I have used all of the products reviewed below. But every person is different, what is comfortable for one person may not work for another. I hope this information will help you find the goodies that work best for you.
I wrote this book. So here is a review from Georgia Seitz, an excellent tatter and teacher.
A great tutorial for learning needle tatting! A must have for new students. ~ Georgia Seitz
This step-by-step illustrated tutorial on needle tatting by Laura Evans will be eagerly received by crafters who are just beginning the study of tatting. There is a discussion of every aspect of needle tatting from the threads to the needles. No assumptions are made about the students’ familiarity with needlework. Individual tools are presented and explanations are given for their use.
The basic double stitch and the formation of rings and chains are covered in
extreme detail so that anyone–even a person who has never held a needle before–will quickly pick up the essentials and put them to work. Multiple references are offered for each step of the work. The student can rapidly and easily access the material presented or referred to later in the book.
The needle tatting techniques are presented in a dictionary format. Each explanation is accompanied by complete illustrations showing the movements of hands and needle and thread. The finished technique or stitch is also presented with front and back aspects. Although tatting still strives today to present a standard notation, there are differences among patterns. The author points out potential places where there may be some confusion in terms and clarifies all of them.
Particular care was given to teaching the student how to read patterns. An example of the old fashioned variety of pattern where every word is written out is followed by the same pattern in abbreviated form, diagram form, and in numeric notation. Working through this tutorial will give the new tatter a solid foundation. This is a great reference guide for the novice needle tatter.
Tatting Jewellery by Lyn Morton
You can custom fit these designs. No more bracelets falling off your wrist or earrings getting tangled up with your necklace or blouse. You can dress up the designs with gold beads for an elegant look. Or add happy colored beads to make a fun, conversation starting piece of jewelry.
There are patterns for earrings, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, and brooches. Most of the patterns are for the experienced tatter using two shuttles. But a few of the patterns are simple enough for a beginner to complete with one shuttle and the ball thread. Grab your copy here.
Most often I use size 9, 10, and 11 crochet hooks. These are steel hooks used when making joins. They do not have an ergonomic handle. You can make one by continually wrapping duct tape around the handle area until it has the desired thickness. This makes the hook easier to pick up.
This is the best thread I have found that hides tail ends inside double stitches. This slick thread makes it easy to pull out the loop. However, the slickness makes it difficult to keep a knot tied in it. Instead, I use a small section (approximately 1/4″ x 3/8″) of duct tape. Just fold the 6″ length of thread in half and pinch the ends together. Lay the ends on top of the sticky side of the duct tape. Fold over the edge of duct tape to cover the thread. Pinch the tape to secure the threads. Then continue folding over the tape on itself as if rolling up a sleeping bag. After finished rolling, pinch to secure the tape. This creates a tab.
When you are ready to pull out the loop through the double stitches, pinch the duct tape tab and pull the tail end through the double stitches.
The wires in these needle threaders are slightly thicker than the DMC needle threader. These needle threaders hold up well. However, if you have a particularly tight fit to pull thread through the eye of the needle, occasionally these will break.
This needle threader uses a slightly thinner wire to pull through thread than the Singer brand. This makes it easier to pull thread through a tight fit. The way the wire is seated in the base makes it stronger and the wire will not pull out as easily. It comes with yarn threaders on either side of the base.
This is a 2″ x 5.6″ picot gauge. This gauge measures picots in 1/8″ increments. It the range is from 1/8″ up to 1.25″. The gauge has a thick diameter which makes it sturdy. But this thickness adds to the circumference of a picot making it slightly larger picot than 1/8″. To prevent the markings from being rubbed off with use, you can paint over them with clear nail polish.
These are high quality scissors. The steel blades stay sharp for a long time. The 4″ size makes them very portable. The thick blades allows you to sharpen them several times without wearing them down. They accommodate right- and left-handed users.
These are my favorite scissors. I’ve had mine for 20 years. The sharpness of the 4” blades extends to the very point. Even if you insert only the very tip of the scissors, you still get a clean cut. The blades are thinner than any other scissors I have used. For a precise cut, hold the blade against the last double stitch, then cut off excess thread. Highly recommended.
This shuttle comes in a variety of colors. It is 3⅞” x ½”. This size includes a ⅜” steel crochet hook. It is easy to handle and comes with two bobbins. You can buy bobbin refills. This bobbin will not unwind too easily leaving you with extra thread. However, there is a clicking sound as the bobbin releases new thread when you are tatting.
If you are tatting a large project, you can fill up several bobbins before you begin to tat. This saves you from having to pause in the middle of your project and wind another bobbin. Also, if you are using different colors in your project you can wind a bobbin in one color and the second bobbin in a different color. Buy an extra shuttle to use with the other colors.
This metal shuttle is very durable. It will not break if you drop it or accidentally step on it. The bobbin does not make a clicking noise, so it makes for quiet tatting. The bobbin is set in rather loosely. So if you pull on the thread a longer length can unravel than what you expect. You can adjust this by slightly squeezing the blades of the shuttle where the bobbin is seated. This shuttle has a new manufacturer and some have reported that the metal is not as smooth as the older ones. It might make tatting abrasive on your hands.
