I'm trying to teach myself some new tatting tricks, and it's giving me a bit of headache. The first trick is to tat without shuttles. I'm trying to learn this because I'm in love with the Riego join as taught by TATBiT. It's just so clever and beautiful, with one thread slipped into the other, no extra bulk, no blips. The thing is, it requires that the thread be off the shuttle. The only tool I'm using is a little floss threader to pull the thread through.
It's actually pretty comfortable just finger tatting. At first, I worried about having to do a lot of adding new thread since I'm working with shorter lengths. It turns out that it's not that much of an issues since using encapsulation, adding thread is actually one of the easier things to do in tatting, The only issue is that the threads tend to tangle, which makes the whole thing less portable.
The second thing I'm trying to learn is to tat Reverse Riego, again as taught by TATBiT. I still prefer to tat using the slip-n-slide method, but with beads, it causes problems. First, you just can't get a lot of beads onto a shuttle. Next, once the beads are on there, they have to be 'managed'. All unused beads have to be wound up into the shuttle. If they get loose, they get caught in the stitches, messing up the works.
Both of these problems drove me nuts when I was working on a Nina Libin necklace. In desperation, I switched tatting styles, and it worked! The Reverse Riego method is somehow looser than the slip-n-slide. There's a lot of slack in the thread, so there's time to push the beads out of the way before the stitch closes. It means I can spend more time making stitches and less time winding up beads.
Also, with reverse riego, you can use just about anything to hold the thread. As TATBiT suggests, I'm using a netting shuttle. It's shocking how many beads this thing can hold. It makes the whole bead tatting experience more pleasant for me.
My Aeros are looking a bit sad and empty right now. It think I'll start some snowflakes and give my brain a rest.