Thursday, October 24, 2013

Are You Ready For Some Football!

Football related tatting that is. I am kinda nervous and excited to be part of The Football Blog Hop, organized by Catherine of Ancora Crafts. This is the first time I've been involved with a blog hop. For anyone not familiar with a blog hop, each participant creates a tutorial that they share on their blog. At the bottom of this post (and the posts of each participant) are links to the other participants. Make sure you check out their tutorials as well.

OK. My project is a tatted motif. Obviously, you'll need to know how to tat in order to make the motif. YouTube has a growing selection of tatting tutorials if you wish to learn. Alright, we got that out of the way, so now we can begin.

You will need:

  • 1 or 2 tatting shuttles or tatting needles
  • 1 ball of size 20 thread in the colour you want your football, I used Lizbeth #692 (Brown) and Flora #230 (Green)
  • 1 ball of size 20 thread in white, I used DMC Cordonnet
  • fine crochet hook (optional if your shuttle has a hook or pick)
  • a safety pin (coil less preferred), or a paperclip
  • scissors
At this point I should mention that I haven't tested the pattern using needles. It should work though.


R       Ring
SR     Split Ring
CH    Chain
vsp    Very Small Picot
LJ      Lock Join (AKA Shuttle Join)
-        Picot
---     Large Picot
J, +    Join (a normal join)
SLT    Shoe Lace Trick

Let's begin!

Wind a couple yards/metres of brown (or colour you want) thread continuously onto each shuttle. You can use just one shuttle and the ball if you are not comfortable with making split rings and split chains. I have noted the changes needed when necessary. Don't wind more than one yard/metre if you take this route.

Tatted Football ©2013 Jeff Hamilton

Round 1

R1: 3-3---(10mm)3-3 RW
Ch: 4-4-4 RW
R2: 3+3+3-3 RW
Ch: 4-4-4 RW
R3: 3+3+3-3 RW
Ch: 6-6 RW
R4: 3+3+3-3 RW
Ch: 4-4-4 RW
R5: 3+3+3-3 RW
Ch: 4-4-4 RW 
R6: 3+3+3+3 RW
Sch: 6/6 Flip work. Do not cut thread

If you don't know how/don't like to make Split Chains, you can make the last chain 6-6, join to base of first ring. Cut, tie, hide ends.

Round 2

Now, if you made the split chain in round 1, leave a short length of thread before starting SR1. You are making a mock picot. If you didn't make a split chain, then make SR1 a regular ring like so: 8+8 RW. Make sure you join to one of the chains with only one picot.

SR1: 8/8 RW
Ch: 8-8 RW
R2: 4+4 RW (The join goes above the next ring on the previous round)
Ch: 2-2 LJ 3-3 LJ 3-3 LJ 3-3 LJ 2-2 LJ RW
R3: 4+4 RW (The join goes above the next ring on the previous round)
CH: 8-8 RW
R4: 8+8 RW
Ch: 8-8 RW
R5: 4+4 RW (The join goes above the next ring on the previous round)
Ch: 2-2 LJ 3-3 LJ 3-3 LJ 3-3 LJ 2-2 LJ RW
R6: 4+4 RW (The join goes above the next ring on the previous round)
Ch: 8-8 LJ to base of SR1. Flip work. Do not cut thread.

Hmmm. Kinda looks like a dog biscuit, doesn't it? Don't worry, it won't stay that way for long.

Round 3

Alright, I have to say pretty much the same thing here as above. If you will make a split ring, leave a short length of thread before starting SR1. You are making a mock picot. If you don't know how/don't like to make split rings, then make SR1 a regular ring like so: 8+8 RW. Make sure you join to the space above the first ring you made in the previous round.

SR1: 8/8 RW
Ch:13 LJ 8 LJ 5 LJ 6 LJ 6 LJ 5 LJ 8 LJ 13 RW
R2: 8+8 RW
Ch:13 LJ 8 LJ 5 LJ 6 LJ 6 LJ 5 LJ 8 LJ 13 Join to base of SR1. Tie, cut, hide.

Still with me? Good. We're almost done.

Stripes (Make 2)

Wind a couple feet of white thread onto a shuttle and leave attached to the ball. Slip a paper clip or safety pin on the thread to begin. It will give you a place to hold onto and a picot. A twofer! You may find it easier later to make the first stitch a lock stitch.

Ch: 8vsp8 SLT, RW
Ch: vsp8LJ8 LJ to p made using paperclip, SLT, RW
Ch: LJ to previous Ch, J(to 1st picot on the football marked with a green dot, don’t make the join too tight )9LJ to space above previous LJ,9 LJ to last vsp on previous Ch, J(to the picot on the football marked with a red dot, don’t make the join too tight). If you have trouble with the joins don't worry. I don't think there is a right way or wrong way here. join as best you can.

Tie the shuttle and ball threads together then cut the threads. Take the threads to the back of the football and tie the threads together again. Hide them as you wish, or cut them close to the knot and leave them. Repeat for second stripe joining the stripe to the football using the second green and red dots.

Awesome! We now have a tatted football to use as you wish. I'm sure someone might mention it, but I didn't add stitches to the football. They would be easy to add if someone wants to. I think a pair of footballs would look pretty cool as earrings for the football loving lady. Strategic picots on the outer round could allow them to join to become something larger. Football doily, anyone?

I hope everyone had fun tatting the football. And of course, if anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I've tested the pattern pretty extensively (I have quite a few tatted footballs now), but if anyone finds an error or doesn't understand something please let me know. I will be releasing the pattern in PDF format soon. I hope to do so over the weekend. And to incorporate my favourite football team, The Saskatchewan Roughriders:

You can buy green footballs for the Roughriders apparently. Hopefully, that's not cheating.

Thanks for playing along. And be sure to check out the other crafters in the blog hop!


  1. Oh, this is so cool! I've been wanting to learn to tat for a long time now, and this project might just push me over the edge, so to speak. It looks amazing! Thanks so much for being part of the blog hop. Do you guys want Tim Tebow?

  2. Thanks, Jeff! This is just what I need for some baby shirts. Not all guys want their little guy to be sportin' a tatted hippo or goat!

  3. I thought footballs were round, this looks like an english rugby ball to me. Great pattern well done
    Love your tutorial and great instructions

  4. Wow! I am completely unfamiliar with tatting--this is amazing!

  5. Well done, Jeff! I was hoping that you would make a tatted football and you did it in fine style. I hope a lot of people use your pattern!

  6. Good job on the football. The grandsons haven't shown much interest in football yet but now I know where to go for a pattern for when they do! Okay, it might be sooner than that ☺

  7. Thanks everyone! Glad you like it.

    Margaret, this is American football. Your football is what we call soccer. I have no idea what a rugby ball looks like.

  8. This looks amazing! I'd never heard of tatting before, very cool.

  9. Jeff

    Our rugby ball looks like your football, it's a rougher game than our football (soccer)
    I must say its a great pattern for a rugby or American football

  10. A tatted football - words cannot describe how wonderful this is. I love the look of tatting and I have never tried. Your football combined with the photos of your gorgeous shuttles (bobbins? Not sure of the correct name when used for tatting) are very alluring.

  11. Jeff, that is amazing! I've never seen anything like it. Great job!!

  12. JEFF, I noticed that your Sine Wave Bookmark link is no longer working (the Keep and Share account is closed) -- any chance of getting this pattern from you?

    I do like your Sine Wave designs.