I haven’t gotten to the fancy shamrock yet, partly because I messed up the little one, and mostly because I received a fun package in the mail from Handy Hands, Inc. They are a catalog/phone/web store that specializes in all things tat! I requested a catalog a few weeks ago, and they sent it along with three FREE SAMPLES OF THREAD.

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eeeeeee!! I wasn’t expecting that!
There are three sizes and three colors. The sizes range from 3, 10, 20 going left. The larger the number the thinner the thread. Look at that 20. I have dental floss thicker than that.
I am all over the size ten (that’s why it already off the spool). Size three is a lot like doily thread (only in crochet it’s a size 10. Confused yet?) and I bet that will be nice for a larger project. I dunno. I don’t have any delusions of grandeur about bedspreads or even doilies made from tatting. Well, maybe a doily or two someday…
Good gravy can you imagine how much thread it would take to make a bedspread?? How much time?? oof.
Anyway, I tried out two of the patterns included in the catalog so far. Here is the Bookmark by Sandy:

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I ordered some rainbow thread (duh, who can resist rainbows?) and some green/blue thread. I also found a tatting dictionary, which should be easier than surfing the interwebs, and a shuttle with a tiny hook on the end (for joining the loops).
I found a little bag in my stash, too. There are balls of thread on the kitchen table because I like looking at them.

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And here is my progress into the adventure of tatting so far, from the earliest attempts on the left to my current project on the right.

My oldest will pretend to snip the thread that dangles down from my left hand when I tat. I’ll hear “snip. snip!” and see those little fingers snipping. <_3br>SO much fun. It’s all Franklin Habit’s
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Would you like to know more about tatting? It’s thought to be over 200 years old, with it’s heyday in the late 19th century with, who else? The Vicotirans. I like this excerpt from Wikipedia:

Some believe that tatting may have developed from netting and decorative ropework as sailors and fishers would put together motifs for girlfriends and wives at home. Decorative ropework employed on ships includes techniques (esp. coxcombing) that show striking similarity with tatting. A good description of this can be found in Knots, Splices and Fancywork.

Some believe tatting originated over 200 years ago, often citing shuttles seen in eighteenth century paintings of women such as Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, Madame Adelaide (daughter of Louis XV of France), and Anne, Countess of Albemarle. A close inspection of those paintings shows that the shuttles in question are too large to be tatting shuttles, and that they are actually knotting shuttles. There is no documentation, nor any examples of tatted lace, that date prior to 1800. All of the available evidence shows that tatting originated in the early 19th century.[5]

As most fashion magazines and home economics magazines from the first half of the 20th century attest, tatting had a substantial following. When fashion included feminine touches such as lace collars and cuffs, and inexpensive yet nice baby shower gifts were needed, this creative art flourished. As the fashion moved to a more modern look and technology made lace an easy and inexpensive commodity to purchase, hand-made lace began to decline.

Tatting has been used in occupational therapy to keep convalescent patients’ hands and minds active during recovery, as documented, for example, in Betty MacDonald‘s The Plague & I.”

All of tatting revolves around the Double Stitch, which is a set of two individual knots. Once mastered, you can make rings, chains, and little loops to make endless lace patterns for collars, doilies, edgings, covers, whatever. I like making bookmarks so far and I love how portable it is.
More updates soon!

3 Comments

  • Sarah O

    That is really neat. You are so super creative. I think my mom knows how to tat. Is that how you say it?

  • Eliz

    So much I love the tatting. How long does it take you to do a piece the size of a bookmark?

    • kmleiting

      I dunno…an hour or so? An episode or two of something? It went pretty quick once I got the hang of it.

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