If you like delicate crochet, you’ll love cro-tatting. I’ve seen this done ‘up close and personal’ from my friend Vicki Owen. We only get to see each other a couple times a year, but Vicki always shows up with some wonderful new design, employing her cro-tatting talents. She swears by her Japanese hooks, ones which you’ll not find at the usual outlets. She loved cro-tatting enough that she invested in this unique but costly set of hooks.
Traditional tatting is done with shuttles. Shuttles can still be purchased at many craft stores, but there is a great market in the many forms of antique shuttles, bone, ivory, tortoise shell, etc. Another form of tatting is with a longish needle with a large eye – large enough to carry size 10 thread to make delicate knots and picots using the needle and a finger. Cro-tatting is distinct from these other forms in that it combines the flexibility of crochet and the ease of use of a crochet hook. Cro-tatting hooks are typically longer than traditional crochet hooks, more the length of a tunisian hook, but with a long, tapered shaft. The cro-tatting hooks sold at Annies Attic have plastic handles. The expensive Japanese hooks used by Vicki Owen and other ‘serious’ cro-tatters are tapered metal hooks that look very much like plain ole’ crochet hooks, but are shaped a bit differently.
I actually took a needle tatting class at the Missouri Fiber Festival one year. It was fun and I ‘got’ it. But, I’m not one who typically creates ‘fru-fru’ items. I much more the practical type so I didn’t see a great way for me to fit another craft in my repertoire. However, one can make really dainty embellishments for garments as well as accompaniments to scrapbooking and other paper crafts. So, if you enjoy scrapbooking, you might want to give this a whirl.
Here are some sites where you can get a good look at some of the lovely cro-tatted projects:
Below is a course image from the Godey’s Lady’s Book showing a sample row of cro-tatting.
There are far better pictures on some websites out there. Check out some of the links I’ve posted above. You may fall in love with the crochet hybrid the same way Vicki Owen did!
By jd wolfe