Hmmm, what story could I possibly tell to prove I'm anywhere near as nutty as the rest.
Perhaps I haven't done anything particularly outrageous - I haven't yet tatted a set of cooking pots, or covered my guitar in cast-off motifs (ooh, there's an idea...), but the sheer amount of time I spend on it has proven to my husband I'm definitely nuts. And as soon as I figure out how to make tatting that imitates needle lace, I'll be doing even MORE, if that's possible. That's a tough task, but I'll figure it out!!
Well, at least I've proven I'm incoherent about tatting :) I am deeply honored that I have joined the esteemed ranks of the insane.
I found your site, so there must be something wrong with me!
I haunt antique stores and flea markets (Why a flea would ever tat is beyond me) to find old shuttles and tatting threads. I once dragged my husband out in below freezing temperatures to go to a lace show to look for tatting. My husband can now tell the difference from tatting and my quilting. His theory is that it is smaller therefore it costs me more to indulge myself. (That is in reference to my antique shuttle collection and old tatting patterns and books as opposed to my NEW quilt patterns.
Is that good enough to get in or does the doily have to get it before you let me into this group?
Here is the round-a-bout story of how I started Tatting.
As a child, I was an avid reader. I'd read anything with letters in it. Cereal boxes, telephone books, encyclopedias (A-Z),and my Mother's nursing books were especially facinating.
In elementary school I discoverd....Weekly Reader and Scholastic Books! I could actually own my books! Whenever I could get some money I bought a book. My favorites, Blue Willow, Shadow Castle, Mary Jane, and The Witch's Child, I would read over and over again. The Witch's Child was about a girl who thought that her mother was a mean old witch,and learned at the end that her true mother was a beautivul fairy that had been imprisioned by the witch. When the girl finally saw her mother, the story said 'and there she sat tatting lace'. That was the first and only time I had seen the word 'Tatting'. I had no idea what tatting was....in my mind, I imagined a type of small bow-shaped harp that the fairy mother was tapping, but I just couldn't figure out how lace came out of it (must have been a Fairy-thing). Now fast forward 25+ years. I am working as a Unit Secretary on the Labor and Delivery Unit. It seems as though all of the nurses and aides do some type of needle work. At the time needlepoint, cross stitch, and quilting where the most popular activities (babies keep their own schedules no matter what the doctor says). One of my friends on the unit was heavily into heirloom sewing. One day she announced that She was going to learn to Tat, and that I was going to learn with her!
My 2nd time incountering that word. Well then I just had to learn in spite of myself! By a great coincidence, the aunt of one of the nursing aides was a Tatting teacher at a nearby community center. We both took the class. At first my tatting was so tight, I kept breaking that thick crochet thread that was given to us. Well, once I got the hang of it, there was no stopping me. I became a fanatic. Buying books, shuttles, threads, and more books, shuttles, and threads. I started to haunt garage sales and estate sales and craft stores looking for books, shuttles and threads. I would look at any type of lace and try to tat it out. The only other tatters that I knew were my friend, and my teacher. Then one day my Head nurse went to the Michigan State Fair on the same day that the Great Lakes Lace Guild was having their Lace-In. She snatched the last informational flyer that they had and brought it to me (thanks Janie). I went to their next meeting and joined the group.
It has been over 10 years since I learned how to Tat. My friend stopped tatting within a few years of learning. I can't Tat as much as I used to or I'd like to, but I still buy books, shuttles, and threads, and reading e-tatters and Tat_Chat. I can imagine the sight of my relatives draging out boxes and boxes of my stash when I'm gone and wondering.. 'Where in the heck did she get all of this stuff?' and 'How did she manage to get it all in this little house?!' and 'She ate all of the chocholates...why did she keep the tins?'
I too, am nuts about tatting. I will go and buy stuff for a new tatting project and already have so much stuff ( Thread, Patterns, Beads etc) that I could tat for several years and never run out of materials but I still need more. It has gotten so bad that one of the little shops I go to throws away the receipts so hubby doesn't see them.
When I was twelve, I went on a school tour of the Kansas City Museum and was introduced to tatted lace. I searched for years to find a teacher, I just could not pick it up from a book. Everytime I had a teacher in hand, something happened to the teacher, to me or the family.
I raised a family(Hehe!); went to nursing school at 38; graduated from nursing school at 40; found out that I was pregnant( this is what got me thru boards; worked two jobs for twenty years; broke a couple ribs at work coughing; was on sick leave for six weeks; found a teacher; and finally learned to tat.
I think that anyone who waits this long, has to be a NUT. What do you think?
