Tatting Stitch Guide



Always make with two shuttles. A chain begins and ends at different points. Start by winding both shuttles. Mark shuttles #1 and #2 with a sticker, a piece of tape, a little dab of paint, anything that will hold, or wind it with thread of a contrasting color.

Tie both shuttle threads together. With shuttle #1, make a ring of *4 double knots, 1 picot* and repeat * - * 2 times, work 4 more double knots and close rings Turn or “Reverse Work” so that ring faces down. In order to make a chain, pass the thread of shuttle #2 over the fanned fingers of your left hand. Bend your 4th and little fingers in the same way as for making rings, but instead of making a complete circle, wind it around the little finger a couple of times (fig 18). Now make the double knots the same way as for rings.

Important Note: As a rule, shuttle #1 is used to make rings. When making chains, use shuttle #2 as working thread and shuttle #1 as anchor thread. If there is an exception to this general rule, it will be clearly indicated in the instructions. After completing a ring and before the next chain, always Turn or “Reverse Work” so that the ring faces down. After a chain, in order to make the next ring, Turn or “Reverse Work”, whereby the chain faces down and the ring faces up.


The following are sample patterns for you to practice the use of the abbreviations. They can be made to any length desired and attached to garments, towels, curtains, etc. for a lovely decorative edging.
Edging (fig 21): 1 Sh. R 4 - 4 - 4 - 4. *Leave ¼ ” free. R 4 + 4 - 4 - 4 (to 3rd p of PR). Rep from * to required length.

Edging (fig22): 2 Shs. R4- 4 - 4 - 4. T. *Ch 4 - 4. T. R 4 + 4 - 4 - 4 (to 3rd p of PR). T. Rep from * to required length.

Edging (fig 23): 2 Shs. Clover leaf: R 3 - 3 - 3 - 3, R 3 + 2 - 2 -2 - 2 - 3 (to 3rd p of PR), R 3 + 3 - 3 - 3 (to 5th p of PR). T. *Ch 5 - 2 - 2 - 5. T. Clover leaf: R 3 - 3 + 3 - 3 (to = p of PR), R 3 ÷ 2 - 2 - 2 - 2 - 3 (to 3rd p of PR), R 3 + 3 - 3 - 3 (to 5th p of PR). Rep from * to required length.

Josephine Knot

There is one more decorative feature of tatting, called the Josephine Knot, a ring made with only the first half of the double knot. It is most frequently made of 9 or 10 half knots, or less, depending on the size of the thread and personal taste. It is a somewhat tricky procedure, because the use of half knots only will cause the thread to twist easily. It takes a certain skill to close the tiny ring before the thread begins to twist (fig 19).

Note: The Josephine Knot is purely decorative, it cannot be worked with picots and it cannot be joined to other rings.


The picot is a tiny loop, a lacy ornament as well as a place for joining rings or chains. It is made as follows: Proceed to make the first half of the double knot. When sliding it in place, leave a space of ¼” (fig 14).

Hold it firmly with thumb and index finger, make the second half knot and slide it in place. Then slide double knot close to previous double knot (fig 15). The little loop formed is a picot.


Always make with one shuttle. First and last knots meet to form a ring. Work 3 more double knots, 1 picot, 4 double knots, 1 picot, 4 double knots. To close the ring, hold the knots securely between thumb and index finger of left hand, relax other 3 fingers and with right hand pull anchor thread so that first and last knots meet and the ring is closed (fig 16).

For next ring leave space of ¼” on anchor thread and make 4 double knots as for first ring. Join to previous ring as follows: Insert crochet hook through 3rd picot of previous ring, pull up working thread over middle finger in a loop large enough to pass shuttle through from underneath (fig 17). Make sure to untwist loop before passing shuttle through.

Then bring into position as for any knot. Joining counts for a picot. Now complete second ring.

Repeat these rings and join each ring to the previous ring after the first 4 double knots. This simple edging (fig 21) is easy to practice the double knots and joinings until they are all even and uniform.