Minor correction wrt the french tatting book....
The patterns are diagrammed, but the stitch counts are in the long hand instructions.
However so far I haven't had too much trouble putting two and two together, as the photographs of the finished products are pretty good.
Just thought I'd better clarify that!
I've created a brand new UFO for this year out of this book, lets' see if I can get it done by, oh, say Easter. =)