Wednesday, 4 January 2012

I Was Curious...

First of all Happy New Year  to everyone!
Wishing you a happy, successful and creative 2012.

Yes, I was curious:  I just had to give this mysterious needle tatting a try.  So I received some tatting needles this morning and here is the product of my first try.  Far from perfect of course, I felt all fingers and thumbs to start off but eventually got some sort of rhythm going...  

I shall have to ask advice of needle tatters - like for example, do you really need to tie the thread after every ring and chain?  It seems to me that it doesn't make as neat a transition between elements as the shuttle does, as tying twists the thread a bit before starting on the next ring or chain.  But I'm always prepared to be put right!

I don't think I'm at risk of giving up my shuttles any time soon but I felt I had to try the needle as perhaps it would be the right thing to use in some circumstances- and anyway, I was just curious!  I certainly don't feel I could ever achieve the speed I can with my shuttles as I find there is a lot more movement involved in making the loops for the stitches on the needle as opposed to the smooth "to-ing and fro-ing" of the shuttles.

Best wishes,


  1. I too was like you once, keen to find out more about needle tatting. I ordered some needles and gave it a try. I am still sticking with my shuttles but am happy to know that I have a choice to use needles if the need arises.

    Happy New Year to you too.

  2. I tried the needles once years ago. I was all fumble fingers! I really think it's a matter of which technique you use first.

    As for tying knots at the end of every ring, I seem to remember it being a necessity. However, I am relying on very old memories!

    Your tatting is beautiful as always!

  3. I tried it too-it's interesting and different. Now I haven't tried it for many years but I wonder if ionesco can tat with yarn using a knitting needle but the same technique.

    It's so nice to see you back!

  4. Looks like you did good for a first try! :) When I first heard about tatting it was needle tatting, but all I could find for tatting was shuttles so that is what I ended up using and haven't changed, but I am still new at this so maybe some day. :)

  5. Hi. As a needle tatter, I was taught that we must knot after each ring and chain. If we don't, the next stitch will pull the chain apart, or create problems with the tension on chains.
    Michelle, one needs to have the eye of the tatting needle holding the thread tail to pull the stitches back along onto. Otherwise, the stitches 'dissolve' when pulled off the knitting needle.
    Happy Tatting.

  6. As a shuttle tatter, I brought a needle and the learn needle tatting just before christmas and I will give it a try when I can find time, when that might I dont know as mother is still in hosp and now going into a home so I have her home to empty.


  7. I also bought a set of needles a couple of years ago, to give needle tatting a go.

    I found the knots to be a lot looser than I'm used to making with shuttle tatting. I think it's an interesting diversion, but I'll stick with my shuttles for now. :)

  8. Needle tatter here, learning to shuttle tat.....tension is a easier to learn because the needle is more steady than the can move easily from chain to ring or ring to chain, but I agree that the knotting between is sometimes bothersome and causes the threads to lean.....I only do it if I have to switch the threads.....I do think that it was easier to learn but as I stated, I am now learning to shuttle tat. I think I am beginning to see the advantages of both....Celtic weaving is much easier with Needle tatting but any pattern that throws rings off rings is easier with a least that is what I see so far....but remember I have only been tatting either way about a year.

  9. I tie after every ring and chain :) but if you don't want to you don't have to :)

  10. I also have learned needle tatting first and then shittle tatting... And I can't get used to shuttle :) And i rather stay with the needle :)

  11. The biggest drawback with needle tatting is having to match the needle to the size of the thread. I can only needle tat using size 20 (or thicker) thread, using the 'larger' needle, and I have problems gripping even THAT needle, due to some arthritis issues. I simply prefer to use the shuttle, as it's much more comfortable, and I can put any size thread on my shuttle.

    It does, however, seem that it would be easier (and faster?) to make those long chains for Celtic 'woven' patterns with the needle.

    I believe that needle tatters would find it much more comfortable to shuttle tat if they would use their index finger(rather than their middle finger) to draw the double stitches up into place, since they use their index finger to put the stitches on the needle.

    I am impressed with needle tatters who are able to work with those very thin needles!


Thank you for taking the time to write a comment, it's always appreciated!