A Simple Tutorial

Abbreviations: ds = doublestitch. p = picoe. Cls R = Close ring.

Please see and print off the basic instructions from the link on the front page of this site. Become familiar with them before you begin this tutorial.

Click for basic tatting instructions.

Before you begin tatting, make sure you have a good work area set up so you can clearly see the thread, loops and stitches. You'll want a good light source that is positioned so shadows don't fall on your work. It can also be helpful to use a dark place mat or tablecloth, like the dark blue one in the picture below. The contrast of the dark color against the white thread helps it to stand out. If you really get into tatting and you wear eyeglasses, it might be a good time to consider something like Houston Lasik. For the people I know who have gotten it done, it really does wonders and they've all been very happy that they got the procedure. If you're not ready to take that step, or just want to see better regardless of how good your eyesight is, you can get desk lamps with a built-in magnifying glass that really brings everything into focus. Whatever your personal preferences are, always make sure to take the time to set up your work area. It could be the number 1 way to improve your tatting skills!

This tutorial will make a simple ring - perhaps a medallion that can be joined to others to form a doily or perhaps the beginning of a doily on its own. In any event, the purpose of this tutorial is to show you how to hold and turn your work and how to make joinings.

The tools I use for tatting.

1. ball of tatting cotton (this is size 30)
2. tatting shuttle
3. pin for picking out snarls
4. scissors
5. crochet hook - small size.

You may or may not use a crochet hook - I prefer it and find it a faster way to make joinings.

Wind shuttle thread around your hand. Make a ring of 6 ds, 2 p sep by 3 ds, 6 ds, Cls R.
Turn the ring completely upside down - put the ball thread over your hand, wind it around your pinkie and chain 2 ds, 3 p sep by 2 ds, 2 ds.
To do chains, you must place the ball thread over the back of your hand and wind it around your pinkie to hold it in place. Then you simply pick up your shuttle and tat the same way you would if it was the shuttle thread wound around your hand and you were making a ring.
Drop the ball thread and turn your work upright again. Wind the shuttle thread around your hand to tat the next ring - tat 6 ds. Now to join take your crochet hook, put it thru the picoe on the finished first ring and pull the thread (that is wound around your hand) thru the picoe.
Now that you have pulled the thread thru the picoe, slip your shuttle thru it and pull it snug (not tight - just snug so there are not gaps) continue tatting the ring - 3 ds, p, 3 ds, p, 6 ds, Cls. R.
You should now have two rings and one chain. Continue on this way, turning your work up and down and using the shuttle thread around your hand for rings and the ball thread over your hand and wound around your pinkie for chains, until you have 11 rings
This is a bit difficult to see since I had to juggle the camera myself but did the best I could. It shows the last ring connected to the last ring I made and then connected to the first ring I made - thereby closing the ring. In this picture I still have to tat the remaining 6 ds on the ring and close it.
This shows the last ring connected to the first ring. Next I will turn the work upside down and tat the last chain.
Okay - now the work is upside down again and the ball thread is over the back of my hand and wound around my pinkie. I will tat the last chain - 2 ds, 3 p sep by 2 ds, 2 ds - tie to base of first chain and cut threads. That's all there is to it.