Do you remember May Day (May First) back in the "old days?" As a child I recall taking paper doilies and folding them into cones and adding a hanging string or ribbon. Then I would gather flowers (I suspect some of them were just pretty weeds.) and bundle them into the cones. The flowers were then hung on the doors of ladies, moms, grandmas, aunties, teachers and spinsters. Thus, May always reminds me of flowers and lace.
PIECEWORK® Magazine also celebrates the month of May with a special issue on lace, their 7th annual issue. This cover shows knitted lace and promises patterns and articles on shuttle-tatted, needle-tatted and crocheted laces, too. Jane Fournier presents the basic shuttle tatting instructions. That article is followed by a traditional style tatted edging designed by Barbara Foster combined with a corner motif added by Leisa Refalo.
Most tatters will recognize the name of Barbara Foster. She first published needle tatting instructions in the late 1980s and by 1990 had founded "Handy Hands Tatting," a premier supplier of tatting accessories, books, and threads. Barbara is also a collector of vintage tatting publications. She is one among several tatters actively trying to preserve old tatting books and spread the availability of new tatting books around the world.
This issue contains an article written by Barbara Foster on the history and development of needle tatting. With her extensive library of vintage tatting publications, she has researched the origins of needle tatting and has found a reference to needle tatting in an 1843 needlework book. However, the needle tatting method described was that of using a blunt needle as if it were a shuttle. (See more at: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art16422.asp) The first use of the needle by wrapping thread onto it has not been pinpointed yet, but there is an article in the Modern Priscilla April 1917 which illustrated that technique.
Handy Hands Tatting offers a newsletter, also. New patterns for needle tatting are included and announcements of tatting events nationally and internationally. But the highlight of the newsletter for me is the vintage tatting publication that is in every issue. This Spring/Summer 2014 issue has the second part of "Tatting; Beginners's Lesson on Working" by Norma Benporath, OAM. (See: http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art183348.asp) There are 15 lacy household pieces whose edgings and motifs are timeless and can be used in so many ways today.
I know tatters are passionate about tatting, but we also embrace laces of all methods. That is but one reason I am a member of the International Organization of Lace, Inc. The Spring issue of their "Bulletin" has just arrived and I have read it cover to cover already. Tatting is included every issue. This time there is a simple rabbit for young tatters to try out and the tatting column is written this time by Karey Solomon, editor of Tatting Times. Her tatted umbrella to ward off "April Showers," is a teaching pattern. It explains terms such as CTM, continuous thread method and recommends a study of the double double or balanced double stitch.
But it is the cover article that fascinated me this time. It is the story of Kristen Wurtz who traveled to Brazil to teach bobbin lace to nuns. This gave me a smile as nuns have been the guardians of lace and teachers of lacemakers for centuries. This order of nuns now is preparing their own altar laces and hopes to be able to earn funds in the future from the sale of their lace.
Happy Spring to all!
Cluny Flowers in two thread colors shared Dagmar Pezzuto 2014 © from the Online Tatting Class lessons.
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Georgia Seitz, Tatting Editor http://tatting.bellaonline.com One of hundreds of sites at BellaOnline.com