Start Tatting by making single knots and double knots!
Wind shuttle with thread, leave 18” of thread free, end hanging down. Hold shuttle in right hand so that pointed end is facing left hand and the thread is coming from back of shuttle (fig 1). If shuttle has a hook on point, the open side of hook should face you. Hold shuttle with thumb and index finger in horizontal position with the other three fingers on a level with the index finger.
With left thumb and index finger pick up free end of thread, end facing down (fig 2). Spread the other three fingers, pass the thread over them.
Bring thread around and place in parallel position between thumb and index fingers. Bend the 4th and little fingers to catch the thread against the palm (fig 3).
From here on, the thread around the left hand is called Working Thread and the shuttle thread is called Anchor Thread. Adjust the working thread so that the fingers do not feel strained. Draw anchor thread out to its full length (approx. 8”) and keep right and left hands at equal levels (fig 4).
Turn right palm towards you and pass anchor thread across palm, with your little finger under anchor thread and turn right palm back 90° to face left hand (fig 5).
Double Knot — First Half of the Double Knot. Bring shuttle towards left hand, pass shuttle under working thread, bring it back over working thread and under anchor thread (fig 6).
Note: When you pass the shuttle under working thread, allow working thread to slip between shuttle and right index finger.
Release tension of working thread around left hand by relaxing last 3 fingers only. Never release grip of thumb and index finger, at the same time pull anchor thread taut. This allows the loop to be formed onto the anchor thread (fig 7). All knots are always made onto the anchor thread. Therefore, you should always be able to freely slide the knots over the anchor thread. If by mistake you make the knot with the anchor thread, you have locked yourself in, as the anchor thread will no longer slide. Undo the last knot with the point of your shuttle or your crochet hook and proceed.
Slowly bring 3 left fingers back into position, thus resuming tension and sliding the first half knot into position close to thumb and index finger (fig 8).
Second Half of Double Knot — To complete the double knot move shuttle towards left hand, pass it over working thread (fig 9) and bring it back under working thread and over anchor thread (fig 10). Again release tension of working thread around left hand by relaxing last 3 fingers only. Do not release grip of thumb and index finger.
At the same time, pull anchor thread taut and hold it in this position. Slowly bring the 3 left fingers back into position, thus resuming tension and sliding second half of double knot in place, as close as possible to first half of double knot (fig 11).
You have now completed the Double Knot, The basic knot of Tatting! (fig 12).
Bring your hands back into position and begin the next double knot (fig 13). Make 4 double knots, which should be even and uniform. As you progress, check from time to time to make sure that your anchor thread is freely movable through the knots.