Tuesday 15 September 2009
Tatting for dummies
When I was trying to learn tatting from books, I became very frustrated at the how-to illustrations that didn't seem to explain properly. After resorting to YouTube tutorials, I looked back at the illustrations and they'd improved! I suppose everything is easier once you know how to do it.
But here's my attempt to fill in what seemed missing on my first tries. I've added swirly arrows to the standard hand illustrations, and also a more simplified schematic drawing. I found that the position of your hands was less important, initially, than understanding where things were supposed to go.
First part of the stitch:
Second part of the stitch:
And here's the bit that's really hard to draw:
When you draw the shuttle through, the knot looks something like the drawing on the left. Relax the top thread and yank the shuttle to flip the knot from the shuttle thread to the top thread. The shuttle thread should run freely through the knots you make, so that you're able to draw them up into a loop eventually.
You can learn the stitch using a bit of card instead of a shuttle - simply cut or fold paper to a reasonably small size, wind some thread around it, and start knotting. Do look at YouTube and other tatting instructions for more complete explanations; these drawings are supplementary.