Our first steps into shuttle tatting

This is the national uniform of Iceland

Today has been, well, special. We decided to go look for some very fine yarns for our tatting experiment while we’re waiting for our tatting supply delivery from Walmart. We really weren’t that optimistic on getting some really good yarn and were preparing ourselves to have to go store to store all afternoon. But by some kind of a miracle the first store we stumbled into had this amazing collection of Lizbeth yarn size 20, which is the yarn some girls on the tutorials we’ve been watching have been using. Well, maybe not exactly Lizbeth yarns but at least it was size 20 and I remembered that from the tutorials. The woman that was working in the store asked us what we were going to do with the yarn and we told her it was called tatting but to my amazement she knew what it was and even had some shuttles, which of course we bought, the impatient trolls we are. But apparently it’s called “Orkering”, which is the Scandinavian word for tatting, or if you’re referring to it like you’re “Tatting” it’s “Orkera” and that particular method has been used here for centuries in our old traditional “National Uniform”, imagine that! If I understood it right tatting has been used to lace the end of the shirtsleeves the girls wear and the hem I think too, maybe even used in something else, I don’t know. I really want to research this and find more information about it, it really fascinates me. 

On a side-note, when we stepped out of the store we saw the doppelganger of Cruella DeVille from 101 Dalmatians driving past us on our way to the car. It was so funny, she had the luxury car, the fur coat, the crazy white hair (not the black half though) and the shiny red lipstick and of course she drove like a maniac. The resemblance was uncanny! Just had to share that haha.

These are some of the tries we did before we found out about the “flip” thing. Not all of them though, they kept coming for a while after this photo was taken

Full of hope and excitement we rushed home, clicked on the first shuttle tatting tutorial we could find on youtube and started to tat. Well, tried to tat, we didn’t really accomplish much. When we got the hang of how to make the stitches and do it properly all kinds of other problems surfaced. For the life of us we could NOT complete one single ring, the stitches were completely stuck so we couldn’t slide them down the yarn. We tried another tutorial with other techniques but the same happened over and over again. Our frustration kept increasing and we were starting to bitch about it, almost shouting at each other, we were so annoyed. After about 1-2 hours of this we had this little pile of “stitches” that we’d cut away from the shuttle to try it all over again with the same result. Why on earth did this damn thing not work?!? I finally figured out we had to flip the loop and the next tutorial we watched confirmed that. Then everything started to be bright and shiny and we were happy and full of excitement again… for about 5 minutes. When we close a ring, how do we start another one? Do we tie a knot or just go on with the next one? How do we make chains with shuttles? Do we always need to have two shuttles while doing a chain? These questions and many, many more surfaced and I’m too tired right now to search for the answers. Double stitches and picots are all we know so far and I have a feeling that won’t get us really far.

So this is the accomplishment from today’s work; frustration, annoyance and rage-quitting with a little dash of experience along the way. We got our shuttles and few balls of yarn. And of course I have to mention it again, even though it hardly counts as accomplishment but the Cruella DeVille doppelganger was priceless!  


9 thoughts on “Our first steps into shuttle tatting

  1. Congratulations on learning shuttle tatting! That is what I started on. I think one of the hardest things in tatting is learning to flip the stitches consistently. Once you have finished a ring you do not need to tie a knot: that is only necessary for needle tatting.

    1. Ok great, thank you so much for that information! I think it’s gonna take us a little time to be able to make the flip all the time, we’ve been practicing a lot yesterday and today and we still mess up sometimes.

    1. That makes us feel a lot better, then it’s not just us doing things completely wrong hehe 🙂
      And we’ve been browsing a little through your blog and I have to say those baby shoes are SO ADORABLE!

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