Begin at the Beginning: Tatting
Hints and Tips to Help Get You Started
So you want to learn tatting? Well you ve come to the right place. This post was written as a beginning how-to with helpful hints and tips. First Things First: Making Single Knots & Double Knots Wind your shuttle with thread leaving 18 of thread free and the end hanging down. Hold your shuttle in your right hand so that the pointed end is facing your left hand and the thread is coming from the back. If your shuttle has a hook on point, the open side of the hook should be facing you. Hold the shuttle with your thumb and index finger in a horizontal position. The other three fingers should be on the same level as your index finger.(See Figure 1)
With your left thumb and index finger, pick up the free end of the thread (end facing down). Spread the other three fingers, pressing the thread over them. (See Fig 2)
Bring your thread around and place it in a parallel position between your thumb and index fingers. Bend your ring and pinkie fingers to catch the thread against your palm. (See Fig 3)
At this point the thread around your left hand is called your Working Thread. The shuttle thread is called your Anchor Thread. Adjust the Working Thread so that the fingers do not feel strained. Draw the Anchor Thread out to its full length (approx. 8 ) and keep your right and left hands at equal levels. (See Fig 4)
Turn your right palm towards you and pass your Anchor Thread across your palm, and over your pinkie finger. Turn your right palm back 90-degrees to face your left hand. (Fig 5)
Now you re ready to make the first half of a double knot. Bring the shuttle towards your left hand, pass it under your Working Thread and then bring it back over your Working Thread and under your Anchor Thread. (See Figure 6)
Note: when you pass the shuttle under your Working Thread, allow your Working Thread to slip between the shuttle and your right index finger. Release the tension on the Working Thread around your left hand by relaxing the last three fingers only never releasing the grip of your thumb and index finger. At the same time, pull the Anchor Thread taut. This allows the loop to be formed onto the Anchor Thread (See Figure 7).
All knots are always made onto the Anchor Thread. Therefore, you should always be able to freely slide the knots over the Anchor Thread. If you accidentally make the knot with the Anchor Thread then it will no longer slide. To fix it, undo the last knot with the point of your shuttle or your crochet hook and continue. Bring your left three fingers back into position slowly. This should resume the tension and slide your first half knot into a position close to your thumb and index finger. (See Figure 8)
Now it s time for the second half of the double knot. To complete the double knot, move your shuttle towards your left hand. Pass it over your Working Thread (see Figure 9), and bring it back under your Working Thread and then over your Anchor Thread. (See Figure 10).
Again, release the tension of your Working Thread by relaxing the last three fingers on your left hand (remember not to release your thumb and index finger). At the same time, pull your Anchor Thread taut and hold it in position. Slowly bring the three fingers on your left hand that you had previously relaxed, back into position. This will resume the tension. The second half of the double knot should slide into place a position that is as close as possible to the first half of the double knot. (See Figure 11)
Congratulations! You ve completed your first double knot, which is the basic knot of tatting. (Fig 12)
Now that you ve completed one double knot, let s do it three more times! Ultimately, you want to try to make four even and uniform double knots. So bring your hands back into position to begin again. (See Figure 13) As you progress, remember to check that your Anchor Thread is freely movable through the knots.