Sunday, October 23, 2011

Celtic Tatting

. . . or Celtic Comedy? 

Michelle, her daughter and I met to tat yesterday, and we decided to work on the Tatted Celtic Knot Pumpkin.  Michelle has done some celtic tatting before - I have never tried it.  Looked waaaaay too hard.  But looking at this little pumpkin pattern, my gosh!  It's just a long chain with a little weaving.  How hard could that be?  I believe the words "whiz right through it" were mentioned :)

So, we got our orange and green threads all picked out and proceeded to tat that stem and long chain.  First, we found that the pattern for the stem is a little wonky.  Not hard to fix - it's just a clover.  I made my chain extra long, anticipating it would be easier to weave into that celtic knot.  And we spent a couple of hours TRYING to weave the dang pumpkin.  Michelle's daughter gave up after awhile and went back to her original tatting project.  I'm sure she thought her mom and I were crazy - both chattering away trying to figure out this 1.5 inch diameter knot.  Ha!  We left, deciding to study this knot more at home. 

It drove me bonkers.  Once I got home, I had to figure it out.  I watched some videos on the internet about celtic weaving, and realized that there really isn't "a way" to do it - you just have to weave whatever pattern you are working on.  Ugh. That didn't help.  So I looked at the pattern again, and did it with some larger cord.  Voila!

I think this is it!

Back to the pumpkin.  Originally, I was trying to hold the center ring of the knot at the stem where it should end up.  After using the cord, I realized that you have to weave both ends of your piece around, ending up back at the top center.  Which means that the stem end needs to be woven too - not held in place.  That changed everything.  Besides, the pattern directions state that the "green clover will weave through the knot with some care."  Duh.  It doesn't say hold the green clover in place and try to weave around it.

I am a very visual learner, so I took pictures of each step.  Mostly so I can do it again - but also to show anyone else interested in celtic tatting.  It isn't what I thought - but now I don't even know what I thought it was!

A Celtic Comedy.

I think I've got it now!  I wonder if I can make another one?


  1. I am full of admiration. The celtic knots could have me committed... you know where! Great idea to try with cord. Also, I used a little safety pin on the lead end on the last one I tried, to weave with and it really helped.
    Fox : )

  2. Now I feel intimidated! Do I dare open my Celtic tatting books? Maybe when I have some undisturbed time, I'll try it out. : )

  3. I love the look of celtic tatting, but have yet to try it. I just got a book on celtic patterns. Thanks for posting this.

  4. I very much appreciate this tutorial and explanation!

    Apparently there are at least two types of 'Celtic tatting'. The first is the 'easier' one (to me), where layers of 'normal' tatting are cleverly interwoven , such as Sue Hanson's 5-pont Celtic motif, or Rosemarie Peel's celtic motif, or LaRae McKulecky's bookmark using on a split-ring base.

    Then there is the woven, "very-long-chain" concept, developed by Rozella Linden (and others?). It's VERY effective, but it appears you have to tat the chain to a SPECIFIC length for the pattern, and I have often wondered how the chain stays 'controllable'. It seems that using a small paper clip for one end for the weaving would be the way to go.

    I have Rozella's 'Celtic Tatting' book but it has intimidated me, even though the book is well illustrated. You've confirmed my theories of how it is generally accomplished!

  5. Wonderful! I believe I have this started somewhere....waiting patiently for me to come back to it. I'll get to it now!

  6. Congratulations on figuring this out. I haven't tried much Celtic tatting, either, so this is a great help. And it looks so cute when it's done!

  7. This little pumpkin looks fantastic!

  8. Hi Bluebird, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way about celtic tatting! Looks simple as you say, just one loooong chain but then... trying to make it look like the tidy celtic woven knot that it should be.... that's another story! Thanks for your post on this, I might give it another try!
    All good wishes,

  9. I love this pattern, and I can see why it drove you nuts, I have one one pattern in celtic tatting and I think I will try this one, I think before I get though it it will drive me nuts too. thanks for sharing your wonderful little story.

  10. I had the same problems with this pattern. Even the green leaves. It is still sitting in my sample drawer after so many times of trying to put it together i just gave up. Now i can get it out and put it together. Thanks for the pictures of making it work. I hate giving up on things. Ya your right it was a comedy of errors putting this thing together.

  11. Here I am 3 years after this post going through the same thing yesterday and today and I get online looking for a different pumpkin pattern and find this! Thank you and prayerfully I will get it right tonight! :)


Thanks for your thoughts - I read and appreciate every one!