Basic Tatting Lessons
[Page 3 of 3]

Reversing Work: (T or RW in patterns)
Notice that the stitches cause your work to curve clockwise (counter-clockwise if you're working left-handed). Turning or reversing your work curves the rings or chains in the opposite direction. Suppose you are closing a ring. You pull on the shuttle thread and the stitches meet. As you look at the completed ring, the shuttle and ball threads should be hanging down.

To reverse your work, simply flip it so that the bottom of the ring is now where the top was. Turn it over as if you were flipping over a coin.


Joins: (indicated by a J or a '+' in patterns)
Picots, as mentioned before, are often used in joining rings and chains. There are two basic kinds of joins: the simple "join" and the shuttle or "locking" join. The shuttle join is described after the simple join.

Suppose you want to join a current ring to the last picot on the previous ring. Bring the picot on the previous ring close to the top of the hand thread. With the point of the shuttle, a crochet hook, or a pin, go through the picot and hook the hand thread [See Figure 12] and pull it through the picot. [See Figure 13]

Begin join
[Figure 12]
Mid-way through join
[Figure 13]

The loop of thread coming through the picot must be large enough to pass your shuttle through it. You may need to close up the fingers of your left hand a little to get some slack in the hand thread as you pull it through the picot.

Pass the shuttle through this loop. [See Figure 14] Holding the shuttle thread taut, slowly open your left hand again. The loop through the picot should get smaller and bring the two rings closer together. [See Figure 15]


Pass shuttle through...
[Figure 14]
Tighten to complete join
[Figure 15]

The loop through the picot should be small enough to be barely visible, but shouldn't pull the shuttle thread through it to the other side or the shuttle thread won't slide through the stitches and you won't be able to pull the stitches into a ring.

The pass of the shuttle through the loop counts as the first half of a ds. Make the second half of the stitch normally. After the join is complete, the picot that actually comes from the first ring looks as though it could be from the second ring.

Joins stabilize a piece of tatting without altering the overall design.


Shuttle or "Locking" Join:
The shuttle join is made like the simple join, but instead of pulling the top thread through the picot, pull the shuttle thread through. Pass the shuttle through the loop, tighten the join, and make the normal second half of the ds. The effect of pulling the shuttle thread through the picot is to lock it up so that the stitches made before the join no longer slide if it is pulled.


Attaching New Threads:
Join new threads at the end of finished chains or after a completed ring. If you try to join a new thread in the middle of a ring, the know will not pull through the stitches when you try to close the ring.

Assume that you have finished a ring and are about to run out of thread on the shuttle. Cut the shuttle thread, leaving a loose end of about 6 inches. Refill your shuttle. Lay the loose end of thread and the end of the new shuttle thread together, loop them around and through, and tie a knot as close to the end of the last ring as you can. Then continue as usual.

Later, use a needle and work the loose ends into the tatting. You can either work them in by sewing from front to back through the top of the ds stitches for about 4 or 5 ds and then cutting the thread close to the tatting, or you can take matching sewing thread and whip stitch a small part of the loose ends to the back of your work. Most older patterns simply say "tie ends and cut". However, over time your knots could come loose and your joins will break.

Continue Lessons:
| Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Lesson Tips |

| Home | Lesson Corner | Pattern Library | Tools & Tips | Resources |

All Patterns and Site Content Copyright 1992-2009 Lisa C. Trumble. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Terms and Conditions.