Knotting is an old craft popular in the 17th and 18th Centuries that is believed to be the grandmother of modern tatting.
ladies of leisure used to work knotted threads with their shuttles to create a "pleasant kind of braid"* that was then couched onto embroidery pieces, and resembles a row of closely embroidered french knots.
It was something to do at small gatherings, on long coach rides or just when the light was too poor for any delicate embroidery work
At the time Knotting shuttles were very ornate, and quite large by today's tatting shuttle standards at between 4-6" long. Knotting was supposed to be very attractive and show off a delicate wrist. The shuttles were very ornate and considered a fashion accessory much like a folding fan! Women would also wear a pretty little drawstring bag on their wrist to hold their knotted threads, and keep everything together when not knotting.
It seems after the early 19th century that knotting kind of died out, but with a little sleuthing I hope to help bring it back to life!