There seem to be so many different terms used in tatting, it is difficult to remember them all!

Here is a list of abbreviations used in patterns, followed by a list of tatting terms, for reference. If we've missed any out, please do let us know!


+ join
+(...) join to the place described in brackets
+B(...) join with a bead to place in brackets
- picot
-- long picot
-/+ picot or join, as shown in diagram
picot first time, join at repeats
B bead
C&T cut & tie
CWJ Catherine Wheel join
ch chain
cl close
CTM continuous thread method
DNRW do not reverse work
DP daisy picot
ds double stitch
fp false picot
FR folded ring
h half stitch
JK Josephine Knot
JR Josephine Ring
j(...) join to the place described in brackets
Lj lock join (or shuttle join)
lp long picot
mp medium picot
p picot
R ring
rds reverse double stitch
RW reverse work
SCMR Self-Closing Mock Ring
Sh shuttle
sj shuttle join
sj(...) shuttle join
SLT shoe lace trick
sp small picot
SR split ring
SS switch shuttles
TWO turn work over
vsp very small picot

Tatting Terms

a sequence of double stitches made by the shuttle thread onto another thread (usually the ball thread)
Continuous Thread Method
this refers to starting off tatting with the ball thread still attached to the shuttle thread, which saves having to work in loose ends
[How to do the Continuous Thread Method, from the Beloved Tatting blog]
Double picots
a double picot is similar to a picot except that two loops of thread are seen, not one
[How to make double picots]
a loop created by leaving space between two ds, so that the top thread forms a single loop; useful for joining to another section of tatting later on.
a sequence of double stitches created on a loop of thread from a shuttle, then pulled tight; this creates a circle of stitches that may be more of a oval or tear-drop shape, depending on the pattern
Self-Closing Mock Ring
Split ring
in contrast to an ordinary ring, which is worked with all stitches made of thread from a single shuttle, a split ring is worked with the first section of the ring consisting of stitches from one shuttle, and the remaining stitches are made with the thread from another shuttle
[How to make split rings]
Triple picots
a triple picot is similar to a picot except that three loops of thread are seen, not one
[How to make triple picots]