Tatting may be no more than a collection of rings and chains made up of double stitches, but making the work look really uniform requires more than a little finesse.  Krystledawne revisited the ongoing debate as to which method of finishing and closing a ring yields the most pleasing result in this blog post, and asked to see samples tatted by other people, so as to be able to compare results.

Without further ado, the same sequence of rings in the same order:

Posting sampleFrom left to right:

1) shuttle not posted prior to closing

2) shuttle posted prior to closing

3) additional first half stitch, post and close

4) additional first half stitch and close

5) additional second half stitch, post and close

6) additional second half stitch and close

My observations are similar to Krystledawne’s, but my final choice differs.

I continue to use option number 2 because, if done exactly correctly, the ds will not roll inward, and the ring is rounder.  The trick is in controlling the pinch, so that the core thread does not shift when you begin the next element.  I use the working thread exclusively to snug the first ds of the next element.  If that element is a chain, I do not slide the newly made stitches snug against the ring until I have two or three of them.  This usually prevents the roll.  In my sample, there is just a hint of the beginning of an inward roll on the last ds of ring 2.  Long story short, getting this right is endlessly challenging and can alleviate the boredom of a simple sequence of rings and chains.

My second choice would be option number 6.  The extra second half stitch rolls neatly to the back and pretty much disappears.  I use this method when I know that making the element that follows will lead to a fair amount of tugging on the core thread and I want to be sure that the last ds will not roll.  An example would be if I know that I am going to be joining to the base of the ring: the additional thread bulk will pull on the core and cause the last ds to roll inward.  Using option six effectively locks the ring and prevents this from happening.

In the final analysis, the correct choice will be the one that yields the best looking result for the individual tatter’s style and tension.  I look forward to reading what others have concluded in this matter.

Perhaps we need a Star Wars/Star Trek type salutation to use among ourselves; along the lines of: ‘May your rings be round and flat and your shuttles full’ 🙂

9/21/09 ETA:  Since this post was published, it has been brought to my attention that Tatters Across Time, Inc. neither recognizes, nor approves the term “posting” to describe the action of dropping the shuttle through the ring, toward the back of the work, prior to closing.