A flat tatting shuttle may cause the first time user some awkwardness. The flat shuttle is wound end to end as the design allows. It is held in the same manner as a regular two-bladed tatting shuttle with the thumb on the bottom and at least one finger on the top. The tatter should be careful not to stress the points of a flat shuttle.
The tatting stitch is called the double stitch. It is made in two steps. Normally, the first half stitch is made by laying the thread over the right hand (or whichever hand holds the shuttle) coming from the side farthest from the tatter, up over the back of the hand. The little finger may be used to add tension to the thread. The tatting shuttle then moves toward the opposite hand and the space between the pinch and the middle finger, i.e., the working area. The shuttle passes under the working thread, upwards and then back over the thread. With a snap of the wrist the shuttle is brought back to the starting position, the flip or transfer of the loop occurs and the half stitch is complete.
It is this first half stitch series of movements that may cause the tatter difficulty. To avoid the feeling of awkwardness and to prevent the shuttle from snagging the thread, the tatter may use an alternate movement. To begin the first half stitch, carry the shuttle over to the working hand and lay the loop of thread on the opposite hand. Then take the shuttle under the working thread , up and back. Again, the thread is tightened and the transfer of the loop occurs completing the first half stitch.
Making the second half stitch is done in the exact same manner as with a regular tatting shuttle. The thread dangles freely below the shuttle which moves toward the working area, over the working thread, down into the hole and back under the working thread. Once again, with a flip of the wrist the shuttle is brought back to the starting position, transfer of the loop occurs and the half stitch is complete.
Curiously, this method was described in issues of the "Modern Priscilla" magazine in the early 1900's. It was called the "modern" way to tat!