am trying to make vernons birthday card and the light today is bad, would be wouldn't it when you need good light.

  9. here is the link for the tute at Snowgoose http://www.snowgoose.cc/FrivolousFrivolite/TatMouse/Wheel.aspx

    the coiled chain looks a lot like Catherine's wheel firework, or any type of coil. but the CWJ really works well to avoid the dip you get using a lock join when you join to an element below your work.

  10. Margaret, sorry to hear about your mother, I hope things are improving for her.

    Ladytats, thanks for the link, I particularly like the tiny snail with the Catherine wheel coil. But I have to say that I find just a written explanation difficult to understand... I like pictures!

  11. Your snowflake looks amazing! :)
    And I can't wait till I have time to try those techniques! :)

  12. That's a very good tutorial- thank you!
    As to your question of the background colour: I would prefer a lighter colour of the THREAD. E.g. white, yellow, grey, ...
    The contrast is not good enough for my eyes.

  13. Thanks for your comments and feedback on the video. I will try to improve for my next one. Still not found the best way to get a great close-up picture (unless you ask someone else to hold the camera and zoom in at particular moments) or getting the best overall picture. Thread colour, background colour, the capabilities of the camera, etc. are all elements to take into consideration.

    It's a learning curve!

  14. Again I'm stopped in my tracks by coming over to your blog and seeing marvelous things! This snowflake is spectacular! (I somehow missed the first one with the bugle beads!)

    Your video is spectacular - so perfectly done, even with the dropped shuttle! (I can't even imagine how to make a video, let alone write on it! I can't even write on photos!) I'll definitely try this technique!!

    I also love to watch you tat - a marvelous illustration of the speed and efficiency of the 'slip and slide' method, which I prefer. You don't waste any movements!!

    Also enjoyed seeing the Pop-A-Bobbin! I think it's the first time it's been shown in a video?

    The Catherine wheel joins look perfect, and I remember seeing Marilee's video and made a note to really study it!

    Can't forget to mention the beaded buttons and ring in your previous post. Gorgeous!! You have SO MUCH talent!


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