Tatting pattern resources

April 25, 2015 at 6:42 pm | Posted in Tatting | 2 Comments

Last week, a friend of mine asked me to show her how to tat. But what pattern to use? Paging through my usual internet resources, I ended up drawing up my own version of a basic clover leaf for the first try:

Tatted Clover

It’s just three rings, with four double knots between the picots:

  1. ring: 4-4-4-4
  2. ring: 4+4-4-4
  3. ring: 4+4-4-4

A minus between the numbers means a picot, a plus shows where a connection to the previous ring needs to be made instead of a picot.

My friend got this one down pretty fast, but where to go from there? Looking at my blog archives, the previous posts on tatted flowers and tatted jewellery don’t look exactly beginner-friendly. So, back to the marvel that is Project Gutenberg’s Crafts Bookshelf we go. There’s just two dedicated tatting books in there. The flowers in the previous post came from the Bath Tatting Book, which doesn’t have any easy patterns. The second, Étoile dorée in Tatting, has only text descriptions and a few drawings where you can’t see any detail. So, those are dead ends.

However, if you know where to look, a few of the general needlework books have tatting instructions and patterns. Whenever I have forgotten how to tat, I go back to the Encyclopedia of Needlework, since I find the basic instruction in there to be pretty clear to me. For easyish patterns, I like to look in Beeton’s Book of Needlework, which starts with an extensive tatting section. There are some straightforward lace edgings in there that would be good practice for a beginner. Here’s one I’ve made before:

Tatted insertion from Beeton's Book of Needlework

The description for this one in the book is quite clear:

This insertion consists of 2 rows of three-branched patterns which lie opposite each other, and are joined by slanting rows of knots. A coloured silk ribbon is drawn through these rows which join the patterns. Each of the 3 branches of 1 pattern consists of 9 double, 1 purl, 9 double, and must be worked close to another. When the 3rd branch is completed, fasten another piece of cotton on to the middle branch. Work 12 double over this 2nd piece of cotton, and then work without the 2nd piece of cotton a 2nd three-branched pattern like the 1st.* Fasten the 2nd piece of cotton on to the middle branch of the just-finished pattern, work 12 double over it, then again a three-branched pattern; in this pattern as well as in the following ones, instead of working the purl of the 1st branch, fasten it on to the purl of the 3rd branch of the preceding three-branched pattern of the same row, as can be seen in illustration. Repeat till the strip of insertion is sufficiently long.

Instead of fastening another piece of thread to the work after finishing the first set of rings, I usually leave the ball of thread attached after filling the shuttle. The thread going towards the ball can then be used as the second thread.

Here are a few more edgings from the same book that I think would be beginner-friendly:

Tatted edging from Beeton's Book of Needlework

Tatted insertion from Beeton's Book of Needlework

So, that’s what I found just by looking in the most obvious place for me. I’m sure there’s much more to be found around the internet. I’d be happy to hear about any beginner’s resources you particularly like.


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  1. There are some nice beginner patterns under the patterns link at the “tatted treasures” web site. http://www.tattedtreasures.com/ . She also has learn to tat videos on the site. I am still a beginner, but I did learn how to do basic tatting from her site and I found the beginner patterns helpful.

  2. I’ve never tried tatting. It looks like a nice diversion from quilting.

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