Norma’s ‘Tatting with two threads’ – test tat and diagram

I have been working on this ‘project’ for a while now, nearly 2 years! I had chosen to complete Norma Benporath’s design of “Tatting with Two Threads”, first published in The Queenslander on October 6th, 1937. The link to the original pattern is:, and you can download the text format of the long hand pattern in it’s original form.  Please don’t sell this pattern, as copyright for this work remains with the National Library of Australia, (original article can be accessed via

Image annotated photo Norma Pattern for blog

The actual test tatting of this pattern was quite quick to do, but it has taken me a long time to diagram and “modernise” the pattern notation.  Recently I realised my major blocker was drawing the diagram, using illustrator – I completed 2 rounds, but was stalling on doing the third round (work and life in the way I’m afraid). While I hope to complete the diagram at some stage and add it to this pattern, it was a shame to delay the whole project because of this one aspect. So I decided to annotate the photo of my test tatted piece, as I have seen others do successfully recently. This was much, much quicker, and I am really pleased that the whole ‘modernised’ pattern (true to Norma’s original, just written in a more friendly notation for tatters today), in a PDF, is available for you to download.

This border for a doiley looks very effective, and would suit a beginner tatter. I think it could also be used as a collar, or a hem edge for a skirt or dress. It would also look lovely in variegated thread, or even beaded.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the online tatting design class – for teaching me how to use the design software, Wonderful Husband – for patiently showing me a few tricks and quirks of Illustrator, intatters – many people for bringing this project together, and TROVE (NLA) – for having wonderful access to public archives.

Tatting in two threads Norma Benporath Pattern PDF link (This will take you to a new webpage with a link to the PDF, click this link and the pattern should download. The picture on the PDF is very high resolution, and should zoom up quite well before becoming pixilated…much better than the picture above in this part of the blog. Hope that helps 🙂 )

This is my first ‘big’ attempt at a pattern, please let me know of any errors, or difficulties…and please share pictures of your attempts at this pattern and link them to TROVE also (© for this work remains with the National Library of Australia, original article can be accessed via  – It would be wonderful if these beginner suited patterns were being used widely again.

Also, TIAS Fall 2013 is running at the moment. Day 8 is up and the blog is growing as more people catch up and complete each part. We still have NO idea what it is. If you are interested in joining in, it is never too late: – Thanks Sherry for putting this together – I am realising how much work it is to prepare 🙂    I’d better go and download Day 8.

As always, Happy Tatting

Fiona T



Filed under Eye Candy, Other blogs, Patterns, Tatting News

6 responses to “Norma’s ‘Tatting with two threads’ – test tat and diagram

  1. Jon Yusoff

    I have not tried this pattern of Norma’s. You tatted sample is very nice.
    I have not attempted any of Norma’s pattern for some time now. I should consider it again after I have cleared the Mstery Doily.

    • Thanks Jon. Yes, I get distracted by different projects, new threads and shuttles and they become a time sink. When I started the test tat above, I had a new clover shuttle and had just received the orange thread from an overseas supplier (I couldn’t get orange at that stage in Australia…but hadn’t discovered Crochet Australia’s online shop yet…). Funny how these pieces become a snap shot of our selves 🙂
      Thanks for all of your work on this project Jon, you are truly inspiring.

  2. I’m so pleased that you’ve been able to sort out this pattern. The decision to use a photo was a good one — unfortunately on my computer it was very small and enlarging it made the annotations “pixilated” and I couldn’t read them, but with your sample I could sort out what some of the numbers are.

    • Thanks Judith. If you download the pdf you should be able to zoom into the image in that to a fairly high resolution. The picture on the blog is low resolution. Hope that helps.

  3. It’s a lovely pattern and must have taken you hours of work, well done, I will put it in my last of things to tat.
    Just done my day eight like you I still have no idea what it might be.

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