Hey, this is Alison I have to break in because I am so excited that we got her back! Remember Amy from the reverse matting post? She has this amazing talent that I didn’t even know existed. When she told me she was a ‘tatter’ a bunch of things ran through my head and tying knots was not one of them! I don’t want to give it away, so take it away Amy…
I’m a tatter. I have been since I was about 8 or 9 years old. My Great Grandpa, taught my Grandma, who taught my Mom, who taught me. When I told my next door neighbor this she thought I meant that I had a tattoo parlor in the back of my house. I think my reaction was “ummm……no.” So that begged the question, what is tatting exactly? Many people have heard of it but have no idea how it’s done or what the end result looks like. Do you fit in that category? Read on!
Tatting requires a ball of thread. That’s all. You can actually tatt with thread alone, but two other tools make it much easier.
The first is a tatting shuttle (or needle, but I’m a shuttle girl) and the second is a pair of scissors.
Tatting is essentially a series of 2-part knots in thread. Because they are 2-part, they’re called doubles. They’re made by passing the thread-loaded shuttle over and under the thread on the opposite hand. Simple, right? Actually, once you get the tension down, it really isn’t as complicated as you might think. Here are some pictures of some of my best moves. 😉
This picture below does a good job of showing the different parts of tatting. See the knots? They kind of look like a Pi sign ( ∏ ) up close. And the larger circles? They’re called rings. The tiny loops are called picot’s (pronounced pee-co) and the chains that go from ring to ring are called……I bet you’ll never guess…..chains.
With just one kind of knot, and three different things to make with that knot, how hard can it be to tatt?
Well, don’t start with this:
My favorite thing to tatt are snowflakes for one of my Christmas trees. They’re pretty fast and always different. But actually this huge piece has an interesting story. I don’t know who made it or when it was made but it’s well made, used often and certainly worth saving. So you see the large openings in the border? They’re creating a lot of pull on the tiny threads that link the border to the body of the piece, and could potentially destroy the piece, so I was asked to fill them in.
22 HOLES TO FILL. ARRRRRRG!
I figured out the pattern for the daisys that join the body of the piece and inserted them in the holes. It may be considered a dying art but I wasn’t willing to let this beautiful cloth die! It’s almost done now and will have many, many more years to live!
Do you feel educated now? Good! Motivated to try something new? Even better!! Go get yourself some thread, a shuttle and find a tatter who wants to pass on her art! Just ask around you’ll find her, and she can’t wait to find you!