Tatting—no monkeys!

tatting with beads

So, yes. After having itchy fingers but no opportunity to tat for weeks, I finally managed to wrangle some time over the last few days. It’s been lovely actually, I really do enjoy it. As you may or may not know, I usually tat in the train, and recently there’s always been something stopping me. No seat, person’s elbow in my face, hands too cold, too rushed, need to do reading for work, always *something*. On Thursday I had a two hour train journey to visit another city for work, and on Friday the return journey home. I was a little nervous about the trip, but I’d prepared everything I could and so decided it would be good to tat on the train. Best of all options; relaxing and productive.


I bought another Japanese Tatting book a while ago, and decided it would be a good chance to try this pattern out. I thought I’d add beads as I bought some the other week which were a good match for this thread, so I packed the beads and a needle with my usual kit, congratulated myself for my forward planning and off I went. Obviously the needle was too thick for the beads, and so what you see directly above is attempt number 1, sans beads. Doh!



On the way back I had a seat to myself, and room to spread out. The train was moving quite slowly to I managed to thread the beads on — after some thought I kept them on the ball thread, rather than the shuttle thread. Another rookie error! What I *wanted* was the beads going through the picots on the outer rings (the groups of three little sticky-outy loops)… not really on the chains, as you see here. Sooooo, at least I now know:

• beads on ball thread if you want beads on the picots of your chains (as seen above)

• beads on shuttle if you want the beads *flush* to the chain (as seen above). This is how I’ve always done it in the past, more by accident than design. This is just a little test piece.

• beads stored on shuttle and moved around to the back of the ring thread until you need them if you want beads in picots on a ring.

Phew! A good lesson though. Always good to learn by doing. Couple of other things – that pink doesn’t go with anything! It’s hard to photograph – looks awful on linen or ecru, weird on colours, harsh on white. The beads go nicely with it though! I also think that while the pink can handle the beads that size, they look a bit big on the ecru/natural thread above. Both threads are size 80, but maybe it’s the colour that makes it seem bigger on the natural. That said, I do think the beads are really pretty.

It does make me laugh sometimes, making things like this. I looked at the curtains earlier as they were tied back to let the fresh air in. I thought ‘you could tat an edging for the tie backs, seeing as you keep wanting to make an edging pattern’. Then I thought ‘Are you nuts? You hate flowery stuff!’

Love making it though 🙂

Hope you had a great weekend.

15 thoughts on “Tatting—no monkeys!

  1. I hate flowery stuff too and I would go through exactly the same thoughts, lol! But your tatting is beautiful. Funny how the beads do actually look bigger. I can understand them standing out more and being more noticeable on the natural thread but they do look bigger.

  2. Oh so beautiful! I can’t help but want to copy. Will you consider doing 2 more of the same motifs and joining them?

    • Not copy ‘be inspired by’ 😉 Thank you! I could join a few motifs actually. I hadn’t thought of it, mainly as I usually think of small pieces for lavender sachets, but I’ll have a look and see if it’ll work.

    • It’s a Leica D-Lux 3. It’s got a great lens but it really hates most types of lighting! Unless its the perfect amount of sunlight, the photos can be really noisy. The background in the top pics is our grubby garden table – it was a sunny day, so the camera was happy!

  3. The little flower wreath is lovely – with and without beads! That was a lot of bead experimentation – it’s interesting how different the effect is with each method. Like you, my beads are usually on the picots of rings and chains. No pattern adaptations required that way:)

    • Thanks! That’s the first time I’ve put beads on chains actually – I think it’s taken me this long to pay enough attention to where you’re supposed to put them for what. I think I’ve got it now 🙂

  4. I absolutely love them with beads on!! I am travelling to Manchester and Liverpool from London a lot at the moment and it would be perfect for a bit of crochetting (I have quite a few burger bears to make!! eek!!) butI just don’t get the chance (calls, emails, things to do!!).

    It’s starting to make me grumpy LOL!!!

    • Oh no! Can’t you book a ticket in a quiet carriage and say you weren’t allowed to do any work? So annoying! It used to be one of the few good things about trains – that there wasn’t much else you *could* do, but look out of the window, read a book or do something like a portable craft. It was like forced relaxation – assuming you get a seat, of course… Hope the bears are going ok!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s