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g Tatting Site

BellaOnline's Tatting Editor


September 27 2011 Tatting Newsletter

Although the method of using a needle as if it were a shuttle is not popular today it was much used during the late 19th and early 20th century. The needle is attached to the thread and then manipulated in the same manner as a shuttle. There are early patterns which are all one shuttle work, apparently, but the bare thread space between the rings has threads crossed around it or even "faux" double stitches applied over the bare thread in a blanket stitch fashion. These small spaces are too small to allow a shuttle to pass through, so a needle used as a shuttle is the most obvious method to create that effect.

Photo shared by Becky Butz-Butler

Photo shared by Becky Butz-Butler

In the detail photo of the doily, please look at the first three rows from the center. The first row is all rings which are not joined to each other, but are sewn to the cloth center. The rings appear to be R 6 - 6 clr. In the second row the rings are also R 6 - 6 clr. Here the needle is taken through the loop of the picot of the ring on the previous row. There is no join. A shuttle could not have gone through the space, so a needle used as a shuttle has to have been used here. The third row is done in the same manner.

On the outer edge, you can see similar instances of the needle slipped through a picot but you also see regular joins. A very unusual piece of tatting.

Rose Rogers has posted many fine examples of this type of tatting from the Emmanuel Bocher Tatting Book of 1912. You may need to join the group to access the file:

Here's the latest article from the Tatting site at

7 Methods of Tatting A brief overview of several methods of tatting: finger tatting, shuttle, needle, needle used as if it were a shuttle, cro-tating, Japanese hook tatting.

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Georgia Seitz, Tatting Editor

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