Lanyard for my chatelain

Over the course of the past several projects I have come to the conclusion that I need my tools in more easy reach than on the table or in a project box or bag.  So recently I acquired a set of short crochet hooks that are suspended on a “charm holder” or chatelaine made to hang from a lanyard.  It seemed perfectly natural that the lanyard be not only tatted, but nicely so and with beads.

Beaded Lanyard with tools

Lanyard & Chatelain

A very pretty variegated Lizbeth thread called Confetti (color 105), size 20 was the color chosen to be accented with silver-lined golden seed beads for the center and smaller seed beads in a color called “carnival” for the outside joins along the length of the lanyard.  The carnival beads were chosen because of their similarity to the carnival glass that was so popular during the first half of the 20th century, and was also fitting to the medium. It was clear from an early point that the picots were going to have to be of a consistent size to fit the beads without the frustration of having picots that were either too long or too short.  Having a picot gauge was going to be essential.

Picot gauges come in many shapes and forms.  There are links to the right that show some of the various sorts.  It was actually the Grizzly Mountain Arts tubular brass gauges that inspired my choice in picot gauges.

Drawing on the lessons offered at Tat Days in Toccoa, GA last September I found the perfect tool: a coffee stirrer from a local fast food restaurant.  In fact, there is a range of readily available gauges in sanitary wrappers, disposable and of consistent sizes easily found at a variety of locations around the country!  These are some of the ones in my collection:

Variety of free picot gauges

My Picot Gauge collection

Of course if you are going to use a cotton-tipped applicator, the cotton end needs to be removed. Using a picot gauge has made a believer of me! It is not only easy, it helps any project be more consistent and graceful as it is carried out.  In this case it was for the sake of fitting the beads into the join spaces so that they would be the right size.  In other cases, such consistency would help the picots be uniform rather than varying in their size.

Using a coffee stir for a picot gauge

Here’s how to hold the picot Gauge

The pattern I chose is called “Denise’s Bracelet” byDeborah Strickland.  It is found on Georgia Seitz’s site  ( and is available in both shuttle & needle versions.  Deborah suggests in the shuttle pattern that the user might consider switching the first and second halves when reversing the work to tat the second ring in the set.

Close up of the lanyard pattern

Lanyard Closeup

This brought up the long asked question “is there a front and back to tatting?”   In this pattern, it was not initially easy to determine how to make this switch, but after a few sets, the transition became more natural.  It’s hard to see in these pictures, but the effort was well worth it!  This brings us whether or not to use this technique when reversing the work to transition between rings and chains.  There is no hard and fast answer to this question in my opinion. The most important thing is that one be consistent throughout a pattern, which ever technique is used.

Will post finished pictures soon!

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