‹ Patterns

Beginner Butterfly

small butterfly
bag with small butterfly
diagram for small butterfly

As soon as you can tat a ring with picots, it's traditional to make a butterfly. It consists of 4 rings, that's all. You can give them to strangers you meet while tatting on-the-go, or stick them on cards and letters, or sew them onto bags. Here we show different styles of writing patterns.

Fully descriptive style:

Ring A: 12 double stitches, small picot, 1 double stitch, bigger picot, one double stitch, small picot, 12 double stitches, close ring.
Ring B: 7 double stitches, picot, 7 double stitches, close ring.
Ring C: As ring B.
Ring D: As ring A.
Cut thread and tie to thread at beginning. Trim to form butterfly antennae.

Using standard abbreviations:

Ring A: 12ds, sp, 1 ds, long p, 1 ds, sp, 12ds, cl r.
Ring B: 7ds, long p, 7ds, cl r.
Ring C: As Ring B.
Ring D: As Ring A.


  • ds - double stitch
  • p - picot
  • sp - small picot
  • cl r - close ring (this instruction is usually just assumed and not written)
See here for a full list of abbreviations.

Numerical format:

Ring A: 12-1--1-12
Ring B: 7-7
Ring C: 7-7
Ring D: 12-1--1-12.

The number of ds is indicated by the figure alone, and picots are indicated by hyphens. Two hyphens, --, mean a long picot.