Here's the key to reading the abbreviations used in a tatting pattern.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Embroidery Scissors
- Tatting Needles
- Tatting Shuttles
- Tatting Thread
- Crochet Hooks
- Fabric Stiffeners
- Sewing Needles
- Tapestry Needles
Recognize the basics: r(s) = ring(s); ch(s) = chain(s); p(s) = picot(s). Picots can be: sm p = small picot; lg p = large picot; or designated by just a - (dash) = picot.
Learn the verbs: j = join; cl = close; lp = loop; rw = reverse work; sp = leave a space; and sep = separated.
Move on: jk = Josephine Knot; sr = split ring; and ds = double stitch. A number before ds will tell you how many double stitches to make.
Use shuttle one with s1; shuttle two with s2.
Identify individual rings or chains by the alphabetical letters, A, B, C and so on.
Know that beg = beginning; prev = previous; * = repeat instructions after an asterisk for a specified number of times; ( ) = repeat instructions between parentheses for a specified number of times; and . (a period) = close the ring or the end of the chain.
Use the continuous thread method when you see ctm.
Tips and warnings
- "Reverse work" is to turn the work upside down. "Turn work" is to turn the work side to side, like turning a page in a book. In most old patterns, you'll see "Turn," and they meant rw.