24 Feb 2010

Dragonfly and Swan

These two motifs are quite fast to tat up and doesn't take much thread.  They are useful for emptying shuttles when you need them to start on a new project.
Since they are quite simple designs, there is the possibility that someone has thought of the patten already, but I have come up with these on my own without referring to any other patterns that may have been done before.

I am giving the patterns in chart form with a little explanation along the side.  If you need any help with them, please e-mail me.


This pattern is made with one shuttle with a little finger tatting. I have added beads in the chart but you can replace them with picots.
Leave a tail of about 20cm and make the first ring at the tail-end of the dragongfly, i.e. the ring R(5-5) and proceed with the split rings, followed by the wings on the left side of the chart .
The lower wings are joined to the 2nd split ring of the lower part of the body.  The upper wings are joined to the head of the dragonfly.
Male a long picot in the ring for the head which is then cut to form the feelers.
The pattern ends with the lower wing on the right side of the chart.  Cut and hide the ends.

If you don't like ends, you can try this alternative.
You need about 150cm of thread for this.  Start in the middle of the thread, i.e. 75cm on each side.
Make the first ring at the tail end. followed by the split rings.  Use one side of the thread to make the wings on the left side, and the other thread to make the right wings.  For the right side, make the double stitches in reverse order, i.e. the second half of the stitch first.  Finish with a split ring for the head, close the ring and cut off the thread with enough length for the feelers.

I have since found out that dragonflies don't have feelers/antennae.  They have stubs at the top of the head for eyes. So, instead of making a long picot you make a regular ring with 2ds separating the beads instead.


Leave a tail of about 30cm of thread at the beginning and start with the onion rings for the body.

After closing the second ring of the body, make a shoe-lace knot (SLT) to change the position of the thread left at the beginning.  Using this thread as a ball, make the neck of the swan, joining to the body as shown in the chart.

Make a split ring for the head and cut off the ends leaving just enough for the beak.


  1. thanks for sharing Jon, I will definitely be making these motifs.

  2. Jon Thanks for the pattern. Maybe I can empty some more shuttles up.

  3. Hello Jon,
    Many thanks for sharing the patterns they are very much appreciated
    Joy (in OZ)

  4. cute dragonfly pattern. will have to try this one :)

  5. Really nice butterfly pattern which could inspire my jewelry making readers. I have linked in my blog post http://www.beadinggem.com/2009/11/how-to-make-tatted-jewelry-tutorials.html

    Thanks for sharing.

  6. Love the dragonfly! I'll make a couple of them for the quilt square I'm decorating. Thanks for sharing them!

  7. I was wondering where I got the pattern for the little swan that has been sitting on the pincushion at my tatting "table"! It was one of those late night tattings to break the monotony of another pattern and I'd forgotten where I got it (pattern most likely in a pile on a shelf that needs to be sorted!) Love this pattern. The little swan is so delicate and sweet looking. Thank you for coming up with it!

  8. just started tatting - thanks for the lovely patterns, Gill

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  10. I like your blog very much. Thanks for the detailed instructions. I invite you to visit my blog.

  11. I love the dragonfly pattern & even managed to tatt one after I had only been tatting for a few weeks, as the instructions are so clear. I have a feeling I maybe posted a pic without adding your link. If so I am sorry & will do in future!

  12. Love these, but i got stuck and messed up on the dragonfly.
    could you explain how i attach the last ring to the picot on the body. i totally messed it and got tangled all up meaning i'd need to start again.

    P.S i am a very novice tatter.

    1. Ivy, I am not sure of your question. If you can send me a message through the 'Contact Me' tab above (scroll to the bottom for the message box) I will e-mail you for more details.

      Thank you.

    2. I sent a message, not sure if you received it, or are just busy.
      I think i may have solved my problem, i'll get back to you :D
      thanks for your site i love it..

    3. Ivy, I did not get your message, unfortunately. But, I am glad that you have figured it out.

  13. Thanks for sharing, I just made them both, they're perfect for emtying shuttles.


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