Recently I attended a lace group.  A lady that teaches tatting was there and was pretty much appalled at my tatting method or technique.  She told me to never teach anyone to tat. Another lady said "You think if someone wanted to learn to tat she should tell them no?"  Of coarse her answer was no that I should teach anyone that wants to learn.

This conversation, which I can't stop thinking about, has done nothing but lead me to ask more questions.  So I started searching the internet and cannot find a video or pictures of how I tat.  I never loop the shuttle thread around my shuttle hand or my ball thread hand before making a stitch.  

This is how I taught to make a ring, the thread is wrapped my hand and pinched with thumb and forefinger. Then with the shuttle hand, the thread coming off the shuttle is held with my last three fingers, my thumb and index are holding the shuttle. The words she used to teach me the motion of the shuttle were, the bunny hops under and over the log then jumps into the hole.  hahah Sounds funny saying it at this age.

Please don't tell me I am tatting wrong, I got enough of that to last a life time.  Also I believe there are different ways of getting the same outcome. This is the way I was taught and I have been doing it since the 80's so I am not going to change my method. This method is ingrained into me at this point. Sorry I wanted to get this out so it won't end up being the conversation because it seems to always go back there.

Here are my questions:

How many shuttle tatting methods are out there?

Do different styles of tatting have anything to do with regions? 

Is there an old style or new modern techniques?

What method am I using? 

Thanks for reading this and taking the time to reply. :)

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Replies to This Discussion

All my life I have heard there is a "correct" way to do things and have tried to do things the others "correct" way to do with no results. So I have try my "creative" way to tat. I don´t know if there is a correct way to tat, I tat the way is easier, better and funny to me. And will not change my way either. I form my loop as everybody does, but to make the knot I pass the shuttle thread over and a liittle back the loop and pass the shuttle between both threads, with my middle finger move the loop thread while keep shuttle thread is tnese. The second part I pass the shuttle down and behind the loop to front (me) and repeat the middle finger trick.

I dont know if there are modern or old style techniques neither how many shuttle tatting method are out there. I think there is a natural evolution of the methods. These days there are many people tatting so there is a quicker evolution of the ways to tat. More people thinking and sharing how to get things done more rich the knowledge and lace are.

Again, thanks to internet, I wouldnt talking about "regions" I'm using techniques news and olds from others regions in the world. I have "invented" two or three tricks to make things that I couldnt do with old, new or others ways of tatting.Of course, there are techs I don´t like to do and don´t do them :)

I'm not sure how many methods are out there, but does it really matter? I know of two methods... shuttle tatting and needle tatting. I would think that the style one develops has to do with how he/she learned. I can't imagine how others have learned from reading from a book! Did Great-aunt Nellie use the same method as Grandma Morris? Probably not... they were from different families and lived in different cities. One's family was English, the other German. I never actually watched either one create any kind of lace, but they did make some fabulous pieces!

I learned from watching two different videos about 20 years ago. I sort of combined methods to suit me. I know I don't hold the thread the way some do... can't stand trying to wrap the ball thread around my pinky!

One of the best things I ever did for my tatting self esteem was to watch a video from the Palmetto Tatters showing different people tatting. I'm not as fast as most of those tatters, and my technique is different. I discovered that it doesn't really matter. I'm tatting for my enjoyment, and as long as I'm happy with the results, that's all that matters!

Crikey, how DARE anybody say that to you.  If it works for you then it's fine.  I must admit that after about twenty years of shuttle tatting I did amend my way slightly (I was shown by a pupil - how embarrassing was that?) and it didn't take long to do that.  However if the way you do it works for you then that's the right way.  I was never taught by a tatter and just found  my own way.

As for how many methods - I suppose it's as many as there are tatters.  Just don't change your way when you're so comfortable with it.

Tatting is a wonderful art. I love that there are several ways to tat. If you don't like the shuttle there is always needle tatting.  

On another forum someone actually made a snide comment about using cheap clover shuttles.  I laughed and asked if you could look at a finished piece and tell me what kind of shuttle was used. I feel the same way about styles of tatting. It really doesn't matter. 

The history of tatting is interesting.  That is why I was wondering if styles were originated in certain regions, but it might be personal preferences. 

Hi Shirley when I was Child with plaits some one asked me  if the plaits where on top or under the blankets when I sleep, I hardley slept  for a week first putting them on top and then under the blankets, then I started sleeping again without ever finding out! Rules are usually just other peoples opinions,  I try different methods untill I get ones that work for me, have quite a few up my sleeve, use them when needed, change them when needed! Regards

Shirley

You ask a bunch of very good questions.  

Firstly a teacher who says your method is wrong is probably interested in her own supremacy rather than in teaching or instilling love of the craft.

I have seen different ways of moving the shuttle and the threads around as you make each stitch.  Unfortunately I can't remember exactly which youtube videos show the different methods.  I do remember seeing what I would call the standard method (most tatters I've seen use it) and one particular unusual one (unusual in that I have never seen it before).  But, basically, if the method produces knots that slip as they are supposed to the method can't be wrong.  Wrong is when the knots won't slide.

I'm particularly interested in your question about whether different styles of tatting have to do with geographical region.  I don't know the answer.

I just want to add my two cents. I taught myself to tat with the help of some videos on youtube. And it took me about 2 h to get the motion down and 2 h more to find out that i don't care about winding the thread around my pinkie for chains and thereby have it come loose constantly or strangulate the blood flow or have to remove the thread and rewind again to make more stitches, what a painful way of doing it. I just hold the ball thread like i would for knitting and thus it can flow freely to the knots. And if someone came along telling me i did  it wrong i would tell that person to go and call the tatting police and have me arrested! Really ... how dare someone tell you to never teach anyone... it is rude and impolite... please don't take it to heart, that person was just being selfish or mean! All that counts is that you get the job done and have fun!

