Sunday, May 21, 2017

How tight is tight enough when it comes to chains???

A few of weeks ago I bought two patterns from Renulek. The current Wiosna 2017 and a pattern called  "Snowflake".                                                                                            

The big doily I am having zero issues with and am up to round 9 so far.....the Snowflake doily however is frustrating me to the point that I am questioning every piece of tatting I have ever done!

I tat with a mediumish tight (definitely not loose) tension  that is pretty consistent however EVERY attempt on this doily has given me issues and bowled.

After 5 attempts to get past row 3, using different thread, different size thread, different tension, I just cannot get it to sit for me. So in desperation I searched everywhere for someone that had completed the pattern and didn't have any success (unusual) so I wrote to Renulek. Her answer was that perfect tension on this doily is essential, I am not tatting tight enough and that I need to pull my chains a lot tighter. "As tight as you close your rings". (Although being referred to as a beginner did ruffle my feathers slightly)

TRY AGAIN and this time TAT TIGHT...(ohhh my aching fingers!!)

 A tad tight but workable...

 Flattened out ok.

Chains pulled up so tight I broke the thread and cut into my finger.


This is not going to end well......


No recovering from this one.....

Hmmmm.... on the pics above,  I thought I was pulling the chains up as hard as I could but it still didn't sit for me!! Really worried about breaking the thread all the time too.

So - how tight is "tight enough"?


  1. I saw Renulek's latest post and my thought was that if one has consistent tension through a project, then whatever one’s style (tight, medium, loose) should not matter.
    Your trials show that theory (I thought it was logical ;-P) does not hold !
    I often struggle with the question you ask, and haven’t found any answer, except to look closely at the original tatted model and try to follow along.
    I do feel that, given the diversity in threads, tatting tensions, etc., it may be a good idea for a designer to include the size of project after each additional round/row, to serve as some guide for tatters.
    So far I have tatted 4 of Renulek's doilies and they lay flat. So this one is intriguing.

    1. That is my thought too..... I have never had an issue as long as my tension is consistent throughout the project (or close enough to consistent). I read her post and did her "test" and broke the thread twice trying to get it that tight. This pattern just is not for me I guess. If I have to cut my fingers and keep breaking thread all the time then there is no joy in it.
      I have done all of her ones so far and all have been fine.But as she says - they are not critical tension where this one is.

  2. In my opinion, it isn't so much about "perfect" chain tension as it is about imitating the designer. Some designers tat very loosely, like Ben Fikkert, and Renulek tats very tightly. I don't believe that there is one correct way.

    For this pattern, it looks like you'd really have to go out of your way to imitate what the designer did. That includes tightly pulled chains, long joining picots between the little Round 3 flowers, and blocking (I thought I saw Renulek mention using an iron before, but I could be wrong).

    Even with that, you might find that you still need to make adjustments to the stitch count to suit your tatting style. I guess it depends on how much time you want to spend on this pattern versus other things. Either way, good luck!

  3. Looks like you have given it a wonderful try!!! :)
    I would possibly suggest lowering the stitch count in the first round chains since that seems to be what is causing the trouble. Maybe 2 or 4 stiches subtracted from the count to keep it even?? Just a thought.