Saturday, May 22, 2010

How did you learn to tat?

I learned from tatting videos by Bev Dillon and Mildred Clark. I found out about tatting videos from my friend Denise. We had both been trying to learn from books for at least 20 years without success. Once we had those videos in our hands, we caught on quickly!

Although I've been tatting for at least 15 years (I've only been serious about it for the past 3 years), I didn't purchase Bev's book, Tatted Lace, until about a year ago. It's an excellent technique book, and I purchased it specifically for the pattern on the cover. Bev calls this one "Tatted 5-Point Motif"... what a perfect name!

This one is in size 20 Rainbow Sherbet HDT by LadyShuttleMaker. Wouldn't it be a perfect little picture frame? It reminds me of a school house, so I think primary colors would be a perfect choice for framing elementary school pictures!


  1. I just learned to tat, self taught through books and videos on the internet. Just finished my first ornament from a old booklet i found at a rummage sale. turned out pretty good,

  2. I learned tatting from a school friend when I was about 10 years old. Tatted for about two years and stopped because she moved away and I don't have anyone else to tat with. Did not pick it up again until almost 30 years later.

  3. Josie, have you started blogging about your tatting? We'd all love to see what you're doing!

    Jon, I sure wish I'd been able to learn from a friend! I was inspired by a friend in high school. Unfortunately, she moved within 3 months of our meeting, and I never did get to learn from her. Thank goodness for videos, otherwise I'd probably still be floundering!

  4. My Grandma tatted. She died when I was six though so I didn't learn from her. It was just in my head as an unsolved mystery. About 10 years ago, Mom and I saw the same Carol Duvall show where someone was needle tatting. I taped it and bought needles and thread, but never opened them because in the meantime I had found shuttle instructions on the internet and Grandma used a shuttle. It took about 5 different sets of instructions for it to click (or flip) with me.

    The Tatted 5-Point Motif you made in Sherbet is lovely! I have overlooked that one, I'll have to find out more about it.

    :) Ann

  5. I taught myself. Twice. There was a gap of about 12 years inbetween and since I barely figured out the flip the 1st time, I'd forgotten by the 2nd time. Books are the hard way to learn.

    I've looked at several videos over the years & anytime you can see the flip in action, it's a better teacher. Currently, I really like the Janette Baker book & DVD. I don't agree with every point in it, but it's set up very well, the DVD is clear, and it's affordable. As I start teaching beginners locally, it will be my reference for them.

  6. Internet. Internet. Internet.

    Had it not been for my computer and the InTatters (then eTatters) website, about a year and a half ago, I would never be here!

    That and the TAT course, where I developed more advances skills.

    Thank goodness for technology. Cheaper by far, all things considered, than therapy!

    Fox : )

    P.S. Of course, I checked the book that went with the video: I really like the motif you tatted from it.
    It was only five dollars for the booklet alone, but it was $10.00 in postage to mail the thing to Canada! The cost of ordering is becoming very prohibitive these days.

    I passed on the booklet.
    Fox : )

  7. I learned at age 18 from a friend in college. That would make it about 14 and a half years ago. My friend had taught herself from a library book after coming across an old shuttle of her grandmother's and being unable to find anyone to teach her "live". Fortunately, my friend was smart enough to realize that all that matters is where the thread goes, not how you hold it or the shuttle. Thus, when the pictures in the book turned out to be uncomfortable for her, she developed her own way of holding the thread and shuttle, which she passed on to me.

    She taught me chains first, which I think made it easier; they are a much more intuitive structure to me than rings. I was lucky enough to figure out the flip right away, so in one session she was able to teach me chains, rings, picots, and joining. She then handed me a ball of thread, a shuttle, and a stack of patterns photocopied from old Workbaskets and sent me on my way. I figured out lock joins on my own. From books, I learned CTM, hiding ends, and split rings. Split chains and advanced techniques I've learned online- I was also extremely lucky in that my increasing interest in tatting coincided with the explosive growth of the Internet.

  8. I learned from a friend in school when I was about 14.
    That motif is so pretty and the colours are GORGEOUS.

  9. I have yet to learn but still want to very much. The right time when I can focus will come along and I will be ready. Until then I so love seeing all that you make! Thank you for sharing. Happy tatting...

  10. The 5 point motif is beautiful.

    I learned to tat from a very nice woman in the lace guild. However, I struggled to do it the way that she did (fancy-hands style). Then I saw a u-tube clip from America that showed a very easy style of tatting (more like darning).

    I use the easy style, as the outcome is the same.

  11. I taught myself to tat over the internet, I have wanted for some time to try my hand at tatting it was quite frustrating at first but a friend gave me a book called, The Complete Book Of Tatting by Rebecca Jones. And I was able to figure how to hold my thread and shuttle better through one of her techniques and now the world is my oyster.

  12. I taught myself from a book in the mid 1990's because I had my grandma's shuttle but didn't know what it was for. I learned from an old, old leaflet without diagrams or pictures! I didn't know the 'flip" was hard to do; so got it without even thinking about it….

    Then in 2003 found I had cancer and 6 mos of in hospital chemo erased my muscle memory and even how to begin tatting! I bought another book, a large tatsy shuttle and size 10 thread and began again; but, if it were not for MIMI DILLMAN, I might have thrown in the shuttle. Except, I had about ½ of a table runner tatted and wanted to finish it for a daughter. Mimi in the on line classes coached me through ~ and suddenly an epiphany! I've been tatting since, and am constantly working on technique and becoming proficient.

    and that's how I learned to tat ~ like Gina ~ Twice!


  13. I picked up some techniques from a teacher who's holding lessons in our local Spotlight store. As having to go for lessons involve dropping other commitments, I searched out the Internet for ideas and techniques. The rest, really is learning from the tatters worldwide!

    That's a really pretty motif, diane. I can see why you were attracted to it.

  14. I learned from a book of handicrafts in 1973. I am spectacularly unhandy, so I wanted to learn something that no-one else could do so that I wouldn't be discouraged by other people being better than me.
    Of course it was the internet that set me back on course, and I am over the awkward adolescent stage, and enjoy seeing work that is better than mine now. :)

  15. i started by first learning bobbin lace.several ladies brought tatting so we asked for a workshop by rosemarie peel. i went home after a afternoon trying to turn the knot with her learn to tat sheet and a couple of days just sitting and doing no housework i could turn the knot.i gave up lace after a few months and have never looked back.

  16. I learned shuttle tatting from my grandmother in 1980. For the full story (sorry, I just noticed that the image links are broken) click on this link:

  17. Hi Diane - Just now catching up on your recent posts! I'm pleased to see the responses here.

    After 33 years of trying to learn,1989 (age 45) was my 'magic' year! In July 1989 I was astounded to see a tatting booth at a craft fair in Maryland (two hours from here). Then more amazingly, a few WEEKS later, there was ANOTHER tatting booth at a LOCAL fair 10 minutes from my house(!) and the gal there kindly showed me the knot, in slow motion.

    Then, importantly, she gave me the name of a lady who owned a needlework shop about 20 miles away, who gave free lessons, and who also demoed at local festivals with SEVEN OTHER TATTERS! It was like finding a gold mine and a 'lost civilzation'!

    Within a year I was tatting AND demo-ing with the group! 20 years later, three of us are still demo-ing, at about four festivals a year.

    And finally, in 2008, I started my blog. Tatting is alive and kicking, and I'm now (at 66) trying to 'keep up' !!!

    I envy those today who have the internet and videos, and I am happy to steer 'newbies' to Janette Baker's excellent book and DVD. Oh, to be young, with all this info so readily available!


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