Saturday, June 07, 2008

Just Chatty Today

post on LiveJournal blog
Knitting vs. Tatting
I was reading the thread on life lines and there was discussion about knitting lace. I'd always thought it was called tatting lace. Is there a difference? Or is it different names for the same thing?

My answer:
Lace is made by many different methods and those methods are defined as knitting, tatting, crocheting, needlace, bobbinlace, etc. Each is unique and uses different tools and ways of manipulating thread to create those exquisite pieces.
:-) Gina

BUT - while I'm a member of LiveJournal, I'm not a member of that knitting community and comments by outsiders are not permitted so I didn't get to offer my 2¢ worth. There were other comments that were similar though. The thing that got my attention however, is that tatting is perceived as lacemaking overall, not as a specific method of lacemaking. I've suspected that many times, but it was a little clearer with this person's question.

It was sort of in the back of my mind to hit the garage sales this morning, a much loved but infrequent activity these days, but rain has nicked that idea in the bud. I even cleaned out the wall file next to my computer last night to justify doing something besides cleaning today. LOL! See how nice it looks and the little hedge hog is keeping an eye on it. I tend to stick printouts from the internet in there - like tatting patterns - when it's actually to keep other information on hand that I need for email - or, as you can see in the lowest pocket, information for my sewing machines, etc.

Just above the wall file is this "wall memory". The hummingbird shelf was given to me by my sister. The koala bear was a gift from a friend that I met in Australia while visiting. The felt monkey was made for me by fellow tatter Gail Owens, along with a monkey bag that I've been carrying around lately with tatting supplies while teaching coworkers to tat. The tatted crocuses are the only 3D flowers I've tatted and they came from one of Sharon Briggs' newsletters. The roses were from a bouquet sent to me by my daughter and these 3 dried so beautifully! The dragonfly chimes are just something I particularly like and you can't really see them very well. The beads are from a thrift store or garage sale somewhere...just for pretty!

Here is Chewie who appears to be turning into a demonic cat because I'm NOT paying attention to her while I'm photographing the wall memory. She generally sits perched right there on the right arm of that chair while I'm on the computer, crowding my right side and making me worry about accidently pushing her off her narrow ledge - until I pick her up and put her on the floor. Of course, five minutes later, she's right back up there. She's really restless this morning, pacing...if you can call it that...between the chair arm and the keyboard tray. She has food, she has water. She's purring89. And she's also typing...that's where the 89 came from. LOL!

I haven't done much tatting the past few days. I started back on the marigold or...Dahlia...doily but it was too late Wednesday night to even get one motif done. Thursday night I went to the gym late in an effort to miss all the kids at the pool and I did...but it was nearly 10:00 p.m. by the time I got home. Last night the power went out during a storm so I went into to town to eat and by the time I got home, the power was back on. I've been reading a novel, usually after I get into bed, but it's captured my attention so I was reading that last night. Then I decided to work on this felt butterfly goddess that I've been wanting to get to for at least a year now and had been gathering up the felt pieces as I came across them (see, I do clean in bits & pieces!). It was late and I didn't have a clear cut plan in mind other than wanting to just get a feel for how it went to embroider on felt. I didn't transfer a design to the felt so it was serendipitious - including the thread colors. I just grabbed a hank of bundled up thread that clearly came from some abandoned kit. This butterfly goddess came from Ronda Kivett. I'm not sure where I'm going with it but I'm enjoying the mental activity.

I don't like the embroidery that I've done so far but it wasn't for the design so much as getting the feel of working with felt. My embroidery skills are rusty and as I said, I didn't have any kind of design worked out beforehand. I just opened this book and picked something. Ha! Back in the days when I pretty much lived in poverty, I coveted this book sooooo much. I had never been all that interested in embroidery but then something sparked my interest in shadow embroidery and once I got on the scent, I couldn't stop. I joined the local embroidery guild (only 1 year because I couldn't afford the annual dues of $25) and I played with different stitches when I had time. Finally, I saved up enough money to buy this book. I'd been borrowing it from the library! Actually, I think that might have been the year I worked at Waldenbooks part-time during the Christmas season. I remember it had to be ordered because it wasn't anywhere local...obviously before and and I still have dreams of a crazy quilt and using all these beautiful stitches. Now, instead of being money-poor, I'm time-poor!

Anyway, the stitches (new to me) I used on this sample are the cord stitch and the chain stitch. I may have tried the chain stitch before but not for any length. I'm usually pretty good with French Knots but they wanted to pass on through the felt so I learned to not be so heavy handed when pulling the thread through. So ..this will be a "play with stitches" sample. And somehow, I have to put tatting on it.

The beginning of this post, about how tatting is perceived, was actually done yesterday and as I was following up my google alerts on tatting this morning, I happened to notice this tutorial on Jon's blog: wrapping a plastic ring. I hope Sunela has seen that. I sent her a small collection of different sizes of plastic rings. Why? you may ask. Well...when someone wins the drawing, if they don't give me some hints of what they like or I don't know them very well, I become Dectective Brummeé. I go looking for posts on the lists and if you have a blog, I read OLD entries. Actually, Sunela did tell me her preferences in thread and color but I wanted to know more and in my search, I found a question she asked somewhere about tatting over plastic rings. A year ago. I'm sure she got her answer...but if you are interested in this technique, check out Jon's tutorial. It's very good.'s good practice for learning how to do split chains. Once you get the motion down, you will be able to do a split chain, eazy-peazy! I used this method of teaching for my lace group a few years ago when we were working on advancing past beginner level. Besides that, Jon has a delightful pattern to use in the process. I have Sadie's book, Tatting Over a Cabone Ring, and have made a whole slew of her designs - here is a prior post on it.

Ah...well...looks like it's gonna be a rainy day all day so I might as well get something productive done.


  1. Hi Gina,
    doesn't it make you cross when you see something written by someone who knows less than you, but claims to be an expert! Even I, who have little knowledge of lace, know that tatting is an art on its own. OK, it could come under the blanket heading of Laces, if that means all kinds of lace, bobbin, crochet, etc. A friend of mine who does know about lace, once identified an item I had, as "knitted lace", so apparently there is a distinction.

  2. Thank you for the link again to the goddesses. I really enjoy embroidery. I recently purchased a book called Designer Bead Embroidery so I've been bitten by the but to combine beads tatting and embroidery
    Thanks for sharing

  3. Nice post. Your kitty sounds like mine and she types better than I do! It would be nice if the whole world knew what tatting was instead of dumping it in with the rest.

  4. Hi Gina, thanks for visiting my blog today and for your nice comment. You kitty looks so sweet. I wish I had one right now. How fun. Thank you for the link to Jon's pictorial on tatting over a plastic ring. I went right over there and I've saved the link. Awesome!


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