View Full Version : Picot gauges
25-04-2009, 06:01 AM
Does anyone know where I can get a set of metric picot gauges????? My attempts at making some are woeful :blush:
25-04-2009, 11:09 PM
I use hex keys, also known as alan (or is that allen?) wrenches. Mine are not metric, but I bet in a country which uses the metric system you could find them at your local DYI place.
25-04-2009, 11:22 PM
Great idea using allen wrenches (my guess on spelling - LOL): I've not tried them, but they would work for me.
Check this website: www.lacis.com/catalog/ (http://www.lacis.com/catalog/) and search for: gauge
Check out the netting gauges; there's also a picot gauge.
Would any of these work for you? Some iindicate metric measurements.
I see that you are in Australia: Lacis is in Berkeley CA USA -- shipping would be expensive I think. Hopefully you can find these or something like them locally.
26-04-2009, 01:02 AM
Liyarra, Please excuse my ignorance but why do you need metric picot gauges? [Before anyone jumps on me about some people using metric and some people using imperial measurements that is not what I mean.] Are you using a lot of patterns that call for picots to be a specific metric measurement or perhaps you are designing patterns and prefer to us metric as that is what your country uses? Also you didn’t say which style you would prefer, straight flat, straight round, stair step etc.
Many of us just use paper clips and things like that whatever is handy when we start a project but then we continue to use the same thing throughout the whole project. However if you would feel better with the metric and have a home improvement / lumber yard type of place available you might be able to find what we here in the USA refer to as dowels. Dowels are long pieces of wood like a broom stick would be but with different diameters a meter long. I would get one of each of the most used picot size sand them nice and smooth and then cut them into about 2.5-5 cm lengths. You could either share with others that use metric or have lots for different ones for various project containers.
Just a thought as like I said I don’t know what you are doing but whether the picots are given a size measurement or called small, medium, large if you compare them to the size of the waist band of the stitch and always use the same guideline for your own projects then no matter what size thread you use you will get a picot that adjusts itself to the thread.
Good luck. :flowers:
26-04-2009, 09:46 AM
Didn't say cos I do not know cos I rarely use them - just wanted to know if they were available in metric. Most patterns I use are metric.
A student asked me last week about why there are not metric ones and I had to say - um er ahhh dunno ?- but I will find out for you!! So....
On the rare ocassion that I design I always specify a "special" length picot in mm or as you say make them in relation to the body height of the ds. When I tat I usually just do them by eye.
The dowel idea sounds good but I do not think we can get it so small and I am too lazy/busy/impatient to sand it down too much. But I will look into that one further.
Someone I work with (a non-tatter - shock/horror- is there such an animal??) here also suggested plastic tubing which I thought was a good idea cos it is so flexible and easy to hold and comes in such a huge variety of sizes.
Thank you all for your suggestions.
27-04-2009, 07:02 PM
Kudos to you for following up your student's question!
My "picot gauge" of choice is the handle end of a steel crochet hook, but that is really too big for smaller threads: I use it for size 10 thread and larger. I've also tried double pointed knittng needles, but the taper of the points is annoying. For finer threads I've used tapestry needles (size/diameter of these varies) -- I would avoid using any needles with sharp points.
I like the uniform appearance that a picot gauge gives when patterns call for lots of picots in individual rings or chains, so picot gauges are important to me for some patterns.
Another thought: the scrapbooking world has some paper "slicers" that can make very uniform cuts and have measurement scales on them: perhaps these might also cut plastic, say an old credit card; possibly cutting laminated paper cards (such as insurance cards). This URL has some examples:
I have an inexpensive one of these and found the resulting strips too flimsy for my taste, and the edges can catch the threads: the rounded surfaces of the crochet hook handles or the knitting needles don't have this problem. I may need to figure out a way to smooth the edges a bit, or use a different kind of plastic or coated paper.
And, I need to find my allen wrench set -- Marty's suggestion: I hadn't thought of trying them, but I will, if I can find them...
