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