Thursday, June 30, 2011

I was the appreciative recipient recently of some vintage newsletters from the 1980's, sent out by a Wisconson group and titled KNOTS & NOTES, editor Kathryn J. Johns. Each one is only 3-4 letter size pages but it's a nice step back into history that seems like only yesterday.

The first one I picked up was dated March 1985 and on the next to last page, I found a name I recognized: Marilee Rockley! She donated a pattern of a simple butterfly. So I tatted it! However, it's not right...I got the wings upside down! Even so I think it's pretty. It's tatted in Lizbeth size 40 but don't remember the name of the colorway.

I haven't tatted much this week. On Tuesday night I bobbinlaced with my lace friend and when I got home, I started an embroidery project. I worked on that project a little bit last night but I also spent a lot of time going through some magazines I found in a closet. Most of them had pages marked with projects I want to do...some day. One of them had this page of letters from readers. THREE times TATTING is mentioned! They are marked with a red star.

If you click on it, it should enlarge and you might be able to click again and get it bigger and easier to read. Look at how tatters were generously sharing their ideas even back then! Oh, this is a Needlecraft magazine but I don't remember the year, either 1915 or 1916. I'm not sure I understand what the first reader is talking about in the "second thread". It sounds like she is making a ring but if it's a second thread, that would be the ball thread. Perhaps she is saying she weaves the thread through the fingers and holds it in a pinch but I really can't tell. Can you?

I'm going to be hosting a thread giveaway on the 4th. There will be more than one giveaway but they'll all be announced and running at the same time. Since so many people might be traveling for the US Fourth of July holiday weekend, I thought it prudent to start on the 4th and let it run until the following Sunday. So this is a heads up, in case YOU are traveling! One clue...all the thread is tiny thread, probably size 70 or 80.


  1. How cool! Denise was really into subscribing to newsletters back then. I wasn't. I wonder if she has any of those early publications?

    I love the butterfly, even if it isn't quite right. Wonderful color!

  2. That butterfly reminds me of a tiny Mardi Gras mask! If it were in shades of purple, green and gold it would work perfectly.

  3. It is wonderful to see the tips shared by the needleworkers almost 100 years ago! That tradition did continue in magazines, but it certainly would have been a long wait to get the letters published and ideas shared!

    I would say the 'second thread' was the 'ball' thread.

    I'm amazed anyone would self-publish a newsletter in the '80s! (Typewriters? Photocopy machines? yikes!) That would have been so much work. It must have been fun to see Marilee's pattern in there!

    My hat is off to all those who kept the tatting flame alive until the internet changed everything!

  4. The butterfly looks great to me even though the wings are upside down, a very clever lady. Oh must look out for the 4th July give-a-away!

  5. What a wonderful butterfly pattern and I love your choice of colours. I would just turn it around and it makes a fabulous looking butterfly. Second thread could be referring to ball thread.

  6. I couldn't figure out what she means in the article either.

    But, you are right! Those were early days in Tat-land and even back in the days before this instant communication we enjoy, tatters were taking the time to share their knowledge and reach out to other unknown tatters out there with shuttle in hand, in the world.

    Love it! Nice find in your closet!
    Fox : )


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