tatting Newsletter


August 23 2011 Tatting Newsletter

The Brainerd & Armstrong Spool Silk Co and Brainerd and Armstrong Silk Mill was located in New London, Connecticut 1867. Brainerd and Armstrong manufactured silk thread, and to help sell the thread, published their needlework books, particularly their "Embroidery Lessons" series of books with gorgeously colored illustrations. In one article I was surprised to read that from 1884 to 1887 Brainerd & Armstrong sold 1 ounce silk thread for 40 cents, but in 1889, that same amount ‘half price’... 40 cents! Marketing gimmicks go way back with thread manufacturers apparently.

The crazy quilt enthusiasts among tatters will be interested to note that the silk thread came with cards featuring 100 types of crazy stitches. Brainerd & Armstrong used this in advertising from 1884 to 1902.

Although Nonotuck Silk and "Brainerd & Armstrong" Silk were two different turn of the century silk thread manufacturers, they worked closely together. By 1922, the Nonotuck Silk Company merged with the Brainerd and Armstrong Company to form the Corticelli Silk Company; ten years later, the Corticelli Silk Company merged with the Belding-Hemingway Company.

From the Brainerd & Armstong 1889 publication a Tatted Edge and the "Fairy Queen" Tatting found on pages 65-66.

Note in the directions:

stitches or st. = DS

purl or p. = picot

turn the loop thus made downward = RW

spool = ball

curve = chain

loop = ring

draw up = close the ring



Watch out! For the "Fairy Queen" Tatting pattern, the word "loop" is used to mean a picot! If you start from the left side of the illustration do a starter picot on a chain then...

CH 6 - 6 - 8 RW

R 6 + (join to the starter picot) 6 close ring. Leave no space.

R 6 - 6 close ring. RW

CH 10 RW

R 6 + (join to picot on previous ring)1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 6 close ring. Leave no space.

R 6 + (join to last picot on previous ring) 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 6 close ring. Leave no space.

R 6 + (join to last picot on previous ring) 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 1 - 6 close ring. RW

CH 10 RW

R 6 + (join to last picot on previous ring) 6 close ring. RW


R 6 + (join to picot on previous ring) 6 close ring. RW

CH 8 + (join to picot on chain opposite) 6 - 6 +( join to picot on previous ring) and continue to chain and begin the repeat.

As always with these antique patterns, if there is a diagram or illustration of the lace, go by it. Use common sense for making joins in appropriate places and don't let the odd terminology fool you.


Here's the latest article from the Tatting site at BellaOnline.com.

Padded Tatting Rose
A a pattern using padded tatting from an illustration from the Needlecraft Magazine of May 1929, page 10.


Please visit tatting.bellaonline.com for even more great content about Tatting.

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Georgia Seitz, Tatting Editor

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