Monday, August 13, 2012

On to the land of tatting

I've gone from babyland to the land of tatting, all with the little exercise of the making the samples for the LACE group.  I admit there had been a hankering for the tatting for a while but this got me going.

After I finished the samples, I was looking through one of the books I'd been using and came across a pattern that was just like the one I'd found in the 1933 craft magazine (click here for more info on that one).  I'm so fascinated by this technique of tatting a pattern with an open middle and then needle weaving a pattern in the opening.  The pattern I just found is in a Dover publication but the original publication of the pattern was probably in this same time frame - early 1930's.  See what you think.

First you tat the "frame."
These are 4 identical motifs that were joined as I worked.  The way the pattern was written made the final join in the motif extremely challenging but I found that by changing the starting point from the ring in the middle of the side to the 4-ring motif in the corner, it solved the challenge and made it easy as pie.  It's easier and I'm allowed to do that. Working the following 3 motifs, getting the joins in the right place however, entailed the challenge of paying attention to where I was at all time and making consciously sure I was joining to the right picot (see previous post about "ripping out" tatting - not fun).  Of course, I had to test my powers of tatting by doing all this by watching the movie Inception.  I love that movie but I don't recommend tatting something complex while watching it.  That is, unless you've seen it more than 10 times. 

Now that I have the framework in place, I can work the inner weaving patterns.
Like this.  Isn't that interesting?  Click on the photo for a closer look.

I've got it pinned to one of my bobbin lace pillows to make sure it doesn't get skewed in the weaving.  I also steam ironed it before I started.  The helps set everything in place.  Tatting's pretty solid but it just adds a bit of structure as the weaving is worked.

The needle weaving is very relaxing and contemplative.

I've been wondering how this could be worked with knitting (not sure how that would hold up) and crochet (I think crochet could totally work).  I even thought about the possibility of working this in a sweater or other garment.  You could certain even work the tatting and use it as a centerpiece in a knitted garment.  How about doing it in a circle and using it as the yoke of a sweater?  That could be very, very cool.

By the way, for those that care, I'm working this using Lizbet size 20 Egyptian cotton in Mocha Brown Medium.  It's a 6-cord cardonnet thread which is more tightly spun than regular crochet thread and more suited to tatting.  You can use crochet thread but it doesn't hold up as well or have as much body for tatting.