Are Tatting Patterns Different for Shuttle and Needle Tatting?
No, tatting patterns are universal. You can use either a tatting needle or shuttle for any tatting pattern that is currently on the market. When you break a pattern down to the basics, all you need to know is when to make a chain or ring and when to join or close. There may be additional information relating to specifics for a shuttle tatter or needle tatter, but the key is to focus on the basics of the pattern.
That being said, it is important to understand your skill level and what you are comfortable making. There are some techniques such as split ring, adding beads, etc. that could be argued as easier with a tatting needle versus a shuttle and vice versa. Remember, not all patterns are written to help you learn a technique. Many times you need to understand the technique in order to make the piece.
In addition, the information provided can vary pattern to pattern. Some patterns only have written instructions or are only diagrammed, and while others can include both. The important point is to consider how you prefer reading patterns when selecting a pattern for your next project.
Vintage patterns are typically intermediate to advanced in complexity because the author may leave information out presuming the tatter should know what to do next. Furthermore, modern day patterns may also be intermediate to advanced as many designers are experimenting and creating new techniques.
Ultimately, always remember to consider your comfort/skill level as well as how you prefer reading patterns when selecting a pattern.