Beaded Tatting Lessons

The following instructions for beaded tatting, are based on those I first wrote for an article I penned for Piecework Magazine (Jan./Feb. 1996). Also included in the following pages are extensive design suggestions, comments on suitable bead materials, and some historical background information that were not originally included in the article due to space limitations.

To add beads when making a join:

Bead ready to slide onto picot
[Figure 1]
Picot through bead
[Figure 2]

To apply a bead at a join, slide the tip of the crochet hook through the hole in the bead until bead rests on the shaft. With the hook, catch the picot that is to be joined to (see figure 1) and slide the bead from the hook to the picot. (see figure 2)

Without removing the hook from the picot, pick up the hand thread as if you were making a normal picot join and pull it through the picot to form a loop. Complete the join.

Note: Make the picots consistent in size and a tiny bit longer than the length through your bead. If the picot is too small, it will cause your tatting to "strain" to the join and can affect the look of the lace. Picots that are too long will show beyond the bead and will be distracting. A space of about 1/4" between double stitches will form a picot that is the right size for a seed bead.

A tiny-sized crochet hook (size 15 or 16) is particularly useful for making seed bead joins in this method. There are several suppliers that carry such small crochet hooks. See the resources section for a list of such companies.


To add beads in line with ds on a chain:

Beads placed on the shuttle thread and brought between ds while working on a chain will place beads on the same level with the double stitches.

Note: This is particularly useful if you wish to add beads to your tatting but you don't want to sacrifice a picot when doing it. Since the bead is in the ds level of the tatting, placing the bead when you're making a picot will allow you to have the bead and your picot too! The picot can then be used for a join in another round. Tiny seed beads used in cross-stitch and embroidery (smaller than normal seed beads) are especially useful here. Their tiny size doesn't take up a lot of space between ds, yet they still provide a nice accent.


To add beads in picots on a chain:

Beads placed on the second thread used for chains (the hand thread) and brought between ds while working on a chain will place beads above the line of ds with the chain picot running through the bead.


To add beads in line with ds on a ring:

Beads placed on the shuttle thread and brought onto use between ds while working on a ring will place beads on the same level with the double stitches on the ring.

Note: Again, this is particularly useful if you wish to add beads to your tatting but you don't want to sacrifice a picot when doing it. Since the bead is in the ds level of the tatting, placing the bead when you're making a picot will allow you to have the bead and your picot too! The picot can then be used for a join in another round. Tiny seed beads used in cross-stitch and embroidery are, again, useful here.


To add beads in picots on a ring:

Beads placed on the shuttle thread and brought onto the hand thread looped around your passive hand (your left hand if you are a right-handed tatter) and then placed between ds while working on a ring will place beads above the line of ds with the ring's picot running through the bead.


To add beads to base of a ring:

Beads placed on the shuttle thread but not brought into use until after a ring has been made will appear at the bottom of the ring.

Experiment!
Other configurations of beads to the tatting stitches are possible - e.g. at the base of chains and Josephine knots. Take a favorite tatting pattern, string some beads on your ball and shuttle threads and experiment. You never know what effect you might create! If it's beautiful, add it to your lace sample scrapbook and share it - if not, examine what didn't work out so well and make a note of it. An experiment is never a waste of effort.

Beaded Tatting Lessons:
| Basic Beaded Tatting Lessons |

Continue Beaded Tatting Lessons:
| Design Suggestions | Suitable Bead Materials | Historical Background |

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