View Full Version : When to wk from the ball ??
24-01-2010, 05:40 AM
Is there an easy way to figure out if a pattern is best worked from the ball or not. Yes Ive read what the needle tatting book says. ( for one shuttle use this method for 2 shuttle patterns use that method if it has chains use that method blah blah blah) But then I try to use some patterns and those rules just dont apply. I am especially kicking myself because I have just spent a day and a half trying to figure out a way to do a pattern without making a billion joins or carrying threads and then suddenly it dawned that all I had to do was NOT work from the ball.. .... So if anyone has a foolproof methods for idots like me then PLEASE share.
24-01-2010, 11:50 AM
This might just be me... but I almost NEVER work from a ball, even if I'm doing mainly chains. Usually, the more chains in a pattern, the more ball (or shuttle 2) thread you'd need. I like the flexibility of working with two shuttles, and... if you're using just one color, you can do a shoelace trick to switch shuttles if need arises. If the project is going to require that thread be added, that might be a concern, but adding on new thread doesn't phase me too much at this point.
The more you tat you'll also get good at figuring out how much thread you'll need to do the chains required in a pattern, and then you can just take a yard or two off the ball, wind it on another shuttle (for the continuous thread method - and one less end to hide).
oops... looking back at your post I just noticed that you're talking about needle tatting! I'm not sure the same applies there, but still... I'd take off enough ball thread for chains and wind it on a bobbin, maybe.... if that makes sense for needle tatter... if not... just ignore me!!
24-01-2010, 02:55 PM
I always work from the ball with a couple of exceptions, when the pattern had thread spaces or when I'm doing celtic work & I have to cut off to weave chains. Of course I hate working with long pieces of thread so I avoid it at all costs. I suppose then that I am no help to you at all either.
24-01-2010, 03:56 PM
I also pretty much always work from the ball. The only exception I can think of is the celtic style that TotusMel mentioned, and also the netlike stuff where you have one thread that isnt a tatted chain between the rings.... I cant remember what its called, starts with an "M." What pattern are you having dificulties with?
24-01-2010, 06:46 PM
I'm like TotusMel and work off the ball almost all the time as well. My only exceptions are the Celtic Knots and the Ring & Thread Method of Tatting.
I also work off the ball almost all the time when needle-tatting. The only exceptions are when it's an all-ring pattern with thread spaces, or when the pattern includes a floating ring (something I'm just learning). I'd like to learn the Celtic knots, that may be next. I don't shuttle tat much, but I've found that using two shuttles helps me with my tension better when doing chains.
24-01-2010, 08:12 PM
ashika: do you mean Mignonette?
a. if there are NO chains (only rings) in the pattern, use just the needle and NO ball
......1. I've seen one exception to this, a snowflake pattern with rings and thread spaces with no chains, but it uses two shuttles to bridge from one row to another using the split ring technique: not sure how to do it in needle tatting for sure
b. if there are chains, you need a ball thread; for most needle tatting patterns which contain rings and chains, you make the double stitches on the tatting needle using the ball thread for BOTH the Rings and Chains (exception: two color work: you use ball thread for chains and only needle thread for rings)
I'm not clear on how a needle tatting pattern might be written or diagrammed such that ball thread would not work if chains were involved.
Is your pattern a visual pattern? I'm wondering if there's another way to interpret the drawing that would eliminate this problem.
Or, are you using written instructions? Is the pattern online, or could you let us know the pattern book and author?
Right now I'm a bit challenged to understand your situation clearly: could you provide more information?
25-01-2010, 09:08 AM
The pattern that caused me such grief was Tatbits quick and easy(LOL) Papillon Friendship Bracelet. And I can see now that a) if there are no chains -No ball.. applies . I dont know why I thought otherwise. I suppose I looked and went okay there are no spaces between the rings so therefore its from the ball. Other than that I can only say that
a) I am an idiot
b) Im blaming the painkillers
c) I like working from the ball...
25-01-2010, 03:38 PM
Yep Mignonette is what I was trying to think of.
Green gal, you are definately not an idiot. It takes a lot of time to figure out just how to translate shuttle patterns to needle and that is actually part of the challenge I like, but it definately can be a challenge.
I personally would definately do that one of the ball, but I dont know if there is a way to do split rings without working off the ball... Actually usually what I do for chains of split rings is to do the first ring as a true ring and then work the rest off the ball.
26-01-2010, 09:22 AM
I'm a shuttletatter, but here are my thoughts: If a ring is on the same side as the knots, you need two shuttles, if not I think one and ball is enough. With a lot of practice you will see the light, happens to me also (after long time) hi hi
27-01-2010, 04:32 AM
Hello, Green Gal.
If you are needle tatting you always use the ball thread, unless the pattern calls for rings only.
Then you use a string of 'roselles', starting from the loose end of your thread working back towards the eye of the needle.
But, I gather that you are shuttle tatting as well. Am I right?