Friday, May 18, 2012

I've been doing some tatting.

Since I haven't enough projects to work on, I've been doing some tatting in between tambour pieces.

It began with a Christmas present from my mother this past year-- my grandmother's tatting shuttle, which was given to her by her grandfather.  It came with this adorable box.

 After much reading, ordering books, perusing of tatting blogs, youtube tutorials and consultations with other online tatters, I took up the shuttle and began with a book that walked me through nine beginner tatting lessons.  The book, if anyone wants to find it, I purchased at Ben Franklin (now A.C. Moore in Richmond).  It is Learn To Tat by Janette Baker and comes with a DVD as well, although I found the book to be enough to learn by.  I also ordered The Complete Book of Tatting by Rebecca Jones, and Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior.  I started my first real tatting of a project last night, a re-creation of one of Irene Buckland's tatting samples, found in Piecework magazine May/June 2010.  The photo of the project is above, from the magazine.  I do wish the magazine project had the visual pattern instead of 21 steps of written instructions, but small details....

Here is my meager first attempt, and my very attractive, clashing Clover shuttles.  :-)  The thread is Lizbeth size 20.  Please excuse my beginner's uneven picots and wobbly joins!  For reference, the original of this pattern, which was tatted by Irene Buckland between 1923-1934, used size 60 cotton thread, well beyond my capabilities right now!

Now that I am totally hooked on this (you will be, too, if you try it!), I started a little collection of tatting shuttles.  The abalone one at the top I actually had for years in my jewelry box, having bought it at an antique show in Somerset, PA, from a dealer who told me it was old.  The ends meet and it is actually great to use, but I am afraid I will break the shell, so it is collection only.  The middle one with the pretty little house and tree I got on ebay.  The bottom black celluloid shuttle was from ebay as well.

And I had to find these as well, don't you know.  The top is a Boye with a bobbin insert, with a nice little pick for joining picots.  The left is a lovely larger shuttle made of wood that is wonderful to use even though I prefer a pick on it.  And the one on the right with the blue thread onion ring sample is a modern Aero, made in Germany.  It also has a pick and bobbin and is my favorite to use right now.  So, there you have it.  Another passion bowls me over and I need to figure out what I am going to ditch (or several hobbies I am ditching) because this is just too much fun and engaging to put down for something else, except for tambour.

Since I last posted we have had some other developments, like this fuzzy addition to our little family, a stray we found several weeks ago tied with a rope to the door of an out of the way veterinary office, which was closed for the weekend.  This dog was left with no water, no food, and in deplorable condition with rotten teeth, bones sticking out and a right eye with a big knob on it.  Naturally, being suckers for animals, we untied him, called the number on his tag (the persons on the other end of the phone disavowed all knowledge of him) and then took him home.  Several weeks later, he has had his shots, checkup, eye looked at (an old facial fracture that didn't heal properly-- makes me furious that someone didn't care about this sweet dog!!!), good food in his belly, and most importantly for his health, he had his teeth and gums cleaned.  His teeth pained him so much that he stopped eating after a week and a half with us and then after he became clear sick, we took him in for the teeth to be cleaned. Three days after the cleanup, he is a new boy.  I cannot believe what an incredible sweetheart this dog is.  He adores our cat, is housetrained, loves people and other dogs, loves to snuggle and is just all around good as gold.  My husband and I love him to pieces.  The name we gave him, that he is already learned, is Buddy.

Expect periodic cute Buddy photos from now on.  Here he is, in his bliss.  :-)

And of course he sleeps in our bed.  Where else?  This is day two-- settled right in.  


  1. Wow! I am impressed! You're off to a great start with your tatting. If you're concerned about your picots being consistent, you can always use a picot gauge. I started out with cut up credit cards and advanced to some beautiful wood picot gauges from Georgia Seitz when I knew that I had to have the perfect tools. ; )

    I love your shuttle collection! You have some of my favorites, including Peter Cua and Clover (my go-to shuttle).