I actually left for a trip of several days to the Seattle area without my
tatting bag, and didn't realize it until it was too late. I was driving my
DH nuts because I was bored, and I guess I talk more (read: too much!) when
my hands are not occupied. I went with Pat Stevens to a meeting with her
Laceyknitters, and thought I would go crazy without something to do. One of
the knitters had an extra tatting shuttle with her, and let me use it. I was
contented for the next half-hour, but still had to suffer with empty hands
on the long drive home for Seattle. I promise not to leave my tatting at
I feel that I am nuts as I learned to tat from a mental patient when I was in my psychiatric affiliation in nurses training. That should qualify me for being nuts. She was a violent patient as this was before tranquillizers and so anyone would have to be nuts to ask a person like that to teach you to tat. In fact I didn't even finish learning as she became quite agitated when I couldn't learn the transition step of the thread.
I wanted to learn to tat so badly and went out of my way to be sure that I learned before I gave up. I was told by one of the teachers there that I couldn't ask her to help me any further or I probably would have learned more than just the knots. It took me years to finally learn how to make something but I was determined to learn.
Well I got the shock of my life the other day at our Knitting Machine club meeting. I passed my tatting around for show and tell and this lady across from me said "You know Clara, I learned to tat from a mental patient and then she told me the name of the same mental hospital I trained at in Nurses training. I couldn't believe it. I told her she told the same story I did. I was just floored. I couldn't believe it. She just didn't follow through with the tatting like I did. I didn't either for years as I didn't know how to make anything. We really had a good laugh as it was the same year too.
It was my first day of the all day tatting class I took... I didn't get the "flip" till well after the lunch break. Still determined, I went on to the ring. But, at the end of the first day, I went home with a variety of rings, picots and joinings, all in what seemed to be to the "untrained" a wad of thread. As I held out my new found skill with great pride, I was told " Is that all you accomplished for the whole day was make a knotted turd?" (If you need any further explanation of a turd, let me know)
As you can tell, 14 years later and undaunted by such an insult, I am "the tatter I am today". :-)
You have to nuts to keep working at something that in some peoples opinions you failed so miserably at on your first try.
I knew I liked the idea of tatting after I learned to tat while I was in college (a one session class using the Boye shuttle to make rings and chains) but wasn't really "hooked" on it right away. The rings and chain patterns I found didn't really excite me although creating something using a 'technical' approach appealed to both my creative and linear sides. It was a more "off than on" craft until I found a Tatsy shuttle - WOW! I could make a lot of Christmas ornaments very quickly with the bigger threads (one of the few tatting books I found). It became even more of an obsession when I discovered two Aero shuttles with EXTRA bobbins. Oh, this was something fun! Everybody in my circle of family and friends got tatting that year!!
Alas, one of my Aero shuttle broke and none could be found. I was so desperate I wrote our local newspaper columnist who help solve problems/find things for people (of course, I had to write twice AND enclose a picture of the shuttle before my letter was printed). The columnist was unable to help me but I did receive a letter from a fellow tatter. She explained the Aero's were discontinued (soon to be produced by a new company - YEAH) but would I be interested in joining a local group who had just started getting together to tat? My letter writer turned out to be a friend from my hometown who probably owned every book and newsletter about tatting. I was in heaven as I had no idea so much was out there and I had been tatting about ten years!
Over the years I can say I'm now the proud owner of several UFO's
(un-finished objects), UFO wanna-be's (projects I want to start but haven't)
as well as the creator of several unique and interesting items I have
finished. And, I'm still learning more and more two decades later!!!! I
love this craft!!!
My DD#1 NATA #230 (dd of #36) came home Christmas 2000 and learned to needle tat. She knew how to shuttle tat but the tatting bug did not hit her until she learned to needle tat. Then she could not figure what to tat. First it was something to wear, but then she would not have the time to wear it as much as she would like, placemats, or table cloth would get dirty from spills and being used where food and such got onto it. So, she decided the perfect thing to tat is a bedspread. It would be able to be seen everyday and in a safe place. She tats to calm herself. Loves to tat with beads and is always looking for tatting supplies.
Most tatters will agree that tatting is very sothing to the nerves.
With this in mind and needing someting to keep me busy, not to mention I
wanted to do hankys for my coming children, I have tatted while waiting
for the "good" doctors to show up for my prenatal appointments. I even
tatted during labor for each of them. At least for as long as I could
until they put I.V. needles in me. One my last one I even did it with
the needles in. Hows that for nuts!
As for being nuts, I taught myself to tat from books.
I haven't ever actually seen another person tat. The week I taught myself to tat, my husband and I drove to California for Christmas and I was tatting in the car, tatting on Christmas day. When we went to Disneyland, I was tatting waiting in all of the lines for rides!
Is that nuts enough?
Today I was attempting to tat with a 7-month old baby napping on my lap!
I have just 'found' tatting and I would love to learn more. I'm self taught (though not very good with a shuttle, a little better with a needle). I can do small motifs fairly well, but it drives me nuts when I can't do something a little larger! Or when I want to attach several motifs together - I always seem to get them backwards or upside down!
I live in Altamonte Springs, Florida (a few minutes north of Orlando) and have been looking for someone who could help me learn this great craft. So far I haven't had any success in finding anyone. I love to learn new crafts and I am always looking for a
new one to dabble in. So far though, crocheting and tatting are my favorites.
