We used to have monthly lessons . . .

From www.georgiaseitz.com

For several years, as a group Thread Bears conducted monthly lessons that revolved around various techniques that hopefully would help grow each members’ practice. Sometimes the lesson revolved around a specific need that a member had that might allow them to complete a project and at other times, the lesson was a general explanation and practice of a pattern that involved techniques like Onion Rings, Graduated Picots, Split Rings and Chains as well as Self Closing Mock Rings and others. The isolation during the past several months because of Covid-19 has put these sorts of lessons on the back burner, more for some members than for others. There is such a wealth of information on almost every topic imaginable on the web. So much so that it’s almost overwhelming.

One of the techniques the group has investigated is the Catherine Wheel Join. It makes a very smooth join and can be used in many applications but is most specific to joining the outer chain to the center / top picot when creating an Onion Ring. I remember on of the teachers at a tatting convention remarking to me once that sometimes she forgot about this method for joining, but that it does make a lovely join in the end.

The Catherine Wheel join needs to be carried out in a very specific way and that is what can be intimidating to the tatter. In some ways, it’s name carries the reminder of a specific torture that was carried out against St. Catherine of Alexandria, a 4th Century martyr. Perhaps this reference points out that the technique may seem like torture, I don’t know, but it does make a lovely finished product, especially as explained by Marilee Rockley who gave permission to link to her explanation of the technique here.

Recently, another joining technique called “The Blipless Join” came to my attention. It’s well described by Monique Biggs on her YouTube channel called Noo Bear. This technique is extremely useful when you are creating joins that involve 2 different colors of thread. Monique has generously agreed to allow a link from her YouTube Channel as well. Take a look! It may prove very helpful in your crafting!

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