My blogaversay is on Sunday, February 13th.
Yeah, right before Valentine's Day and right before the ending of the OWOH event and ON my grandson's 17th birthday. It will be a busy day. So I'm announcing the celebration now so you can get in on the drawing before things get crazy!
This is the end of my 8th year blogging. Eight Years! So I've come up with 8 little gift bags, one for each year. Each bag will have a number attached to it. The number is associated with a giveaway item. I can't tell you what the item(s) is/are because I don't have them altogether yet, but I do have several. Not all are tatting related. Not all will even fit in a bag. Some are just pretty, some are tasty, some are useful, some silly. Hmmm...it's starting to sound like the Seven Dwarf's! Ignore that comment.
Just to make this interesting, when you comment, pick a number between 1 and 8. If the random number generator picks your comment number, then the number you mention in your comment will be your bag number. Now I don't want to make this too complicated, just a little bit more fun. It's obvious that more than one winner could have the same number, so the first one picked by the random number generator will get the bag number they designate. In the interest of simplicity and brevity, I will pick the duplicate number winner's bag. Since you don't know what gift is associated with the number, it's not really a big deal. Basically, you're telling me your favorite or lucky number between 1 and 8.
So, this post only, and only one comment per person! No strings attached. I just want to thank you for being interested in my blog and keeping ME in interested in my blog. I will do the drawing on the morning of the 13th.
Miranda posed the question - What's the story behind you learning to tat? I wasn't going to because it seems like I've told the story countless times. It came up in group discussions and forums and in newsletters over the years many times. I usually mentioned it only because of my frustration.
I'm self-taught. Maybe I'm not a very good teacher because I had to teach myself twice! My two youngest boys are 29 and 30 years old. When they were little (in 1980-something), I read a lot of stories to them. That really has nothing to do with this story other than to tell you I was busy. I also remember that story-reading going on the same time I first taught myself to tat. I had one of those Coats & Clark How-To books, a little green one. I also had a metal Boye shuttle. I'd bought it years and years before because I wanted to learn to tat but never got around to it. I was probably cleaning something out and found the shuttle. I remember sitting and studying the book, size 10 crochet thread in hand, and slowly going through the steps in the book. They have these little black and white drawings, you know. I didn't understand what it meant to "transfer the knot". I could come up with a knot okay, but the thread wouldn't move after that so there was no way I could "close the ring". I think the knot flipped accidentally, to be honest. It was years before I heard the term "flip the knot". All I knew after many tries was that a loop turned over and when I did that with both halves of the stitch, it made a nice looking stitch which slid on the core thread. I made 4 or 5 rings, slowly, painfully, and with lots of non-sliding knots in the process. I do remember laying it down to read the boys a story. Apparently I just put it away, thinking I'd pick it up again when I had more time. After all, I knew the secret now and could tat.
Famous Last Words!
Fast forward 12 or 13 years(1997). I was working full time. My two older kids had graduated from high school and the two younger ones were starting high school. I found my shuttle again! Oh yay! I have time to do this now, I thought to myself. With unabashed confidence, I wound thread on the bobbin and stuck it in the shuttle. I still wasn't clear about that hole in the bobbin or the hole in the top blade of the shuttle but I tied the thread about the bobbin and might have even tried putting the thread through the shuttle hole but that didn't last long. I had to refresh my memory with the how-to book to sort out how to put the thread around my hand and how to make the movements with the shuttle. So far, so good.
Now, you're not going to believe this: I ended up with a knot.
What was I doing wrong? I fussed with it for two weeks. The frustration was even more intense because I knew I had successfully tatted a ring before. Now I was getting nothing but permanent icky going-nowhere knots!
So I was strolling around in Hobby Lobby one day and saw the Needle Tatting book and needles. I ignored it. Too much money and besides, I knew how to tat....if I could only remember the key. A few weeks later, in desperation and with healthy discount coupon in hand, I bought the needle tatting book and needles.
Oh my. I was instantly successful. I knew it was different, but I was making rings. And then chains. And I made a ring only bookmark. The Internet was new at my workplace and there was only one computer that you could connect to it on. I was still learning my way around and I don't even remember how I searched for it but I searched "tatting". I found Tat-Chat and what has become In-Tatters. I found a website by Carrie Carlson with BIG drawings of shuttle and thread. And then it hit me. The Flip. THE FLIP! I'd forgotten THE FLIP! The needles went back into their tube. The book went into my library. I never looked back.
I hated the metal Boye shuttle and found David Reed Smith online and ordered a very small wooden shuttle. Loved it. I bought more. A coworker gave me a red plastic Boye she'd had for years without learning to tat with. I found a beautiful Tortoise colored shuttle at St. Vincent DePaul's. I bought an ivory Bates shuttle. I bought more Smith shuttles. I bought some tortoise Clover shuttles. I bought some Comfi shuttles. I bought some German shuttles. I found more shuttles in second hand stores. The neon colored Clover shuttles came out and I bought some. THEY became the perfect working shuttles for me.
See that round spot? One of my problems with the metal shuttle was that it kept sliding out of my hand. Someone on one of the lists suggested getting these little round rubber circles in the sewing department which are adhesive on one side and to stick it on the shuttle so I'd have some "grip". It did help but that darn hook got in my way too. I have no idea why this still has thread in it!
So...self-taught....both times...but I recommend to anyone and everyone to get a mentor or a teacher or a video - something with a moving visual! And that's why I'm always willing to help someone who is frustrated with tatting. I remember the feeling all too well. I am SO GLAD I stuck with it.