"An Encyclopedia of Tatting" by Svetlana Ivanona Anni
S.I. Anni's "Encyclopedia of Tatting" is a lavishly illustrated instructional tatting book with full color photographs on every page, hb, 78 pages, Russian, pub. 2007. It begins with the expected tutorials on the method of how to tat with a shuttle and builds to a large section on tatting patterns for clothing, accessories and jewelry. A large part of the book concerns tatting for everyday household items and ends with a bit of design inspiration as part of a tatting collage picture.
The photographs and diagrams of both the tutorial sections and the patterns are all very easy to understand and follow. (You might want to print off a Russian - English Tatting Terms guide such as that from the Nina Kurbatskaya book when you begin.) There are some minor detractions such as the poor thread (i.e., picots which are fraying or unraveling), uneven tension and lack of regularity in spacing. However, all the important bits are there. It is unfortunate that the "up" join is taught without a note about the preferred "down" join. Some of the samples and models are stretched out of proper proportion but the diagrams make it so clear as to what is intended there is no hesitation about working the pattern.
Sample of pattern
Style of pattern diagram
Try not to be distracted by the lack of blocking and the several misshapen models. The patterns are basic traditional type patterns good for gaining experience. As is common among European tatters, many of the patterns are shown used for clothing. Vests, collar and cuffs, vie for attention among bell bottom trouser legs with tatted insertions, sweaters and scarfs. Lovely household items are pictured with lace edgings and table decorations.
Overall, this is an admirable effort. So many of these patterns would be stunning had these tatters the benefit of the wonderful hard-twisted threads we have available to us in the USA (and elsewhere.)
Nota Bene: I acquired this book for my personal tatting book reference library. G. Seitz.