Basic Tatting Lessons
[Page 2 of 3]

Start second half of ds
[Figure 6]
Finish second half of ds
[Figure 7]

Your right hand and the shuttle have returned to their starting positions.Let the shuttle thread sag in a U below the shuttle or use the little finger of your left hand to pull the shuttle thread out of your way to the right. [See Figure 6] Pass the shuttle over the hand thread in the same space you used before, between your left forefinger and middle finger. Bring the shuttle under the hand thread, coming out through the U. [See Figure 7]

As you move the shuttle back toward your right, flip the stitch, just as you did before, so that the hand thread loops around the shuttle thread. As you tighten the second half of the stitch, move it close to the first half until thay are side by side. You've now completed one ds.

If any parts of your ds do not "flip" correctly, you will not be able to close your tatted ring. When you are learning to tat, you should check to see that your stitches will slide after each ds. If a stitch does not slide, you will need to unpick the knot and try that part of the stitch again.

As you make more ds, you'll find that your hand thread gets too short to handle easily. To lenghten it, hold the stitches you've made and slowly pull on the bottom part of the hand thread to enlarge the loop.


Picot space
[Figure 8a]
Picot completed
[Figure 8b]

Picots: (indicated by a P or a dash (-) in patterns)
Picots are loops created as ornaments to give tatting a lacy appearance. They are also used to join rings together and to join rings to chains. Usually ds stitches are made close to each other. To make a picot, leave a space between the second half of one ds and the first half of the next ds. [See Figure 8a] After finishing the the second ds, slide it next to the first one. [See Figure 8b] The thread in the space you left between them arches up to become a picot above the line of stitches.

The larger the space you leave, the larger the picot. With practice you'll be able to gauge the distance needed between your ds in order to produce consistently-sized picots.


Finished ring
[Figure 9]

Rings:
Rings are made of a designated number of ds and/or picots. When you have made the needed number of stitches for the ring, gently pull on the shuttle thread sa you hold the completed stitches between your forefinger and thumb. The thread should slip through, the thread around your left hand will get shorter, and the stitches will curl into a circle.(see figure 9) Let the hand thread drop while you pull gently on the shuttle thread until the first and last ds are side by side and your ring is complete.

Recall: If any parts of your ds do not "flip" correctly, you will not be able to close your tatted ring. When you are learning to tat, you should check to see that your stitches will slide after each ds. If a stitch does not slide, you will need to unpick the knot and try that part of the stitch again.


Chains: (shown as CH or C in patterns)
Chains are a series of ds and/or picots that are worked on a straight length of thread. They are often used to branch from one ring to another and are often joined to rings. If a pattern calls for both rings and chains, you'll need a second thread. One thread will make rings and the other will make the chains.

While you're learning to tat, it will help to have a different color for your second thread. For more complex patterns, the second thread will need to be wound onto a shuttle (see the photo). For the present you can leave it on the ball.

The ds and picots on chains are made exactly the same way as they are on rings. However, the hand thread for chains does not form a complete circle around your left hand. Pick up the ball thread and put it over your left hand and fingers as if you were going to make a ring, but don't make a full circle with it. Wind it a couple of times around around either your ring finger or little finger - whichever is more comfortable for you. Let the end of the thread, still attached to the ball, hang free. You will have an arch of thread over the top of your hand. [See figure 10]

Starting a chain
[Figure 10]

Begin to make the ds. If you are doing the "flip" correctly, the chain will be made of stitches in the color of your ball thread. (see figure 11) When you have made the necessary number of ds and/or picots for your chain, simply slide the stitches closely together to make a curved chain or slide the stitches loosely together to make a fairly straight chain - there is nothing to close as there is in a ring.

Sample chain
[Figure 11]

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