Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tatting! Time to Learn Something New!

A Collection of Tatted Doodads, by Amy Lynn Hess
I learned about tatting ten years ago or so as I sat in a waiting room with my grandmother.  A woman sitting near us was tatting, and when my grandmother noticed, she struck up a conversation with her while watching her tat.

My great grandmother and great-great grandmother had been tatters, but my grandmother had never learned, so it excited her to see someone doing it.  A few weeks ago I came across two tatting shuttles with some of my grandmother's crafting supplies, so she must have been inspired to try tatting after our chance meeting with the tatter in the waiting room. 

Shuttles in hand, and always looking for something new to learn, I decided to give it a try, too.  It's always a great idea for teachers to be a bit humbled by the learning process.

Getting Started: Tatting as a Beginning

I began looking for basic information where most of my students start: I searched the Internet and started following along with some of the videos and tatting instructions by TattedTreasures.  The videos are both on YouTube and on the TattedTreasures blog, so I could read and watch all of the great how-to information in either one of those places.  I also found tatting videos by mytattingplace on YouTube to be very helpful once I finished the video series by TattedTreasures.

My first attempt at tatting yielded knots, but my second attempt produced a cute little ring.  One ring lead to two, but then I got cocky, jumped ahead thinking it was easy, and ended up with another string of bad knots.  I tried again.  I continued to follow along with videos and instructions online,  but I felt I needed to see more diagrams and patterns.  I was fatigued by over-searching online and not finding what I wanted, so I ordered a book called Learn to Tat by Janette Baker.

Tatted Rings, by Amy Lynn Hess

Tatting Terminology

So far, I think the videos online have been the most helpful, although having the book gives me an idea of what terms to search online.  For example, searching "tatted hearts" brought me to a whole host of things I didn't want to see, but I did eventually learn to search "dimpled ring" or "dimpled Yorkie," which uses a tiny "picot" or a "mock ring" technique.  A "double knot" is not the same as a "double stitch," which is the same as a "hitch knot," but not a "lark's head," and making a "split ring" with a needle is not the same as making one with with a shuttle or two shuttles.  Joining a circle of rings back to itself requires a very careful join, and some recommend the "folded join," but others do not. 

In other words, via trial and error, and with a lot of time spent searching, watching, reading, and tatting little doodads, I'm getting there.

Beginning Tatting, by Amy Lynn Hess

The Learning Process

As I'm learning, I have noticed that the types of mistakes I'm making are changing.  At first, I didn't know what to call the mistakes I was making, but after I was able to identify the mistake, I stopped making it.  It's also very true that having the right tool for the job is essential, but first I had to know the tools that are available, both learning tools and the tools and techniques for tatting.  Most importantly, slowing down and covering the basics until the basics are learned has ensured that my forward momentum doesn't, both literally and figuratively,  end up in knots.

As stated above, it's always a great learning experience when a teacher can truly learn something new from the very beginning.  It not only, in this case, has taught me the very satisfying art of tatting, but also has reminded me about the learning and teaching process; something I can take back to the classroom with me.

Copyright Amy Lynn Hess.  Please contact the writer for permission to republish the text or images on this blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment