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Monday, 6 April 2020

girotondo - a rainbow hug to all tatters

The detailed photo-tutorial in pdf format is here (there are more pictures and drawings included): (file updated)
All pictures are numbered the same as in the pdf file, so you won’t find here a sequence of numbers.

For the rainbow motif you will need cotton of any size, in 2 colours or more. This pattern can be tatted in just one colour, with 2 shuttles wounded CTM. For this tutorial, I’ve used DMC Cebelia n.10. For the bib (photo in Flickr) and for the rainbow motif (first photo up here), I’ve used DMC Special Dentelles size 80 thread.

Previous post with the pattern is here:
Note that in the old drawing the pattern starts without the first “arm”. At that time I used the pattern to tat the edging for a bib. I still suggest to don't tat the very first arm in a long edging, unlike the few rainbow "kids" of this tutorial.
The instructions are for the shuttle, for the coloured motif in the picture here, wind about 1 meter and half in each shuttle.

↪Starting with a chain:
There are many tutorial online for how to start with a chain, for example:
You can use your favourite method, here I started with a safety pin as a holder.

↪How I changed colour:
You can find online many solutions to change the colour between elements, I found mine but you know well that having many options is the best, you can choose what works better for you.

In the pattern, the “body” is a mock ring. Again, you can close it in any way you like. In this pattern, I need also to tie the core thread because we are going to cut it. Then I used this method to close the mock ring:

In this way, pulling the core thread, the mock ring is closed and the core thread is blocked.

After this point, I cut the old colour (core thread, fig.5) and added the new one. As you see in fig.6, lay the new thread along the old one, take the loop around your hand for the “head” and hide both ends (old cut thread and new one) under the first stitches of the ring of the "head".

Then, I turned work left to right and reversed. But if you start and close the ring in a way that the threads emerge from the correct side, then reverse work and continue without turning.

↪Finishing one "kid":
Now, pass one shuttle over and the other under the ring of the “head”. It is like the “Under-Over” join (aka Alligator join).  But in this case it is not a proper join, the aim here is to hide the colour blip from the unwanted thread (however, it is just a little blip). Hence that thread is moved across the back of work, and the current element's colour thread is moved across the front. Also, it stabilises the head ring.
After the “head”, I used the new thread as the core shuttle. Don’t pull too much otherwise it can slip off the ring.

↪Starting the next "kid":
In order to start the next element, I switched colour with a shoelace trick (one first half ds not flipped): leave the space for 1 picot, and start with the next chain. In fig.13 there’s the starting of the new “arm”.
↪For different colours’ choices:
  • if you want each element a different colour, cut the old colour and add the new one in the same way as in fig.5,6,7,8.
  • If you do not want to change colour each element, but still want to do the edging in two colours, then it is sufficient to add the second colour only in the first "kid", then continue with the pattern switching first and second colours as in fig.12.
After the blue "kid", I’ve tatted a ring of 12ds and cut threads.
(I’ve used this method to hide ends: Miranda's method - finish with SSSR: ).

The SSSR/final ring can be used to attach findings.

And we all have already heard Muskaan saying “This Way or Tat?”...
For great tips about tatting the motif in a different way, starting without the starting chain and how to change colours, without any turn work and Under-Over join, please read this post by Muskaan:


  1. Thanks for this lovely pattern and excellent explanation. I had tremendous fun tatting it d-)

    1. Thank you very much for your version :-f Very clever tips from your side, as always 👍

  2. Girls! You are powerful together! You should be known as "TEAM TATTING!"

  3. Super cute!! :) Hugs to you too!! :)

  4. A wonderful rainbow hug, thank you!

  5. Such a cute design! Thank you for the pattern and your excellent how-to photos.


Thank you very much for all your nice comments.