Crochet tatting is a unique form of tatting using a crochet hook. Traditional tatting is worked with "shuttles". One piece of thread is tied in knots around another piece of thread to form intricate designs.
Cro-tat is more 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 Crochet Tatting are given in Harper's bazaar: Volume I, Number 17, page 261 and for "Tatting with a Crochet Hook" are given in 1869 Godey's Lady Book, Vol. 78, pages 271 and 272.
In the nineteenth century, "crochet tatting" patterns were published which simply called for a crochet hook. One of the earliest patterns is for a crocheted afghan with tatted rings forming a raised design.
A Czech book, produced for the "Womens Hand Work School" in Prague 1881 also has some instructions. I managed to translate most of the leaflet using online translation tools - never a perfect solution but the best I could get.
This is translated as "Circle Circle Stitch".
The translated pages are now included as part of the "How to Crotat" download. See the Crotat Patterns page for more information.
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, Scarlet Dash not only sells a set of Prym Crotat hooks suitable for thread, she also sells the Prym Bamboo hooks which are perfect for adjusting to use with thicker thread and yarn.