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Now you can tat rings and chains, make picots and join them together. The last video showed how to add a new thread and then hide the tails under a chain thread. This is really handy if you run out of thread part way through a project, or if you simply forgot to start with two threads.

This lesson will focus on that last technique: starting out with two threads. If you haven’t already watched the last video on adding a new thread, please do that now as it will make this lesson much easier.


If you are making a design that uses both rings and chains together near the beginning, you will often want to start with two threads. Take two shuttles wound with two different colors of thread, and tie the ends of the threads together in a simple square knot. Now the two tails are coming out facing opposite directions.

Take one color of thread and make a ring, being careful to hide the tail of that same color thread under your stitches using the method shown in the last lesson. Finish your ring and close it. Now you have one tail hidden, and one tail to go.

Reverse your work and make a chain with the other color thread, hiding the second tail under the chain stitches in like manner. That’s it! Now you have both tails hidden under stitches, but this time there is much less bulk as each set of stitches is concealing only one thread.


Hiding those tail ends under rings and chains is a really handy way to get rid of them without having to sew them in or do any special tricks. (We’ll cover those options later, by the way.) But what if the first few stitches of your ring or chain calls for a picot? How do you hide the ends then?

Not to worry, it is not as tricky as it might at first seem. Simply make the first half of the double stitch for the picot as usual, pulling the tail through the flipped stitch and along the shuttle thread as we’ve been doing. Then hold the picot in place against the finger of your working hand as usual while you make the second half of the stitch and hide the end. Here’s the bit that’s different:   Before sliding the picot next to the last stitch, grab hold of the tail end and hold it taught as you pull. This keeps the shuttle thread and the hidden tail from bunching up inside the picot.

There you go, a thread hidden underneath a picot. Or many picots; make as many as you like, so long as your hidden thread is nice and straight along the shuttle thread. Here is the video so you can get a visual of these instructions.



This post is part of a series of Absolute Beginner Tatting Lessons. Go back to the previous lesson, Adding a Second Thread and Hiding Ends, or jump ahead to the next lesson, Reverse and Turn Work, an Exploration.

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