Hiding Method 1: Tat over tails

Post date: Jul 15, 2013 8:28:46 PM

by Sarah Nielson

The technique know as "tat-over-tails" is used to hide ends while you work, and is particularly useful if you are starting a project without a continuous thread, or when adding a new thread. It is much easier to tat over the tails while working than to hide them later! We will share ways to hide threads at the end of your project in future articles.

To tat over tails,

  1. Fold the end (tail) to be hidden over the work so that it is held with the working threads in your pinch.

  2. Form the first half-stitch, but do not tighten it down all the way.

  3. While the first half-stitch is still a loop, feed the tail through the loop along the core thread. Be sure that it follows the core thread exactly. (A crochet hook or a shuttle with a pick can be useful for this step.)

  4. Check that the half-stitch has not unflipped. Tighten the half-stitch down as normal.

  5. Repeat steps 2-4 for the second half of the stitch. Double-check that the tail lies inside the stitches, which may be slightly thicker than normal because of the doubled core thread.

  6. Make additional stitches, continuing to work the tail through each half stitch so that it lies along the core thread. I generally make at least three complete stitches when tatting over tails. Some people recommend a few more. Generally, the more wear the lace will experience, the more stitches you should work the end through.

  7. Fold the tail back to get it out of the way while you finish the ring or chain. After closing the ring or tightening the chain, firmly tug the end of the tail to make sure there is no slack thread hidden under the stitches.

  8. At this point you can clip the end close against the work, but I recommend waiting until you have finished the piece, then double-checking that all the ends are pulled in tightly before clipping.

Note: it is a good idea to secure a new thread with a knot before tatting over tails to keep the work from pulling apart. Also, be careful using this to hide the tail inside your first ring, since it’s possible to pull the core thread back through and undo your ring! To prevent this, you can make the first half stitch, and then begin to tat over the tails.