I am considering learning how to tat (tatt?) as a pocketable handwork I can carry about with me.
Any advice for potential beginners from tatters…er, tattingers…tattists?

If you tat a tiny stew, are you a tatatouiller? :grin:

Argh! I feel there is a rich vein of linguistic humour to be mined here! Tattoos come to mind. Tatted temporary tattoos actually sound quite cool, providing you don’t have to actually break the skin to attach them…

Im sure theres some costume glue that would make that possible. That does sound cool…

Excellent choice of portable handwork! I found it easiest to start with a thicker thread, but not too thick. Size 10 or 20 is a great place to start, if you ask me. Also, I found these videos really helpful:
Hope you’ll find a shuttle (I assume shuttle, as needles aren’t very pocketable unless you carry them in some protective case) and thread you like! Have lots of fun!

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KnitPicks has tatting tutorial videos on their website as well as supplies.


Do you use one shuttle or two? Some things I’ve seen assume one shuttle, but others expect two.

I decided to try shuttle tatting because I wanted some small handwork to take on an airplane. I found an inexpensive pair of shuttles at Joann’s. I was sort of disgruntled that I had to buy two but I have since learned that for some things you need two shuttles. I’m still a beginner and I like these videos:http://www.tattedtreasures.com/tutorials/ She also has some cute items for the beginner to tat.


Ooo, I just watched the “Transferring the Knot” video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWdbxK-NuNY from the set that Mekone mentioned above and it is excellent. She uses a big shuttle and thick “thread” and goes slowly so you can really see what is happening. Thanks!

That depends on the design, for some things you only need one shuttle (and you can wind it without cutting it off from the ball, so that’s one end less to hide!), but some things require two, as you say.

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Oh, I had forgotten about those tutorials, I found them really helpful too. I don’t know if I own ten or more shuttles at the moment, but the ones I found were really cheap and still nice to use, and it’s nice to have something like that to give away, if someone wants to learn on the bus or subway.
I’m so happy you found that video helpful; it helped me when I struggled to learn the same thing in the beginning!

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I envy you! If you’re able to tat, then you must have really good eyesight. I know that the tatting I’ve seen uses very fine thread, which is something I’d never be able to do anymore. :frowning: I hope it works out for you. :slight_smile:

I don’t have that good eyesight at all, but I do have reading glasses (used for tatting and lace making mostly) and also a good magnifying lamp. :grinning:


Lol, the tools for success!

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The Tatted Treasures videos are great, aren’t they?
I’m slowly working my way through them - using two sewing machine bobbins until I am certain enough of what I’ll want/need to get actual shuttles.

Hmm, never thought of using sewing machine bobbins. The plastic shuttles are not expensive though (just a few dollars for a pair with a coupon) if you can find them. I use the little pick on the end of the shuttle quite a bit so I think they are worth it.

The bobbins definitely aren’t convenient, but they’re doing the job until I’m sure I want to continue with the craft enough to acquire proper shuttles.
I have an aversion to plastic tools, however, which leaves me with just the more expensive options. :money_with_wings:
And unfortunately NZ doesn’t have a big enough population to make tatting shuttles the sort of thing you can buy in a brick-and-mortar shop. The internet does have its benefits!

You’ve probably already thought of this, but I made my first shuttles out of cardboard, to try it out before I knew if I wanted to buy new things, and they worked OK. You could probably make some simple shuttles out of flat wood too, many designs are fairly straight forward.

Oh yes, I’d be lost (and more than a little bored) without them!

Oh, I missed realizing that you are in NZ! I guess you don’t have a Joann (craft) store there but yes, hurray for the internet! I hope you enjoy your tatting. It’s not a craft for the impatient since it takes two steps to make one tiny stitch. But the results are beautiful. I believe needle tatting might be quicker and it is probably easier to make the stitches more even but I haven’t tried it.