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for the Holidays Pattern


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Georgia Seitz

The Online Tatting Classes

Founded in 1999 by Georgia Seitz




 

BEGINNING to ADVANCED NEEDLE TATTING
THE BEGINNING BASICS

    Supplies

    Supplies are very simple and as inexpensive or as expensive as you want to make it.

    Video: Lession 1 Supplies
    • Thread: two colors of cotton crochet or tatting thread. Please no smaller than size 20. (The higher the number the thinner the thread - save that size 80 for when you have more confidence).
    • Scissors (or a favorite cutting implement for your thread)
    • Notebook to keep printouts/samples in
    • Needle and threader(see below)

    Tatting supplies can sometimes be found at JoAnn's, Michael's, Hobby Lobby, Mary Maxims and or even local yarn or sewing stores. You can find more by mail from the Internet. Here are some places

    Our first concepts: Double Stitch, Chain & Picots

    Video: Lesson 2: Double Stitch, Chain, Ring, Picots

    Needle Tatters need to select a needle to match your thread size. Substitutes: Any long needle (such as a doll needle) the same diameter as your thread with straight shank and eye no wider than the shank. You may have to blunt the end.

    Tatting is composed of what are referred to as double stitches on a core thread. Double stitch is most frequently abbreviated as "ds." Let's just make double stitches in a "chain" (straight line) for now.

    Needle tatters make chains of double stitches by casting them onto the pointed end of the needle over and over, then pulling the needle through the tube when complete.


    The Ring

Review:

My description of this is contained in the 3 discussions on needle tatting page. Here is the excerpt: http://www.georgiaseitz.com/dana/needletat.html

"There are two styles of tatting to be created. First, all rings such as are the equivalent of "one-shuttle" work. And, second, rings and chains such as are made with a shuttle and ball thread or two shuttles.

In needle tatting all rings or "one-shuttle" work, is accomplished by threading the needle with a cut length of thread (length determined by project in hand.) Rings with chains will be worked from a ball of thread of which the end and a certain length is threaded thru the eye of the needle. The length of thread pulled thru will be determined first by the size of the project and second by the awkwardness of pulling too long a tail thru the stitches each time. The more thread you have to pull thru each time the greater the fraying of the thread and the less attractive the lace produced.

To practice the needle tatting technique just use a cut length of thread approx. 1 1/2 yds long. Thread one end thru the eye of the needle and pull about 1/2 yd thru the eye. With the needle held in the right hand with the thumb on the bottom and the four fingers on the opposite side turn the needle so that the eye of the needle is on the right hand side, take the tail of long end of the thread and bring it up to the middle of the needle.

Place the tail end under the thumb so that a loop is formed by the tail going down and back up to the right. The thumb is the pinching point and will be in the middle of the loop.

Position the left hand with the thumb sticking up and the four fingers slightly curved inward and around the left hand side of the thread loop formed above. Take the thread as it comes up and over the forefinger of the left hand and stretch it taut between there and the pinching point.

Bring your right hand and the needle towards you and around your upright thumb clockwise. Place the point of the needle on the side of the thumb closest to you and go from the base upwards sliding under the thread. Gently pull the needle to the right and the thread slips off the thumb. Note here that a loop, i.e., the first half stitch of thread is around the needle.

Holding the thread in the left hand firmly pull down slightly until the slack is gone from the loop and the thread completely encloses the needle. Slide this loop to the mid point of the needle and hold it in place with the outstretched forefinger.

With the left thumb upright take the needle and move it away from you wrapping the thread around the thumb in a counterclockwise movement. Take the point of the needle and place it at the base of the thumb on the side farthest from you and slide the needle upwards again picking up the loop of thread. Let the thread slip off the thumb. Note here that the thread is again in a loop around the needle, this time in the opposite direction, i.e., the second half stitch.

Holding the thread in the left hand firmly pull down slightly until the slack is gone from the loop and the thread completely encloses the needle. Slide this loop to the mid point of the needle and hold it in place with the outstretched forefinger.

You will now see the familiar double stitch of tatting has been wrapped around the needle. Continue in this manner for two more double stitches. As you tighten the first half stitch of the 4th DS leave a space of thread about 1/2" long. Reach forward with the forefinger to hold this loop in place while the second half stitch is wrapped. When the 4th DS is complete physically push the DS down next to the first three DS. Note that the space of thread is forced outwards and thus forms a picot.

Do this ring for practice: R 3 - 3 - 3 - 3

When the ring is complete slide the stitches downwards over the eye of the needle and pull the short tail all the way through. Note that the circle of stitches automatically forms into a ring. This style of ring closing only occurs when working with a cut piece of thread."

