Tuesday, January 10, 2012


While William and I were visiting my Mom in Marina, CA last November, she and I took some time together for crafting. We sat down on my last evening there and she taught me how to tat. For those who don't know about tatting, it is one of the original methods for creating lace. It requires two shuttles of fine crochet thread, and nimble fingers. I started out using the heaviest (thickest) thread available, and by the end of our little training session I felt like a complete spaz. I couldn't make my fingers do what I wanted them to do, and everytime Mom said "make sure the knot is on the top," I had no idea what she was talking about....I couldn't see what she was saying.

The next morning, in between packing and preparing for our departure, I sat down and took another shot at it. As often happens, while I was sleeping my brain and body had a powow and figured out how to do what I was asking them to do, so in the morning I was inexplicably able to tat correctly. Yay sleep!

I did quite a bit of practicing on the flight home (mostly edgings from the book Mom lent me), and I continued my practicing at home, and while camping with Grace and her family. Then I started an actual "project". A snowflake from Mom's pattern book. Let's just say that aborted project is still sitting unfinished in my Crafting Drawer Of Shame. Honestly, considering it was my first "project", it was not going half bad, especially since I was still trying to read and decode what seems to be a pretty standard tatting pattern (I'm pretty sure it is written in some sort of ancient runic language).

Having determined that my Ultimate Tatting Sin was Lack of Consistent Tension, I moved on to another project, which I actually completed. I was a little concerned after finishing this one because it was not laying flat; it was quite a bit more "pucker-y" that I would have liked. But, once I wet it and ironed it, it flattened out quite nicely. I still see every flaw in this little snowflake (don't say a thing about the fact that it is green), but overall I was pretty pleased with the result.

Because of the pre-blocked puckery-ness of the green snowflake, I decided to try the same pattern again, this time with only five arms. It wasn't as pucker-y, but it does look a bit like the Hardy's star waving at one.

So, those are my first two finished tatting projects. Now that my Christmas knitting is ALMOST finished, I'm looking forward to starting a new tatting project, proably a bit more challenging this time. I know of a wedding coming up....perhaps a tatted doily or table topper would be perfect?

BTW, I have to give my thanks to the awesome community over at In Tatters. They were so helpful and supportive in helping me figure out a pretty basic tatting move. And, if you haven't already, you HAVE to drop by their site and take a look at the absolutely spectacular pieces that are showcased on their home page. So, go do it! Right now!

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