Here is motif number 3 - the Winter Crystal Snowflake from Samantha Melnychuk's A Veritable Tatted Blizzard. I finished this one yesterday and before starting another motif, I thought I'd learn a new technique.
I learned to tat as a teenager in the 1980s from a pamphlet called "Learn to Tat" that I found at the bottom of my mum's knitting basket. She'd had it since the 50s or 60s but had never got to grips with tatting. I taught myself from that book and have tatted on and off since then, but because I am self taught and have never met another soul who can tat, I had never seen anyone else tat - until yesterday. Yesterday, I decided to learn how to make split rings, and figured that the best place to find instruction would be the web. I came across a couple of great tutorials on YouTube and within 20 minutes I'd tatted my first split ring.
But the most remarkable thing for me was seeing someone else tat - watching their hands flash backwards and forwards and the stitches magically appear under their fingers. I tat nothing like this - I hold my shuttle in a different orientation, my hands certainly don't flash, and in comparison I think I must look awkward and jerky. After a couple of minutes of watching open-mouthed and feeling a bit inadequate, I've decided not to "correct" my technique. My finished tatting looks fine and I enjoy doing it. I also know that I look fairly slow and awkward when I knit - I've never got the hang of wrapping the yarn around the needle in one easy motion. Trying to get it right makes me feel stressed. So, with no-one watching me, I'm going to carry on as I am!