Friday, June 22, 2007


Someone asked me if I had a pattern for a chatelaine and I didn't at the time. Traditionally a chatelaine would hold the keys to all of the valuables in the house and it would be worn either around the neck or on a belt at the waist.

I don't like the idea of something hanging around my neck, so I wanted a design that could be hung from a belt or a belt loop. I was also thinking that if you are sitting and tatting (not many of us stand to tat) that something at the waist would be closer to your work anyway.

I figured that if I was making a tatted chatelaine, it would probably be for a tatter to use. I suppose different fibre arts would use different tools, but I only included those things that I use all the time. I have a pair of scissors, a fine crochet hook and several needles for hiding ends. My scissors are the folding variety and quite heavy, so I wanted the tatting to be strong enough to hold the weight and not break.

I needed a base medallion to attach the various "ends" to so I came up with the idea of tatting onto a plastic curtain ring and attaching a spring clip like the kind on a dog leash, to the plastic ring. That way most of the weight is on the plastic ring, not the lace. The spring clip attaches easily to a belt loop or can be slid over a belt. I also wanted the design to be flexible enough that it would be easy to add more ends for more tools, like picot gauges or magnifying glasses, or whatever else people might need. The simplest way to attach these tools was a jump ring and lobster claw clasp. The lobster claw allows you to remove the tools when necessary.

One of the tools I use the most and always have to go look for, is a needle to hide my ends. I use several different needles, depending on the size of thread I am working with at the time. If I'm using size 80 thread I want a very fine needle that will let me hide the ends without pulling the tatting out of shape. Very fine needles don't have an eye big enough for threading size 10 thread into, so I need a larger needle for that. I want to be able to carry the needles around with me and not get stuck with them. My solution was to use a piece of felt the same colour as the tatting. The end with the felt sewn onto it folds up and secures with an invisible dome fastener. The needles are slid into the felt and the felt is folded over and snapped closed. Even tatting needles could be secured this way.

I did a sketch using beads and the sketch kind of reminded me of a flower with a light colour in the centre a darker colour outside and then green on the chains. Unfortunately I didn't have enough beads of the right colours to do the whole thing, so I made the one pictured without beads. I did the sample at right with beads to see what it would look like. I like the idea of beads on it and I may do another at some time with beads.
I don't didn't use a chatelaine until I was making the little beaded black amulet bag shown in a previous post. Every few stitches I needed to use a fine hook to make a bead join. I had a very fine size 16 hook and I lost it. Since I had just made the chatelaine it seemed like a very good idea to attach it to something big enough that it wouldn't get lost again. I asked Rob to cut it off at the flat bit and drill a hole in the end. Now it's on my new chatelaine and I'm not likely to lose it again. (just in case I bought 2 anyway LOL) When I started the amulet bag I used the chatelaine continually as I alternated using needles to thread on beads and the hook to make bead joins. Now it has become a standard part of my tatting stuff. I know that if I grab my shuttles thread and the chatelaine I'll have everything I need to work on any of my projects.
The pattern for this design is in the latest Tatted Lace Pattern Collection newsletter.

1 comment:

Bev Davis said...

I am very tardy with thanking you for the chatelaine. I am making my own from your pattern as I have arthritis in my neck and the idea of having weight there is not a good idea! I also like the idea of having it at my waist - table high. So thank you Sharon for helping me out and sharing your pattern. I look forward to the newsletters and I hope you keep their arrival!
Best Wishes, BJ