Miscellaneous Tatting Lessons
Josephine Knots & Node Tatting

The following notes include instructions for those elements of tatting that are more commonly found in older patterns and directions. They can add interest and novelty to modern patterns.

Josephine Knots (jk)

Josephine knot

These small rings are usually made purely for an ornament and are generally not used in joining.

"Generally" can be taken with a grain of salt, however, since it is possible to use these in joining, but it takes a delicate touch to pull it off.

Josephine knots are made of single stitches (ss) rather than double stitches (ds). That is, you'll make a ring as usual, only you'll make the stitches of the ring with only the first half of the usual ds.

Because you are only using the first half, your ring will begin to twist slightly as you make the ring. This is why Josephine knots tend to be rather small. Large ones are difficult to control. If you tat more loosely than your normally do, they will be easier for you to close as well.

You'll find Josephine knots in older single-shuttle patters as bridge elements from one ring to another - i.e. ring, rw, small length of bare thread, jk, rw, small length of bare thread, ring (see the Daisy edging in the patterns section), as well as ornaments to the tops of chains (see the Frilled Snowflake motif also in the patterns section).

Many older patterns will call for a variation of the Josephine knot where the knot has not been completely closed into a ring - only half-closed. This makes the jk appear as more of a horseshoe in shape.

Node Tatting (N or node)

Node tatting Node tatting on chains uses a similar technique to that used for Josephine Knots. Specifically, the undulating wave of a node-tatted chain is achieved by tatting a set number of the first part of a ds ("fhs" or first half-stitch) followed by the same number of the second half of a ds ("shs").

The chain segment to the left was made by tatting the first half of a ds 6 times followed by 6 stitches of the second half of a ds - a total of 3 times. The more half-stitches (hs) you make in a row, the more the chain will begin to twist. By the way, the notation used here (e.g. 6N6) is read "6 half-stitches repeated 6 times" - with the assumption that the 6 hs you make alternate from first hs to second hs and back again. For another example, 3N4 would mean the following: 3fhs, 3hs, 3fhs, 3shs.

Node tatting on rings can be done, however, keep the number hs down to 4 and under. More hs than that and the ring will begin to twist too much. Too much twist and the ring will not lie flat properly. This type of chain is usually seen in older tatting patterns and is sometimes referred to as a tatted cord.

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