Needle Tatting, Rings and Strands Technique

Appearance in pattern - rings and strands

What is tatting? It's a lacy crochet technique used to create doilies, jewelry and more. Use the instructions and video tutorials to learn tatting techniques to make beautiful needle tatting patterns.

Cut a length of thread about 35" long and thread the needle leaving about a 4" end. Place the longer thread end toward your left. Pick up the thread about 3" from the longer loose end and hold it against the back of the needle (see illustration 1).
Needle Tatting, Rings and Strands Technique
For a double stitch (DS), pick up the thread near the needle point with the left hand and wrap clockwise from the front and over the top around the index finger; scoop the needle tip under the thread (see arrow on illustration 2) and lift the thread off your finger to form a loop on the needle, pull the thread snug against your right index finger. Move the right index finger over the loop to hold it in place; for the second half of the stitch, wrap the thread counter-clockwise under the index finger from the back and over the top; bend the index finger forward and scoop the needle tip under the thread from the back toward the fingertip (see arrow on illustration 3), lifting the thread off your finger to form a loop on the needle. Pull the thread snug against the last loop and hold in place with the right index finger.
Needle Tatting, Rings and Strands Technique Needle Tatting, Rings and Strands Technique
For a picot (P), with the index finger, hold the thread against the needle about 1/4" from the previous DS and make the next DS (see illustration 4), slide the last DS over to the previous DS so all are snug together; the long loop is the picot.
Needle Tatting, Rings and Strands Technique
To make a ring (R), make all the DS and P's for the ring as instructed; to close (cl), hold the tip of the needle with the fingers of the right hand and grip the top stitches on the needle with the left thumb and index finger; without letting go of the stitches, slide the stitches past the eye of the needle and onto the thread. Continue pulling the needle thread (not the short tail) until the ring is closed. The tighter the thread is pulled, the smaller the ring - be consistent; you will want to keep all the rings the same size. (If rather than forming a ring, the stitches form an open-ended half-circle, you did not work from the proper end of the thread; discard it and start over with another 35" of thread.) Tie a tight knot around the previous space to secure the ring.
To make the next ring, let the previous ring hang free with a 1/2" strand of thread (or the space indicated), between the needle and the previous ring, then make another ring in the same manner.
To join, make the stitches up to the joining, then hold the thread behind the picot to be joined and pull the thread through to the front with the tip of the needle (you can pull it through with a small crochet hook), place the loop of thread (not the picot) on the needle and slide tight against the previous DS - this loop is counted as a join and is not part of the DS on either side of the join.
For a half stitch or Josephine knot (JK), whenever you see a reference to JK or half stitches, work only the first half of the double stitch unless the instructions specifically state to use the second half; it will be written as "25 half stitches" or "25 JK".
When necessary to add a thread (before the step or section has been completed), work to the end of a ring, then remove the thread from the needle and tie around the previous space; hide the end inside other stitches. Thread the needle with a new length of thread; from the back, run the needle up under the knot just tied, pull through to 4" before the end; tie the end to secure and proceed with the next ring. Come back later and hide the ends.
To attach a new thread (to begin a new step or section), thread the needle with a new length of thread; from the back, run the needle up through the designated area, pull the thread through to the front of the work and tie the end to secure, then proceed as instructed.
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