My DH pointed my story out to me:
I just learned to tat a few weeks ago. I have been practising and practising. I love it! Well....I had to crochet (my other fav) a doily and get it in the mail.
Needless to say I was really going at it. Watching TV and my hands were justa' movin'. My DH started laughing and asking what I was doing. I said a doily, why? ......... just then I looked down and I had been using my steel crochet hook as a shuttle. I had quite a few rings and chains. He was laughing his head off and all I could say was....It felt right!
My DH just couldn't wait to tell everyone.
I always wanted to learn to tat since my mother had taught me all of the other crafts such as, embroidery, crochet, knitting, quilting etc. However, that was something that she had never learned to do. I never saw anyone else do tatting in my life, so I was stuck. Every time that I would go to craft stores, etc.. I would stare at the shuttles just trying to visualize how they were used.
You see, I am left handed, so everything was always hard to teach me and most times if I did not know someone who knew how to do the craft I could not figure out the instructions. In other words if I am sitting across from a right handed person who is tatting and I turn the tatting book upside-down so that the pictures appear backwards my brain can sort of grasp the general idea. My problem was finding a teacher.
I purchased several shuttles over the years and tried & tried to teach myself; I had never seen anyone do this thing called tatting, so I had no conception of even how to start. Well, patience won out in the end. I learned to tat 4 years ago at the age of 39.
I am so hooked on this lace making that I joined a lace guild and I am the Vice President of the Rose Ground Lace Guild (I.O.L.I.)in Tyler, TX. I am also the left handed tatting instructor now. I am so addicted to tatting that I take it everywhere with me:
Tatting is so relaxing to me and I am so happy that I looked for a long time and did not give up. I love tatting, I am obsessed with it.
Year before last, I entered four tatted items into the East Texas State Fair and won 4 1st place blue ribbons. This year I entered four items and won 3 1st place blue ribbons and 1 2nd place red ribbon. And I have begun a nice shuttle collection including my NATA nut *grin*. I am starting a new website sometime this year that will sell hand made tatting accessories and other things. I also taught my daughter to tat.
I guess you could say that since I learned to tat I am nuts about tatting.
In all cases, I have my shuttles near me at all times; I have some here at
the computer and some in my bed (because I tat there if I can't go to
sleep) I have some in the diaper-bag (like I ever get to tat while I'm
out with my now almost 15 month old...), the only place where I don't
have shuttles is in my bathroom, it's just too wet under the shower ;-)
I am definitely Nuts About Tatting and I only wish I had a few more hands! Evidently my grandmother and probably mu great grandmother tatted. I have some very old tatting shuttles that I believe are hand carved out of a rather dark wood and engraved, kinda sorta, one with the initials CF for Clara Forsyth, my grandmother, and the other one with "Newburg, Oregon' and a date, I believe it is 1916 on it. I wonder if they were county fair items or something like that.
I also have a celluloid shuttle that may have been my grandmother's on my dad's side of the family. Anyway, I taught myself to tat from the Coats and Clark Learn How Book and then was coached by a very dear elderly lady from our church who used to come for Sunday dinner. I had told her that I had taught myself to tat but I was frustrated because it seemed to go so slow. She told me to go get it and show her. When I did, she took the shuttle and thread and showed me some smoother motions that made it go faster. Bless her heart, I am sure she has passed away now, since that was over 30 years ago.
Now, I am passing it along to my daughter, Sally. Sally asked me to bring my shuttles and thread Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I showed her how. I had just purchased a couple of Tatsy shuttles and a couple of the Susan Bates tiny shuttles, so I gave her one of each to start with. I hope we can spend some time this summer tatting, because it only takes practice and time to smooth out the motions and make it feel like you are getting something done. I am anxious to share some web sites with her for some neat projects. We only have to tweak her computer and add some memory to it -- Spring Break, maybe? I am back in school and she is a teacher, so we have to take advantage of such times.
We are here in memory of Lauretta Kramer and my grandmothers Flora Mae Rivers and Clara Grace (Forsyth) Pike and her mother Clara Forsyth.
Please let me in on this exclusive club. I would be honoured to be able to say I am a NATA member.
I started tatting the simple little ring flower for stationery 20 years ago. Finally, after 3 years of hunting a true tatter I learned how to hold the shuttle and pass it correctly. What a difference in the true technique vs. what I was doing. At the time I thought the little flowers were perfect for my stationary but what a hassle. Now I enjoy shuttle tatting for the simple feeling of relaxation of the art. And what beautiful things I can make. Right now I am concentrating on edgings for my crazy quilt projects. I have also started teaching needle and shuttle tatting at the local Michael's here in Panama City, Florida and what a great time we have at my classes.
I have been tatting for only 2 weeks and I'm hooked, obsessed, poorer (thanks to many online orders) and still utterly confused.
I think I have the proper credentials for joining!
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