SOAR Review – Tatting

Armed with new found curiosity about a fiber craft that I abandoned before I even started, I went to Mielke’s Farm booth and picked up a copy of The Complete Book of Tatting by Rebecca Jones. From this book, I found out that there is not one way to tat, not 3, but six different methods of tatting. The sixth method is needle tatting. There are 3 different tools that can be used: tatting needle for needle tatting, and shuttles with and without a hook on the end.

I also found out that the method that I was introduced to before is what Rebecca labeled as the Traditional Method (Method 2). After reading through all the different methods using a shuttle, I found that the Reverse Riego is the method that makes the most sense to me. The whole in/out of the traditional method just doesn’t make any sense to me. Also, her clear diagrams of what you are trying to achieve, at each step of the way, made it easy for me to check what was happening.

Tatting Shuttle and Lace SamplerMaybe it was the book. Maybe it was the pretty shuttle. Maybe it was the pretty thread that I spun myself out of some silk roving from Carol Rhoades’ class. Maybe it was because the pretty silk matched the pretty shuttle. Maybe it was because I was tying plenty of half hitches on my boat in the past few years. Maybe it was all that creative energy of the SOAR participants swirling around me. Maybe it was all of it. It clicked. It. Just. Clicked.

Shuttle is a Lacis Dymondwood Shuttle from Carolina Homespun. The silk is handspun and chain plied. I didn’t check the wpi.

And the greatest thing? A few yards of silk (that took about 15-30 minutes to spin and ply) and a shuttle will provide hours and hours of entertainment. Seriously. You can’t get more portable than that.

As you can see, my lace isn’t very even yet. I’m still having problems getting consistent sizing on my picots. I’m also having problems joining my rings into a circular motif. But I’m sure that will come with practice. My picots are already starting to look better.

Tatting epiphany was one of the most memorial events of the market/free day at SOAR.

Other memorable events?

It was during the 2 hours in line to purchase my rovings from Rovings that I got to talk with Charlotte about my new life changes, and where she shared her experiences. She was extremely encouraging and helped put aside some of my hesitations and fears on whether this is the right thing to do or not.

Um, yeah, you read that right. Two hours. Yes, from the time I picked out my fiber to the time that I actually paid for my purchase was 2 hours. 2 hours in line while some of the best shopping to be had was snatched up by others. 2 hours of not buying anything. 2 hours of not spending money. Silver lining and all that.

Unfortunately, and I completely blame Charlotte for this, Charlotte told me that she would hold my place in line while I browse the market. I just wanted to look at some pretty spindles. What I actually did was get sucked into the Watson Wheels booth.

This was dangerous because I always wanted my fairytale spinning wheel. I have several castle styled wheels, but never found a Norwegian/Saxony styled wheel that I really liked.

Well, not quite true. I was saving up for a Schacht-Reeves. I tried out Morgaine’s right-hand flyer Schacht-Reeves at her home once and fell in love. I’ve also tried the Lendrum Saxony. It didn’t call out to me. I tried a used Reeves 28″ Saxony. Again, it didn’t call to me.

From the moment I sat down at Marie, with the right-hand flyer, it was like coming home. Wow. It was so smooth. There was no awkwardness. Spinning was smooth. Treadling was smooth. There was no funky positioning of my body to make it work. And on top of it all, the cherry and the plain spokes just made my heart go pitter patter. (It’ll match my handmade cherry bed frame.) Aside. Did you know that all the cherry he uses are recovered from storm damaged cherry trees? He recovers, mills and cures the wood himself to ensure quality and stability of the wood he uses.

After I made my purchase at Rovings, I went back to the Watson Wheels booth several times. By afternoon, I wrote out a check as a deposit for a new wheel.

There is no justification for this, as Grace might have implied. I never pretended that there was a need for this wheel. I just wanted it. Plain and simple. I will make no excuses for it. I will love it when it arrives. I can’t wait. (It will reside at the cottage. I have a perfect place for it so I can spin and watch the shipping traffic.)

Blog Note

For those returning visitors, I’ve been playing with the template. The new picture in the header is one that I took a couple of weeks ago at the cottage. I love the light, the fog layer, and the fact that you can see the tops of the Olympics as well as the sound. Hopefully, some of that brush on the bottom of the picture will be cleared away by the next time I’m up there, so I will have a better view when sitting down in the living room. I won’t be getting rid of all of them — gotta keep the bluff (and house!) from sliding down the hill, but trimmed so that it is manageable.