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Tuesday, 19 May 2020

the onion takes dimension

This post is part of a series.
In previous ‘episodes’ of the Onion Saga, I described methods to obtain concentric rings on the plane. That are the most tatted onion rings ever. But there are some nice variations that can be used in 3D tatting, that is onion rings can take dimensions and can be layered, perpendicular, curled and – why not? – twisted...
Once Muskaan wrote that “Universe is made of swirls and curls” and, especially at that time, I was not in the position to differ 😉 (her “little ditty” is here:

In the next pictures:
First shuttle = core shuttle (red thread)
Second shuttle = "ball" shuttle (yellow thread).

5. layered and 3D onions

5.1 Layered Onion rings

I found the original method only in one pattern by Muskaan, here:
Her photo-tutorial is in the same post.

Before starting, I’ve tatted one onion ring with true rings (like I did in Part I) to compare. In this method inner and outer rings are true rings, too.

In fig. 57, I've already tatted the inner ring from frontside, as per my pattern (5ds, picot, 5ds). Then, following Muskaan’s instructions, I folded the inner ring forward and started outer ring at base from behind.

I did the onion ring join, but I didn’t follow Muskaan’s tip to make only the second half stitch after the join; instead, I left the space for the picot and continued with a complete ds.
As you see in both pictures numbered 58, the inner ring is slightly layered over the outermost ring. That is a pretty change for patterns that need depth. Here in my pattern it is a shallow depth though, like a delicate bas-relief.

5.2 Perpendicular (3D) Onion Rings

I found the original method only in one pattern by Muskaan, here:
Her corresponding tutorial is here:

Also in this method, inner and outer rings are true rings. Even if Muskaan's tutorial is about Josephine Rings, I tatted a perpendicular onion rings with normal rings.

I tatted the inner true ring with the core (red) shuttle, then the outer true ring with the yellow (ball) shuttle. In that way, the second ring is already in the right position to turn at a right angle (90˚) to the inner ring.

In fig. 59,  I’ve already tatted the inner ring from the frontside (5ds, picot, 5ds). Then, I followed Muskaan’s instructions: “I brought the yellow thread in front, to 'midpoint' of inner ring & made the loop for the outer ring over and across the base”. The red thread has to be posted through the yellow loop,  the loop should be around the inner ring.

(fig. 60) For the outer ring, I didn’t follow my pattern, in fact I tatted 7ds then joined inner ring and tatted 7ds more, then I closed the ring.

In fig. 61, I did the onion ring join, then I left the space for the picot and continued with a complete ds.
Muskaan shared ideas for where this perpendicular onion rings can be used: in place of beads, for buds, pistils... well you should read her tutorial for more!

5.3 Curled Onion rings

The original method can be found in a simple clover edging pattern, here:
(visual drawing in png format is here: )
(visual drawing in jpg format is here: )

The tutorial was kindly offered by Muskaan and it is here:

In fig. 63 I’ve already tatted a normal onion ring with true rings (in the way showed in Part I), then I curled both rings over the base (toward the tatter) and passed the hook through the picot, pulled a loop of chain’s thread (that is the yellow ‘ball’ shuttle) and made a normal join with the other shuttle.

5.4 Small curled onion rings

The original method is in my tutorial, here:
(in the pdf there’s a missing link to this file with patterns:
BraceletsCapriccio.pdf  : )

Well, a Small Curled Ring (abbr. sCR) tatted inside a normal ring can be considered a sort of layered/3D onion rings. I’ve used the technique in one of my bookmarks (but I’ve not shared the pattern yet):

If you need a short refresh (without reading the pdf):
  • the sCR ring and the normal ring start at the same point (like onion rings)
  • the sCR is made before the normal ring
  • the sCR is tatted with the second shuttle, front side view
  • the sCR starts close to the last tatted element in the pattern (otherwise a bare thread space changes the stability of the sCR)
  • the sCR is made normally, with at least one picot that is used for the curling (stitches’ count here it is 4ds, picot, 4ds)
  • (fig. 65) at the point where the picot has to be, the first shuttle’s thread is put in front of the sCR and passed through the loop around the hand, with a first half stitch movement 
  • the picot can vary in size, that determines the ultimate shape of the curve. Picot here it is a very small one.
  • the sCR ring is closed normally
  • the normal ring is tatted with the first shuttle (stitches’ count here it is 8ds, picot, 8ds) 
  • (fig. 66 & 67) The outer ring’s loop around the hand is formed with the picot of the sCR "trapped" inside the picot.
  • when the normal ring is closed, the picot is blocked at the base, folding the sCR over itself (fig.68)
  • after closing the normal ring, no matter what the next element in the pattern is, I recommend to tat at least 1 ds chain to keep the sCR in its position.

😎The "Small Curled Onion Ring” in pictures from 69 to 73 was found almost simultaneously by Muskaan and it's explained in my tutorial and also here:

In this case there are 2 sCR nested inside the outermost normal ring, giving that triple onion ring effect.

For the first sCR, you’d follow the same method described in pictures 65 and 66. Then start a second sCR with the first shuttle’s thread but:

(fig. 69 & 70) at the point where the picot has to be, the second shuttle’s thread is just posted from back to front inside the picot loop around the hand (not fhs movement here). (this the same movement done in the Anne Orr’s “square medallion” of previous post - Part V)

The first sCR is 4ds, picot, 4ds ; the second sCR is 8ds, picot (with the second shuttle’s thread inside), 8ds. The outermost ring is 10ds, picot, 10ds.

(fig. 71) Then start the outer ring. Put fingers inside the second shuttle’s loop and put it around the hand. Leave a bare thread space (for tolerance) and start a normal ring. In the example it is 10ds, picot, 10ds. I recommend to tat at least 1 ds chain to keep both the sCR in their position.

I’m puzzled for not having a pattern of mine with that last lovely effect, that’s something to think about.


I’ve still something to add, about the direction of tatting and something else that I left out in previous parts. But I’m afraid that current post would be too much long.
It’s difficult dimensioning a blog post, there’s times when you have just one picture and others when you feel you didn’t say everything you had planned. So... sorry, there will be another “chapter” next week, the last one - I promise.

I look forward to hearing from you, if you think there is something to clarify, please leave me a comment, I would love it.

... To be continued!



  1. I like reading about this journey in Onion land. I must gather shuttles and embark soon!

  2. So many possibilities Ninetta.

  3. Thank you for your nice comments, Mel and Jane :-f

  4. Wow so many ideas, never thought of them, very interesting post will have to come back and read it again, thanks for the ideas


Thank you very much for all your nice comments.