My first book of tatting patterns, "Tat's Where I Stopped: A Year of Tatted Bookmarks"
Tatting comprises a series of double-hitch knots we call double-stitches arranged in rings and chains, and ornamented with picots and sometimes beads. It is worked using either a shuttle or tatting needle using tightly-twisted threads.
Tatting is a very inexpensive hobby, and lots of fun to do. If you'd like to learn, check out our shuttle tatting instructions. If you'd rather learn to needle tat, you can find instructions and a pattern at Tammy Rodger's site.
FREE tatting patterns
Visit my FREE Tatting Patterns page for edgings, doilies, bookmarks, and a lot more. Plus, sign up for my monthly tatting pattern by email at the Be-stitched online tatting supply store.
Most of the free tatting patterns on Be-stitched.com use the basic techniques of rings and chains, and are good for beginning to intermediate tatters. Check out the links page for web sites with more advanced techniques.
How to shuttle tat
How to finish a doily
How to make a blocking board
How to avoid a twisted picot
Add a bead at a join
Add a bead at a picot
Continuously wound thread
Hide thread ends when starting
How to make a Josephine Knot
Make a half-closed ring (HCR)
Add beads to a half-closed ring (HCR)
Lock join (LJ)
Split ring From Georgia Seitz's online classes
Tatting is popular all over the world, and there are many names for the technique. Italians call it occhi, meaning little eye. French call it frivolite, which some say describes the character of the work. Finnish call it karriko or reef of rocks, or sukkulapitsi, meaning shuttle lace. Germans call tatting schiffchenarbeit, meaning work of the little boat. In the Orient the word makouk is used. The English word, tatting, is derived from the Icelandic word taeta, meaning tease, knot or pick up.
Early forms of tatting were simply called knotting. Knotted lace has been around for hundreds of years and has been found on Egyptian mummy burial garments.
There is some speculation that tatting itself may have had its modern beginnings at sea. The eyelet, a seaman's knot, is a rope ring made of lark's head knots very much like a tatted ring. Historically, lacemakers guarded their secrets well since their livelihood depended on their knowledge. Sailors had no need to guard the secrets of tatting, so it seems likely that tatting traveled with them.
In recent years, tatting has enjoyed a surge in popularity. The Internet has been a great vehicle for spreading information about tatting and connecting tatters from around the world. One of the greatest benefits from this has been the amazingly rapid development of new techniques.
(Reference: Tatting Technique and History by Elgiva Nichols.)