Picots are formed by whichever stitch follows them - a picot just prior to a set of first half stitches (under) will be "up", and a picot just prior to a set of second half stitches (over) will be "down". (The books suggests memorizing this: Plain drops down; Purl stands skyward - however, that will depend on what you consider first half and second half. The 'Purl' will just be the reverse of the 'Plain'.) I practiced. It's hard to remember which half you're on :)
I was all excited about the "purl" part and thought to myself, "Oh - this is what purl tatting is." WRONG. This is a purl STITCH. Purl/Pearl tatting involves (gasp!) 3 shuttles. So, just for fun, I looked up purl and found Wikipedia says: In older tatting and crocheting patterns, picots were sometimes specified as purls, purl stitches, or pearl stitches. These specifications are not to be confused with the reverse stitch known as a purl inknitting. WHAT? I thought I just learned that the purl stitch was exactly the reverse of the plain. Like in knitting.
No wonder tatting is so blasted confusing! Or is it ME that makes it so much harder to understand? I always need to understand things backward and forward. I do tend to make things more difficult than they need to be.
In all that trying to study and understand, I didn't get any actual tatting completed. But I did spend some time sewing more armchair caddies:
and devoured this wonderful book in two days:
And to finish my weekend, I will spend this afternoon celebrating the 50th Wedding Anniversary of my dear Godparents. This will be the sixth 50th Anniversary celebration of 7 brothers/sisters in my mom's family. How wonderful is that?