View Full Version : Opening Rings
22-01-2010, 09:30 AM
Posted by Wombat on January 23, 2008 at 3:04am in Tatting How-To
Made a mistake on a single-shuttle edging pattern I've been working on and closed the ring too early.
As a pause from my efforts to undo it - what techniques to others use? Is there and 'easy' way to open the things? Or if not.... what's the best way to cut them out and splice the thread back in to continue on?
22-01-2010, 09:31 AM
Replies to This Discussion
Reply by Susan B. T. on January 23, 2008 at 4:13am
If you have a picot... the last picot made is the best.....use a fine crochet hook or blunt needle to pull the core thread (thread that the DS are formed over) out.... keep pulling until you have an inch or so... then hold the DS from the picot to end of the ring between thumb and finger of one hand and the other side DS between thumb and fingers and pull slowly. The loop you have pulled out should get smaller and the space where you closed the ring larger... opening the ring....
Hope you can understand this..... I hate to cut out on single shuttle tatting.. because the fix so you do not have knots it a little more challenging....
Wish you enough... Susan B T
Reply by Dr TLT on January 23, 2008 at 5:34am
Susan gave you the advice I would also give. I use the last picot to get the process started and proceed as she described.
Reply by Arlene Jones on January 23, 2008 at 5:36am
Unfortunately the best way I have discovered to "open a ring" is with...gasp...scissors!! I have on only occasions been able to open the damn things but ah well, my scissor works as well...GHappily I don't often have to do this!! Agree with the others that you can do it. I am just too impatient. Shame!
Reply by Marty on January 23, 2008 at 5:47am
In addition, if you've done a ring without a picot, buse a fine, blunt needle and wiggle it in between the stitches until you can coax the core thread up and loose. Then you can ease the stitches around and open the ring. I panic if I have to cut out a piece, because adding the thread back in and working over it just never looks the same to me -- prob'ly because I'm not really good at it. I avoid that at all costs -- sometimes by totally abandoning the project or even starting over.
Reply by Lynn on January 23, 2008 at 1:20pm
Go with Tammy and Marty. Both very good ways to open a ring. Here's a trick that should help with future problems. If you drop the shuttle through the ring before closing, it's easier to open it when that becomes necessary.
For this one, though, you're probably having trouble with the last ds knotting up when you try to pry the ring open. With great patience, you can overcome this problem. When the ds knots, use a blunt needle to wiggle the stitches apart. Hold them firmly between thumb and finger as you slowly pull the thread. Do not allow the stitches to knot again. After you have opened the ring as much as possible without the last ds knotting, wiggle your trusty needle into the stitch again and open it up just a bit more. It goes by nanometers at first, and is very slow. But it can be done, if you have the time and patience to put into it.
Reply by PattyD on January 23, 2008 at 11:24pm
There are no Tatting Police. It's always Tatter's Choice! Life is too short to Tat any other way but what suits you!
Reply by Arlene Jones on January 23, 2008 at 11:42pm
True true!! I have on occasion used the above methods to some success, however, it is just as easy especially if a really fine thread to just cut and weave in a new thread. Does not look so nice with a big glump of thread but for most part...Tatting Police are ok with it!! LOL
Reply by Maureen L on January 24, 2008 at 12:21am
I, too, drop the shuttle through - when I remember to! It just stops the last stitch from locking, and makes it easier to open the ring if you need to. I always loosen the last TWO stitches before I start pulling on the core thread, and I put a toothpick into the loosened stitches, to make sure they don't knot up again, as they always seem to do. Bit of insurance.
Because I have made so many mistakes in my tatting career, and because I absolutely refuse to cut - ever - I have spent a long time unpicking, and these days I double check every single thing before I close a ring! It saves time in the long run.
Reply by Bob75 on January 24, 2008 at 3:53pm
The toothpick trick is a good idea, Maureen, I'll have to remember that. The problem I always have with undoing rings is that the last stitch always tightens up again each time you pulll a bit of thread through to open the ring, but the toothpick sounds like a great solution.
I can't remember who first said "count twice, close once" but if I took that advice more often, I would have fewer rings to unpick :)
24-01-2010, 07:23 PM
i often have to open my rings, so i have discovered that it is not as frightening as many make it out to be!!! here's what i do:
with the tip of your shuttle or a needle, start loosening the last stitch, 2nd half DS first, then the 1st half. when you get it loose, pull the thread from the loose DS way way out (like a couple of inches). when you pull on that thread, you will be pulling up excess from the shuttle, so you may need to let some thread off your shuttle. once you have pulled a couple of inches of thread loose from the last DS go to a picot. pull the 2 double stitches apart that make your picot space.
once you have loosened a picot, you are going to hold the ring in between your thumb and index finger *exactly like you do when closing a ring to keep your stitches nice and neat* you especially want to make sure you're holding that picot open!!! holding the ring secure, but not a death grip, go to the BEGINNING of the ring and start pulling on your core thread. this should open the ring no problem.
doing it this way, you will be able to open it AS MUCH as you loosened that LAST DOUBLE STITCH. you will notice as you pull out your core thread, that last double stitch will start to close again, if it closes all the way, you will not be able to open your ring anymore. if that happens, just loosen that last double stitch a little more, and then you can continue to open your ring. doing it this way you can open your ring up as large as you want to fit your shuttle through and UN-tat your ring, to the point of the mistake!!
i have tried to make this as clear as possible, if you have any questions, feel free to PM me or ask here!! i have had MUCH practice on opening rings and this is the way that works for me :)
25-01-2010, 02:00 AM
It also helps to use a pair of tweezers to pull the core thread once you've loosened the second half of the ds. I have to open rings on a regular basis, so a pair of tweezers are part of my tatting toolkit. From experience, I've found tweezers with angled tips works best.
