Ribbonwinners Tatting Patterns & Shuttles by
Georgia Seitz
11460 Via Appia
Anchorage Alaska 99515-2905 USA

Joy Critchfield Presents:
Heard It Thru The Grapevine

This project has been designed as a teaching tool:

Using large thread and a shoelace, the stitches are easy to view. The student can easily see what the teacher is discussing - and the teacher can see the student's progress, even from a distance.

The difference in the two threads used, makes them very easy to distinguish one from the other.

Few "mistakes" will affect the construction. Most can be easily incorporated into the pattern. There is no need to waste class time with retro-tatting, and the student is less discouraged.

Skill development is sequential:

The first task is the easiest part of tatting (the unflipped second half of the double stitch.)

Each new step adds only one new piece of information and allows for plenty of practice before going on to the next bit of information or skill.

The student who needs more practice can easily add to the pattern without negatively changing the end result.

A student who needs less practice need not continue with the same task - only because the pattern requires it.

The lesson focuses on one element at a time - the chain and the ring. There are NO Picots, NO Joins.

If the class time is limited, the class is easily split into two portions - the chain being done in one class, the rings in the next session. A few moments of review - and a little more length on the chain - will remind the student of the previous lesson before beginning rings.

The complete project introduces josephine chain, josephine knots, set stitches, and standard rings and chains.

Because no picots or joins are required, students can focus on the basic skills without worrying about construction problems.

Round cotton shoelace
(This sample uses 24" 'classic round' shoelaces.
Cotton thread ( about 10 wraps per inch)
(This sample uses Plymouth Yarn 100% cotton, size 8)
10 ' purple
8' tan
4 ' green

Paper clip

No shuttle is needed. Because of the large size of the thread, this pattern is much easier done on the fingers. To keep threads from tangling, you may want to wrap them around a piece of card stock. A slit cut in the cardstock will hold the thread end and keep it from unwinding.


Cut one tip off the shoelace. Tie the tan thread to the cut end and tat over tales using the second half of the double stitch.

If using this project in a classroom, the teacher might want to have the first six half stitches done in advance. This keeps a new student from having to start by hiding threads, gives the beginner a firm place to pinch, and gives the student an basis of comparison as they make their first stitches.

With the shoelace on the left hand, these first stitches are tatted directly to the core thread - no flipping required.

6 second half stitch to tat over tails
6 second half of double stitch
6 first half of double stitch

If the student can do these smoothly, move on to the next step. If not, continue doing sets of six until the student is confident in their ability. The vine will only be slightly longer and will not adversely effect the end result.

Move the shoelace to the right hand, with the tan thread on the left. The following stitches are all tatted traditionally, flipping each stitch. The shoelace remains as the core and it is immediately obvious to the student when the stitch has not flipped. Because the core shoelace is much larger than the knotting thread, it becomes much easier for the student to relax the left hand in order to flip - and harder to "cheat" by yanking the right.

6 second half of the double stitch
6 first half of the double stitch
6 double stitches (begin with second half)

Go on to the tendril only after the student can confidently produce the flipped double stitch with the shoelace as core.

Move 2' out on the tan thread.
Slip the paper clip over the thread and pinch.

Tat double stitches (aprox. 24) back toward the vine. The last couple stitches will fit snuggly against the shoelace. Remove the clip.

To finish the vine:

Return tan thread to left hand and continue tatting with the shoelace as the core.

6 double stitches
6 second half of stitch
6 first half of stitch

Leave the threads long and go on to the ring portion of the lesson.

Grape Cluster
Begin in the center of the purple thread.
Switch threads with each ring.

1st ring - josephine knot of 8 second half of double stitch
2nd ring - josephine knot of 8 first half of double stitch
3rd ring - josephine knot of 5 second half of double stitch and 5 first half of double stitch
4th ring - josephine knot of 6 second half of double stitch and 6 first half of double stitch
Tie the two threads together with shoelace trick before going on to the next ring.
5th ring - josephine knot of 6 second half of double stitch and 6 first half of double stitch
6th ring - josephine knot of 7 second half of double stitch and 7 first half of double stitch
7th ring - 6 doublestitches
8th ring - 7 double stitches
Tie as above.

fourth ring. The sample cluster contains a total of 26 rings with the largest ring being 16 doublestitches. If a student is having trouble getting all the stitches in a ring to flip at any stage of the project, repeat that size ring before moving on.


Tie green thread to the purple thread and tat over one tale in the first ring, the last tale in the beginning of the third ring.

1st ring - 18 double stitches
2nd ring - 24 double stitches
3rd ring 18 double stitches

To connect the vine to the grape cluster:

Tie the tan thread to the base of the third ring (shoelace trick.) Clip the lace and sew the tan thread back into the core. Stitch in and out of three or four stitch bands and cut.

Because the padded vine holds its shape and the conical grapes hang from the stiff vine, this pattern makes great jewelry. Using a smaller thread size and beads, it can be used for earrings, bracelet charms, necklace pendants and brooches.

Any questions? You are welcome to email Joy Critchfield
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