Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hanky Project - Day 1 & Split Chain Progress

Attached is a picture of what I've done with the hanky edging so far. The thread is Mettler Machine Quilting Thread which is smaller than size 80 tatting cotton. I think it may be about a size 100. The edging is inspired (based on) Mary Konior's Beaded Braid. I started at what I felt was the most difficult part, the scalloped corner. Keep in mind that there will be one more round.
I've spent most of my tatting time today trying to master the split chain. I made it successfully multiple times years ago from typed out instructions provided by David from Australia to the Arachne email list. Of course, I couldn't find David's instructions anywhere when I wanted them today. I'm glad that there are so many resources on the internet to help with learning a technique because, even armed with 4 sets of instructions, I just wasn't getting it. It was this link,, that finally began to get a dim glow of recognition. I had originally learned, though, to tat the split chain from right to left rather than left to right so I went back to Jane Eborall's original method instructions. I'm finally making something that looks like double stitches! I've got a lot of practice to do before this is comfortable which is my goal, but at least I've found the method that works best for me.

I hope those of you who are struggling with learning a technique will take heart from my story. Just because you can't seem to get it with one set of instructions, don't give up. Find another resource. There is more than one way to do many things in our craft and even more ways to explain them. Maybe I'll have a split chain project worth displaying tomorrow. Meanwhile, here are my practice pieces.

The split chain stitches in the candy canes look like double stitches from one side, but look awful on the other side. The unfinished split chain in the solid motif show the first good stitches I feel I've made. I'm going to try the Mary Maynard's candy cane again now that it is beginning to make sense.

Edit: I should have checked my mail before I posted. Georgia Seitz sent me a link to a split chain video by Linda Davies that is just what I needed. This looks the closest to the method I remember using before. Now to practice, practice, practice. Many thanks to Linda Davies for making and sharing the video, and to Georgia for sending it to me!


Lace-lovin' Librarian ~ Diane said...

I think the hanky edging is looking great! I like that you started at the most difficult part. I don't remember... is only one corner scalloped?

I think I may spend some time with the split chain this summer so that I can find out what everyone is talking about. I can make a split ring, but I've never attempted the chain. I'll keep your advice in mind!

Eliz (tatknot) said...

Yes, Diane, just one corner is scalloped and I'm only giving special attention to the largest of the scallops. It should go much faster from here on out.

As to the split chain, I know I'll enjoy having fewer ends to deal with. My practice piece is getting better and better.

Michelle said...

Thanks to all these resources you've listed, I'll give a try this summer too. Diane, let's give it a go together!

Monica said...

Your edging is lovely and the hanky is beautiful too.

Gina said...

Practice is the key. I don't have any problem remembering HOW to do the split ring anymore, but I do have to pay special attention to the thread space and making sure I snug up the first leg of the stitch and that it is turned before snugging up the 2nd half. As long as I do that, they look great.

I love the way you fitted the edging around the scallop. I agree that will be the trickiest part.

Val said...

OOH, I love the way your hanky is coming along. Very pretty, the green edging matches so well with the simple motif on the hanky!

Suztats said...

I love how rich the edging looks on your hanky. It will be gorgeous!