To understand the mechanics of the needle tatting technique, take a pencil or one chopstick and some thread. Begin with a loop of thread as shown in the photos, bend the loop forward so it lays on top of the thread tails, and insert the chopstick under the sides of the loop and over the two threads in the center. Exit under the loop on the opposite side. Grasp the two tails and pull straight down and the "double stitch" tightens up on the chopstick. This "double stitch" gives the appearance of the "luggage tag loop."
Here are the basic concepts:
Using this basic double stitch, there are two styles of tatting to be created. First, all rings such as are the equivalent of "one-shuttle" work. And, second, rings and chains such as are made with a shuttle and ball thread or two shuttles. In needle tatting all rings or "one-shuttle" work, is accomplished by threading the needle with a cut length of thread (length determined by project in hand.
Rings with chains will be worked from a ball of thread of which the end and a certain length is threaded thru the eye of the needle. The length of thread pulled thru will be determined first by the size of the project and second by the awkwardness of pulling too long a tail thru the stitches each time. The more thread you have to pull through, each time the greater the fraying of the thread and the less attractive the lace produced.
Now that you have understood the basic construction of the double stitch in needle tatting, you are ready to try the real thing. Please continue to Needle Tatting Practicing the Double Stitch.
1. Begin with a loop of thread
2. Fold loop over onto itself; one loop faces right and one loop faces left
3. Insert pencil, chopstick or tatting needle under the sides of the loop and over the two tails in the middle
4. Pull down on the tails of the thread; note how the ds tightens up to the chopstick