Not totally tatty…

My tatting, that is. So, the lowdown.

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My first tatting!

Today was my lesson. I spent two and a half hours with my fingers held at unnatural angles, squinting at a very fine yarn and flexing just exactly the wrong finger to make the knot slide down and lock in place. What should have locked didn’t, and what shouldn’t, did. I exaggerate, of course. I’m told my first results are quite creditable…

I learned about double stitches, chains, picots, reversing your work, and why you should absolutely not pull on the yarn if you think the knot is a little bit wrong. Fifteen minutes with a needle, working to unpick the knot, served to reinforce that particular lesson…

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The pattern…

My teacher has written out a simple pattern for me. I can just about work out what it all means, and I can – for now – remember how to do each one. But I find the very fine yarn hard to work with, easily tangled, and of course, it makes progress very slow. So I’m going to try it using a fine, smooth string or crochet yarn instead, which will produce chunkier and faster-growing results. It’ll be good for practising with, rather than the fine tatting yarn, which is a little expensive to make mistakes with.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 6.45.34 pm

… and what it should have looked like!

I don’t think I’ll ever become expert, but seeing the stitches produced live, rather than in diagrams, and close up rather than as a YouTube video, has made all the difference between finding it all baffling, and finding it a bit tricky but possible! And while Cass is going home to Melbourne on Sunday, there’s always her teacher, the award-winning Auntie Marion, to help if I get stuck. And I undoubtedly will. Often…

Right, where’s my shuttle…


42 thoughts on “Not totally tatty…

  1. As the excellent craftswoman you undoubedly are, your first piece of tatting looks marvellous to me. Keep at it!

  2. It’s amazing what a different a real-life teacher makes. I taught myself to crochet from the internet, but it wasn’t until I had a lesson with a living teacher that it all made sense to me and after that I was just flying! If you do get the hang of tatting, you’ll be able to make beautiful edgings for your sewing. And it does seem a more appropriate activity for your climate than knitting!

  3. claire93 says:

    you’re a braver woman than me ^^
    well done!

  4. My mom offered to make the lace for my wedding dress. Though no doubt she could have (and in a way I wish I’d said yes,) the chances were that she’d still be stitching pieces of lace on as I walked down the aisle. 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      For a wedding dress, even Cass would be struggling without a year or so’s run up, but she is astonishingly fast and her work is beautiful. I do feel after today that I have some of the knowledge (if not yet the skill) needed to produce a simple picot lace edging.

      • cas arthur says:

        Hee hee…. I did actually do a stack of tatting for my wedding dress, I cleverley got the dress maker to stitch it on! =) 48 motifs for the front, 4m (yes, metres!) of edging for the veil. There was a lot of tea break and lunchtime tatting at work. Which is why a disproportionate number of local telecomms technicians/engineers know what tatting is and why it’s not crochet…. One of them wanted to “de-click” my shuttle. Nooooo! (Not in a bad way, he wanted to redesign it.) Keep up the good work, Kate! =)

      • katechiconi says:

        Good grief! And people accuse me of inhuman patience because I stitched a load of hexagons together…

  5. lucyannluna says:

    Looks really good, I attempted tatting & failed

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s definitely not coming naturally, but the results are so pretty I think it’ll be work the practising I need to do.

      • lucyannluna says:

        Well done keep on going. I think I gave up when I realised crochet or needle lace can look almost the same. Perhaps lace is just my nemesis as I also failed at bobbin lace, may be I’m just not a ‘lacy’ kind of girl? I like other people’s work better.

      • katechiconi says:

        I love beautiful lace, and I like the idea of being able to produce it myself. I’ve always wanted to make bobbin lace, but this seems like a more accessible way of working, and the knots are not terribly complicated, so I’ll keep trying until it’s clear I’m just too clumsy, or until I succeed!

      • lucyannluna says:

        I had trouble working out / remembering which bobbin was which, let alone the direction I was going. It is very beautiful & I do envy those who make it look so easy. Happy lace making / tatting.

  6. tialys says:

    I love the results but it would be far too fiddly for me!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s almost too fiddly for me, the movements don’t come naturally at all, but I think lots of practice would make it easier. It’s a good small project to carry around…

  7. EllaDee says:

    Once you get the muscle memory happening it will become natural but I fear for your eyesight! Beautiful work -both- though 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      I do too, which is why I’m going to try it in something thicker – apparently you can tat with thin, smooth string, which sounds interesting, and certainly there are thicker crochet yarns which would be easier to work with.

  8. rutigt says:

    Hahahaha!!!! Well, if you never try, you´ll never know if you can make it! So……good on you!

  9. Grannymar says:

    You are doing well. I tried it years ago, but providing a sample was enough for me, I preferred Carrickmacross lace.

  10. It’s extremely pretty and I take my hat off to you. It would send me running, screaming to the hills! 😉

    • katechiconi says:

      I wanted to see if I’d have the same reaction, but actually there’s a sort of twisted fascination to doing the micro-knots and getting them even and perfect!

  11. A bit tricky but possible is very reassuring. I have never tried it. Goodness knows I really do not need another hobby, as tempting as it is to try.

    • katechiconi says:

      Well, nor do I, if truth be told, but I wanted to see if I *could*, and I *can*! It’s a teeny weeny little hobby, you could fit the whole thing inside a matchbox if you had to! Possibly it may become my travel handwork…

  12. notewords says:

    It’s much better than my first attempts! Just keep at it. 😉

    • katechiconi says:

      I shall, but the minute gauge of the yarn she taught me on, and gave me to practice with, just discourages me! I seem to tangle it as soon as I look at it, it’s hard to see clearly what’s going on, and it makes progress terribly slow… Thicker yarn, that’s the thing. I’m actually very tempted to try with some smooth string, I think that would produce sensational results.

      • notewords says:

        Anything smooth enough to slide and supple enough to knot will work. Bigger is better!
        I could tat for a while before I had the light bulb moment when I finally understood how it worked. It became MUCH easier after that.

      • katechiconi says:

        Part of my problem is that I’m still finding it hard, and I have so many other projects jumping up and down for attention in my head! So much easier to head for the sewing machine….

      • notewords says:

        We will not mention me and sewing machines… Horrible things happen. At speed. I’ll stick to my shuttles. 😉

  13. Gwen says:

    I learned tatty crochet by book, that took me almost one year to success on the shuttle,and the needle, not easy at all, you have to be very patient, I love it a lot, and I learn more every day. I made a doily with number 10 yarn cream color, took me one month to do it, and I m going to make a pair of glove, I don’t rush, I will take all my time. Good luck for all of you and enjoy it like I do.

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