2013: The year I learnt to tat

I have always had a longing to be able to tat. I used to do bobbin lace, and I often saw examples of tatted lace, which I loved the look of as well. Many years ago (before the days of the internet), I bought myself a book and a tatting shuttle, and spent many hours puzzling over how to make my work look like the examples I saw in the book – but to no avail.

However, in 2013 I decided I would have another go, so I bought myself another shuttle (the previous one having long since been consigned to a charity shop!), dug out an old ball of crochet thread from my stash, and set out to teach myself to tat. I searched the internet for blogs, tutorials and videos to help me get going, and as I posted my attempts on this blog, lots of lovely people left supportive comments and suggestions, which really encouraged me.

As 2013 has drawn to a close, I thought I would chart my tatting journey from my first ring to designing my own pattern. If you click on the photos you can read the original post.

I started with just a tiny ring…

My first tatted ring!

My first tatted ring!

And then moved on to a tatted butterfly and little motif.

Tatted butterfly

My first tatted butterfly

Small tatted motif

Small tatted motif

I then bought another shuttle and had a go at a pattern using two shuttles.

Tatted earrings

Tatted earrings

After that I got more confident, and set out to make a small doily and a little cross using two colours.

Tatted doily

My first tatted doily

Tatted cross

A tatted cross using two colours

Crafters are usually a thrifty bunch, and I hated wasting thread when I finished a project, so I found some patterns that only used a tiny amount of thread – tatting onto a paperclip!

Tatted birds

Tatted birds on a paperclip

By now I was preparing to return to The Gambia, where I live for part of the year, so I made some presents for people before I left, including this bookmark.

Tatted bookmark

Tatted bookmark

Everyone in The Gambia is fascinated when they see me tatting, and I often have to give a small demonstration to people who drop in to visit. I created several pendants and earrings, and even managed to add some beads!

IMG_9120 copy

IMG_9118 copy

IMG_9113 copy

I also tried my hand at something a bit larger – I found this lovely doily pattern on ‘Tatting Treasures‘.



My stepson liked to watch me tat, and one day he asked me to make him a friendship bracelet, so after a couple of false starts, I managed to create a bracelet using colours he had chosen.

Tatted friendship bracelet

Tatted friendship bracelet

With Christmas approaching, I decided to make some tatted snowflakes, and this gave me the confidence to design and chart one of my own – my very first proper tatting design!

My own snowflake design

My own snowflake design

So I made my own little impromptu Christmas tree with tatted snowflakes.

My impromptu Christmas tree

My impromptu Christmas tree

My last project of the year was a bit more ambitious. My friend Saffie asked if I could tat some chair backs, so she chose the colours she wanted and I have made a start, using a pattern I found on ‘Tat-a-Renda‘. It’s the first time I’ve tackled anything this large, but it seems to be going well so far. Of course, this will be my first completed project of 2014, which seems a good way to begin the year.

Tatted chair back in progress

Tatted chair back in progress

2 comments on “2013: The year I learnt to tat

  1. Pingback: Happy New Year! | Stitches 'N' Dreams

  2. Pingback: It’s amazing what we have in common! | Stitches 'N' Dreams

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