CHRISTMAS ANGELS AND OTHER TATTING PATTERNS, by Monica Hahn, was published by Dover Publications, Inc.; copyrighted in 1982, 1985 and lastly in 1989.
Kicking off her publication, Ms. Hahn begins with some basic tatting instructions. Although some may disagree with her opening statement, concerning all tatting being made up of a double stitch; going on the knowledge that a double stitch is made up of half stitches, and a half stitch can be used-by itself-to create the Josephine stitch. Thus a half stitch might also be considered as a stitch in itself. One might also argue, mathematically, saying that a half stitch is still only half of a stitch. Yet, two halves (as in the first half of a stitch and the second half of a stitch) make a whole stitch, so where does a double stitch come in to play? And, why isnít there a stitch called a whole stitch?
I find that the hand-drawn illustrations, in this publication, are not very beneficial. For example: while showing the instructions on how to hold and weave the thread to create the stitches, one illustration pictures the models hand hovering above the ring thread. The next illustration shows the hand after it has already done its magic, having already created the half stitch and being pulled away. These illustrations would be next to impossible for a beginner to follow and get the gist of tatting.
Furthermore, I find that the written instructions also lack clear direction and the beginning tatter would most likely give up on the craft before understanding the directions given. The second half of the stitch isnít explained. One might believe that when doing this step, itís not important which side the shuttle comes back, of the running line. If you pull it back on the wrong side of the running line, youíll have simply wrapped the thread around the ring and not completed a knot. Nor is the Ďflipí explained in any detail.
The writers diagrams, of how to do a cluny (petal stitch), although drawn out with several illustrations, directions and a finger numbering system, seemed that it might be confusing to a beginner tatter.
Monica Hahn does have some beautiful patterns that one can follow if they already know how to tat. Some are a little complex, but others are basically simple patterns. Some of her more delicate patterns are medallion covers for a Christmas tree ball. Some more intricate patterns include tatted collars, a ĎPearlĒ Necklace, earrings, a 3-D butterfly and some edgings. Iím sure that tatters with a little bit of experience will greatly enjoy the wide variety of patterns in Ms. Hahnís book.