Traditional tatting is done with shuttles. Cro-tat is similar in nature to “Needle Tatting” where the knots (or stitches) are worked on to the needle and then more thread is pulled through them. However, Cro-tat is distinct from these other forms in that it combines the flexibility of crochet and the ease of use of a crochet hook. The hook used has a long straight shank and a smaller head than regular hooks.
You may think this is a new technique, however, instructions for “Tatting with a Crochet Hook” are given in 1869 Godey’s Lady Book ,Vol. 78, pages 271 and 272. A Czech book, produced for the “Womens Hand Work School” in Prague 1881 also has some instructions.
The technique is surprisingly simple and versatile. Use small hooks and thread for lacy edgings and motifs for your clothes or for to make doilies. Use larger hooks and yarn to make items to wear.
Unfortunately, Crotat is not as popular as it once was so pattern books and hooks are not as widely available. However, there is a set of Prym hooks suitable for thread while, for larger items, those lovely wooden or bamboo hooks, with a slight adjustment to the head, are perfect.
Once you have mastered the basic ring, the rest is easy. And to help you do this, I have produced a free “How to Crotat” eBook.
Crotat is best worked with a yarn or thread which doesn’t stretch. I prefer cotton based.
You have permission for items made from any of my patterns to be sold either for charity or personal profit. I would appreciate it if you credit Helen Free, Enfys or Rainbow Valley Crochet with the design, and include a link back to this site.
However, you do not have permission to reproduce or distribute this pattern, whether mechanically, electronically or any other means, including photocopying.
All patterns are available in both UK terminology or US terminology.
More downloadable crochet patterns from Rainbow Valley Crochet
About crochet designer, Helen Free plus links to basic crochet stitches