Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

07 January 2007

Not Lost, Not Dying, and I Tat

(I need to get a t-shirt made up that says that.)

If you've always wanted to learn to tat, and you're reading this, you can do it. You're connected to the internet, and won't have to stand on your head and swear at the Coats & Clarks Learn How Book trying to figure out what the bejabbers they mean by the cryptic text directions. The internet has an absolute wealth of tatting instructions, patterns, and even live tatters who might actually live near you so you can see "the flip".

Sharon's website has a video of how she tats. This isn't exactly how I accomplish the flip, but since I don't have a tatting website, who am I to talk?

Carrie Carlson's site has both right and left-handed directions.

If you go to Google and put in "tatting directions" or "tatting instructions", you'll find dozens more. There are Yahoo groups on tatting. There are lace groups that include tatters, like the West Michigan Lace Group, which meets tomorrow night (and every second Monday of the month) at 7pm, in the Byron Township library, Byron Center, Michigan, USA.

And when it comes to supplies, like tatting shuttles, tatting thread, and tatting patterns, all I can say is thank goodness for the internet!

When I first started to tat, I think around 1992, Wal-Mart still sold that old workhorse shuttle, the metal Boye tatting shuttle with a bobbin. That was the very first shuttle I ever bought myself. Alas, $3.75 tatting shuttles didn't meet their profit-margin requirements, so you won't find Boyes amongst the crochet hooks and knitting needles any more.

(Some tatters would cheer, as they consider the Boye shuttle the absolute worst tatting shuttle in the world. And I can't deny that the quality has gone down down down. But I still do use my old Boye shuttles, and like all good tools, I don't notice them while I'm using them. A "bad" tool is one that constantly annoys you as you are struggling to use it.)

But online, there are all kinds of other shuttles available: plastic Clover shuttles. Wooden ones by David Reed Smith. Metal ones, plastic ones, wood, shell, bone, or horn ones from Lacis.

Same thing with threads and patterns. While I can find black and white tatting thread at the local Hobby Lobby craft store, online I can find all the threads DMC hasn't quit making yet, Turkish thread, and Japanese Olympus thread.

And books -- when I had been tatting for a year or so, I was trying to decide which of the Dover books on tatting to buy. My husband said, "Well, how much is it for all of them?" I added it up, and I think it was about thirty dollars. "Why don't you get them all? You'll save half that on the shipping compared to buying them one by one," he said. (The guy is definitely a keeper!) So I did!

I bought Dover books because I thought that was all that was available, but soon I found there were more, such as Heidi Nakayama's beautiful book about tatting shuttles.

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Anonymous Holly Burnham said...

Okay....you've caught my interest...I've always wanted to tat....I want to be part of the surge to bring it back. Off to look it up!

8:50 AM  
Blogger TattingChic said...

I love the title of your blog post here. If you do get a Tshirt that says that I hope you post it! :)

10:05 PM  

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