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Oeillet, Oval, Circle, and Loop all mean Ring.

Oeillet, Oval, Circle, and Loop all mean Ring.

Cover of Mlle Riego's 1867 Royal Tatting Book

In our research of tatting we have encountered the word "oeillet(s)." We have learned that "Oeillet" is a term found in early vintage tatting patterns. As used in tatting, oeillet indicates a ring. Lace, in essence, is a hole surrounded by thread. Oeillet fits that definition perfectly. It is a small hole which is defined by a line of thread. In tatting patterns it may be found with the terms, dot (a small ring) or Josephine Knot/ring (a small ring of single stitches.) Also used with the term "pearl" or "pearl loop" to mean a picot.

In Mlle Riego's (see below) sixth book, The Royal Tatting Book, 1867, the second pattern, "Edging, Lily of the Valley Pattern," uses the word oeillet, along with loop, oval and circle all to indicate a "ring." With so many terms changing over the years, it can be confusing when the tatter begins to work or modernize this type of pattern. Thank goodness, an illustration was included.

Cover of Mlle Riego's 1867 Royal Tatting Book

The illustration above is inverted from the original to make it easier to follow these revised directions. The edging starts with the large upper ring on the left of the edging. The opposite side, often called a header for sewing purposes, has all the same size rings which are sewn down to material afterwards. Note that the picots are sewn down together and not joined while tatting.

start with large ring
R 3 - 5 (- 2) x4, - 5 - 3 close ring (clr) reverse work (rw)

*small header ring has two picots which are extra long (lp)
R 3 - (lp) 3 - (lp) 3 clr leave 3/8" bare thread space rw

5 small rings
R 4 + (join to last p of the large ring) 4 clr leave small space of bare thread
R 4 + (join to next p of the large ring) 4 clr leave very small space of bare thread
R 10 clr leave very small space of bare thread
R 4 - 4 clr , join to thread between second and first small rings leave very small space of bare thread
R 4 - 4 clr , join to thread below first small ring leave 3/8" bare thread space rw

small header ring has two picots which are extra long (lp)
R 3 - (lp) 3 - (lp) 3 clr leave 3/8" bare thread space rw

large ring
R 3 + (join to small ring adjacent)5 + (join to next ring)(- 2) x4, - 5 - 3 clr rw

*repeat from * for desired length joining large ring to the previous small rings three and four, etc.

The works of Mlle. Eleonore Riego de la Branchardiere.
Mlle. Riego published her first book, "Knitting, Crochet and Netting" at the age of 12 in 1846. She went on to publish 72 books on the needle arts of which 13 were tatting books (11 books and 2 reprints.) Mlle Riego began with borders and insertions in tatting and went on to create gold-medal award winning tatting featured at the world expositions 1851, 1855, 1862 and 1872. All of her books are in public domain and may be downloaded free. See links at:


The Simple Book of Tatting, 1850
The Tatting Book, 1850
Golden Stars in Tatting and Crochet [Etoile Dorée in Tatting], 1861
Tatting Edges and Insertions, 1861
The Exhibition Tatting Book, 1862
The Royal Tatting Book, 1864, 1867
The Complete Tatting Book, 1866, 1867
The Pearl Tatting Book, 1866
The Lace Tatting Book 1867
The Raised Tatting Book, 1868
Lace Tatting. Tatting chapter only from the Irish Lace Instructor, 1886
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Content copyright © 2015 by Georgia Seitz. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Georgia Seitz. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Georgia Seitz for details.


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