a row of holes left or created in lace or embroidery, suitable for threading a ribbon or drawstring.

(If you could trace it back far enough, this would probably turn out to be the same word as the "beading" which means the sewing-on of beads.  Beaded tatting is touched on lightly in the Twelfth Exercise.)

in mechanics, the place where a stationery part supports a moving part.  If there is nothing between the two parts, it is called a "plain" or "simple" bearing.  An example: needleworkers often make a thread dispenser by impaling a spool on a knitting needle thrust through a shoebox.  The needle and the hole in the spool constitute a "plain bearing."

a formation made with two separate threads so that it does not have to end where it began.

three rings joined side-by-side without any space between their bases.  You may refer to a similar formation of N rings as an N-leaf clover.  Defined in the Second Exercise.

continuous thread:
see Encyclopedic Index.

rings pointing outward from a central ring.  They are joined together at the sides, and the threads between rings are joined to the picots of the central ring.  Discussed in the Fifth Exercise.

double stitch:
the basic unit of tatting.  On the right side, it's a plain followed by a purl.  On the wrong side, it's a purl followed by a plain.

abbreviation for "double stitch".

a strip of lace intended to be sewn to an edge.  Loosely, any long, narrow strip of lace.

false chain:
an imitation of tatting made by using the shuttle to tie knots over the ball thread, the way one works up-and-down buttonhole with a needle.  It's useful in producing dead ends and odd vertices.  See Seventeenth Exercise and Encyclopedic Index.

false ring:
a proposed term for a ring made by the same technique as the false chain.  Like a mock ring, a false ring can have other rings springing off it as if they were picots.

false tatting:
a proposed term for lace made of false chains and false rings.  It has been called "reverse tatting" and "wrong-way tatting," but both these terms also refer to other techniques.

half hitch:
an overhand knot in the form of a single turn around an object.  There are two half-hitches which are mirror images of each other.  The plain is one of these half-hitches, the purl is the other, and the square knot is one of each.

The method of tightening is all that determines whether a half hitch will be a half-stitch or a half knot.  In the half-stitch, one thread is straight and the other takes a turn around it.  In the half-knot, the threads are pulled equally so that the threads wind around each other.  See Illustrations of Knots.

half knot:
Either half of a square knot.  See Illustrations of Knots.

half ring:
a ring drawn not quite closed, so that it forms a semi-circle.  It is seldom used in contemporary designs.

half stitch:
a mateless plain or purl.

an edging that can be sewn down by both edges.  See "edgings" in the Encyclopedic Index.

inverted rosette:
rings joined at the tips and sides so that they look like a rosette.  See fourth exercise.

josephine chain:
I suggest the name "Josephine Chain" for chains made of all plain or all purl, so that the stitches spiral around the core.  Such a chain lies straight, making it suitable for depicting candles, and it's the same on all sides, like a flower stem.  Picots are seldom used on this chain, because they may lie in any plane and are difficult to predict.

josephine ring or josephine knot:
a ring made of all plain or all purl stitches.  The stitches have a strong tendency to twist.  See How to Learn How to Make Rings.

lark's head:
a seaman's knot which looks like the double stitch, but is tied by a different method.  Also called "ring hitch," "cow hitch," and "girth hitch." See Illustrations of Knots.

link picot:
a very small picot used for joining and not intended to be visible.

magic thread:
a name sometimes given to the thread used to draw an end inside a chain or ring.  See "end disposal" in the Encyclopedic Index.

mock ring:
a chain joined to its own tail to simulate a ring.  See Tenth Exercise.

needle tatting:
a form of air embroidery in which stitches are cast onto a needle, by means of which a thread is drawn through them.  If the stitches cast on are pairs of half hitches, a lace indistinguishable from tatting can be produced, hence the name.  Many other needle laces require that the work be tacked to a temporary foundation, but needle tatting is worked entirely in the air, as tatting and crochet are.

If you frequently use thread you find too thick or too soft for comfortable tatting, consider learning to needle tat.

