Tatting is not an Olympic sport but it requires the same type of dedication from a tatter as any sport requires from an athlete. I began tatting in 1979 and I can remember yet the thrill of my first doily. I had spent many hours learning the basics and I was thrilled that all those rings and chains and cloverleaf motif came together in one piece. And it was huge, nearly 5" across and I had used very fine thread, size 20. I blocked it and pressed it and showed it to anyone who stood still more than 2 minutes. I was as proud as any Olympic hopeful.
I continued my tatting training and went on to search for pattern books. The first real book of tatting that I found (not a Workbasket) was "The Complete Book of Tatting" by Rebecca Jones. That book remains a standard tatting reference resource to this day. I was delighted with it. And then it happened. Disillusionment. My wonderful doily looked dismal next to some of the tatting in the book. Oh my. My Olympic dreams of gold medals and purple rosettes at the fair crumbled to dust.
But I enjoyed tatting so much. I was passionate about it. So I determined to improve. And I did over the years, stitch by stitch. I used thread fine and fat. I did projects small and tall.
I branched out into writing patterns and learned how to bring other tatters together for special projects. My fifth book of patterns, "Tatting with Friends" brought dozens of tatters from around the world together. And isn't that just what the Olympics do? And there were colored ribbons along the way, too. But no gold medals.
And in 2008, I acted as a Judge for the tatting Olympics at the International Organization for Lacemakers convention in Rockford Illinois, USA. Prizes were given, ribbons with chocolate gold coins and books and more. Dianna Stevens donated a copy of her book "It's in the Bag" as a prize for the event in which the tatter had to tat a pattern in the dark by wearing the convention tote bag over their head. Speed tatting is a favorite of the crowd but that time the tatter had to tat while speed walking around an oval course. Team sports were included also. Sitting close together, one tatter moved the shuttle and one tatter held the ring.
So this February as the Winter Olympics begin in Sochi, why not have your own mini-Olympics? Find the most challenging pattern you know and start tatting! Happy Tatting.
Here's the latest article from the Tatting site at BellaOnline.com.
Lacework! Tatting Lace Asahi Originals "Lacework! Tatting Lace" is published by Applemints ©2013. It is a 8.5" x 10 " (22 x 26 cm) paperbound book with 65 pages packed with full color photos of the tatting, full color tutorials and multicolored diagrams.
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Georgia Seitz, Tatting Editor
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