More About Split Clunies

Okay, I can make one, but what can I do with it? And what about those ends?

Where can I make split clunies?
Split Cluny as a Bridging Tool
Attaching the split cluny to a previous round
Coping with the Inevitable Thread Ends not just for shuttle tatters
a. Avoiding a loose thread at the base of the split cluny (shuttle)
b. Hiding the thread that exits at the top of the split cluny by means of magic thread (needle tatters note!)

Where can I make split clunies?

You can substitute them for standard rings anywhere.
You can also throw them off of chains (standard or pearl tatted) and SCMR. See Melanie’s Violets for an example.

You can also throw split clunies off of the unturned side of a split ring – in shuttle tatting if you don’t mind introducing a 3rd shuttle and leaving a ring hanging open while you weave the leaf using the shuttle that ties the knots and that 3rd shuttle. Needle tatters, how would you do it?

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Split Cluny as a Bridging Tool

Yes, you can add Reverse Cluny to your bag of bridging tricks, along with split rings and split chains, for climbing out from round to round on a motif or doily.

Example: CD cover pattern

Note how on rows 1 and 2, one can climb out to the next row with a split chain. To get to round 3, it’s easy: make a leaf and keep on going, leaf after leaf. But how to get to row 4? If your last leaf is a split cluny, you’ll have one thread in the correct position. All you need to do is pull through the weaving thread (after joining to round 2) to have both threads in position. Alternatively, you can add a new thread to add to the old one and continue with round 4.

Also, you could do the same in the cluny shuttle (if you prefer split cluny to split chain, that is!).

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Attaching the split cluny to a previous round

After I close the leaf, I attach the leaf by the weaving shuttle (or needle) to the previous round. At first, I used a lock join. But I found that even if I joined tightly to the previous round, it was still very easy for that join to loosen, leaving the cluny appearing to hang by a single thread to the previous round.

When I was tatting in a single color, I would pull the weaving thread through the leaf after attaching (see section on ends below), then use this end to finger tat (or use a needle to tat with) for the first ds or two in the next element for an extra anchor. This way, the end was anchored and the previous join protected by a future knot.

Here are some scans showing this process (which is still a good idea for those items which might be subject to wear). For clarity, I have used light thread and a contrasting dark thread for the weaving thread so you can see how this works.

A. Leaf is complete, with the weaving thread already pulled through the leaf to the base of the leaf.

B. First 2 double stitches tatted with the weaving thread. The 2 shuttles (needles, needle/ball) which will continue in the work have been encapsulated in those double stitches.

C. I then dropped the dark thread, separated the two remaining shuttles (needles, needle/ball), and began to work as normal.

After Bina showed us the split chain join this winter, I found that I could use a modified version of it to form a luggage tag (or double stitch) over the join area or picot. I had to modify it because I had only a single shuttle (needle) – no core thread to work in to the join. So far, the ones I have made have not pulled loose.

If any of you tatters have any other recommendations for another type of join which is less likely to pull out and leaving bare thread visible, please write to me. I don’t mind bare threads in single-thread tatting, but not when I have gone to the trouble of using 2 or 3 threads!

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Coping with the Inevitable Thread Ends

As mentioned before, making a Split Cluny with shuttles leaves 2 inevitable thread ends. One end will exit at the top of the leaf. The other is the tail of the thread which must be added to continue the work from the base of the leaf just made. If you’ve used needle and ball, all you have to do is use the needle to thread the weaving thread through. No need for a 3rd thread.

With some advance thought, you can easily hide these ends as you go. You could extend the strategy to increase your ability to introduce color to the work.

Avoiding a loose thread at the base of the split cluny (shuttle tatters)

My favorite strategy: in the element just before you will make the split cluny, add a new thread, encapsulating the tail of the new thread being added.

You can of course tat over this tail after weaving the split cluny. However, at that point you may also have a thread from the top of the leaf to tat over. I prefer to encapsulate first and avoid the bulk of tatting over the two threads.

As an example, let’s consider throwing a split cluny off of the top of a chain or SCMR. For the few ds of the chain approaching the split cluny, add an extra shuttle. Pair it with the one you are using to make the chain to encapsulate the new thread inside the chain. Use the two together (attach them with blue tack or rubber band) to finish the chain to the point where the leaf will be worked.

The dark thread is the newly introduced shuttle thread.

Adding this new thread has strategies of its own. The new thread can be either:
a. Weaving thread for the upcoming leaf and later cut off, or
b. A thread which will continue to the element after the leaf

Option a. gives you the flexibility to make your leaves a different color from the rest of the tatting (leaves always being the color of the weaving thread).

Option b. is a great method of replacing shuttles that are running out of thread. Use the almost-empty shuttle as the weaving thread for the split cluny, and use the new shuttle as the loom thread. No knots, and a shuttle full of thread to keep going!

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Hiding the thread that exits at the top of the split cluny

If you are like me, you close your clunies tightly, packing in the threads. This makes it very difficult to weave ends into it. The same can happen to needle tatters, preventing you from working the needle back through the leaf.

However, during weaving, you can lay in a magic thread parallel to one of your loom threads, treating the magic thread and loom thread as the same thread (I recommend the left-hand loom thread, opposite the 2-thread right-hand loom thread). After you weave the leaf (and make any necessary joins after it), you can pull that thread through the leaf with the magic thread (after making your join, if a join is needed).

Here are the steps illustrated in scans of a cluny loom in use (it scans better than my hand!). The weaving thread is the dark thread. You can imagine the shuttle or needle at the end of it.

A. Magic thread is the pink thread. If using your hand as your loom, drape the loop over your index finger, and hold the knotted end in your pinch.

B. Weave over the top of the right 2 threads, under the middle thread, then over the top of the left thread/magic thread combination.

C. Weave under the left thread/magic thread combination, over the middle thread, then under the right 2 threads. This completes 1 pass. These threads have been spread out so you can see the over/under. When doing your own weaving, tighten after the shuttle exits on either side for best tension.

D. Weaving in process.

E. Weaving completed. Time to pull in the loops – but don’t dislodge the magic thread!

F. Ends have been pulled in. Time to pull through the weaver thread (if the pattern calls for a join, make the join before you pull the thread through the leaf).

G. Done!

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This page created 26 June 2003

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