Tuesday, 12 June 2018

differences between stitch and technique

Tatting is well known for having only 2 stitches, I've no doubt, first and second half (warning: picot is not a stitch!), very basic and simple, but the more I read about it, the more I discover techniques that may change the appearance of the traditional tatting. I love tatting because I always learn, it is a challenge, like with English (that is very difficult for me, being a second language). There is a wonderful project guided by Elizabeth Davis (aka Tatknot, link here: She has written 2 great lists of techniques, one of them has links to instructions and patterns. Many thanks for sharing your files, Eliz!

(close up on quad_03,, example of Catherine wheel joins)

Lately, I've been thinking about terms and translations. In my Italian, we can say, for example, that tatting or embroidery or crochet are crafts, handmade lace's techniques, and they have their own stitches. But, how many stitches? The fact is that we usually say "the crochet technique" or the crochet work, and talk about "a crochet stitch" even if it is not a stitch, but a way to arrange lines or groups of the main stitch, that is the single loop of yarn. Anyway, I've never read about "a tatting stitch" in the same sense, in fact it is commonly accepted that they are "tatting techniques". We say "lavoro chiacchierino" (chiacchierino is a noun, not a verb) and it is a technique in making lace.
And also, just because we usually say that tatting has only 2 stitches, unfortunately that fact lets someone think that tatting is meagre.
Now, if I were translating the list of tatting techniques to my own language, I would rather had used the term "punti" (that literally is stitches) because that meaning fits better in my understanding.

I admire translators (human being, I mean), that put their own heart on trying to bring one word's meaning from one person to another. I think it's impossible to have just one language and I love the rich heritage that every language or dialect is full of. But I also love the fact that I can read in a second language, I'm so happy that I've started to.


Tuesday, 5 June 2018

autopilot is always off

This is a lovely old pattern and very relaxing, always the same stitches all along.

You'd tat it on autopilot, if you ever had one. I tat by hand and, sometimes, with only half brain connected, so I've to deal with my oversights, untat them when possible, otherwise, if it is nearly impossible, call Dr. Downplay to cheer me on.
Chains are tatted with reverse stitches and reverse order (that also creates front and back side tatting); rings are tatted normally. I love this way, speed up the tatting and the lace is uniform. The square grews in counterclockwise direction.


Tuesday, 29 May 2018

almost a pattern for zoliduo

This is just the start of the pattern for my bracelet with zoliduo beads, then you can play with the concept and create your own version.
For this post, I used thread Finca metallic gold colour 0006 n.2/C (very similar to a size 20 thread) and Czech ZoliDuo® ~5mmx8mm beads (Two Hole Pressed Paisley/Comma shape Beads). These are mischievous beads conceived to make you buy the double quantity, in fact there is the "left beads pack" and the "right beads pack" and of course you, just like me, sooner or later, will need both!

Tools: a gauge half inch wide used horizontally (or the half size, used vertically); a tiny latch hook (the Italian name for that is "rimagliatore").

Load CTM 2 shuttles, but before winding the second shuttle, load on the thread 14 "left" zoliduo and then 14 "right" zoliduo. That is for a bracelet length of about 15 or 16 cm.
Split the beads, all "left" beads are on one shuttle and all "right" are on the other one. I started with the "right" zoliduo beads on my right, that for me it is the side of the core shuttle. Then I started a normal ring: 2ds, picot. 5ds, measured picot (that is for the second hole of the zoliduo), and 3ds.
Close the ring. Reverse work.

Slide one "right" zoliduo from the right shuttle (that one just used to tat the ring).
Start a chain: 2ds, picot, 2ds, lock join to the measured long picot, grabbed through the second hole of the zoliduo with the help of the latch hook.
Then 3ds, measured picot, 3ds.

Lock join to the base of the long picot of the first ring. Slide one "left" zoliduo from the shuttle (that one used as ball thread in previous chain).
Reverse work and switch shuttles.
Start a chain: 2ds, picot, 2ds, lock join to the long picot of previous chain, grabbed through the second hole of the zoliduo with the help of the latch hook. Then 3ds, measured picot, 3ds. Lock join to the base of long picot of the previous chain.

Reverse work after each chain and always switch shuttles.
Slide one "right" zoliduo from the right shuttle (that one just used to tat the first ring). Start a chain: 2ds, picot, 2ds, lock join to the long picot, grabbed through the second hole of the zoliduo with the help of the latch hook. Then 3ds, measured picot, 3ds. Lock join to the base of the long picot of previous chain.
Reverse work, switch shuttles and repeat, alternating with "left" and "right" beads. Etcetera.

I hope that the procedure is clear. You can embellish the line of zoliduo with another tatted round, simple chains or whatever you like. I'll be very happy to see your version. I think that this red zoliduo beads are far better than the first clear crystal that I bought, I can't wait to wear this new one!
You can find other related posts, selecting posts with the label zoliduo.


