Saturday, August 4, 2012

Instructions In Tatting

There is no branch of ornamental work in which such great improvements have been made during the last few years as in tatting; in which formerly a mere simple edging, consisting a series of scallops, with or without loops at the edge, was all that was ever attempted; whilst now, not only many various edgings of complicated forms, but collars, sleeves, infants' caps and many other ornamental articles are made entirely in tatting.

The implements employed are, a shuttle and a pin, the latter joined by a fine chain to a ring which is slipped on the thumb. For this, which is generally too thick, and, being made of brass - not very nice in warm weather - we substitute a thick rug needle, suspended to the thumb by a loop of silk braid.

The shuttle is represented on an enlarged scale in the engraving. It is generally made of ivory or bone; but for very fine tatting a netting needle will be found more convenient. The space between the sides of the shuttle is greatly exaggerated in the engraving for the sake of showing it with clearness. The points almost touch in the best shuttles, although, being flexible, the thread slips between them. The end of the thread is slipped through the hole seen in the shaft and tied; and then the thread is wound round until the sides are quite filled up.

Fig 1 is the shuttle; it is then ready for working by a process shown in the engraving.

Fig 2 shows the way the hands are held before any stitch is formed. The end of thread is held between the thumb and forefinger of the left hand, and the shuttle in the right. Pass the thread round the extended fingers of the left hand and bring it up again between the finger and thumb (some people do not pass it round the little finger; we do and think it an improvement.) There is a space between the fore and middle finsers.

Fig 3 Drop the thread in a loop in front of the left hand and pass the shuttle down between the fingers.

Fig 4 Draw the shuttle through with a slight jerk, which throws the knot or loop on the circle of thread, and bring out the shuttle so that the thread from it to the left hand is in a straight line.

Fig 5 Still keeping the thread so contract the fingers and work up he loop close to the thumb.

Fig 6 Shows the stitch of figure 6 also which is made by throwin the thread lightly over the finger of the left hand and pasng the shuttle up between the fingers and under the bar Diw it out as before holding the thread tight and even and woiing up the loop to the thumb

Fig fehows the hands ready to recommence the first stitch the tweoeine worked alternately

Fig 9 shows the drawing up of the loop and figure 6 to which return the loop drawn up into the form of a small scallop ither a circle semi circle or a deep dent

Fig 11 Fig i Bhows the needle and braid chain suspended from the thumb ya loop of braid.

Hithrto, no use has been made of the pin. Its use is to make te small picots or loops which ornament the edges of some the patterns In figures 12 and 13 we see the effects produtd in tatting with or without the pin Both are what is called he trefoil or shamrock pattern three loops all drawn quite ose and worked as close to each other as possible.

They have each about 12 double stitches one each way in figurel 2 they are done quite plain In figure 13 after 4 stitches the pint of the pin is held parallel with and close above the topoithe loops and before the next stitch is begun the thread stretoed round the fingers is laid over the pin The double stitclis then worked as usual and the thread passed over again befor the next making a picot each time The pin is not re movd until just before the loop is drawn up when a picot is fouri for every time the thread has passed over it

Fig 14 shows a succession of large plain loops of the old fashoned sort.

Fig 15 The loops here are irregular one of 10 double stifehes being followed by another of 20 both drawn up pretty cloely and then one of 26 is not drawn up nearly so much and is fterwards made into the form seen by means of a needle anc thread

Fig 16 shows a succession of Bbamrocks which may be made inb a collar cuff or any other article For the sake of distinct neB they are engraved detached but in working you join thnn wherever they touch For instance when doing the scond join it to the first by the two loops which are so close tofether thus instead of making a fresh picot at those places dnw the circle of thread sufficiently through the opposite piiot for the shuttle to pass through it which dene tighten it bj stretching over the fingers again and proceeding with the next stitch reckoning this join as a picot In this way do one rcw and when making the second row join the loops not only to each other but to those of the first row

Fig 17 This is a very beautiful medallion a succession of which would make an exquisite collar Begin in the centre vitb a large loop of 20 double stitches with a picot after every fdtch Without reaking off your thread but just carrying i through one of the picots work the loops surrounding it leginning with a large one at the point of the oval 7 double icot 2 double picot 2 double picot 7 double Draw it up tightly carry the thread through one picot of the centre and to the next when do a small one 6 double picot 5 double Draw it up and pass to the next which make the same There are 2 large and 8 small loops in the round Fasten off the thread and do the small rings which encircle it each of which must be done separately the thread cut between it and the next and each joined as it is worked to the picots of the inner round and to the last ring

Fig 18 A cluster of stars each having for a centre a ring of 12 double with a picot every second stitch They are to be joined wherever practicable to those surrounding them

We have spoken of double stitches to make it clearer to the reader that we mean one stitch in each direction but in fact these make one only combined and are properly therefore but one stitch

The size of the loops depends on the cotton employed. Ten stitches in No 8 cotton will make a very different loop to the same stitches in No 30. Evans's Tatting Cotton has been made expressly for this work which requires great strength and smoothness combined, and it should be employed for all articles of underlinen; but for collars and cuffs the Boar's Head Cotton is better, No 16, 20 or 24.

From Frank Leslie's Monthly Magazine 1860