People have often asked me why I like to tat. “After all,” they say, “it’s so tedious, intricate, difficult and time consuming; not to mention that nobody appreciates it anymore.”
Personally, I don’t find all of that to be the case at all. Yes, it can be tedious if I make a mistake and have to untie some of those knots that weren’t made the way or place that I intended them to be. And, it’s true that some patterns can be difficult if there’s a mistake in the way it was written. And, yes, some patterns can be time consuming. But, who doesn’t appreciate the intricacy of a lacy tatted project? Often, when I teaching somewhere (or just tatting on my own at the doctors or some place else that I’m doing some waiting time), strangers easily approach me and strike up a conversation about what I’m working on. Stories are often related about how their mothers/grandmothers/aunts/sisters/etc used to do tatting. Not only women but, men also initiate conversations reminiscing of some fond memory of watching a loved one (shuttle in hand) creating a delicate piece of lace for a hankie or other article.
I’ve developed many friendships from these conversations that stem from a shuttle or needle and a ball of thread. I find it amazing; how an aged craft, such as tatting, can shorten the generation gap or bring strangers together and be the cause of many lifelong relationships: or how it has no bigotries against age, gender, nationality or any of those other things that people allow to separate themselves from one another. With crafting, such as tatting, there are no boundaries. Everybody is only separated by experience…and that is only a temporary thing as each individual pushes forward with new stitches, perfecting tension and even designing their own patterns.
With tatting being such a portable craft, I find that it’s something that I grab over other crafts that I do. It can be put in your purse, in a separate small bag or even in a zip lock baggie. So, bring your tatting work with you to the doctors’ office, to work, in the car while waiting for the kids to get out of school or your husband to get off of work. And, when people ask about your tatting, don’t be afraid to ask if they tat or would like to learn. By ‘putting yourself out there’ to teach others, you’re opening the door to teach another person the art of tatting and you’re opening your heart to the possibility of gaining a new friend.