Review:

Once you have made the desired number of stitches, take the stitches and thread off your hand. Pinch the stitches of the ring between your index and thumb fingers. This will give you some control if the ring starts to twist as you close the ring. Pull carefully on the thread coming from your shuttle/needle and you will see the ring begin to close(if it doesn't you probably have not flipped a stitch correctly). Pull until the ring closes completely, and the stitches lie flat in a neat oval.

 

Picot

To do even the simplest patterns one usually is required to have picots = P. What is a picot = P? A picot = P is a loop of thread that is formed when a space is left between two DS while making the element. Once the second DS is made it can slide up next to the DS before it and the space the thread took up will now form a loop which helps give tatting its lacey look. Picots = P are a decorative element; they are a construction element as well, which we will look at further in the weeks to come.

If you look at the DS as it faces you it looks something like this you may have noticed how it looks like the DS has a waistband and pant legs. If you look at the other side of the DS you will still have both pant legs and two halves of waistbands this is the way it is suppose to be. As you make the next DS the other side of the tatting would show half the first half of a DS, a full DS and the second half of the DS. When we make a picot = P it is the waistband of the full DS on the other side of the tatting that will be come the picot = P, it sounds complicated doesn't it but its not.

In the sample we see the core thread or needle as gray and the ball thread as red. Lets "do/leave" a picot = P make a DS as normal then make another double stitch but this time do not bring it up close to the previous double stitch you will leave a space it will look similar to this. Something to note here is that the long thread in red at the very top is actual the waistband of the full DS on the other side of the tatting.

Now you just slide the second DS up against the previous DS and the 'waistband' loops up as a picot = P because there isn't room for it to stay down flat like before. We haven't made anything we only left a space of thread and when we slide the DS together the space is gone and the loop is there. Really now can we get much easier than that? Did you notice with the picot = P loop going up like that the DS are not taking up anymore space side to side then if we did not allow the picots = P to be there? So if we made a R of 15DS and no picots = P it is still the same size as R of 15DS that has 3 picots = P that are evenly spaced. The picots = P will make it look larger but the actual ring is the same size. Neat, right?

Try this Exercise Pattern :

(this pattern is part of Katia's  teaching class for beginners in her hometown)

*Ring: 5 DS , P,  5DS , P, 5DS  cl. leave 1/2" of bare thread before starting the next ring * repeat 5 times

Picots = P can be made various sizes by the size of the space left for them. Picot = P gauges are often used and there are a couple of ways to use them but for now we will not use them we want to get some basics down first. In a pattern a picot can be represented a number of ways it can be the word written out, or surprise the 'P' or hyphens '-' for a regular size '--' for a larger size and '---' for and even larger size. In a diagram a picot isn't mentioned it is shown with numbers between the picots.

 

Picot Gauges

Thread spacing can be kept consistent with the use of a picot gauge; here we see the use of the gauge in both the horizontal and vertical method for picots.

image horizontal picot gauge image verticle picot gauge

When making picots I normally use the horizontal method for both shuttle and needle tatting however when doing the spacing between rings when doing single shuttle/needle work I use the vertical method.

A gauge can be made out of almost anything: coated paperclips, bobby pins, cardboard cut to size, embroidery floss cards cut to size, some people even have their finger tattooed, an end of crochet hooks work too.

Things to do when making a pattern the first time:

1. Read through the pattern at least twice to see if I think I will be able to under stand it. I don't need to understand every twist and turn this second but are there any terms I do NOT know that I want to get help with first before going further?

2. What will I do with my thread ends? (I will need to know how my project will be used.) Can I knot my ends and cut the threads close on the back because it will be mounted in a frame and not seen? Can I use the ends of the threads as part of the hanger on a Christmas ornament or bookmark? Do I need to hide them inside my DS?

For the dove you will be knotting the threads on the back and trimming them close as it is just a little something you can give out to whomever you want to, glue to a note card, perhaps it isn't a dove maybe you see the birdie as a partridge in a pear tree on a hand made Christmas card so the knot side is glued down.

I know we haven't talked patterns yet. We are confident you can understand the dove pattern, if not we are here to help. Remember the number tells you how many DS to make, the - tells you how large your P is.

Have fun, We will see you in class.

Patterns for Practice

Pam's Motif of Ten

As many of you have heard needle tatters can do the same pattern as shuttle tatters this is true, with the true ring . So in this first pattern JoAnn Stearns' Dove AKA The Silver Shuttle  You will only need 24" to 36" (61cm to 91cm) on your shuttle or needle.

Cynthia's "Butterflies are Forever Free" pattern

Lessons & Logs 2021

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