Do not confuse needle tatting with tatting with a needle, in which a needle replaces the shuttle for convenience in working false chains, or to allow the thread to be passed through a picot.

node stitch:
see Encyclopedic Index.

Elgiva Nicholls, author of Tatting Technique and History, Dover, 1984, republication of Tatting, 1962.

overhand knot:
In mathematics, the simplest possible knot in all its forms.  In seamanship, this knot is tied in the end of a rope as a "stopper." We ought to call the mirror image of an overhand knot an underhand knot, but instead we say that the overhand knot comes in two forms.  See "half hitch."

a loop of thread made by leaving a space between stitches

One of the two half-hitches used in tatting.  It is the mirror image of a purl.  See "How to Plain and Purl."

One of the two half-hitches used in tatting.  It is the mirror image of a plain.  We use the same word to refer to the smooth bumps along the outside edge of a chain or ring; perhaps the purl got its name because the purl appears when you make it.  (At least we no longer refer to the picot as a "purl" too!)

purling pin:
see Encyclopedic Index.

my made-up word for the four-leaf clover used in the rosette of rosettes.  It's latin for "four leaf."

right side:
the side of tatting on which you work the plain before the purl.  See Fourth Exercise.

a circular formation made by knotting the thread over a loop of itself.

rings joined side by side until they form a closed circle, with the last ring joined to the first.  Its resemblance to the clover is discussed in the Second Exercise.

a fine awl used in needlework.  A stout darning needle will do, and a corsage pin comes in handy.

sewing bird:
a clamp used in hand sewing and other needlework.  Some elegant models are in the form of a bird which opens its beak when you squeeze its tail.  A wooden spring-type clothespin tied or nailed and glued to some sort of support makes a cheap and efficient sewing bird.  In rope tatting, a sewing bird replaces your middle finger to enlarge rings so that an oversize shuttle can pass through.

As an adjective, refers to lace made of rings and spaces only, without using a ball thread or a second shuttle.  Though single-shuttle lace is challenging to design, making it is particularly suitable for soothing nerves.

a bare thread left between rings.

split chain:
see "False Chain," Encyclopedic Index.

split ring:
see "False Chain," Encyclopedic Index.

square knot:
a pair of half-hitches tightened a certain way.  If you pull both ends of the same cord in a square knot, so as to straighten that cord, the other cord will form a double stitch on the first cord.  It is possible, but less easy, to straighten the other cord and transfer the double stitch to the first cord.  When you are first learning, it is all too easy to transform half a double stitch into half a square knot.

The granny knot and the thief knot, which are sometimes tied by mistake for the square knot, are also made of two half hitches.  The granny knot is two of the same half-hitch, instead of a pair.  The thief knot is a square knot with the long ends diagonally opposite one another, so that the knot loosens when you expect it to tighten.  See Illustrations of Knots.

single rings intended to be glued to paper.  See "How to learn how to Make Rings" in the introduction, and "Letter Paper" and "Pocket Work" in the Encyclopedic Index.

toggle knot:
a lark's head secured by a pin which may be removed to release the knot.  Often used in mooring boats.  See Illustrations of Knots.

three-leaf clover

up-and-down buttonhole:
an embroidery stitch which duplicates tatting.  See "False Chains" in the Encyclopedic Index and Exercise Seventeen, and the illustrations in "How to Plain and Purl."

a single-shuttle medallion made by working two circles of rings in one round, with the same number of rings in each circle.  In the classic wheel, the inner circle is joined to a central ring.  The simple wheel is discussed in the Fourth Exercise and the classic wheel is discussed in the Sixth Exercise.

wrong side:
the side of tatting on which you work the purl before the plain.  See Fourth Exercise.

«»«»«»«»«» «»«»«»«»«» «»«»«»«»«»

Appendix 1:  How to Plain and Purl  »
Appendix 2:  Encyclopedic Index  »
Appendix 3:  Illustrations of Knots  »
Appendix 5:  Bibliography  »
«   Back to Table of Contents
«   Back to Joy's Needlework