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Does this happen to you? Okay, so the picture is not very good, but bear with me.

Often when I am tatting for a while the thread wears ridges into my middle or ring fingers, or my pinkie when doing split rings, and that can be painful. I’ve tried those commercial plastic things you slip over your finger, but they never stay in place for long, and the thread never stays on them anyway. So, I made my own finger guard.

I’ve been using this one for years and love it. It stays on my finger, stays in place under the thread no matter which way the thread lays, is easy to put on and take off, and is dirt cheap. Plus, the longer I use it the more comfortable it is!

Here is a little tutorial on how to make your own.

Go to your local craft store and buy a small swatch of craft leather for a couple of bucks, or find some scrap leather around the house.

Take a sharp knife and cut it in roughly this shape:

You don’t need to be too exact, though it may help to trace it on paper first to get the size right for your finger. The wide part in the middle should be about the width of the knuckle you intend to cover. The thinner straps on either side should be about 1/3 the width of the middle and a little less than twice as long as the middle length.

When you cut it out it should look like this:

Then wrap the finger guard around your finger, with the wide part over the knuckle that has all the red ridge marks, and fold the straps around in a simple overhand tie:

The leather will keep itself tied pretty tightly for quite a bit of tatting. I find I have to snug it every half hour or so.

This is what it looks like in action:

I have on occasion used two of these on different fingers at once, such as when doing many split rings, and saved myself a lot of pain.

I hope this little tutorial helps someone out.