    Looking at your other posts, I see that I could learn a lot from you! Your are now on my reading list. I can hardly wait to see what you will create next!

  2. really Jen???? did you REALLY have to show me your tatting? and corrupt my collecting abilities even more with antique shuttles?
    yeah...thanks alot. (just kidding) BEAUTIFUL will need to teach me how to do this! and, your Buddy is blessed to have you both ~ I'm sure he is totally devoted to you :)

    much love,

  3. Your tatting is BEAUTIFUL! I cannot believe how advanced you have become so very quickly. Well, yes I can, actually. After all it is YOUR tatting.

    And speaking of beautiful.... BUDDY! He is gorgeous and delicious! What a lovely fellow - and so absolutely, totally spoiled! Congrats!
    ♥ Fox : ))

  4. Do you give lesson im in the city too and im just not having any luck with the dvd i bought...

  5. Awwww Buddy is so lucky yall rescued him. God sent yall to him because he needed someone to love and take care of him. What a blessing he is to have yall in his life now. What a heart warming story. Our dog Jack was rescued as well. My neighbor was coming home from somewhere and everyone in traffic kept honking yelling "get out of the road!" With a huge heart for animals as well (plus she works in a dog grooming shop), she pulls into the turn lane, reaches over and opens her passenger side door and hollers at the dog. He runs to her car, jumps in the seat with the look on his face like "ok Mommy, lets go home. I was scared." My husband and I were sitting at Waffle House and she texts me if we wanted a dog. I asked my husband and we discussed, maybe. We had 2 cats at the time (now only one since one had gotten hit by a car--will never let a house cat outside for nothing but what happened must have happened for a reason cuz that cat was used to going in and out--our other cat is inside only and he seems to be ok with that). Since she already had a few dogs and didn't have the resources to keep him, when we got home, we thought we'd walk next door to meet him. He was so loveable. Not jumpy or scared. He was clean and healthy and well mannered. No collar and no chip. So we decided to be his foster parents and see if anyone lost him. No one came forward, so after a few months we said well, looks like he belongs to us now. He fit right in. He gets along with our cat (who's originally a wild stray kitten from birth so we weren't too worried since he keeps his distance from other people and other animals). We started calling out boy names to see what he would most respond with and Jack seemed to be the winner so it has stuck with him ever since. Not sure if his name before was Jack. He was about a year old when we got him. He's about 4 now. I'm not sure who rescued who. Did we rescue him or did he rescue us?

    He has been such a great boy. New Year's Eve two little dogs wondered on our front porch and wouldn't go away. One light brown chihuahua and a white and brown jack russell. They ate like they haven't ate in days and my Jack didn't pitch any fits. He was accepting of them, but they didn't like him too much. Since the vet was closed, I had to wait til yesterday to get intouch with anyone. The lady called the owner and had the owner call me. So glad they're back home safe and sound.

    I loved reading your story about your furry baby and thought I'd share mine.

    On to the tatting. I've seen them before but never knew what they were or what they did. Found a listing on a site called Listia (kind of like eBay but you give and get stuff free.) You use credits instead of money. Most items are free shipping but some sellers can't afford to ship every item so you may have to pay the shipping on some stuff. Saw a tatting shuttle and Googled it to see what it was and found your blog. I love the abalone one on top. I work in a frame shop and we get people bringing in the lace doilies with the names in them. They are nice. I love to crochet but I'm not that advanced yet. I may try to win that shuttle and book. Can't beat free (even if I work in a craft store). I'm sure I sell them too just haven't looked yet. Sorry for the long comment. I thoroughly enjoyed your story about Buddy coming into your life and thanks for sharing with us your tatting. Very very nice. Better than I could do I'm sure.

    Take care and stay blessed

  6. Hello! I am just now beginning to learn tatting. I'm excited to see someone tatting, not that far from me. (I am in Williamsburg.) Are there any tatting groups in the area? Would love to find one. :-)