Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Needle Tatting Complex

All day, I worked on needle tatting, waiting for a breakthrough. For some reason, I always figured needle tatting was just a modern version of tatting that's really fast and easy to hide threads. Not necessarily that way for me. It's a lot slower and hiding threads is a little harder. Like I said, most likely not that way for those who swear by it. Also, this is probably not normal, I get really antsy when there is something touching the same spot over and over on my hands. It's not irritating, physically, more mentally. The needle is constantly bumping into the tips of my fingers, not poking or anything, but it didn't turn out well. I'll stick to shuttle tatting!

It can be so pretty though, needle tatting (not mine). I relate it to tarantulas. Yes, you read correctly. Tarantulas. In Southern California and Arizona, we have tarantulas that are pretty big, but have skinny legs. And, other places, they have big, fat tarantulas with chunky legs. Needle tatting is the fat tarantula and shuttle tatting is the kind we have here.

Oh my.... Just creeped myself out. Not a big fan of those..... Anyway!

Left is needle, right is shuttle. Unpressed.

Little needle tatted motifs. They're itty bitty, and I actually like them.

 Pretty much it. In my frustration today, I swore I'd never needle tat again. But, maybe I will, sometime in the future.

Shuttles work for me! ^_^


  1. I'm convinced that it's a matter of what we learn first. I learned to shuttle tat first, and it's what I prefer. I am a bit envious of those people who churn out yards of beautiful needle tatted lace so quickly, but I keep telling myself I'm not in a race. Besides, tatting shuttles are so fun to decorate and hold!

  2. Your needle tatting looks wwwwwaaaaayyyyyy better than mine EVER did!! It's one of those things I just never could master, & like you, afer attempting it honestly, I went back to my shuttles. I love your little heart motif though... shuttle or needle! Is that your design?

  3. I also like that heart design! Please let us know the source! It looks familiar, but there are so many out there!

    I'm SO glad you prefer the shuttle! It's important that your generation be shown how easy shuttle tatting really is. And the internet videos are SO helpful. I do advocate, however, learning the chain first, which is gaining wider acceptance.

    I find it sad that shuttle tatting was made unnecessarily difficult right from the beginning of the printed needlework pamphlets in the 1840s. Although I'm sure they tried their best, the written instructions and drawings/photos were just not getting it across, and it continued for decades (150 years??!!) And from my own 'crocheting experience' point of view, (taught myself from books at age 12) it sure helped me to discover (unfortunately 30 years 'late') that I could hold my thread the same way I as in crocheting -with the forefinger up, not the middle finger. Made a HUGE difference for me.

    Always enjoy your blog! I try remembering what it was like being your age! You seem way ahead of your peers in both talent, intelligence and observations of the world around you!

  4. I think all that tatting looks really nice! :)

  5. The heart pattern is from Learn Needle Tatting (by Donna Jones) ^_^

  6. I LOVE the comparison of the tarantulas! I just started trying needle tatting a couple of days ago!! I'm not having too bad of a time - I should have started a SMALLER project, but, no, I started a fairly LARGE cross... So I feel I MUST finish it!! I am using size 10 thread on the #5 needle, but think I'll try the next smaller needle next time. I really LOVE the thicker look that is often associated with needle tatting for some things, but mine is rather "floppy" as compared to my shuttle tatting which would be much tighter and automatically makes a piece that needs no blocking. Perhaps I'll ask about this on InTatters! I like giving it a try, though, so I feel I have a bit of perspective from both methods :-)

  7. Your description is right on with my thoughts. I've seen beautiful needle tatting but me, I like my shuttles. The tarantula analogy I understand but think it's funny too.

  8. I am starting to needle tat. I would love to know where you got the patterns for the small motifs you tatted. They are awesome and exactly what I'm looking for to practice on.