Building a Tatting Library -Techniques
All New Knotless Tatting
Dora Young's book contains a technique known as bridging or the split chain. The split chain along with the split ring and mock picot make it possible for tatters to climb out from the center of a piece of lace or from row to row without cutting the thread. Dora's knotless method chain technique is the only tatting technique to have been granted a U.S. Patent (Feb. 1977.)
The works of Helma Siepmann
Known in German tatting circles as a master of floral design and encapsulation, Helma Siepmann's "Kreatives Occhi" style of free form tatting teaches tatters to create floral blossoms, stems and leaves using rings whose picots are elongated or reduced to create the impression of petal or leaf. Additional leaf styles similar to maidenhair ferns and flowers like violets and plum blossoms are created by crocheting the tops of picots. Among others is a method of gathering the tops of groups of picots to create leaves and petals for large format blossoms. Her tatting lifted so many "restrictions" and popularized floral designs and collages.
New Dimensions in Tatting
To de Haan van Beek stunned tatters with her realistic flowers, butterflies and insects found in "New Dimensions in Tatting" Covering the normal shuttle and needle tatting methods thoroughly, the true jewel in this book is the highlighting of the tatting technique which uses a needle as if it were a shuttle. This needle allowed us to take the core thread in directions not possible before and through spaces too small to accommodate the shuttle. This needle as shuttle method, combined with a unique way to make joins using the ball thread give depth, dimension, and texture to flower petals, insect wings and gecko bodies. There was also frequent use of a ball thread join, often referred to today as "inverted" or "Dutch" tatting.
Nina Libin brought fresh insight into the art of creating beaded tatting, or as she says, tatted lace of beads. Her first book, "Tatted Lace of Beads The Techniques of Beanile Lace" lead us on a journey of discovery and exploration of the many possible combinations of beads, threads, and knots. As a primer for learning the basic stitches in tatting, it offers step by step instructions and detailed illustrations showing the movements of the hands. It goes on to examine multiple traditional ways to incorporate beads in the tatting. Placement of beads on both rings and chains and over joins are practiced through eighteen projects.
After grounding the tatter in a solid understanding of tatting enhanced with beads, she leads us beyond the ordinary to explore beading enhanced by tatting. Here a new art form is created from the merging of these two traditional crafts. This merger brings to life delicate tendrils of filigree lace glistening with beads and gemstones. And such three-dimensional beaded tatting encourages the creation of stunning jewelry and appliques. It can be formed into clothing accessories and used to replace the traditional elements of Irish Lace Crochet to awe-inspiring effect.
Workbasket Magazine - Tatting column by Myrtle Hamilton
Myrtle Hamilton was one of the constant gardeners of the art of tatting. Myrtle produced wonderful designs of all kinds which were published in the Workbasket, Stitch n Sew, Popular Needlework, Old Time Crochet and many others. I firmly believe that Myrtle kept tatting alive in the USA for decades. Myrtle was born at a time that let her experience many great moments in history. From world wars to landing on the moon, from horses to autos, from news 6 weeks old to CNN live reports, she lived it all. The tatting world has been enriched by dedicated teachers and designers like Myrtle Hamilton who helped prevent tatting from becoming a lost art. Her Workbasket designs were basic and in classic style. Any of the older issues contain tatting gems and would be excellent additions to any library.
Ed.'s Note: I acquired all these books for my own personal reference library over the last 3 decades. -G. Seitz
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