Anyone remember how I mentioned last winter that I wanted to learn how to tat, in order to be able to produce my own flurry of tatted snowflakes?  Well, I’ve had my chance.  Two weeks ago an expert tatter who was visiting in my weekly knitting group offered to teach me and another woman, so after the purchase of some basic supplies – a tatting shuttle, ball of tatting thread, and a tiny crochet hook (.75 mm!) are the only really necessary items – I am on my way!

Basic Supplies

It’s both easier and harder than I thought it would be.  Easier, since there is really only one stitch with a small handful of variations to remember; harder, because with tiny thread looping here and there, and getting tangled, and twisting, and knotting when it’s not supposed to, that one stitch can be pretty tricky to keep track of.

My impromptu teacher whipped up a bunch of little samples, and gave us quite a few printed and hand-drawn patterns to get on with:


Do you see her pretty little butterfly, in the middle at the top?  It’s a good point of comparison for my first completed tatted item, that rather wonky and lopsided butterfly at the bottom left.  I definitely need to learn how to tighten up between one ring and the next….

All in all, I’m quite pleased with this as a new hobby, quite complementary to knitting.  It’s much more transportable, since all the projects are very small, and there are no stitches to slip off a needle when stuffed into a bag or pocket.  I could slip an entire snowflake project into my jeans pocket and have enough to work on for a whole weekend trip.  It’s also a quieter and more unobtrusive activity than knitting, so perhaps better for taking out in public.  Hooray for tatting!

I’d forgotten until just now, but I have a photo of myself tatting away at the lesson, courtesy of my fellow student.  Me, tatting, or at least pretending to:




13 thoughts on “Tatting

    • Well, thanks. I was pleased to have a FO so quickly…. but I think it probably looks a little weirder in real life than in the photo. :p I think I’m going to practice butterflies for a while because they’re so small & quick – not huge and frustrating.

  1. Well, your butterfly looks good to me too, you’ll be on snowflakes in no time. There’s lots of good patterns online for snowflakes incidentally. And yes, tatting is really portable- one of the main reasons I took it up! Enjoy :)

    • Thank you – I am! I have to admit that I haven’t gotten very much more done, yet, but as soon as I finish the (knitted) shawl that I hope to wear next weekend, I intend to spend a couple of evenings focussing only on tatting.

  2. It looks like you are off to a great start! I look forward to seeing your future tatted projects. I started tatting last August and I’m completely hooked. If you are up for a challenge, I post a free pattern tatting challenge each week on the Shuttlebirds Tatting Guild blog: http://sbspokane.wordpress.com/

    Anyway, I’m always excited to find new tatters. You’ll be doing snowflakes in no time! Happy tatting!


    • Thanks for visiting, and thanks for the link! I am all for free pattern challenges, as long as – yet, at least – they are not *too* challenging. Although I brought my tatting on my trip this last weekend and got quite a lot of practice in on the airplanes. It’s slowly becoming a more natural feeling….

      • The nice thing about the challenges is that you can take your pick. Do the ones that interest you or the ones you feel up to the challenge for. It’s really nice when it becomes a natural feeling and I do love how portable it is!

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