I've been working on a project with black thread and beads that has a lot of split rings. It's a deadly combination. First of all black thread is hard to work on unless you have exceptional lighting. I do a lot of my tatting in the evening while hubby and I watch the boob tube together. My usual spot, whilst near the kitchen so that I can make a quick cup of tea or a bowl of popcorn, doesn't have the greatest lighting.
I like to use a fine hook #14 also known as .o6 mm to do bead joins. It's quick, and usually painless to stab a bead, pull up the joining picot with the tip of the hook and then do the join. One of the things that I have noticed is that a #14 hook is a sharp little stinker. If you're like me you hold the join across the side of the knuckle of your left forefinger just by the pad of the finger and pull on the work so that you can insert the hook and pull up a loop of thread. This action, if you are not careful, or haven't developed calluses from years of tatting can result in piercing your skin.
Before the squeamish, among you have yelled ouch in sympathy, or pitched your cookies at the mere thought of blood, let me assure you that I have not drawn blood. What I have done is shredded my thread. That teeny, tiny hook has a sharp little bend and since it is tiny, it doesn't always grab all of the thread. As often as not I go to make the join and discover that the strand of thread is finer that it ought to be. When I check, sure enough I have one strand instead of 3 on my hook. The other strands are all bunched up on the other side of the join.
Normally this doesn't bother me. I'm a tatter, I work in fine thread, therefore I have the patience of Job. So what's the problem, you ask? The thread is black, that's what's the problem. Making one attempt at doing a join with shredded thread is bad enough, but shredding the thread once means that it is more likely to shred again on the next join since the originally tightly spun fibres have now been separated.
Can you imagine anything worse that trying to work with thread that is determined to separate like wet toilet paper? Shall I tell you what's worse? What's worse is getting to the last few rings and knowing that if you stress this blessed thread much more, it WILL come apart and you'll have to add in 2 new threads (split rings remember) and hide 4 ends, in the last tiny ring. Could it be any worse? You can count on it.
Worse, is having all of this, and hot flashes too (or high fever, at this point I'm not sure which, but the effect is the same) the result of this is that the shredded black thread is now wet! Fortunately, I have been tatting for years and I know when it's time to quit. I don't care that this sucker was down to the last 4 rings before completion. I put it away until morning. Dry thread, cool hands and bright sunlight, make a world of difference and this baby is DONE.
Well, not quite, there's a zillion ends to hide and some more bead work to add, but the tatting's done. Now on to the next project.