Tatting is a lace technique that involves wrapping thread around one or two shuttles and using the shuttles to guide the thread into patterns of knots to create rings and chains in delicate designs. A space between the knots forms small picots, which are used both as decoration and to merge different parts with each other.
Because knots are knots, it’s not forgiving handwork. If you make a mistake, it is difficult to undo. Sometimes there is nothing else to do but to cut the thread and try to repair or redo from the beginning.
Nevertheless, I think it’s so amazingly fun that I’ll never stop tatting. 

There are several internet sites describing how to tat. A couple of my favourites are the Youtube videos made by  Frivole (Joelle Paulson), and Georgia Seitz all of which are very good. 

Shuttles are available in several different variants and materials.
They are available in plastic, metal, bone and wood. Some are beautiful little artefacts, some fun to handle and work with, while others are cold, hard and not so nice.

These plastic shuttles are excellent, and they were the ones I used when I learned to tat.

The shuttles with a pick tip at the end are my favourites. The tip can be used instead of a crochet hook to connect picots to each other. These are also riveted in the middle, which means that you do not drop them as easily.
The shuttle in turtle-imitated plastic is pleasant to work with, soft and comfortable to hold.

Shuttle in plastic with a crochet hook at the end and with a bobbin in the middle. It is great to use once you get used to the hook.

The metal variant, also with a crochet hook at the end, is not one of my favourites. It is cold, sharp and hard to hold.

And then there are shuttles that are so beautiful, almost too beautiful to use.

I inherited some antique shuttles from my father, who was also the one teaching me how to tat. He had a bone shuttle, a wooden painted shuttled and a turtle-shell shuttle with a pearl inlay.

These beautiful shuttles I bought as a gift to myself from LaCosette (Joelle Paulson) on Etsy. She makes the most exquisite shuttles, I wish I could buy all of them! 

This shuttle I bought from LacyLife  (Cigdem Yerli). Being a cat person, I must have a shuttle with a cat on it! 

We have many names for the things we love:
This is what tatting is called in other languages: 

Chinese – 梭子蕾絲
Czech – frivolitky
Danish – orkis
Dutch – frivolité, frivolitet
English – tatting
Estonian – süstikpitsi, süstikpits
Finnish – frivoliteetti, sukkulapitsi, käpyily
French – frivolité
German – occhi, schiffchenarbeit, schiffchenspitze, frivolität
Greek – πλέξιμο δαντέλας
Hungarian – frivolitás, hajócsipke
Indonesian – perendaan
Italian – chiacchierino
Japanese – タティングレース
Korean – 태팅
Norwegian – nuperelle
Polish – frywolitki, frywolitka
Russian – фриволите
Spanish – frivolité
Swedish – frivolitet
Turkish – mekik oyasi