Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Friday, April 4, 2008


One of the things I do besides writing is tatting.

Tatting is an old form of lace making, made on one's hands using a shuttle wound with thread. I don't know much about its history. But it's old. Some say it goes all the way back to ancient Egypt. Other's, that it's a more recent development, two or three hundred years old. The "golden age" of tatting was during the Victorian Era. Because it is time comsuming, it was mostly the well-to-do ladies who tatted. They would gather for tea and, like a sewing or quilting bee, sit around, drink tea, talk and tat. Women would even take their tatting to church with them during the long Sunday services. It is a hand-craft that, compared to crocheting or knitting, is small and easy to carry around.

Basically tatting is half-hitch knots, like macrame. Fishermen who knotted nets using large shuttles may have been the original tatters. Unlike crocheting and knitting when you make a mistake you can't simply rip it out. You either have to untie each knot or cut out the mistake and start again.

Tatting isn't really difficult, but it does take time to produce a small piece.

Wherever and however it started, tatting makes a lovely delicate lace with infinite variations. I had my one and only tatting lesson when I was in my early 20's. A woman (who I thought was old - she was probably as old as I am now) showed me the basics of holding a shuttle and tying the knots. I never did anything with it until about four years ago. I taught myself what I know from books. I consider myself still a novice; there are techniques I have yet to master, patterns that are still too complicated and difficult for me to follow. But, what I do make I enjoy making. And, once a month for about 7 months out of the year I take my "stuff" to a craft show and sell it. I make enough to "feed my habit," in other words, enough to buy more thread and books.

Me with all my STUFF! I have greeting cards, book marks, edged hankerchiefs, earrings, necklaces, hair barrettes and a christening gown, to name a few items.

A Bible marker - I make these in many different colors

A peacock book mark

A seahorse book mark - I also make book marks that look like a pig, butterfly, alligator, snake, swan, snail and lion


  1. Wonderful work. I love the peacock. If you want more patterns or instructions there are some on my pattern pages. I also have a blog too which shows progression on new designs. I sell to 'feed the habit too'!!!!!
    JaneEb - Tatting Patterns - blog

  2. Jane,

    I am honored that you stopped by. I know your name, your patterns!

    I so want to learn how to make up my own patterns, but I just don't know how to do it yet. I'm glad there are lots of books out there.

    Thank you for the compliment, it means a lot, coming someone like you.

  3. Thanks for your very kind comments. If you ever want any help with designing then do ask. I could also draw up patterns for you too. Keeps an old git like me out of mischief. Well, most of the time!!!!

  4. Oh my! I'm feeling a bit giddy. Learning how to design my own patterns? I'm not sure I even know the right questions to ask!

    How do I begin? With a drawing? How to I know how many knots to make per ring? I guess it's all trial and error? The most I've been able to do is alter a pattern to make it less difficult.

    So much to learn.

    Bish (Hubby wants to know how you found my blog!)

  5. Well I use the well tried and tested (by me!) method of designing. I call it the 'hit and miss method'. Mind, my life is a bit like that too - hit and miss!!!!
    Tell your hubby that the link to your blog came through 'blog alerts'. I have alerts sent to me when any tatting blog is started or updated. It's easy to set up and saves having to go round checking everybody's every day!!!!
    If you'd like to write privately to my email addy, please feel free.
    I'm SO impressed with your writing skills. Fabulous.

  6. Beautiful work, Bish. I can only imagine the time it takes--definitely a labor of love.

  7. Very lovely tatting, you do nice work.

  8. Thanks Angela and tattingchic for the compliments and for stopping by.

  9. Ha! I love the way google alert shows me even MORE tatting! I love that one edging!
    :-) Gina

  10. Wow!

    So beautiful. Thanks for sharing that with us!

  11. I love the peacock! And all the other pieces as well.

    You are so right about tatting being time-consuming but when I finish one project, I can't wait to load up the shuttles again for the next one.

    You should listen to Jane and try designing. It can be very satisfying.


Your Random Thoughts are most welcome!