This is a small, very portable shuttle is 2.2″ x 7.2″. It comes in some lovely colors. The pointed tip is very sharp. When using it to make a join, carefully pick up the joining thread. The point can easily split the thread which weakens it.
This shuttle winder works with a 4.25″ Tatsy shuttle. You use it to wind thread on to your shuttle. And it helps to preserve the integrity of your thread. Let me explain.
Did you ever notice how a shoelace frays when it has been pulled through eyelets too many times? On a smaller scale, the same thing can happen with tatting thread. When you wind thread on to your shuttle, you force the thread between two blades. When the blades pinch the thread, there is a clicking sound. This disturbs or weakens the natural twist of the thread. In the following example, let’s call the weakened or pinched point, Section A. If your thread has aged, then the point at which it is more likely to break is Section A. Or if you use Section A for a join and because the thread twist has been disturbed, the crochet hook can easily split the thread, making your tatting less tidy.
The pinch is more apparent on larger sizes of thread such as size 10, 5, or larger. A thread winder helps you avoid these things. The winder is seated between the blades and functions like the contour of a bow pulling the blades apart. It leaves a thin space for the thread to pass through without touching the blades. No damage is done to your thread.
Another good thing about a winder is you simply rotate the winder to wind thread on to your shuttle. This is easier than making the complete circular motion to load your shuttle.
There are three needles included in this package: Size 7, 5, and 3. Tatting needle size is gauged as follows: the larger the number = the smaller the shaft diameter size of needle. Size 7 needle works with fine thread such as 20 or 30 and pearl cotton thread size 8 and 12. I find a Size 7 needle works with well with size 10 thread, too. It makes a very firm stitch. However, size 10 thread can be a bit bulky. You may need to use a needle threader to pull the thread through the eye of the needle. Size 5 needle can use size 10 thread, too. However, the double stitch is not as tight and firm as I like. But if you tat with loose tension, it will usually work just fine. Size 3 needle works with Lizbeth Size 3 thread or Pearl Cotton size 3.
This is an excellent basic set of needles I would recommend for a beginner. There is a difference in the diameter of the shaft of these sizes of needles. Size 7 has the thinnest shaft, Size 5 is thicker and Size 3 is the thickest of the three sizes.
When coordinating which needle to use with which thread there are three factors to keep in mind: needle size, thread size, and your normal tension–tight or loose stitches. First you start by choosing your thread. The size of the thread will indicate the needle size you should choose. So if you are working with size 10 thread, then look at the diameter of the thread. The diameter of your needle should be slightly smaller than the diameter of the thread. However, the third factor is if you tat with loose tension. If you have loose tension, it is okay for the diameter of the thread and needle to be the same size. Because of the tension, the core thread of the double stitch will fill up the finished double stitch.
Tatting Needles: Yarn
These are excellent quality needles. They come in three sizes: 0, 1, 2. Needle tatting allows you to tat with a wider variety of fibers than shuttle tatting.
You can use any type of yarn in these needles: wool, acrylic, cotton, and more. You can even tat with boucle (curly) yarn. Although your double stitch will not show up as clearly as it would with straight yarn.
The diameter of the needle shafts are of equal size in all three needle sizes. Since there is no difference in the needle shafts, the core of your double stitches will be the same size. However, the finished size of your double stitch will differ depending on the size of yarn you are using. For example, if you use chunky yarn, your double stitch will be larger than if you use thinner sport weight yarn.
The difference among the three needles is the size of the eye hole. Size 0 needle has the largest eye hole and it fits chunky yarn. The eye of Size 1 needle is large enough for worsted weight yarn. The eye for Size 2 fits sport weight yarn.
If you have difficulty seeing well enough to thread a needle, then I would recommend using size 0 for all of your yarn tatting. The larger hole makes it easier to thread.
The reason I buy more than one needle at a time is that I like to have enough needles for my various projects. Some projects are more time consuming like tatting a shawl. When I feel like tatting up a quick snowflake for someone, I have an extra needle on hand.
This 100% cotton thread comes in different colors. This thread has a smooth, silky feel. If your project has lots of picots, it will need to be starched or blocked. If you do not starch the picots, they can easily be misshapen.
I highly recommend this is a sturdy thread for use in making tatted edges for baby clothing or any project calling for some delicate lace. This thread is best used with a shuttle to create a firm double stitch. It comes in a limited amount of colors.
Lizbeth thread, a 100% Egyptian cotton cordonnet, is one of the most popular threads because it comes in more than 100 different colors. It has solid and variegated colors. The thread sizes include: 3, 10, 20, 40, and 80.
All of the colors I’ve tried are colorfast, but if you are in doubt do a color test. You can do that by cutting a 6” piece of thread. Then thoroughly wet it with hot running water. Pat the thread with a white paper towel and let it dry on the damp paper towel. Allow it to dry. If there are no stains on the paper towel, then it is color fast.
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