Monday, November 2, 2009

My Adventures in Tatting

My goodness, after a month of build up and our shop opening yesterday, I was wishing that I had asked Dearest Sister to switch and take the even days in November! Even with an extra hour, yesterday was not long enough!

But since I had already called dibs on even days, I decided I would show you my latest work in progress!

Tatting is an art that I have long admired, but I have never seen it done. My mother didn't tat, although I think she knew how. I know that she preferred knitting over crochet and I think that was the case with tatting, as well.

When Ms. A went off to college, her roommate taught her to tat and there were some tatting elements in some of her artwork. She agreed to teach me, but we have never set aside the time when she has visited.

I have been reading my thrift store Inspiration magazines over the last week and I took a few with me this weekend. In the back of the magazines, there are step by step instructions for the techniques used in each of the projects.

In issue number 26 (2000) there were instructions for tatting. Two pages, twelve steps on each page - it looked pretty simple, really. So, I decided to teach myself.

I wound a shuttle, and set about following the instructions, exactly. After all, I can read and there was a photo illustration for each step. I might just have to re-read a few steps to be sure I got them right.

After awhile, I decided to search for a tutorial (I love the internet!) I watched a series of three videos about a hundred times each and finally got the hang of it!

This is the result:

See the loops? Those are called picots. Most people prefer them to be uniform, but I think wonky is kind of edgy know...hip.

That's my story anyway. It sounds better than "it took me two hours to get this far and I am calling it good enough!"


Iron Needles said...

So what you are saying is that my other crafting exploits might be enough for me?

(I'm a pepper, you're a pepper...thanks alot for the jingle of death....)

Martha said...

I am really impressed with your little ring. My friend, Ann ( is a wonderful tatter and sent me some supplies & instructions. I haven't tried it yet and I must say I am a little intimidated. It's very appealing, though, because the lace is so pretty and very different from crochet and also the shuttle is such a neat, but strange tool. After I finish making Christmas presents, I intend to try tatting and we can compare notes. You'll be way ahead of me by then.

Kate said...

Tatting looks like it might be beyond my level of comprehension though I do like the word wonky. (Makes me think of chocolate!)

Kate said...

HEY!!! Me again!

The mail just arrived and I received my super groovy prize/present! Thank you so much! I am excited to give this a try. :))

paula, the quilter said...

I used to do needle tatting and still have the needles someplace. Never did learn the intricacies of shuttle tatting, tho. Good job

Gaynell said...

Our Grandmother on Mom's side did tatting. She made lovely runners and doilies. I don't know what happened to them. I remember as a small child watching her wash them and starch them "within an inch of their lives" so they would hold their shape.
I am quite impressed with your efforts.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

I have tried to tat. I just cannot do it. I love it, though. C

Allie said...

Amazing. That looks very pretty. I remember watching some Irish ladies doing tatting and thinking I could NEVER get the hang of that, lol - I can't tell you how impressed I am that you're doing it!

jan said...

Thanks everyone for your generous compliments! I will let you know if my fingers remember what they learned after a day away from the shuttle!

IN - you are welcome! (if it makes you feel better, it is stuck in my head, too!)

Martha - I don't know if I will be able to make much progress! My goal is to make a valentine heart that I saw in a Workbasket. That gives me a few months, anyway!

Kate - It might be beyond me, too!lol!

Paula - I had not heard of needle tatting until I started searching for tutorials. I might check it out and see if it is easier.

G - I wish some of those tatted things were still around. I think it might make it easier to follow a pattern if I had some examples to follow...

C - I was thinking the same thing at many points, yesterday! (about me, not about you...)

Allie - The test will be whether I can pick up the shuttle and do it again after 24 hours! lol!

Lynne said...

My you must have a lot of patience!

I did find your magazine (Inspirations) in my Borders the other day. I browsed through its lovely pages and decided it was just too advanced for my meager skills. The price was $16.99 and was a lovely publication!

jan said...

Lynne - My goodness! The exchange rate must be worse than I thought! I don't think I will be tempted to pick up any current issues! And I will enjoy my thrift store issues all the more, just because they were a bargain!