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How To Do A Josephine Knot (JK or jk) In Shuttle Tatting

Today we’re going to look at Josephine knots! Josephine knots are very tiny rings that are made as a thrown ring. They definitely add a beautiful decorative element to tatting.

As you can see in the above video, Josephine knots can either be small and compact, or they can be full and fluffy. This video shows you how to do both the small ones and the large ones.

Within the above video, there is also a slight change you can make to your chain that will help the finished ring sit nicely.

First, Tat The First Part Of Your Chain, As You Normally Would

Tat the first part of your chain, as normal, by using whatever number of double stitches is required for your pattern, until you reach the point on your chain where you want a Josephine knot to be.

Do Half Double Stitches Rather Than Whole Double Stitches

To start off with, the Josephine knot is made by using just one-half of a double stitch. Let’s say that your pattern double stitch count is 12 ds. You will still do the same number of stitches that is called for in whatever pattern you are working on – but the ring will consist only of half of the double stitch.

So, in summary, if your pattern calls for 12 double stitches for a Josephine knot, you will instead do 12 half double stitches.

Personally, I find that using the second part of the double stitch is much more easy to work with, but it’s up to you which part of the double stitch you use. The reason I prefer to use the second half of a double stitch is that it prevents the thread from twisting as much, and I just simply prefer the look that happens when using the second half of the double stitch.

The set-up for doing a Josephine knot is exactly the same as when you do a normal thrown ring. Here is a link that will take you to a video that shows you how to do a thrown ring, if you don’t know that technique yet.

Starting The Josephine Knot

To start your Josephine knot, make 12 half stitches (or however many your pattern requires) with your choice of either the first half or the second half of the double stitch. Make sure to pull your first half-stitch up really close to your chain.

Then continue on with your half stitches, keeping your tension slightly looser than normal, but make sure to keep your tension consistent so that the height of your stitches is the same. If the heights of your stitches are varied throughout the Josephine knot, you will end up with a knot/ring that does not have a nicely rounded shape, and you want to avoid this.

Post Your Shuttle, Preferably From Front To Back

When I work a Josephine knot, I always post my shuttle from the front to the back, meaning that I pass the shuttle and thread through the ring from the front to the back. I find that posting my shuttle from front to back helps with keeping the last couple of stitches from rolling in, resulting in a better shape at the base of the ring. However, whether you post or not is completely up to you.

Do You Have A Gap Between Your Josephine Knot And Chain?

When you have finished up your Josephine knot, if you see that you have a gap between the knot and your chain, you can add an extra half stitch, then pull that stitch right in under your ring. Then continue with your normal stitches. That extra half stitch will help the knot/ring to sit better on top of the chain, as it brings everything together and should eliminate the gap.

How to Make A Softer, Fuller Josephine Knot

For a softer, fuller Josephine knot, utilize the same concept of using only half stitches, but increase the height of your stitches. The width of your finished Josephine knot will be determined by the height of your stitches. For a larger/wider Josephine knot, stitch heights should be longer than for a smaller Josephine knot.

Your main goal here should again be to keep your stitch heights consistent throughout the Josephine knot. Although you could use a picot gauge to make sure that your stitch heights are the same, I find it much easier to simply eyeball it, as for me it is very difficult to hold my stitches and a picot gauge, and using a gauge normally does not work very well for me.