Tatting dates back to the early 19th century. It is a kind of lace making where half hitch knots are formed on a base thread using a small shuttle. Little picots are formed by simply spacing the knot groups and then closing the gaps.
It is a most graceful craft, one that mesmerized and inspired me at age 12 to learn tatting by watching my mother tat. It wasn't until decades later that I began to see beautiful tatted jewelry made with fine thread or even fine silver. It's not just for edging tablecloths and napkins anymore!
Marilee Rockley is a (shuttle) tatting jewelry expert who has been working on her craft since 1975! She has written a number of tatting books and recently sent me her Tatting with Beads Jewelry book for review. It is also available on Annie's Catalog (publisher also offers pdf format).
It is more a booklet as there are just 4 jewelry set patterns in this beautiful but slim publication. Like beaded crochet, the beads have to be strung on the thread before the work begins. Size 10 crochet cotton thread is used for all 4 projects.
Note :Some of you may be aware of the alternative needle tatting method where long blunt needles are used. Needle tatting can be fast but you will have to buy different needle sizes for different thread thicknesses - whereas any thread can be used with shuttles. There aren't as many needle tatting specific patterns either - although you can adapt some shuttle tatting ones. So I recommend learning how to shuttle tat which is a more versatile tool.
What I liked about the book is how the instructor has patterns for different skill levels. The Beaded Path jewelry set above is an easy one to start with. Students learn how to add beads in the tatting process and to use a simple paperclip to help in keeping small loops open at the top of beads and crystals.
One of the designs, Dazzling Debut (shown below), is a lovely multi-colored layered pendant design where 2 shuttles have to be used.
Marilee does recommend steam blocking completed projects. I also suggest you consider adding a fabric stiffener like this one to make it a little more rigid (but not overly) for jewelry. Worked quite well with my own tatted earrings which my mother made for me.
Marilee also sells her hand dyed cotton threads for tatting and crochet through her very popular Etsy store called Yarnplayer. Take a peek at her hand dying process in her blog post here. I also liked her tutorial page where she shows some basics like how to make the classic double stitch - the first half and the second half.
If you'd like to win this giveaway for a copy of Tatting with Beads Jewelry, please make a comment below. Make sure you leave contact info below if you do not have an online shop or blog.
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This giveaway is international.
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It ends in a week's time at 6 pm EST Monday, January 9, 2017. I will pick the winner randomly and announce the results as soon as possible after. So be sure to leave a contact email if you don't have an online link or make sure you come back and check! Otherwise I will redraw in a week. Good luck!
I receive books and products for review. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links which are provided as resource information for readers. This goes towards the support of this blog. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation.
Before You Go:
- Learn to Needle Tat with Totus Mel
- How to Make Tatted Jewelry Tutorials
- Fine Silver Tatted Jewelry by The Joyful Tatter
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