Shape of Rings (regular and split ring)-Round vs Tear-Drop Shaped

Recently there was a question/discussion raised about ’round rings’ in tatting. The question started in regard to a pattern that featured a round center ring. The original poster expressed surprise that a ’round-ring’ was called for. She thought that all rings were oval/teardrop shaped.

In traditional tatting, most rings are (how I see them) tear-drop shaped. This is recognized by tatting pattern designers and the shape is designed into the piece.

However, not all rings are tear-drop shaped. All the rings in my books (both regular, take-off, and split rings) are intended to be round not teardrop shaped. The designs are completely based upon multiple, adjacent round rings.

It’s all in how you close the ring:

If you pull the ring closed by pulling the shuttle thread directly down, away from the base of the ring, you will get a ‘teardrop’ shaped ring. See the following illustration.

If you pull the shuttle thread to the side of the ring (towards where the first DS was made) you will get more of a ’round’ shaped ring. To further coerce a ring into a round shape, I use my fingers to push the base of the ring towards the upper edge of the ring every time I close a ring. See the following illustration.

In actuality, there is no such thing as a perfectly round ring. The first DS and the last DS do not perfectly match up when the ring is closed in the same plane due to the mechanics in which the ring is created–see last illustration. As tatters, we have trained our eyes to overlook this slight imperfection. Closing the ring as in the first method (pulling the shuttle thread down) will result in a more aligned first and last double stitch.