Posted By: bhh Need help with chains pleeeze - 11/26/05 03:43 AM
I've just started to learn tatting. Teaching myself from everything I've read online and a little card kit. I'm using a needle. I wonder if I'm doing chains right. When I slide them off the needle and down the thread, how do I keep it looking like a chain and not a ring? If I pull the thread till you can't see it anymore it closes like a ring. And from the pictures I've seen it looks like the chains are supposed to stay long, curved maybe, but not closed. What am I doing wrong? Thanks.
Posted By: SANDY61 Re: Need help with chains pleeeze - 11/28/05 02:46 PM
I don't needle tat only shuttle, but it shounds like you are pulling your chain too tight. Let the stitches come together but don't pull to much. I hope this helps.
It sounds to me as if you are putting the needle through the loop of thread at the base of the chain as you draw it up. You only do that if you are forming an SCMR, for normal chains you do not put the needle through any of the previous work, you pull the needle and thread straight through the stitches.
Posted By: bhh Re: Need help with chains pleeeze - 12/05/05 06:31 AM
Figured out my problem...was trying to make a chain while working from a cut piece of thread instead of off the ball. From what I can tell working off the ball is the only way you can do a chain in needle tatting. Do you agree?
I may consider buying a shuttle - could you recommend one for a beginner? There's a snowflake I'd like to do and modifying the pattern to change the connecting thread to chains makes it a bit less delicate. Thanks for your help.
As far as working a chain without cutting it off from the ball thread is concerned, you CAN start by cutting an extra long length of thread and starting in the middle of your thread, but it gives you fewer ends to finish off later on and a much neater start if you start without cutting off from the ball thread. I always buy two balls of thread so that I can refill my shuttle or needle from one ball and make chains from the other.

My favourite plastic shuttle is the German Inox tortoiseshell look one - it has a post in the middle to which you tie your thread, holds masses of thread (and beads too if you want them) and I've used mine for years and they never wear out.

You can get them here -

You might also like to try the Clover shuttles available on this page -

Some people like shuttles with a pick, some like them without and of course there are the other special shuttles but I would recommend sticking with an inexpensive plastic shuttle for now till you know whether you like shuttle tatting.
© BellaOnline Forums