Regards

Mo

PS: and oh... i DO love my pretty little clover shuttles and I am going to buy a bunch more of them... dare anyone tell me they are to cheap, that person can have an exquisit example of the rough side of my tongue. :D

That person was very rude to say that to you, and her attitude is a threat to the continued existence of the craft we all love. Everybody tats differently. I am self-taught from way before there was any Internet or videos to learn from. I figured out my own way from looking at books, and tatted happily for many years before I ever saw anyone else tat (who hadn't learned it from me). Yep, I was out there teaching tatting "without a license" (lol) and knowing of no other way than my own for years. Nowadays I know many tatters personally and have watched and learned from them, as well as watching online videos. I still enjoy tatting "my way". Go ahead and enjoy tatting "your way" and don't let that one person's rude remark stop you from teaching anyone. Good heavens, if the only people "allowed" to teach tatting were the ones whose technique was "perfect", well then, I guess tatting would indeed become a lost art for real (perish the thought).

I taught myself to tat from a book I found in the library. The first tatter I met said, "Don't every pull the shuttle towards you when making the stitch! It's wrong!" Um. It works for me. By the way, I also saw this in a book later on. Did I change? Not!

PS (Took a look at your website. Lovely!)

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art37566.asp a list of a few methods of tatting styles

I had the great honor to narrate the video made by the Palmetto Tatters Guild about the many methods of tatting. I believe that it is still available if interested.

I repeat often the fact that there is NO single way to tat. From your description Shirley, I think that you are using the "slip n slide" method as I call it. In fact, I asked Jane Eborall to diagram the method I use. Look here:

http://www.janeeborall.freeservers.com/holdshuttle.pdf

The forefinger and thumb holding the shuttle never leave the shuttle. The working thread slides between my finger/thumb on the over/unders. But all that matters is that you get the stitched flipped and in position.

If you happen to get to see the tatting hand video, I will confess that I think that the "Philippine Missionary"  method is a real favorite. And don't miss the "Modern Priscilla" method...modern in 1909 that is LOL.

Tatting Hands DVD 
An amazing collection of over 30 different styles of tatting. It begins with a few minutes on How-to-Tat and then 80 minutes of outstanding tatting with a surprise ending! “There is no one way to tat,” says Georgia Seitz, the narrator. “The joy is in the journey and our hands take us all the way.” 
Comments

To see a 3.5-minute sampling, click here.
Smaller file (2.5MB) http://www.palmettotatters.org/fundraisers/TattingHandsSample100K.wmv
or
Larger file (12MB) http://www.palmettotatters.org/fundraisers/TattingHandsSample512K.wmv

Formats
1) The DVD will be a format for the US and Canada (NTSC). It will play in a computer and a stand-alone DVD player. Cost: $15. 
2) The Windows Media File will be for outside the US. It will play on any computer with Windows Media Player. Cost: $12.

The Palmetto Tatters Guild thanks all of the tatters from across the globe that made this video possible. Thanks to Georgia Seitz for the narration and Kyle Whitlock for the music. 

Thanks for all the info.  When my DH gets back from his trip on Monday I will have him video me tatting.  I didn't see my method in any of the links.  The shuttle thread is always held by last 3 fingers with the shuttle thread opposite of me, never wrapped or placed on the upper part of my hand.  

Georgia Seitz said:

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art37566.asp a list of a few methods of tatting styles

I had the great honor to narrate the video made by the Palmetto Tatters Guild about the many methods of tatting. I believe that it is still available if interested.

I repeat often the fact that there is NO single way to tat. From your description Shirley, I think that you are using the "slip n slide" method as I call it. In fact, I asked Jane Eborall to diagram the method I use. Look here:

http://www.janeeborall.freeservers.com/holdshuttle.pdf

The forefinger and thumb holding the shuttle never leave the shuttle. The working thread slides between my finger/thumb on the over/unders. But all that matters is that you get the stitched flipped and in position.

If you happen to get to see the tatting hand video, I will confess that I think that the "Philippine Missionary"  method is a real favorite. And don't miss the "Modern Priscilla" method...modern in 1909 that is LOL.

Tatting Hands DVD 
An amazing collection of over 30 different styles of tatting. It begins with a few minutes on How-to-Tat and then 80 minutes of outstanding tatting with a surprise ending! “There is no one way to tat,” says Georgia Seitz, the narrator. “The joy is in the journey and our hands take us all the way.” 
Comments

To see a 3.5-minute sampling, click here.
Smaller file (2.5MB) http://www.palmettotatters.org/fundraisers/TattingHandsSample100K.wmv
or
Larger file (12MB) http://www.palmettotatters.org/fundraisers/TattingHandsSample512K.wmv

Formats
1) The DVD will be a format for the US and Canada (NTSC). It will play in a computer and a stand-alone DVD player. Cost: $15. 
2) The Windows Media File will be for outside the US. It will play on any computer with Windows Media Player. Cost: $12.

The Palmetto Tatters Guild thanks all of the tatters from across the globe that made this video possible. Thanks to Georgia Seitz for the narration and Kyle Whitlock for the music. 

Only if someone else was here to see me do this, they would have had a good laugh.  I tried to go slow.  Enjoy my super awesome recording skills. heheh

This is how I tat video.

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