That’s not actually how it happened, just “second” sounded better as a title than “seventh”, which is a lot closer to the mark!
I did not go down in needle size. One look at the eyes of the other needles convinced me that, yes, I had been using the right one in the first place. The other needles are very clearly meant for something not much thicker than sewing thread, and I’m a long way away from trying my hand at something that thin. I’m lucky to be able to work with #10 thread!!
So, what I have learned: needle tatting is looser than shuttle, and I can only guess it’s because you’re forming the stitches on the needle, which is actually a larger gauge than your thread. With the shuttle, you’re forming stitches on the thread itself, which makes them tighter by default.
With the needle, if you manage not to tangle your thread, it will tighten up as you pull the thread through the stitches. Yes, I managed to royally tangle the thread several times. It was not pretty, and several attempts were just cut off the spool early on. And knowing ahead of time that this was likely to be the case, I opted to use the least expensive thread, so I wouldn’t kick myself quite as hard. First I kept messing up the stitches, then I kept forgetting to attach the circles at the picots!
I actually like tatting both ways. I guess the direction I take per project is going to be determined by what I feel like doing each time. Once you get the hang of it, neither way is particularly difficult. That being said, I’ve only been doing circles and chains so far. I have no idea how difficult it may become when I try something more complex than a butterfly!!
I’m contemplating an attempt at making a bookmark, but there’s a part of me laughing uproariously at the idea. So many people have given up books in favor of Kindles or Nooks or other e-readers. That’s not a bad thing–the fewer books made, the more trees saved. But it does make the bookmark kind of obsolete. On the other hand, with very few exceptions, my craft books are still actual books, so I suppose a bookmark isn’t that bad an idea after all!