Can you provide more information about the plastic tubing -- what type of stores stock it, what it is usually used for, etc? The idea of using something with a round shape (no edges to catch) appeals to me. Or, if you find something you like better, please share it with us.
Thanks for your inquiry: BTW: I've finished tatting a doily and am procrastinating hiding the ends (LOL) -- so, I've got the time to chat about picot gauges, for now.
27-04-2009, 08:40 PM
I do highly recommend the allen wrenches. I wiped them down carefully with a white rag two or three times -- until I could no longer see any oil -- before using them. They don't bend, they are smooth without surfaces which snag the tatting, they are of a uniform size throughout their length, they come in a very nice range of sizes, are relatively inexpensive, are probably not going to wear out in my lifetime, and are very easy to use. I should get my sister to take a couple of pictures of my hands while using them, so y'all can see how easily they work.
I wish I could remember who at HBT mentioned she'd raided her husband's tool box -- such a clever woman!
27-04-2009, 09:25 PM
I had to laugh! Tatting isn't metric or any other measure because the size of the knots and therefore the picots are determined by the size and firmness of the thread. There are odd things that require a picot of a specific length, which could be specified in millimeters or furlongs! I am thinking here of a gentleman tatter who recreated some interesting mathematical models that required excruciatingly precise lengths of picots between rings. But other than that, most patterns are much more flexible.
27-04-2009, 11:26 PM
"most patterns are much more flexible"
EXCEPT for Easter egg #20 in the little Danish book! That gave me so much grief, the picots are all very long, they have to be precise in order to turn the pattern into the egg-shape, and I was so careful! - I measured pieces of thread and then used them horizontally....... it was my first serious effort with picot gauges, and I had to make the egg all over again.
I didn't enjoy the process at all, to me, the joy in tatting is NOT having to employ any other bits and pieces other then a shuttle or two. I can cope with multiple bobbins in my knitting, and cable needles; but I prefer my tatting to be straightforward.
At least I learned the correct way to use picot gauges, it is knowledge hard won!
28-04-2009, 03:54 AM
But you did so well Maureen!!!
So far from the days of wool and a Tatsy!!! So proud of the way you jump on the challenges and not let go until you have it. We could all use a bit of that energy.
Blue Dode - the plastic tubing is bought at a hardware - it is not a specialised item. My student has bought different sizes from a local chain and also some from a place selling fish tank supplies. The hardware one is black poly-tubing with a very small external diameter and the fish tank one is clear and much more flexible. - I have at least 20 things I should be doing but am in here studiously avoiding all of them......
28-04-2009, 05:41 AM
I am thinking here of a gentleman tatter who recreated some interesting mathematical models that required excruciatingly precise lengths of picots between rings. But other than that, most patterns are much more flexible.
Ooh - do tell, anything online?
Not that I need that kind of picot gauge hell, I'm always too lazy to use them :whistling:
29-04-2009, 10:25 AM
Another interesting solution other than Allen keys and something most of us have lying around now we are tatting converts........knitting needles!!!!!!
Old broken fine knitting needles - perfect for making even picots!!!
29-04-2009, 06:00 PM
I use picot guages that I've bought from both Georgia Seitz AND Nina Libin's site. I use them all the time on intricate patterns where picots need to be consistent; for decorative purposes. Usually on joins that are barely picots at all..I don't use them..connective picots. However, on one bookmark that I did recently the connecting picots had to be longer as they were a part of the design overall. The three sizes I use the most are fastened on (of all things) one of the handles from a roly poly bag that I store HDT within....I do have one book, "Beads 2" of R. Peel's which shows visually the difference between metric and inches...so if one wanted to they could buy guages and size them to the metric..and mark them with a perm. marker in metric count...The prices of Georgia guages are inexpensive, so I can't see trying to make one's own. Plus the price goes towards the on going, on-line tatting classes. A good thing.
30-04-2009, 12:00 AM
I guess I need to delurk but I have been busy. At any rate,I have been reading this thread and I have gotten the idea and I think it will work but I have not tested it I have a quilting measuring gauge thing for measurements of picots. It has 9 different measurements on each side. I like the knitting needle idea may have to try it.