Rediscovering the joys of shuttle tatting

My sample of tatting

There’s a lot to be said for a craft that can fit in a pocket. That was certainly the appeal twenty-five years ago when I was doing a lot of hiking and camping.

When I returned to our Vancouver office for the summer, I fell in love with our new crochet thread line – Curio. The colors are absolutely stunning. While I was admiring Curio, Kim mentioned that we had also picked up a tatting shuttle and a couple of instruction books. That certainly got my attention! I couldn’t believe tatting had found its way back into my life.


See what I mean about the Curio colors? I grabbed a ball of Curio and an extra shuttle and headed for my office. Wow! Muscle memory is magical!


Well, my hands had good memory but my mind was not quite up to the task of leaping back into tatting. I looked over the books we were offering and decided that I would take a look through Easy Tatting by Rozella F. Linden. I needed to brush up on my technique and on understanding patterns.



I decided it wouldn’t hurt to grab a couple more books. Tatting Patterns and Designs by Glun Blomqvist and Elwy Persson. And, Tatting Collage by Lindsay Rogers

Armed with books, shuttle and a few balls of Curio, I headed home for a Tatting Immersion Weekend!


  1. Miri Waterhouse / August 22, 2013

    I did some needle tatting awhile back, a couple of stars & snowflakes I hung on the Christmas tree. I learned from instructions in a magazine. I never could get the hang of shuttle tatting though, but I have recently bought a couple of shuttles and found some videos on youtube that made it look a little more comprehensible. I’m going to give it a try again.

  2. Kirklen L.Long / August 20, 2013

    My Mom could tat beautifully. I have her shuttles and have always wanted to learn. Would like to try soon.

  3. Anitra Stone / August 19, 2013

    There are lots of videos on, but I recommend viewing the series by Karen Cabrera. There are also lots of tatting groups on Facebook, as well as several tatting conferences. Do a search for tatting & you’ll be amazed at what you find! Happy tatting! 🙂

  4. pam / August 19, 2013

    I want to learn to tat as my 4th and 5th great grandmothers were honiton lace makers , but alas like the ladies in the other comments I can seem to master it from the books and i’ve watch a few video’s on you tube,,, there is something i’m not getting quite right!

    • wodentoad / August 19, 2013

      There is a forum called intatters that I swear will answer all your questions, and they are the nicest most patient group of crafters I’ve ever met. If they can’t help you, they can often find someone in your area who can. Please learn. It’s a dying art and needs more adherants.

  5. wodentoad / August 19, 2013

    I’m a tatter now working on the tatted tea cloth from Julia Sanders book. I do love tatting, but I recommend the shuttle pictured above, the Aerlit and NOT the Boye especially if you are just learning. The Boye is great if you are using wool, but you have to be careful as the hook will shred your thread and the bent over metal will catch on your work frequently.

    My great grandmother was a tatter and I discovered the art as an adult but it brings me great joy. I also have two of those three books, I can’t justify the third until I make some room on the overstuffed bookshelves.

    Amber, it is not tiny crochet, the hook is used for joining elements together. Tatting is formed almost closer to macrame, using the shuttle to pass over and under the thread to form knots on a core thread

  6. sandra / August 19, 2013

    I noticed you’re using Aerlit. Those are my fave go to shuttles. Any chance KP is looking to carry those as well down the road?

    I love tatting for the same reason. Plus it’s probably the more affordable hobby to have right now as well.

    What I love is how people will oooh and ahhh over it as if it’s something very difficult to do, when it’s really no harder than knitting. Two knots shaped into rings and chains, that’s all. Only your imagination limits you from thereon.

  7. Lee Clark / August 19, 2013

    My mother taught me when I was about 6 and then I picked up more with books. She loved the idea of being able to drop it in a pocket and pick up when she had a minute or 2. I’ve been away from it because of arthritis but am going to try it again. I have a little teacup and saucer that Mother made in the ’50s and would like to
    try to “read” it and write down the instructions.

  8. Sewicked / August 19, 2013

    Tatting Collage rocks. Two more great books (if y’all don’t carry them, maybe you can investigate getting them?), Mini-Tats by Duffy and The Complete Book of Tatting by Rebecca Jones.

    The first because it has loads of small, quick-satisfaction projects and the second because it has excellent how-to tat instructions.

    One tip for learning, if you start with rings use multi-color thread with a strong contrast; so you can see which thread is making the knot and which one is the core thread. If you start with chains, use two different, contrasting colors, same reason.

  9. Linda Davis / August 19, 2013

    I taught myself to needletat about 15 years ago. A friend taught me to shuttle tat. I went crazy with it initially. Now I pick it up and make a few beaded earrings or bracelets a year to keep the skill up.

  10. Amber Weinberg / August 19, 2013

    Is tatting just tiny crochet? The shuttle looks like a crochet hook!

  11. Kathryn Brenny / August 19, 2013

    I took tatting lessons a couple of years ago because I remembered my great-aunt tatting lace. Much to my amazement, I found it very easy to learn, as if my hands already knew what to do. I suspect my great-aunt taught me the motions when I was a small child, and I had just forgotten them.
    I love Linden’s book as well (am working on the square doily now, actually), and I found great videos on YouTube that will help with everything from the basics to finishing.
    I will have to try out the Curio thread–somehow I missed that on the KnitPicks site!

  12. Pearl Gill / August 19, 2013

    I have a bunch of tatting supplies, purchased in the hope of learning to tat. The result has been frustration.

  13. Mindi McCarthy / August 19, 2013

    My great-grandmother taught me to knit and crochet at age 4 but decided to wait til I was older to teach me to tat. Alas, we never got around to it. I have several of her tatted items but, for the life of me, can’t figure it out and books leave me frustrated. It is nice, however, to see that it’s making a comeback.

  14. Mary Peed / August 19, 2013

    I have my grandmother’s and my great grandmother’s shuttles and have always wanted to learn.

    I don’t suppose you guys could do some basic videos? I’ve tried to learn from books … I just can’t visualize it.

  15. Yoff Kau / August 19, 2013

    Excellent! I’m at that same point in my life!