After writing my post on “Rediscovering the art of Tatting”, I went hunting and unearthed the box with my tatting equipment in it. Included amongst the bits and pieces was an old pattern book which belonged to my grandmother (see my photo). Unfortunately I have not been able to locate the shuttle she left me.
It is amazing what a variety of patterns you can make using just one basic stitch, the double stitch. This stitch is formed by working alternately under and over the ring thread (see the YouTube video I posted earlier). Complex patterns can be formed by combining and linking a variety of rings and picot loops. Two shuttles can also be used to produce multi-coloured work, or to allow you to work stitches over connecting threads between rings.
I am currently working through the lessons in my book “Learn to Tat” by Janette Baker (also in my photo). Once I am more confident I am planning to tackle some of the projects in my grandmother’s old pattern book. I still have a few pieces of her work and it would be really cool to replicate some of them. It makes me feel a stronger bond with her knowing that I can carry on the work she loved doing.
There are a couple of points to note here regarding the thread used for tatting. Firstly, it is better to use a smooth, tightly twisted thread. This will help produce even stitches and the thread is less likely to unravel and separate while you are working with it.
The second point relates to the weight of the thread. When using mercerised cotton, the higher the number the finer the thread. For fine, delicate looking work you need to use number 70 or 80 thread. The heavier number 10 and 20 threads are good to use for practice work.