Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Tatting Bug

If you have ever tatted (or you still do) then you might remember a long-ago website called The Tatting Bug.  This was my website ... & this was the logo which I asked someone to design for me   : )

Tatting had always fascinated me.  I don't know how I became familiar with it.  No one I knew tatted yet I always thought it would be interesting to learn how to do it.  Then one day in the mid 90s, while living in North Dakota, I stopped at my favorite craft store (Ben Franklin) & there in the window was a sign inviting people to sign up for tatting classes.  I couldn't sign up fast enough   : )   The instructor was an elderly woman with the patience of Job.  There have been many times in my life when I've felt stupid but during those early days when I was learning to tat I felt like the dumbest person who ever walked the face of the earth.  My perseverance paid off, however, & soon I was happily tatting all sorts of goodies   : )   The instructor (how I wish I could remember her name) was so happy to see how enthusiastic I was. She & I became good friends.  She was a snowbird ... summering in North Dakota but wintering in Arizona.  In her absence during the winters I began to teach the tatting classes at Ben Franklin.  I also taught classes to individuals in my home & started a tatting group in our town.  Fun times   : )   I'm pretty sure the tatting group dissolved after I moved away though   : (

Remember those "crazy years" I've mentioned from time to time which, among other things, resulted in my decision that I didn't have time to do all the crafts I was interested in & so I sold or threw away everything connected with many of them?  Tatting was one of them.  I've been interested in all sorts of crafts over the years but I was only head-over-heels passionate about two.  One was cross stitching, the other was tatting.  

A while back I was working on a totally unrelated project & from out of nowhere (pretty much) I thought about tatting.  I was almost positive that I had kept my tatting threads because many of them can be used for making bobbin lace.  I still have all my bobbin lace supplies (the second wave ... the first wave was sold during those "crazy years") & although I sometimes toy with the idea of making lace again the chances of my doing that are probably quite slim.  However, the supplies take up very little space & they are extremely hard to part with (I'll spare you the reasoning behind this) so I'm holding on to them ... at least for now.  Anyway, over the past few days I've gone upstairs & half-emptied 2 closets to get at the moving boxes where I was sure these tatting threads would be.  They weren't there.  I put all the boxes back & then just couldn't believe I didn't find them & so the next day I went back & half-emptied the closets again ... & looked in all the boxes again ... & again I did not find the threads.  I also had hoped that maybe ... just maybe ... I had kept a tatting book or two, & maybe some patterns, & maybe the class notes I used to hand out, & maybe some of my old tatting that I so fondly remembered, but no.  Not really.  I did find a little baggie with a few shuttles in it. That was good.  I also found a few old tatting projects I had done.  Not the ones I loved so much but still it was nice to find some things.  I also found a doily that a friend had finished for me.

Let me explain the doily.  This person had contacted me via my old website to tell me how much she liked my logo & would it be okay for her to use it.  I said yes.  We then began to correspond with each other & ended up becoming good friends.  We were both passionate about tatting & we decided at one point that we would do a sort of round robin with each other.  We would each make the center of a doily & then exchange them so that she would finish my doily & I would finish hers.  Her finish for my doily is amazing.  
Gorgeous, isn't it   : )   Along with my doily she included a little bookmark she had made for me   : )   This exchange took place in 1998.
I decided to go online to see if my old website, which I hadn't touched in years, was still accessible.  Of course it wasn't ... but I typed my old friend's name into the search engine & was led to what used to be her website!  Most of her site was inaccessible but I did find my tatting bug logo there & I also saw that she had a link to an Etsy shop. I went to Etsy & found nothing in her shop but I was able to contact her & I was so happy when she responded!  We are now catching up   : )

I used to have many photos of my tatting projects but almost all of them were lost over the years due to computer crashes   : ( I did go ahead & take a couple scans of the old tatting pieces I found while rummaging around in the moving boxes upstairs.  The strings are hanging on them because they need to be finished off.  

Last week I ordered some tatting thread & a couple pattern books online.  I also scoured the internet watching every tatting tutorial I could find to refamiliarize myself with it.  On Sunday I found some DMC cotton perle & decided to have a go.  I'm happy to say that it all came back to me ... like riding a bike   : )   
I even learned a bit of wisdom from this little medallion which is don't use DMC cotton perle for tatting. Way too splitty, way too soft, way too fuzzy.  

I know some of you are probably thinking "Didn't she just do a post about getting rid of a lot of craft stuff?"  Yes, I did.  However, tatting supplies take up very little room, & remember ... there's passion afoot here   : )


cucki said...

aww I love tatting too ..I once tried a little lace is so much fun ..
Have fun with it xxx

butterfly said...

The tatting looks beautiful, I have never had a go, no time now ! have to much cross stitch to do thats my first love.

Maureen said...

I learned needle tatting once long ago. I don't think I ever actually made anything with it though. Your projects are sweet.

Edgar said...

That tatting looks gorgeous!!! If I was to take up another craft - it would certainly be tatting.

Flávia e Cristiana said...

Lindos trabalhos!

bettyj said...

How pretty. I used to have a friend who tatted. She made me some beautiful Christmas ornaments. I treasure them.You do beautiful work.

Nancy said...

Your tatting is beautiful and the doily your friend finished is amazing! I have always loved tatting but never learned how to do it. I wish I could find someone that could show me how to do it. I don't crochet or knit, so would it be harder for me to learn it?

Trace4J said...

Does each piece take along time to do? I just love it. Little works of art.
Nothing wrong with passion! :)
Hugs & JOY

TheCrankyCrow said... brought back some warm fuzzies for me....I had a grandmother (maternal)and great grandmother (paternal)and an adopted/faux grandmother (an aunt-by-marriage's mother) who tatted. One (or more of them) tried at points to show me the art, but, uh, duh....couldn't wrap my head around it.....Your work is gorgeous my friend....Glad you're picking it back up.....Smiles & Hugs ~ Robin

Vickie said...

Good for you Shirlee. Glad it makes you happy,it does me too! It is beautiful to look at. :)

marly said...

I've always wondered how it was done so I may watch a video. I have this little metal thingy shaped like a flat pointy football and thought it was for tatting but ?????. It's out of here. Beautiful work. Don't you just love hobbies that take little space and little time?

Crafts4others said...

I have tried needle tatting and really liked it. I am teaching myself, and still having a little bit of trouble finishing the rings. So I put my tatting supplies away, and while I have found my thread I have been unable to find the needle. So I will need to reorder. It is great to see someone else that likes the craft as well.

Peggy Lee said...

I have always marveled over those who possess this talent. This is something I don't think I could do. Your pieces are so beautiful. I can understand why you are not giving this up!

Sally said...

Your tatting is beautiful Shirlee. It's something I have never tried.

Stitchy Mc Floss said...

Your tatting is so lovely and the doily is, too.

I am left handed and have been unable to find any video's for a lefty. I'd love to learn to tat.

Just "discovered" your's lovely. :)

Blessings always