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

the chain does the trick

The other day, a dear friend wrote to ask help in tatting a little corner with squared motifs tiled in a beautiful tablecloth, that she found in an issue of  "Il lavoro chiacchierino" (issue 16) by Mani di Fata. That reminded me of something I had already seen, and in fact it is very similar - but with different stitches' count - to another old pattern, from 1917.
Anyway, her question was about how tatting it with less ends to cut, tie and hide, you know that, the same old story. So I suggested many different "magic square" patterns, also the beautiful onion rings' mat by Robin Perfetti ( But nothing. She wanted to tat exactly that one from the magazine. So that's how that has started, I added a chain of 4-8-4 and magically the square became a magic square! That's the power of a chain!
Thread is DMC white BLANC, size 100.
(DMC sells 3 hues for white - I've blogged about it here: )
Well, now I should go on with it, it's a pity leaving it unfinished!
Thank you for the challenge, Oriana!
The similar old free pattern is here:

If you would like to look at a beautiful tablecloth, all tatted, you should look at that one by Sue (all posts in her blog, labelled "tatted tablecloth"): tablecloth

Tags are a great way to find similar posts in the blog. If you look at the bottom of every page in my blog, you should find the word "Labels", that is the list of tags I used (in brackets there is a count of the number of posts for each tag).
However, on mobiles (and I use it, too) the footer and the sidebars are not visible. That's the reason why I've added another page "(((Blog map)))", it is in the menu in the header bar, with all labels linked. If the number of posts with a certain label exceed the maximum number of post per page, you can read the rest of them as usual, by clicking the button "older posts".
I beg your pardon if you find any inconsistency, and please let me know, with a comment. Thank you very much in advance, to everyone of you.

About chains' power, I've added a drawing in Flickr, that is just a summary in one page to show how to close a mock ring, aka SCMR. I should say thank you to another friend (Muskaan) who, in a e-mail exchange, mentioned something about the different ways to make the SCMR, and that helped me to remember a drawing that I did in 2013, but never posted. Thank you, Muskaan!
Direct link to the drawing:

My first personal reference are the drawings by Jane Eborall (thank you!!!) here:
and here:
and of course you have plenty of explanations in the GR-8 Shuttles site (by Gary and Randy Houtz):
Gary and Randy Houtz named and popularized the SCMR.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Dora was a wit

Have you ever thought that tatting could be knot-less? I love the title of Dora Young's book, "All new knotless tatting designs"! She had a great sense of humour!

The edging has been tatted with DMC white thread, size70. The first and second rounds are tatted with the "knot stitch" explained in Dora Young book, but with only one thread wound on core shuttle. The third round is rings and chains all 4ds between each picot (or join), only one split ring, to climb from second to third round.
(The butterfly is copper, handicraft from L'Aquila.)
Actually, I had a false start.
I started the one on the left, but I didn't like it, so I started again leaving more room between stitches.

Then, I followed a tip by Carollyn ( that writes she blocks her tatting overnight. She does tat wonderful things, we all tatters learn from each other. Lately she's been busy making again beautiful bunny shuttles, you'd love them!

That picture was taken after the second round:
The book arrived in a week, thanks to the great service offered by  Tatting and Design  in UK.
My copy arrived just in time to join the Online Tatting Class, last Monday, and to study the technique called "knot stitch" by Dora Young.

That it is not the same of the patented technique known as the split chain. Please read more
and here:
and here:

Also, Karen Cabrera shared a video (, where she shows the knot stitch (=ks) tatted in rows (that is she turns the work and go back for next row); while in the DY's books there are patterns with knot stitches tatted in rounds, for example in a doily (going always in the same direction, clockwise), and climbing up the next round with a lock stitch (not a full ks). During the class Karen shared her first sample using only 2 threads (instead of the 3 used in the book - great idea) and other tatters shared their samples, too.
Here they are:

I also shared my attempts, but not the very first ones, those were all knotted!
This time I started attaching the stitches to a piece of fabric, like in the edging N.21 at page 31 of the book, but I followed a triangular pattern, made up just to practise tatting the ks. For helping me to hold the picot in position, I used a paper clip, that turned out to be the key for me, otherwise my picots kept on closing. I started with 2 threads, one in the SH1 and one in SH2, then in 3rd row I added a second thread to SH1 and tatted row 3 and row 4, then cut out the 2nd thread from the shuttle and continued with just one. Two threads on shuttle tend to twist and I had to drop the SH1 very often. I used a  DMC size 40 cotton thread on SH1 and a comparable size polyester sewing thread on SH2 (gutermann ca02776). Only my personal opinion, but I like it a lot with 2 threads only.


Thank you very much for all your nice comments.