Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lark's Head Knot

When I run out of thread on one my shuttles, here is how I add new thread with minimal knots and hiding ends :) I learned this trick when I first started tatting and thought I'd share it with ya'll

The ring where I ran out of thread

Whenever possible, I try to stop tatting at a ring when I run out of thread. The Larks Head Knot can work with if you stop at a chain, but I find that it's easier to tie the knot onto a ring. So this is where I use the Larks Head Knot that I learned from Baker in her book 'Learn to Tat.' It's super easy, the knot looks like a tatted double stitch, and you'll never guess that there are ends hiding under the stitches of your ring and chain.

Step One

Step one: Insert the new thread that you will be joining through the ring from front to back. Come down and to the left of the other threads. Then lay the thread over all other threads to it's sitting on top.

Step Two

Step Two: Now bring the thread through the same ring from back to front. Go under the thread that was laid on top of the other threads from step one.

Step Three

Step Three: Pull the knot good and tight and you've completed the Larks Head Knot!!! I'll show you the next step= how you hide those extra thread ends.

close up of the Larks Head Knot pulled tight

Close up of the Lark's Head knot pulled tight. You shouldn't be able to see it. This is one of the best parts about this knot because it looks like a completed stitch!

Step Four: Trim Ends

The next steps are how to hide the thread ends from the knot you just made.

Step Four: Now trim the extra ends to about one inch long. This is a good length because you will have to work with the ends. Don't trim them too short just yet!

Step Five: tat over the ends

Step Five: Now you are ready to start the next piece of the pattern. It's the same instructions whether you are tatting a ring or a chain. In these pictures, I'm starting another ring. So tat the first half of the stitch and pull the ends through the knot once it's flipped. I just use the end of my shuttle to pull them through. Tat the second half and pull the ends through again. You'll pull the ends through the stitches for three to four double stitches.

Tat two and a half stitches and you are ready to trim the ends

This is just personal preference, but I tat two full stitches plus one first half of a double stitch. Now you are ready to trim off the ends.

Close up of two double stitches plus one half stitch. Trim the ends right up against the last half stitch.

Step Six: finish the stitch to hide the ends

Step Six: Now finish the second half  of the stitch over the little ends you just made by cutting the ends. THAT is how the ends are hidden! In the second half of the double stitch.

Here is a close up of the finished stitches. You can't even tell that there are ends hidden in those stitches!

So I finished my ring according to the pattern and VIOLA!!! You've joined a full shuttle to your work and you can't even tell!

I will tell you that sometimes I pull too hard and the ends do come out, but as long as the Larks head knot holds and you've joined to the next ring or chain with pictos, your tatting should stay put and connected. This is such a great trick that I thought I'd share it with everyone!

Here is the rest of the pattern I'm working on. I'm LOVING the last round. It's one of those patterns and is tricky to tat and a good challenge and looks SO pretty! It's tatted continuously, so there's no 'make a million motifs, join them together' round. Hope you are all have a glorious Saturday!
Blessings from the Prairie State!


Kathy Niklewicz said...

I had no idea until your post that the lark's head knot could be used for joining a new thread!!

I very much admire Janette's excellent book (and DVD), but I admit haven't studied the entire book and I completely missed this hint about the lark's head join for a new thread. I looked at the book today, and I'm still not sure I would have fully understood the technique. However, YOUR tutorial REALLY shows how this is done! Excellent work, great photos, and much appreciated! I'll definitely be trying this!

Allison said...

Hi Kathy! I'm glad that you found my post helpful :) That was the goal of me putting it together; that a fellow tatter might find a new trick to make joining/adding new thread easier. Janette's DVD talks about the knot more then the book, I think. Have a great week! Allison

Kathy Niklewicz said...

I was wondering if the DVD covered it, too. Obviously I haven't watched the DVD all the way through, either!

However, Janette's book (and especially her excellent DVD - a 'first' I believe, rather than the old VHS tapes) is very signficant to me because I believe it is the first commercial publication about tatting that advocates teaching beginners the two-color chain first, rather than the ring. I had been demo-ing and 'teaching' this way since the early '90s, but felt it was too radical for the tatting community, which since 'forever' has shown the ring first. (I argued that beginners don't even know how to do the knot correctly, and they're having to do a 'ring' that somehow closes properly!) Then Janette came along (out of the blue around 2009) and validated my opinion!
I was SO excited about it! I'm happy to see that this idea is now gaining acceptance in Tat Land.

Again, thanks so much for your tutorial - and by the way, the doily is SO pretty. I'm intrigued that you're doing the last round in one pass!

Allison said...

I totally agree with you! Her book and DVD were huge in my learning how to tat. I'm a very visual learner so to watch someone tat the knots and close rings that I could play over and over again was great. I refer people to that book and DVD set all the time.

Yes the doily is going well, until I was watching the Olympics and messed up the pattern! Oh, well! It's one of those that is just tricky enough that you have to pay attention to what direction you are tatting or you'll end up going backwards. But it's so very pretty and I'm already wanting to make another one! Have a great day Kathy!

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