I am completely obsessed with my tatting looking "perfect" - I hope that shows through in my work! Actually, it's not only tatting, I'm pretty much a perfectionist in every area of my life. This is good and bad, as with any personality trait. I tend to be a fairly slow, methodical tatter. This can be a bit of a drawback when selling your tatting because time is a big factor in cost, but can be balanced by extremely high quality, neat, perfect tatting which looks great in jewelry. You get the picture - it's a give and take.
Here's the thing - for years and years I made rings without ever thinking about the fact that the last ds in a ring sort of gets turned under when you close the ring. It makes the ring look a little uneven (like you are missing 1/2 a ds on one side) and the ring doesn't quite lay flat. I know what some of you are thinking - like, who's paying attention to that?! Well, I didn't for years either, until I started the "Tatting Proficiency Program" a couple of years ago. I read through the binder and saw them mentioning "posting the shuttle" - putting the shuttle through the ring before you close it with the idea that it would not cause that last little ds to turn under and semi-dissapear, and your rings would lie flatter. Not only that - but your rings will be easier to open!
Now I've never had a problem opening my rings, but I looked at a piece I had just made and - hey, how did I never notice that the last little ds curled under like that?! I could get perfectly round, flat little rings?! Well, who knew?? So I tried it. Sigh. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it didn't work well for me. Instead of curling down, now my ds curled up. The rings were a little rounder, but I really didn't think the jewelry laid as well with the ds curling up as when the ds were curling down.
But I could never look at my ugly, lopsided, uneven rings the same way again. Suddenly I hated that darn last ds! So I set about figuring out how to fix the "problem."
So here is the method I came up with: What I started doing about a year ago is making and extra half ds at the end of each ring. I do front side/back side tatting as well. So, if I am making a ring on the "front side," I do an extra 2nd half of the ds and then close the ring. If I am making rings on the "back side," I do an extra 1st half of the ds, pass the shuttle through the ring, (I do post the shuttle from the back side so that all rings are closed with the thread ending up on the same side) and then close the ring. With this method, I find that the last half ds just dissapears when you close the ring nice and snug and the ring looks perfectly even on both sides. The last full ds in the ring is completely visible and doesn't roll either way. The ring lies completely flat and has a nice even shape. Yay!
Now so far I've only shared this with one other person. I guess I thought for a long time that 1. This wouldn't work for anyone else but me or 2. Who else would care? But she found it very useful and solved her "rolling ds" problem as well, and persuaded me to share this technique with the tatting world. Thank you for the encouragement, Suzanne!
So, maybe you'd like to try this? Or maybe I lost you back at the second paragraph and you can't believe I actually care about this as much as I do. :-) Anyway, I wanted to share with those who are as obsessed as I am about "perfect" tatting - and I'd love some feedback for those of you who do try it.