Thursday, October 16, 2008

Predict the future / Save your thread: Thread Tutorial

Do you hate not having enough thread on your shuttles when you start a project or having too much thread left over on your shuttle after you complete your project?
I might be able to help you.
I have discovered a way to predict how much thread you will use in a project before you even begin to wind your shuttles. You can do this for any size thread. I've been using this method for awhile and it really works well. This method is especially handy when you want to spare as much of that precious HDT "Hand dyed thread" as possible. You can predict how much HDT (or any thread) you will need to use in project before starting. This is ever so helpful for determining projects, especially those big ones. Also, this method is individualized to your style of tatting whether your tension is tight or loose, you can determine how much thread YOU will use.

Now I would like to share this tip with you!

Please do not get scared away by the math. It really is pretty simple.

Take your ball thread and measure a 12" length of thread. Do not cut.
Mark the thread at the beginning.
Tat 10 double stitches. (See the mark on the thread?)
After tatting 10ds, measure how much thread is left and subtract from 12". In my case it takes 4" of size 20 thread to make 10 stitches. So now I know that for every 10 ds in a pattern I will need 4" of thread.

Let's take this pattern and predict how much size 20 thread we will need to use.
One inner pink ring is 12 ds, so let's multiply 12ds X 6 rings = 72ds
Since 10ds = 4" of thread you can divide 72/10 = 7.2 and multiply that by 4" = 28.8 inches. You'll want to include room for picots, core thread and tails so I would round this up to 1 yard (or 36 inches). So I would wind my shuttle with one yard of pink thread for the inner rings.

Break it down, now let's do the brown thread:

One chain = 16ds, multiply that by 6 chains = 96ds

One ring = 14x6 =84ds



18x4=72 inches

72 inches divided by 1 yard (36 inches) = 2 yards

Add a little room (maybe 1 foot) for core thread, picots and tails.

So you'll wind your second shuttle with 2 yards and 1 foot of thread.

Whaddya think? Bloody Brilliant...that's what!

No more wasting thread!


Katherine said...

Sherry, that is pure genius! At last I can stop wasting thread, I love you....
(I am going to be using a calculatrice for the mathematics I'm afraid.)

Stephanie said...

Now THAT is brilliant! Thanks, Sherry.

Tatskool said...

Bloody brilliant..yup that's you alright. Hope you enjoying your hols.

Marie Smith said...

I love it, I love it! Hope you are enjoying your vacation! - Marie Smith

Unknown said...

Wayyyy awesome! Thanks, I love learning new things!

Bonnie said...

You are a genius, Sherry!!

Tat-a-Renda said...

Fancy that! I have been using this method for a while now except that I am used to centimetres rather than inches. For example, my gauge for size 20 thread is 1cm for 1ds. And I do the same of allowing a bit extra for the core thread and the picots.

And I do this with with any new thread that I have not used before.

And, it does work. Since tatting patterns are repetitive after a point, it is quite easy to calculate the number of double stitches required.
You have explained it very well.

alt.ayu said...

This is wonderful~! I always have too much thread~~ :) Thank you for this post~

Anonymous said...

Genius - and you have saved all this while we await for your return from China. Simply brilliant!

Unknown said...

Brilliant, A way to predict thread usage. What could be better?

Toptattyhead said...

Sherry, you are a star! Bloody brilliant indeed!!!

Tattycat said...

Well, I'm going to use one of Jane and Pamela's words and say that I am gob-smacked!!! This is brilliant. I'm going to print it out and never be frustrated with thread requirements again.
Hope you are having fun and will feel good as new when you get back!

Needledreams said...

Been thinking in this but I'm afraind I'm one of those that get's panicly with the maths. But your explanation is superb! Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! You have just saved us extra pennies to save for HDT! :)

Ridgewoman said...

I aplaud you for your ingenious solution; however, I'm not a 'math' person ~ excedrin headache just reading the solution. LOL My bad...
However, I've not wasted much thread ~ guess I'm just 'lucky'; but, I don't believe in 'luck' either (except as in realtion to wagering; and, that's percentages...and I'm getting yet another headache)

Kajin said...

Very useful information - thank you for sharing!

Unknown said...

Hi Sherry! I just wanted to let you know that I shared a link to this post over at a similar post on InTatters and on my Tatting Techniques page. Thanks again! :)

~TattingChic ♥

Anna said...

OMG, thank you soooo much Sherry!!! you're so smart!

Unknown said...

This is so much more simple than other blogs I've read trying to explain estmating thread. As I am new to tatting , by shuttle and needle this will give me a better guide to estimate the thread I need for my projects, as I have wasted quite a bit of thread so far. thank You so very much

Potschochter said...

I`ve just gone through your genius methode of yarn saving. It is adorable. Thank you. So I did some calculating and I came to an adding of 30% of your summed up double stitches equal to inches.
so you add 30% for core threads and picots.
I am from Austria so I had to convert to centimeters and meters.
I am very new to this shuttle tatting but I love it right from the start.
Bless you


Donna Gustafson-Nissen said...

You are absolutely awesome! I have to order all thread, so it's all precious!