Last year Martha Ess published a new book about the most decorative of the tatted elements, the picot. The picot, which is perhaps the tatted element used most often, doesn't actually exist. The picot is truly just a space left in the work, which, when we surround it with thread, "peeks" up in a most pleasing manner. But there is a trick to how we surround the space with thread. At that time Martha Ess was studying a very old tatting publication book, "Tatting, or Frivolité" by Mrs. Mee and Miss Austin. You can find that very book linked here at BellaOnline.com. http://www.bellaonline.com/content/link_list.asp?id=3137.
Some years back I had a discussion with Gillian Buchanan a previous tatting editor at BellaOnline.com. Gillian is a tatting historian, also, and she called my attention to this exact book. We were discussing Couvrette #1, the Spanish Point Pattern. She has noticed this pattern gave directions a tatting a chain. Since the Mee/Austin book was published in 1862, the mention of the chain predates the first publication in which Mlle Riego presented the chain. Mlle Riego is a wonderful source for tatting patterns but we have noted that she may have claimed "credit" for developing techniques first when perhaps she had been second. (See more at: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art70461.asp)
Then recently, Dan Rusch-Fischer, AKA Tatmeister at http://www.tribbler.com/tatman/ and tatting consultant to the Lace Museum (IOLI) in Sunnyvale CA, sent me these details he had discovered. It seems that Mrs. Cornelia Mee, nee Austin, (April 23, 1815 - Oct. 1875) was the daughter of Thomas and Sarah Austin of Bath, England and wife of Charles Mee. Charles Mee was a German Wool warehouseman in Bath (that accounts for the glowing recommendations of Berlin wool that appear in some of the pattern books.) They also ran a German Wool Shop in London. Cornelia's younger (by 10 years) sister Mary, worked at warehouse as a sales girl and later worked with Cornelia. They co-authored several knitting and crochet books.The Manual of Needlework
Tatting, or Frivolité
Crochet Explained and Illustrated
the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Series of Crochet & Tricot
The Manual of Knitting, 1st and 2nd Series
The Knitter's Companion, 1st and 2nd Series
Novelties in Crochet
The Queen's Winter Knitting Book, being a 3rd Series of the Knitter's Companion
Here's the latest article from the Tatting site at BellaOnline.com.
Edwige Renaudin, La Frivolité aux Navettes
Edwige Renaudin, "La Frivolité aux Navettes, Les Bases Fondamentales Perfectionnées Vol. 1" published by éditions didier carpentier, 2012, HB, more than 1000 photos and illustrations
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To participate in free, fun online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Tatting located here - http://forums.bellaonline.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=postlist&Board=39 I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I thrive on your feedback! Have fun passing this message along to family and friends, because we all love free knowledge! Georgia Seitz, Tatting Editor http://tatting.bellaonline.com One of hundreds of sites at BellaOnline.com