This post is actually a tribute to my test tatters. I had nine test tatters, and they came up with many different ways to do the various elements in the pattern!
I incorporated some of their suggestions, but not others. However, now that I realise what a wide variety there is in tatting styles, I want to share their ideas with all of you – because you may also have the same style.
I will probably update this post as and when I come across more suggestions or links...
All the variations suggested below make reference to the pattern for the Endless Hearts Braid with Corner
RW = Reverse Work
SLT = shoelace trick
FIP = Face Inward Picot (see pattern, or diagram here
IP = Intruding Picot (this post
and the following ones)
CWJ = Catherine Wheel Join. Tutorials for this can be found in many locations on the internet.
vsp = very small picot for joining
ds = double stitch
Different ways to do the EPJ (Encapsulating Picot Join)
As given in the pattern (last page):
Make a vsp on Chain (2). Don't join Chain (2) to Ring (1) yet. Tat Chain (3) until the point of the EPJ. As with a normal picot join, pull a loop of thread up through the picot of Ring (1), but then pull it down through the vsp on Chain (2). Put the shuttle through the loop and snug up, but not too tightly. Later, join Ring (4) into a loop of the EPJ.
By substituting the elements in the join:
A. Make an FIP instead of a vsp on Chain (2). Then pull up the loop through both the FIP and the picot of Ring (1), put the shuttle through the loop, and snug up.
B. Make an IP instead of a vsp on Chain (2). Then pull up the loop through both the IP and the picot of Ring (1), put the shuttle through the loop, and snug up.
C. Make a long picot on Ring (1). Make a vsp on Chain (2), do not join to Ring (1). When tatting Chain (3), make a picot join into the long picot of Ring (1) and the vsp of Chain (2) (the vsp is layered over the long picot), put the shuttle through the loop and snug up. Later, when tatting Ring (4), make a picot join into the long picot of Ring (1). (This works best if doing the pattern front-side/back-side.) (More details here.)
By doing sequential joins:
A. Make a lock join from Chain (2) into the picot of Ring (1). Then, later, do a picot join from Chain (3) into the lock join on Chain (2). Then, later, join Ring (4) into the core thread of Chain (3).
B. On Chain (2), make a CWJ into the Ring (1) picot; also make a vsp between the half-stitches of the CWJ. Then, later, do a picot join from Chain (3) into the vsp on the CWJ on Chain (2), and immediately make an FIP on Chain (3). Then, later, join Ring (4) into the FIP. (Two of my test tatters independently came up with this solution.)
C. If you don't mind strivers (safety pins / paper clips): On Ring (1), make a tiny picot. On Chain (2), make a CWJ into Ring (1), and put a striver between the legs of the CWJ. On Chain (3), make a picot join where the striver is, then immediately put the striver on the core thread. Then join Ring (4) with a picot join into Chain (3) where the striver is.
I know of three main ways to do it. All three are listed here
Turning the chain to make the S-curve:
In the pattern, the turn is accomplished with two first-half stitches. Other ways are:
A. Simply RW the pattern around the chain being tatted. (This was my original suggestion; it did not work too well during test tatting.)
B. Do a SLT, then RW.
C. Use a Reverse Join where joining to the previous clover (video tutorial here) (However, this will lock the core thread.)
Substitutions for the Catherine Wheel Join:
A. the Anne Dyer Join to the Smooth Side (or JSS) (video tutorial here)
B. the Slope & Roll Join (this can break the line of caps for the chain)
C. the lock join (this will put a dimple in the chain)
Substitutions for the FIP:
A. The Intruding Picot (as mentioned above)
B. The down picot (tutorial here)
B. Making the 14 ds stretches of chain a bit longer - 16 or 18 ds.
C. Omitting free picots from the rings.