Basic Tatting Lessons - Tips for Beginners

Suggestions for New Learners:

  • Until you are comfortable with the "flip", check after each half of the ds or each complete ds to make sure that it has flipped correctly. Each half stitch must be flipped or you will not be able to pull the shuttle thread to make the ring close.
  • Your threads may twist as you work. Every so often, while holding completed stitches firmly between your left forefinger and thumb, let the shuttle dangle to allow the thread to untwist.
  • It is extremely difficult to undo a tatting ring after you've closed it. Before closing any ring, be sure to check that it contains the necessary number of ds and picots indicated in the pattern. If you need to correct a closed ring, you will most likely have to cut it open, undo some knots and join a new thread to re-make the ring.
  • If a pattern starts with a ring, calls for both rings and chains, and you've just filled your shuttle, do not cut the thread from the ball. Simply begin to tat. After the ring is closed, you will have both a ball and a shuttle thread - and no need to hide any thread ends!
  • Picots are not made between halves of a ds. "Picot" refers to the loop, not to the ds on either side of it. When you make a picot, the next ds counts as the first stitch for the next group.
  • Try to make the picots within a pattern all the same size unless the pattern tells you to make some larger or smaller than others.

More tips and tricks are available from your fellow tatters in the Tools & Tips section of this site.

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