Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Saga of Split Chains, or how I spent 3 hours Monday Night!

IT IS ONLY FAIR to share the saga of the split chains. Especially after I've been going on about them all week in my blog, in on line classes, and those e-mails flying back and forth across land and oceans.

FIRST UP is"OH NO,I did it wrong!":>( This is an example of how NOT to tat a split chain...I forgot the first 6 regular DS, and totally forgot the second step of the split chain. BUT isn't the thread happy and lovely...(rainbowbright Pamela M.)

Well it is better and I did it correctly. Except now I have to work on making the split chain size be consistent with the other chains with picots.
I had the same problem that I've read about. The space left, which is tatted over by the core thread, does tend to become larger. I expect that is something that will be corrected with practice.
A huge thank you to: Marie who stuck with me through the journey and sent photos, talked on Chatzy, and sent follow-up e-mails. Thank you JON of Jon's Thread Escapade, whose link provided further photos/text in support of what I already had in hand. AND Jane Eborall whose pattern site provided both her own visual and Marie Smith's visual of how to do a split chain; not to forget the e-mails of encouragement!
Learning to tat and do techniques from written instructions and visuals
is quite different than sitting in a workshop, class or beside a friend and learning to tat and do special techniques. One can't ask an instant question, there is no one near to see that you are inserting the shuttle in the wrong place, holding the thread wrong, picking up the wrong thread ~ all of the things that a person beside you would see as you were learning. HOWEVER, from this journey the reader can see that, while it's a luxury to have the teacher with you, it isn't impossible to learn these things by yourself with lots of encouragement and help.
NOW ON to the class assignment, which is a fan made with split chains. This assignment won't be 'due' until 2 weeks, so should be able to finish that in time. Advanced class assignment is 'free tatting' of a corsage, card or ornamentation using the 'free tatting' technique. We have an assignment sheet and general instructions; in addition, I have a copy of Helen Siepman's Tatting: Artistry in Thread" from Lacis. Although I only have 1 week for this (and it may not be done on time) I want to do a good job so that I can give it as a gift. I'm hoping for a floral spray in autum/winter colors that a friend can pin upon her suit or dress. Consequently, I want to take particular care with this assignment. MEANWHILE I'm still working on the Christmas tatting and "the table runner". Where is the time? Will I get it done? The clock is ticking!


Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane said...

You are a brave woman, BJ! 3 hours of split chains? Oh, my! I'm not sure I have the stamina for it... maybe when school's out for Christams break!

BJ said...

No, not brave; just stubborn! LOL
Well, the three hours was spent reading and re reading, glancing at the 'dialog' in on line class, listening to football in the background on TV and the actual tatting. I don't think it would take all of the three hours to learn the technique. I am always multi tasking. Tatting, for me, is the same as when I painted in oils, the time passes and I don't even realize how much time has gone by.... I expect a person who has their wits around them could learn split chains (with all the help I had at my disposal) in about an hour. It is still slow going, the actual doing, at this point ~ but I'm never interested so much in speed as I am a good stitch, consistency, and doing it correctly.
XX Bev Ridgetatter

Tatskool said...

Well done, practice makes perfect and split chains sure take a lot of practice.

BJ said...

That fan pattern has 10 sets of split chains, so by the time I finish that piece ~ I should have a beginning.
Thanks for the encouragement! :>)
and at least I was able to do it happily with my happy thread. I couldn't bear to 'practice' any longer with the RB ~ that is for the actual fan...x your fingers.

Linda S Davies said...

Hi BJ,
Great to see that you are still improving! I can see from the other part of the work that your tatting is now really good and it won't be long before you have cracked the split chain. It really is a useful technique to have at your fingertips!

BJ said...

Hi Linda: I was just so glad the "coin dropped" that I had to post the first efforts. Hopefully it will encourage other new tatters to keep reaching forward.
Thank you for the compliment. I really didn't pay too much attention to the rest of those motif as I was so focused on learning the "how" of split chains. Now I jusst need a lot of practice at it, for a regular period of time. It does take me a bit to get a small area covered, since I'm still learning.
SHOOT, I'll ALWAYS be learning. Aren't we all?
X Bev aka Ridgetatter