The first talent I want to blog about, and probably the one I will blog most about is Tatting.
My Grandma (my step-grandma, who came into my life when I was 14) had these beautiful doilies all over her house. There were blue ones in her living room. . . on the arms of her sofa, loveseat, and chairs, and big ones that went over the backs. There were matching ones on the end tables under the lamps and another on the the organ. She had beautiful pink doilies in her china closet under her fine china and crystal glasses. Peach doilies on her bedroom vanity. Which was one of those "waterfall" vanities. I thought the doilies were amazing!
I had seen tatting before, I have an aunt on another side of my family who tatted snowflakes and Christmas tree ornaments for my mom. They hung on our tree every year. I hadn't realized anything other than Christmas tree ornaments could be made by tatting.
Grandma could do anything, she was always crocheting, sewing, quilting or cooking. I asked Grandma if she would show me how to tat. I wanted to make a bunch of doilies for my trousseau. She told me that it was my Great Aunt Ted who made the doilies and that I would have to ask her if she would teach me.
Below is a picture of Aunt Ted surrounded by the lace of the pink doily she made.
Aunt Ted lived a little over an hour away and I never had a way of going to see her, but when I was 17 Aunt Ted had to move into a nursing home that was near Grandma's house. Grandma would go get Aunt Ted once a week and bring her to her house to have lunch and visit. One of these visits I told her how much I loved the doilies she made and asked her if she would teach me how to tat. Her face lit up!
Before her next visit I had to get a tatting shuttle and some thread. I found a little red plastic shuttle at one of the craft stores Grandma shopped at and borrowed some crochet thread from Grandma.
Aunt Ted and I sat down on the sofa and she showed me the double stitch. Very clearly explaining how the loop has to flip from the core thread to the working thread. She explained it so well, that I was able to close my first ring, and as I recall, every ring from then on.
As I said earlier, Aunt Ted was a resident at a nursing home, she was in her nineties and had dementia.
So, she had taught me the double stitch and how to make picots, then told me to practice and practice. I sat there on the couch next to her making ring after ring. She watched very intently then asked "What are you doing?"
I gave her a confused look, thinking I was doing something wrong, and replied "I'm tatting?"
She looked at me very pleased and said "Well, where did you learn to do that?" LOL
Here is a picture of one of the pink doilies and one of Grandma's crystal glasses. Aunt Ted passed away shortly after teaching me. Then Grandma passed on New Years Day 2000. Grandma had many grandkids, so I feel very blessed that I inherited this doily and Grandma's crystal glasses.
A couple years after Aunt Ted taught me to make rings and picots, I had gone to visit my aunt from my dad's side. She lived on the east coast and I had never been east of the Rocky Mountains. She taught me how to do chains. She even took me to buy tatting books. I loved putting it all together to actually make something out of the knots! I loved making edgings and made hankie after hankie for the ladies that I cared for.
At some point I put my shuttle down and didn't tat again for 10 years or so. . . TattingChic is another aunt of mine who tats. She was a closet tatter for many years so I had know idea that she also tatted. She loves tatting so much! She has inspired me to pick up my shuttle again. So a few days ago I did. . . and yesterday I finished my first project in years.
I know, I know. . . it is a snowflake, but I figured since it is the 4th of July, and it is a star shaped snowflake, that I would showcase it in Red White and Blue. I guess I should site where I found this pattern at, I googled free tatting patterns, snowflakes, it took me to Bella Online where I found this pattern designed by Eileen Stafford.
For those of you who want to critique my tatting, feel free. Like I said I haven't tatted in years and I only know how to do rings and chains. Looking at Aunt TattingChic's blog has opened my eyes to the many possibilities of tatting and I am so excited to keep learning it!