I love shuttle tatting. I actually prefer shuttle tatting to needle tatting. Shuttle tatting is a little harder than tatting with a needle. Since I’ve already done a needle tatting post I decided to do a post about shuttle tatting for beginners.
Tatting is a beautiful old-fashioned art and it has been around for centuries.
Tatting is the art of lace making. The lace is made by a series of knots and loops. Tatted lace is perfect for lace edgings, shawls and more.
Tatting is made up of just one stitch, the double stitch and loops called picots. And with this one stitch you can make rings and chains that make up the lace.
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Shuttle Tatting Questions
What is the difference between needle tatting and shuttle tatting? The difference is that in needle tatting the knots are made on the needle and then you slide the knots off the threaded needle. And in shuttle tatting using a shuttle you make the stitches right on the thread. Because the way they’re made, the knots in shuttle tatting are tighter than the knots in needle tatting.
Is tatting the same as crocheting? No, tatting is different than crochet. Even though you can make lace edgings and doilies with both tatting and crocheting. Both are considered as needlework. The techniques you use in tatting and crocheting are different. But, in shuttle tatting there are times when you’ll have to use a small crochet hook. Like tatting you can use crochet thread in crocheting to create your lace.
Can you use needle tatting patterns for shuttle tatting? Yes, you can use a needle tatting pattern for shuttle tatting. Likewise you can use a shuttle tatting pattern for needle tatting.
What you need for shuttle tatting
All you need for shuttle tatting is just a couple of items.
To start shuttle tatting that’s all you need. You can get a tatting shuttle and crochet thread at any craft store. And neither of them are that expensive. I got two tatting shuttle at Hobby Lobby for just a couple of dollars and a ball of size 10 crochet thread for three dollars.
But, sometimes I like to get my craft supplies on Amazon, so I linked a shuttle and crochet thread from Amazon above. So, you can get started shuttle tatting with just a little bit of money.
There are a couple of different ways you can shuttle tat. You can use one shuttle, two shuttles, or what I like to do one shuttle with the ball thread.
You’ll used two shuttles for projects that have split rings.
I’m going to show you how to shuttle tat using the shuttle and ball method. That’s the method of shuttle tatting that I use the most.
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Winding The Shuttle
Before you can start tatting, you will need to wind your shuttle.
- Hold the shuttle with the hook or pointed end away from you.
2. Poke the end of the thread through the hole in the middle of the shuttle.
3. Wrap the thread around the shuttle counter clockwise.
4. Finish wrapping the thread until the shuttle is full. Since I’m using the shuttle and ball method I will not cut the thread.
Making a Ring
In a tatting pattern the symbol for a ring is “R”.
Hint: Having the thread coming from around the back of the shuttle and up on the right side of the shuttle like the picture above makes shuttle tatting easier.
- Wrap the thread around your fingers on your left hand and hold the thread together with your thumb and index finger.
2. For the first half of the stitch, hold the shuttle with your right index finger and thumb and hold the thread coming from the shuttle over the shuttle with your other fingers.
3. With the shuttle go through the loop of ring thread you created with your left hand.
4. Now, bring the shuttle back over the top of the ring thread and through the loop you’ve made with the thread on your right hand.
5. Now, you’re going to relax your left hand slightly and tighten the knot you createdwith the shuttle thread and it should flip the knot over to the ring thread.
6. Tighten the ring thread by straightening you fingers on your left hand to slide the knot to your thumb. That is the first half of the double stitch.
7. To make the second half of the stitch it’s like the first half just backwards. Hold the shuttle and let the shuttle thread dangle under the shuttle and go over the ring thread.
8. Bring the shuttle under the ring thread, making sure to bring the shuttle through the loop the shuttle thread created.
9. Flip the knot over to the ring thread like you did the first half. And tighten the ring thread like you did for the first half and slide the second half next to the first half. That’s how you make the double stitch, the only stitch you use in tatting.
10. To finish the ring, create as many “ds” (double stitches) as you want. After you have completed however many “ds” as you want. Pull on the shuttle thread to close the ring. If the ring does not want to close then that means you may have not completely transferred or flipped the knots over to the ring thread.
Next, I’m going to show you how to make a chain. The symbol for a chain is “Ch”.
After you finish a ring turn the ring over and hold it with your thumb and index finger.
2. Lay the ball thread over your other fingers and lightly wrap it around your pinky a couple of times.
3. Make the first half of the double stitch and make sure to tighten it right up against the bottom of the ring.
4. Finish the double stitch.
5. Now, create as many double stitches you want to finish the chain.
6. After you have finished the chain turn your work back over.
That’s how you make a chain.
Now, I’m going to show you how to make a picot. A picot in a tatting pattern is “-“.
- Start by making a double stitch like normal.
2. Make the first half of another ds and hold it a little bit away about 1/4″ from the other stitch.
3. Create the second half of the stitch and slide the completed stitch over to the other stitches.
That’s how easy it is to create a picot. Picots are created on the rings and chains to connect the rings and chains together.
Connecting The Picots
Since this is shuttle tatting for beginners and I’ve showed you how to shuttle tat rings and chains, now I’m going to show you how to connect them using the picots. The symbol for joining the rings or chains with a picot is “+” or “J”.
- Following this pattern create a ring, 6 ds, picot, 6ds, picot, 6ds.
2. Now make a chain.
3. Start another ring, but right now just make the first 6 double stitches.
4. Take your small crochet hook and go through the picot and pull the ring thread through the picot.
5. Take your shuttle and go through that loop.
6. Pull the ring thread to tighten that loop. Now finish the rest of the ring.
You now have two connected rings. Connecting chains together is the same as joining the rings in shuttle tatting. Whenever you’re following a tatting pattern and you need to join rings or chains together. The technique I showed you is the same when you shuttle tat any tatting pattern.
Thank you for reading my shuttle tatting for beginners post.