This little shuttle-shaped medallion came from the 17 February, 2014 Online Tatting Class. It is an 'oval' medallion by Norma Benporath. I wanted to make a flower, leaves, and an 'edging,' so in this first one, the flower is an unidentified vintage tatting (size 80) thread. Leaves are Sulky Cotton Blendables #12-wt, color 4015. Outer edge is Sulky Blendables #12-wt color 4032 'Iris.'
Next I tried the same medallion, this time using tips from the class materials to do it in one pass. I used Sulky Blendables #12-wt, color 4031 'Country Colonial' for this one. Class materials showed how to use split rings with some floating rings and a split chain to do the entire medallion without having to cut, tie, and hide ends. I did half of the medallion using the suggested path, then decided to experiment to see if I could do something similar using self-closing mock rings (SCMRs). I tried 'stacking' two SCMRs on top of each other, which did not work very well, as you can see, if you look closely. Finished the medallion anyway - after all, the shuttles were already filled and in my hands - may as well keep tatting.
Still in the 'experimenting' mood, I started another one, this time using 2 colors, the pink 'unknown' vintage thread and the Sulky 'Country Colonial' thread. Color choice was entirely based on "which two shuttles have the most thread left on them?" I started with the flower, leaving enough of a 'tail' to be able to use it to climb out of the flower and into the next 'round' with 2 split rings. Once I was on the 'outside' of the medallion I changed to pink thread for the outer chains and hid the ends as I tatted that first chain. This time I used SCMRs, but did not try to 'stack' them - just did 1 SCMR with a floating ring, finished the SCMR, and continued tatting 'normally' until it was time for another SCMR and floating ring. The actual placement - WHICH ring should become the SCMR - in each case is probably not all that important as long as you keep track of where you are in the actual pattern. I added a tiny picot - not much more than a bump - to the first floating ring where the rings of that 3-ring 'leaf' group would have originated, and as each subsequent floating ring added another 'leaf' to the inner group, I tried to make the join as invisibly as possible.
In the process of experimenting, I discovered that in some ways the split ring/floating rings/split chain method was easier, and in some ways the SCMR/floating ring method seemed easier. I think it probably depends on which technique a person feels most comfortable with, and possibly what sort of mood one is in at the time. I still like my old-fashioned 3-color cut, tie, hide ends version the best.