Barb, I don't think I could have learned by looking at a book. I have to see something being done before it makes any sense to me, but that's just me, you may be different. Once you understand the basic stitch I find it easier than crocheting. Slower but easier. And if you make a mistake and don't catch it soon enough you can't undo it. Tatting is much stronger than crochet. Hope I don't sound like I'm trying to discourage you... One of the problems I see with the written and drawn directions is that it doesn't show you what NOT to do, so if you keeping making knots that won't move you haven't a clue as to what happened, let alone how to fix it. I think there are videos about leaning to tat. There's a group called Ring of Tatters that you could check out on the internet. I just ran across them last week. I'll check again to see what I can find.
Ok Barb, Iv'e been looking on google at most of the how to tat videos and just ran across one that I think is the best. She is very clear on her instruction and she goes slow enough for you to see what she is doing. She is using big enough thread that the stitches show up very well. I have a shuttle like the one she is using but haven't used it yet. I use the metal ones with the removable bobbins. This is a pic of the different types I have used. The big one I haven't used much, I bought it because I thought it was cool. The white plastic one is the one my grandmother gave me when I first learned. I prefer to use the metal ones that Boye makes as it has a smaller hook. Any way, check tatting videos for beginners on Google. The one I like is Tatting 101 A,B,C,D,and E by tjsproudmom. Let me know what you think.
Between the trip to Canada, hurricane Irene and TS Lee with all its rain, I haven't even looked yet . BUT, it is on my list which I keep on a post it on the desktop!!!! The priorities have a way of jumping around though!!!!
I would say it depends on how your mind works. I learned tatting and crochet from a book. I don't have a problem with doing that as apparently that is how my mind works. Many people can't learn from books. Doesn't mean you are dumb or clumsy, you just learn differently. :) Don't be afraid to try! Tatting is very easy. If you can make a double knot, you can tat. Simple as that. The rest is just manipulation of the threads. And if you get goofy, you can use jute ... check out my pan holder at the bottom left...(the lark's head in macrame is the same square knot used in tatting)