Though not knitting...I am becoming fascinated with Tatting. I have never done it but it looks so cool...and a great way to have something easily portable to work on.

Does anyone Tat? Is a needle or shuttle better? Any advice on a DVD or book? Etc.

The internet (and ravelry) has a plethora of topics and sites and thoughts...it becomes so overwhelming.


Bill's picture

Lacis has many kinds of tatting shuttles, books and thread...fascinating!

MMario's picture

So do some of the online library sites.....

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

Kilthoser's picture

I learned to tat as a teenager from an 80 yr old cousin, but haven't done it much in years. I've just heard about needle tatting: it's done with a huge long needle and all the stitches are formed on that before sliding it off into rings or chains. It seems a whole lot easier and faster, and theoretically with much finer threads and more delicate motifs. What do you think?

"Body by God; shetland socks courtesy of Fred"

"Body by God; shetland socks courtesy of Fred"

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I taught myself to tat but haven't done much with it over the years. One friend learned to needle tat and claims it was easier than using shuttles but another person I know said just the opposite. I guess it is a question of what works better for you, just like knitting. Dover Publications used to have a couple of tatting books in their lineup but I don't know if they're available any longer. Check out the collection at your library...they may have materials that can help you learn and see which books you want in your personal collection. Have fun. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

A few years ago I took a tatting class at a Vo-Tech school. We used a shuttle, and I did make a few pieces over the next couple of months. However, for some reason I gripped the material so hard between my left thumb and forefinger that they became numb. I still don't have 100% feeling in them. I didn't lose dexterity, just feeling. Though I appreciate the art form, I figured that it wasn't worth it for me to pursue it. Good luck!!


teejtc's picture

I've been tatting off and on for 20-some years. Actually, tatting was my main "craft" until we were expecting our first child (who is now 5).... I figured it was "SO IMPRACTICAL" and decided knitting was a more "useful" way to spend my free time.

I shuttle tat (although I have done needle tatting, I'm not a fan of it - too many ends to hide and too many restrictions).

Anyhow... It's very simple - everything in tatting is made out of a single, 2-part knot (called a "double stitch"). Variation comes from what thread that knot is made of and what thread it's made on and, occasionally, the use of only one of the halves in repetition. The only difficulty is getting "the flip" -- half-way through making each of the halves, the knot is transitioned from one thread to another one.... it's actually easier said than explained. "The flip" (and the fact that tatting is so time-consuming for the comparative size of the end-product) is the reason many people who try to learn it don't end up getting it.

In my experience, the best printed booklet is the out-of-print Coats and Clark publication called "Learn to Tat." I had a handful of them reprinted a few years ago, let me know if you'd like me to send you a copy... if I can find them, I gladly will!

Otherwise, as you noted, there are a lot of videos online. My suggestion would be to find someone who can teach you in person -- a craft-minded-individual can pick up the knot and get the hang of rings and chains (the two basic configurations of that knot) in an hour or two easily if they have a 1-on-1 teacher.

Let me know if you want to know more.....

Grace and Peace,

michaelpthompson's picture

Mom told me the other day that my grandmother used to tat. I bought a shuttle and some thread but haven't tried it yet. I'll be interested in your progress.

"All knitting is just one stitch at a time."

"All knitting is just one stitch at a time."

Thank you for the comments and suggestions. I would not anticipate this being my main thing but it looks like something interesting to do. Who knows! It looks so portable and something to fill those times when you want to do something but can't bring the knitting along.

Tim, if you have an extra copy, let me know.....thank you.

Like many of you, I learned to tat years and years ago. I was laid up with a broken leg and it proved to be a great time filler. But---you have to do a LOT of tatting to produce very little. Did try needle tatting with knitting yarn and found it un-appealing. Knitting is a lot more fun/versatile/practicle. However, please DO learn to tat---you just never know when it might be a handy skill.