The inventiveness of tatting

Today was a bit of a wash out  – I couldn’t face reading a pattern (aforementioned pain in shoulder) and so thought I’d just make some stuff up. I’ve wanted to try tatting around a ring for a while, found a tutorial on Jane Eborall’s site picked up some spare thread, and gave it a go. (The plastic rings are 16mm, and I got them from John Lewis).


I’m not a fan of this thread – It’s DMC Perlé  and it tatts up really lumpy . I thought was just me and couldn’t quite work it why I seem to be so much better with thinner thread, but I recently read a post where someone else said they had the same problem. I feel a bit better about it now.

Because its a first go, I finished each row when the thread ran out on the shuttle. When I got to the end of the second row (top of the photo) I thought I’d be clever and tatt a split ring, so I could go straight on to mucking about with the third round. That was when I remembered I was only using one shuttle. I closed the ring and that was that. You can see how this pattern is going. It’s about to get really boring so I’ll stop it there I think. I always forget you can tatt upwards as well as downwards – imagine that last row flipped, it might be vaguely more interesting. Anyway. My inability to invent an interesting design aside, I came across this:

The Single Shuttle Split Ring; the SSSR. I’ve read about it before and kind of glossed over it. I like the idea of it though, so it’s not on my list of things to learn, along with the magic thread trick. It amazes me how many tatting stitches have been invented in recent years. Or that’s how it seems.

I’ve been to the V&A, and seen all the early tatted samples. They’re really different to tatting today. I’m sure knitting and crochet must be evolving too, but it feels like tatting is evolving literally as I type.

4 thoughts on “The inventiveness of tatting

  1. Have fun with your craft ring! You’re doing a nice job. I don’t mind tatting with cotton perle thread but it does take some getting used to…it used to tear like tissue when I used it at first. Now it’s not so bad. DMC cordelia or Cordenet is much better to use if you’re finding the perle challenging. (just FYI)
    Nice to “meet” you, BTW! It’s always fun to meet a “new to me” tatter online. Looking forward to seeing your finished piece!
    ~TattingChic ♥

  2. I tatted with perle cotton size 12 a lot in the early days because I loved the sheen of the finished product but it is a soft thread and prone to fraying if you have to unpick much. I think you’d probably like a good 6 cord thread for tatting over a ring. It will hold its shape better and stand out from the ring nicely. Yes, there are lots of new techniques coming out all the time. Simple is good too.

  3. I like what you’ve done so far.

    I didn’t know there was tatting at the V&A, thanks for the pointer. I may have to pay a visit on my next batch of days off.

    • There is! It’s in the nice old fashioned bit of the V&A – a room with wooden cases turned on their sides, which you can slide out to look at. There’s not loads, but the case it’s in has some lovely other stuff too; Irish crochet, some tiny macramé – which is beautiful, and kind of made me change my opinion of macramé, needle lace and regular lace. It’s worth a look.
      Also, there’s a big quilting exhibition on at the moment – which you probably know about already. You might like that too.

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