Weekend with Tatting

This weekend after a “geek fest” in Las Vegas I decided to have a relaxed weekend of tv and “tatting”.   Tatting or  as the germans would say Schiffchenarbeit (work of the little boat… more masculine… than the french “frivolité”) has been a small hobby of mine since I was young.  Unlike crocheting I enjoy tatting and  I thought I would post what I tatted this weekend with a follow up video showing others how to do it (That is if anyone is interested)

I usually don’t mind telling other guys that I enjoy tatting since most men do not have any idea what it is .  I don’t have to worry about “losing my man card”  (not a good idea to share with the guys more than just the word “tatting” …. you quickly become less cool when they see that it is lace and doilies) .  If you are asking yourself “why” does he tat? (risking his manly reputation) well…    I learned tatting when I was very young from an elderly next door lady and I although I don’t tat often it has stuck with me.  There is something about tying knots that I enjoy… plus it looks really easy but is strangely hard.  Once I figured it out and was able to “switch” the knot onto the other thread (I will show this on the video) I continued to practice because I was worried I would forget or loose that ability.

I find myself tatting once or twice a year and I usually make something very small.  One small project was for Isabelle’s mother.  I did  it for the first time we met which happened to be during Christmas time.  I decided to tat a snowflake. I did this on the plane over and being a little self conscious about doing this in public (yes I am a closet tatter) making a Christmas decoration seemed less “girly” than a “doily”.  I was especially pleased when a gentleman on the plane asked me if I was making a fishing net. (that is definitely much more manly… so I lied and said yes)

Here is the pattern for the snowflake I made.  This could make a nice Christmas gift.

If you are not familiar with tatting patterns they may look odd.  I think tatting patterns  are awesome but I think you almost always have to see a picture or a drawing otherwise you would be lost. (well at least I would be… especially for the complex ones often the drawings will even have arrows to show you where to start and which way you will be working)

Here are the acronyms to help understand the pattern.  The numbers are how many knots and the “-” is a picot or small loop in between knots.  “+” is joining something to an already existing picot.
R = Ring
Ch = Chain
rw = Reverse
DNR = Do Not Reverse

Part One (inner part of the snowflake):

R    4 – 3 – 4 rw
Ch   4 – 2 – 2 – 4 rw
R   4 + 3 – 4 rw
Continue around for a total of 6 rings and 6 chains,
join to base of first ring and chain. (joining the rings as seen below)


Here is the result of part one.   I typically use a “finer” thread but decided to use a thicker thread so everyone could see the “knots” better I also added glass beads in some of the picots.

Part Two (Outer part of the snowflake)

* R 4 – 4 – 4 – 3 DNR
R 3 + 4 – 1 — 1 – 4 – 3 DNR
R 3 + 4 – 4 – 4 rw
Ch 10 rw
R 4 + 3 – 3 – 4 rw
Ch 7 rw Join to center picot of Round 1
R 4 + 3 – 3 – 4 rw
Ch 7 rw
R 4 + 3 – 3 – 4 rw
Ch 10 rw Repeat from ” * ” for a total of 6 clovers

Here a single time through the second pattern.   This has to be repeated 6 times until it joins the first time.

Final Snowflake


I didn’t just make a snow flake but started on a border for the cloth images of Venice I made several weekends ago (Here is a link to that post).  I just started one border so I will follow up with the pattern in another post along with the video I promised.


I will be using this edging to attach all of the different squares together.  I am not sure if I want to place the edging on the outside as shown above…  or place the edging over the tissue as shown in the image below. Let me know which of the two ways looks better.


By the way… don’t you think this would make a “lovely” fish net?


32 thoughts on “Weekend with Tatting

  1. Tonight I told my husband, “How does this guy find so much time!?!” Seriously though, you get so much done and it always seems like a complex, talented project. This was another example of that. At first I thought you sounded very “manly” because I know tatting as giving tattoos. Lol I quickly realized the word means something else to you. 🙂 I love the snowflake! And your fishing net. 😉

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  2. This is so pretty ! I have tried tatting several times, and never managed it ! I tried the “little boat” technique and the needle technique, but I just don’t get it (and my eyes get quickly tired of it). I’d love a video ! I don’t think it’s unmanly at all (funny fact, if you said “Tatting” in France, people would think of you as a rad tattoo artist !)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have never tried the needle technique (I was told that it was easier…). I will try to get the video up this week. Once you get the trick (there is a trick) it is very simple. You are the second person with the Tattoo… and when I tell people that I “tat”… I often don’t explain it… wonder how many think I meant tattoo?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Can’t wait ! I guess most people would assume tattoo, as very little people know about tatting ! Even my local yarn store had no clue what I was talking about when I was looking for a needle for frivolité !


  3. Fishing net, very very fancy fishing net. I’m glad you posted this; I’ve always thought tatting was complicated, but I watched some youtube videos after reading your post and it looks a lot less complex than I thought. I think I was confusing tatting and bobbin lace making. I didn’t think of tattooing, but if you do end up trying that form of tatting, I wish you luck in finding a test subject/canvas to start with. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

          1. But not if the pig is sedated or (gasp) dead … ooo – that gives me an idea! You could tattoo cadavers! It’ll be like The Knick come to life! Or maybe just go the conventional route and ask an experienced tattooist what they recommend … I am but a humble observer with some odd ideas.

            Liked by 1 person

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