Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tatting: A Prayer Answered

As if in answer to my prayer for something creative to do, a friend sent me a new tatting pattern to try out before she publishes it. I was quite happy to oblige her, so as soon as I got home from work I pulled out my thread and Clover shuttle to begin work on what will be a bit of lace edging.
Tatting is an old-fashioned technique for the creation of lace. I remember watching my grandmother tat when I was quite young, and I was fascinated by the delicate lace she produced. To me it looked as though the lace came from out of thin air, and she was the magician, waving a magic shuttle around. Now I know it was a bobbin wound full of thread hidden in the shuttle and her magic waving was a kind of weaving, tying a myriad of tiny knots into intricate patterns.
I recall asking her to teach me and being told I was too young. Eventually, Grandma's eyesight grew dim and she quit tatting. I never had the chance to learn from her, and fifteen years ago she passed away, taking the lost art with her.
When our Library hired a young lady of 19 whose grandmother apparently had more patience than mine and who learned to tat at that grandmother's knee when she was little, I was thrilled. In addition to her Library-related tasks, the young lady was asked to begin teaching tatting classes at the Library on a regular basis. I took the first session she taught, and last year I tatted Christmas gifts for everyone. It's easy to learn, you can readily take your handiwork with you wherever you go, and with minimal material investment you can make beautiful bookmarks, doilies, edgings, etc. Let the creativity begin! Tatting photo by JulenaJo.


  1. What a lovely post! Thank you for sharing! Your pictures are beautiful... I can see some custom-dyed thread combos from LadyShuttleMaker in them.

  2. Looking forward to seeing your beautiful piece of lace once it is finished! I love your story of how you thought your Grandmother was doing a magic wave. I, too, was told I was "too young" to learn for many years, fortunately I was finally able to persuade someone to teach me how when I was in my teens and I have not stopped since.