I use a pair of small vien forceps and I purchase them from a Hospital equipment suppliers...they work beautifully when opening rings
25-01-2010, 09:40 PM
I'm with Joy on this one. I use a pair of artery forceps which are frequently used in surgery. They seem to hold on to the thread without splitting it.
26-01-2010, 12:40 AM
I finally got the inspiration to put down how I open rings. See attachment.
26-01-2010, 12:47 PM
I do it the same way as PattyD in her PDF-file. If the thread is too thin, it will not work. Very fine rings I never try to open.
I am pleased that someone else uses these forceps they are a must in anyones tatting bag.......Wonderul results
Please visit my blog
31-01-2010, 04:13 AM
One more reason to love this site. I am working on a difficult doily and closed a ring only to discover it was wrong. Recently I had seen information onsite on how to open a closed ring. I decided to try it and see if I could open the ring. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THANK YOU. I was able to open it and correct the error without cutting. Made my evening.
12-02-2010, 09:27 PM
I had to open a small ring of 6 DS with no picots in size 40 Lizbeth. I knew right away that the usual method was NOT going to work. My approach was to pick at the last DS and unflip it! Then I pulled through more core thread until I could do the reverse of working chains in the split chain method. Wherever the shuttle thread was going through a loop, I pulled it out of the loop. Loosened the next half a DS, unflipped it, increased the size of the loop on the shuttle thread and took the shuttle back through the loop to undo the next half stitch.
The method, short and sweet:
1. Loosen the last DS and unflip it. You may only have enough slack to unflip the last half of the DS, but that is enough to get started.
2. When a DS is unflip, the loop in the thread is now on the shuttle thread. Enlarge the loop until you can get the shuttle back through.
Every time you take the shuttle back through a loop you have undone half a DS.
Keep undoing each stitch until you have enough room to grab the core thread and reopen the ring, then unpick the remaining stitches as usual.
13-02-2010, 02:08 AM
I do the "picot" method, because that was the first one I knew about! Works for me…I use the hook on my Aero, or on a post shuttle I use my mini mini crochet hook. What ever works best for you, is the way to do it! :>)
Patty, I've had the same problem, having to open a ring in which there are not picots. What a headache! In thread as small as you were working with, unflipping each stitch is most likely the only sane way to do it. However, in slightly larger thread, I've done this. First, and most important, hold the bottom of the ring in your pinch so that the stitches cannot unflip. Now, work a small tapestry needle between the last and second to last DSs and carefully tug the core thread back, just as you would if there were an actual picot there. The trick is to hang onto the last DS so that it cannot unflip. I've successfully opened a few picot-less rings this way.
13-02-2010, 02:59 AM
When untatting rings without picots (and even some with picots) I generally have luck opening the rings by first stretching out the last few double stitches to pull the core thread back into the ring and then pulling enough of the core thread back in the ring to reposition it on my hand.
I'll try a more visual description (I'm right handed, so lefties, do a 180 degree on this):
1, position the ring face up with its opening at 3 o'clock position.
2. hold ring firmly in a pinch with index and thumb of left hand covering the ring between about 9 o'clock and 12 noon.
3. with right index and thumb covering the double stitches between noon and 3 o'clock, with light tension, stretch these double stitches apart, pulling some core thread back into the ring; twisting the left hand counter clockwise and letting the right hand pinch slide over the double stitches helps.
3.a. optional: scoot your fingers counterclockwise back around the ring and stretch/slide some more core thread back into the ring as you spread apart more double stitches.
4. with a hook or a shuttle point, hook the core thread and pull more of it back into the ring, enough to position the ring back around your hand.
4.a. I usually hook the core thread with the point of my clover shuttle and pinch the thread between the shuttle and my thumb to pull more core thread back into the ring.
5. now untat the hitches as necessary, with the ring positioned on my hand.
I don't drop my shuttle through rings normally, unless I'm tatting a ring reversing the order of the hitches of the double stitches in order to maintain right side / wrong side tatting, in which case I drop it through. I don't have much problem with stitches in rings flipping back on me -- not sure why -- so this works well for me.
02-03-2010, 04:57 PM
This was a wonderful help to me as I needed to open a ring and all the books I have not one tells this. Thanks so much you saved my project!
02-03-2010, 08:40 PM
I like Yarnplayer's tutoral about how to open a ring. It is on her blog.