One of the things that stumped me when I started to tat was how to make the very last join. For the first few times this would make me quite anxious, as I didn’t want to twist and lock the joins in the very last stitches. One of the things I still manage to do is to get so engrossed in the pattern that I forget to make the last few joins, and have to retro-tat, or cut away the last repeat and re-do it.
Today I was finishing a lovely vintage pattern from: Paragon Tatting book No 112, page 9: Occasional Doily. I have made this pattern in green before, and really like it’s simplicity and that it isn’t round. I thought I would use the opportunity to take some photos to help beginner tatters to conquer this final join more easily.
First, lay your work out and check the place where it should join.
The pattern you will have to follow will deviate a little from the printed pattern, and you will need to think about how you will join the last rings and chains so you keep the pattern true. Here I am joining the second to last chain to the first ring (in the pattern the ring was made after this chain in every repeat). This closes off the free ‘end’ of the doily- keep an eye in where your threads are as they can end up getting tangled or knotted into the work as you tat.
I usually end up working this part a bit awkwardly – it is tatting I wouldn’t attempt in public! Continue on with the second to last chain.
Next I complete the final ring in the motif, and the join to the beginning of this motif makes the work that bit more awkward – you need to be careful you don’t twist the threads. Close this ring as normal.
You may notice that the working threads are now on opposite sides of the work, and can see clearly in the picture below that the ‘free end’ of the doily edge is now closed in. The final chain needs to be made, and so some of the ball thread can be pulled through to make the chain and join as in the normal pattern.
Make the final chain, and if you have been careful the work will sit flat and the final chain join to the base of the first ring will be barely noticeable.
Now, simply sew in the last ends (if you have used the magic thread technique this sewing may not be necessary) and block the finished doily :)
So a few minutes of careful concentration will make sure the final join doesn’t destroy your doily :) I suggest practicing on smaller things like bookmarks and motifs first.
As always Happy Tatting :)