Monday, November 21, 2011

Interlocking Chain-Rings

After receiving several inquiries concerning the interlocking chain-ring foundations I use in many of my designs, I have decided to post a few images of the way I tat them. 
The example will be a 5 ICR foundation motif. 
The thread used in my example is size 5 DMC cotton perle in color #4025.  I used a size 7 tatting needle and 5 small silver jingle bells.
All rings are made with the following count: R11 very small - with bell 11 CL.
Thread your tatting needle and add 5 bells.  I am working off the ball of thread, but you may cut a long piece if that is more comfortable for you.  Tat as listed above.  Now we are ready to move onto the 2nd ring.  Place the needle tip through the R just made and tat the counts, LEAVING A SMALL SPACE OF THREAD BEFORE THE FIRST DS.  This allows the 2nd ring to wrap around the first ring and lay nicely.

Onto the 3rd ring, tatting as you did for the 2nd ring- LEAVING A SMALL SPACE BEFORE TATTING THE FIRST DS.  You will be leaving this space between all the subsequent rings.

The same for the fourth-

And the fifth-

The 5th ring is the last in this motif, so you will be closing it by sliding the stitches off your needle and BEFORE closing the ring, run the needle through the first ring made and close.

Pull the ring snug and shape the motif with your fingers.

Cut a medium length of the working thread and bring to the front of the motif and tie.  You may either run the threads to the back of the piece and hide the ends or leave the ends at the front for securing buttons, beads or whatever strikes your fancy to the front of the motif.

Shall I expand upon this little motif and add more to it for tomorrow's post?  Let me know if you would like this expanded into a larger motif!  I'd be happy to see what I can come up with.

I hope this has been clear and easy to follow.  If anyone has any further questions, I will do my best to help.  Another great source for tatting information is the Online Tatting Class conducted by Georgia Seitz.  There are also several online groups that are always willing and eager to help fellow tatters.

Well, I had better run- my husband (who is on vacation this week)  is on the back acreage of the Piney Woods working to clear the site for my future "tatting shanty".  I had better go take him a large glass of ice water and see what I can do to help.  Have a great day!  Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!


  1. Thank you so much for showing how it's done!

  2. Thank you so very much for the tutorial! Very easy to understand :)

  3. thanks rachel for this tutorial.. i was one of the person who was curious with your icr so.. °double thanks°!! im still not working with needle but with shuttle..

  4. Thank you for this tutorial. Please do a tutorial on expanding the motif.


  5. thank you Rachel, i have been wondering how to do this. will this even work with a shuttle? I am much more proficient with a shuttle...

  6. Thank you for posting these instructions! I've always wanted to try this with a needle. Can't wait to work on it!

  7. Lovely!
    Now I've tried to do this with tatting-needle, but I like the shuttle much more :-)
    Does anyone know if it is possible to do this with a shuttle instead?

  8. Jessica, I would like to know the same thing..! I am strictly a shuttle tatter, but would love to make this.

  9. Oh I'm so glad to have found this instruction. The Celtic needle tatting book I have creates the interlocking rings by spiraling, weaving and picking up the first picot of the previous ring. Whew, I knew there had to be another way, thank you.