Now, there are nay sayers and boohooers about needle tatting, I personally learned needle tatting at the same time I learned shuttle tatting.
Initially I had gone back and forth between the two methods, but I eventually landed on shuttle tatting as my primary way of tatting. I find needle tatting to be softer in feel on a finished piece, and it is also easier to work in larger threads with a needle (at least it is for me). It definitely lends itself more towards the larger pieces that Totusmel is so well known for. Shuttle tatting I find to be more precise, there is a lot of tieing or SLT's in needle tatting, and working with two shuttles accomplishes that more cleanly, and the transitions are more exact.
My recent foray back into the world of needle tatting was initially inspired by Jessica Spaulding and her 3-D flowers. You may remember seeing a picture of her in my shuttlebirds post, anyway, she was gracious enough to share her instructions with me. Her method involves making rings that join together, and then they spiral around and you tie it together with a bead to finish. Very simple, gets the job done quite nicely. I like the flowers to be larger on the clippies I was making, but I was running into a problem with the final rings being unweildy when tatted large enough to make the size flower I wanted. Also, I couldn't figure out how to get her flowers to finish nicely without the bead. I was thinking about making some baby headbands, but I am wary of putting beads on an item that small fingers may try to pry apart. So I thought about it for some time, and eventually settled on a different method of constructing the flowers that uses chains instead of rings, and I am needle tatting them with size 10 thread to achieve the size that I want. Pictured above, you can see a finished baby headband, as well as another large pink flower, and a smaller flower done in size 20.
So yes, I do believe that needle tatting is a wonderful extention of the art of tatting, I would encourage all to try both and see what they like, even if it is only to see and understand the differences and similarities. I think in the future I may post some comparisons, but that will wait for another day. children must be fed!
Dr. Vonthreadmore sends her regards, she is patiently waiting for me to find the time to wind her some thread......