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How to read tatting patterns

How to read tatting patterns, or how I write my tatting tutorials

Hello everyone! I recently received an email asking me to help my FB friend learn to read tatting patterns. Oh, this is a very broad topic! Of course, I’ll try not to tire you too much! But I have prepared several versions of instructions that are in the books on tatting by different authors. So, the diagram we are going to look at today is very simple. I created this snowflake specifically for this post.

How to read tatting patterns
How to read tatting patterns

Before we start weaving, let’s take a look at a few example instructions. Of course, before starting work, you must carefully learn the Abbreviation. Some terms may differ from another author, but the basic elements are always the same. These are Ring, Chain and Picot. I am not covering more complex elements in this pattern. I will not name the authors who I took as templates for writing instructions for ethical reasons. You will need: two shuttles or a tatting needle, white thread # 10, a crochet hook, scissors and a good mood!

Example 1.

Abbreviation: Number = number of double stitches between the picots, R = ring, C = chain, + = joining, 1 X 4 = 1 – 1 – 1 – 1, 2 X 6 = 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2, – = picot
Number of shuttles: One, and second thread
Row 1
Shuttle 1: R: 5 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 5. Repeat 3 times.
Row 2:
Shuttle 1:R: 2 – 1 X 4 – 2 + 6 – 2. R: 2 + 6 + 2 – 1 X 4 – 2.
Shuttle 2: C: 3 – 2 – 2 – 2. R: 2 + 2 X 6 – 2. C: 2 + 2 – 2 – 3.
Shuttle 1: R: 5 + 5.
Shuttle 2: C: 3 – 2 – 2 – 2. R: 2 + 2 X 6 – 2. C: 2 + 2 – 2 – 3.
Repeat 3 times.

I really like these instructions for their brevity. But I think you will agree with me that it is too difficult for beginner tatters. You may ask: where does the work start, when to turn the work? This is where the difficulty lies.

Example 2.

Abbreviations: R = ring, cl = close, Ch = chain, – = picot, rv = reverse work, DNR = do not reverse, + = join
Row One:
R: 5 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 5 cl DNR
Repeat 3 times.
Row Two:
✼ R: 2 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 2 + ( to Ring of Row 1) 6 – 2 cl DNR
R: 2 + ( to previous Ring) 6 + ( to next Ring of Row 1 ) 2 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – 2 cl rv
Ch: 3 – 2 – 2 – 2 DNR
R: 2 + ( to previous Chain ) 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 cl DNR
Ch: 2 + ( to previous Ring ) 2 – 2 – 3 rv
R: 5 + ( to Ring of Row 1 )5 cl rv
Ch: 3 – 2 – 2 – 2 DNR
R: 2 + ( to previous Chain ) 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 – 2 cl DNR
Ch: 2 + ( to previous Ring ) 2 – 2 – 3 rv
Repeat from ✼ 3 times.

In my opinion, there is no need to write “close” at the end of each Ring. After all, we see at the beginning of the combination that we need to make a ring. Thus, this Ring will be closed anyway. Perhaps you know of any cases where the ring is not closed? But will this element then be called a ring? However, these instructions indicate at the end of each element whether or not to reverse the work. This is a plus, no doubt.

Example 3.

Abbreviations: Ds – double stitch, R – ring, cl – close, Ch – chain, p – picot, jp = join
Row One:
R: 5ds, 2ds, p, 2ds, p, 2ds, p, 5, cl
Repeat 3 times.
Row Two:
✼ R: 2 ds, p, [1ds, p] 4 times, 2ds, jp to Ring of Row 1, 6 ds, p, 2ds, cl
R: 2ds, jp to previous Ring, 6ds, jp to next Ring of Row 1, 2 ds, p, [1ds, p] 4 times, 2ds, cl
C: 3ds, p, [2 ds, p] 2 times, 2ds
R: 2ds, jp to previous Chain, [2ds, p] 6 times, 2ds, cl
C: 2ds, jp to previous Ring , 2ds, p, 2ds, p, 3ds, rv
R: 5ds, jp to Ring of Row 1, 5ds, cl
C: 3ds, p, [2 ds, p] 2 times, 2ds
R: 2ds, jp to previous Chain, [2ds, p] 6 times, 2ds, cl
C: 2ds, jp to previous Ring , 2ds, p, 2ds, p, 3ds, rv
Repeat from ✼ 3 times.

This tutorial is good too, no doubt! Have you noticed that the instructions we reviewed were NOT accompanied by graphical diagrams? Of course, you can look at the photo of the finished snowflake and follow the instructions. But I prefer to combine instruction and graphical diagram in my tutorials.

Aren’t you tired yet? Be patient, because now the fun begins (because this will be my instruction, haha!)

Example 4.

So, I am showing you what my tutorials look like. Also, don’t forget to check out my store. Because I added some new patterns. https://fairylace.kozinenko.com/product-category/patterns-tutorials/

Abbreviation:
R – Ring;
PVR – previous Ring;
C – Chain;
PVC – previous Chain;
p – picot about 4 mm;
sp – picot about 1 mm;
jp – join picot;
1S – first shuttle;
2S – second shuttle;
TS – two shuttles;
tw – turn work.

Row 1

⚫ – beginning row

1S
1, 2, 3. R: 5, sp, 2, p, 2, sp, 5;

4. R: 5, sp, 2, p, 2, sp, 5, tie and cut.

This row consists of four identical rings. Pay attention to the different lengths of the picots. As a result, you should have a flower like in the photo.

Row 2
⚫ – beginning row
1S

  1. R: 2, p, 1, p, 1, p, 1, p, 1, p, 2, jp to second sp of R2 (Row1), 6, sp, 2;
  2. R: 2. jp to sp of PVR, 6, jp to first sp of R1 (Row1), 2, p, 1, p, 1, p, 1, p, 1, p, 2, tw;
    TS
  3. C ( R ) C: 3, p, 2, p, 2, sp, 2 ( 2S: 2, jp to PVC, 2, p, 2, p, 2, p, 2, p, 2, p, 2, sp, 2 ) 2, jp to PVR, 2, p, 2, p, 3, tw;
    1S
  4. 5, jp to p of R1 (Row1), 5, tw;
    TS
  5. C ( R ) C: 3, p, 2, p, 2, sp, 2 ( 2S: 2, jp to PVC, 2, p, 2, p, 2, p, 2, p, 2, p, 2, sp, 2 ) 2, jp to PVR, 2, p, 2, p, 3, tw;

This part of the pattern looks like this:

Repeat from 1 to 5 3 times, connecting the elements according to the graphic diagram.

Attention! Attach last Chain to beginning Row, tie and cut.

Congratulations! Your Snowflake is ready!

So, we looked at several options for How to read tatting patterns. Write to me in the comments which option you like more. Perhaps you would suggest making changes or additions to my instructions. I would be grateful for any comments. Thank you for your patience!
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2 thoughts on “How to read tatting patterns

  1. I like example four, fir me this is a better way for a pattern.

    1. Thank You, Margaret! I am very glad that you liked my version of the instruction. I try to make all my pattern descriptions as detailed and understandable as possible. In addition, I do not use the services of testers, and I personally test all my patterns.

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