Wednesday, 2 September 2009

How do you tat?

Yesterday's post brought a copy of Rebecca Jones' Complete Book of Tatting. I'd been contemplating this purchase for a little while and finally took the plunge, thinking that it would be very helpful to have a reference book to help with my regular tatting dilemmas. I think I've mentioned before that I'm a self-taught tatter and that I've never met anyone who can tat, or ever seen someone tat in the flesh (or perhaps in the thread), so I was interested to see the six different methods of tatting that Rebecca Jones outlines. Turns out that I use a seventh method - completely different to any shown in the book!

Anyway, I thought I'd give some of the alternative methods a go. I started by looking at method number 2, the "traditional method .... used by the majority of modern tatters" thinking that if everyone else is doing it, so will I. Unfortunately, I could not make head nor tail of the instructions - you seem to need not only hand-eye coordination but hand-hand-eye coordination. I was worried that I would end up with both hands tied together so I gave up and settled on method number 1, the "reverse Riego method". Something about Mlle Riego's name and history enticed me to try this technique and I found that I enjoyed it a lot - enough to tat a little motif from page 48 of the same book using a free sample of Altin Basak thread from Tatting and Design. This is motif number 20 in my 25 motif challenge.

I'd love to know - do you tat using any of the methods shown in Rebecca Jones' book, or do you have an original technique all of your own?


Gina said...

There is a wonderful DVD put out by the Palmetto Tatters Group that is titled "Hands", I believe, and it shows the hands of many many tatters who have attended their tat day while they are tatting. You get to see about as many different ways as hands. I'm pretty sure it's still available. Just go to their website and order it. I am self-taught also, from a Coats & Clark how-to booklet, but at this point I've met many other tatters and observed/learned a few techniques that refined my skills. Also, if you look at the free YouTube clips on tatting, you'll see some different methods.

sewmuchfun4 said...

I use the traditional, hand tying, tatting method and after reading your description feel WONDERFULLY coordinated and if you knew me you would know how GOOD that makes me feel!

I've looked at the other methods and been more than a little confused. Perhaps it's a case of "dance with the one that brung you" and once you have a tatting style and have adapted it to yourself, just go with it. Your tatting is BEAUTIFUL however you accomplish it!

:) Ann

Fox said...

Hi, Charlotte,
That is a good book. I too am self-taught, and the description of all those methods completely flummoxed me! I don't think I ever finished reading that chapter!

Your motif looks very, very good! Lovely stitches. So, you are doing something right!
Fox : ))

Vanessa said...

Isn't it great having internet access to people who tat when there is no-one physically around who is interested in it?

I've been teaching a few friends to tat, but they prefer to do other crafts.

A lovely lady taught me to tat earlier ths year, but I found it very difficult to do it her way. So I looked on u-tube and found a very easy style of tatting. It is this easier style of tatting that I use now.

P.S. Your heart pattern looks gorgeous.

Kathy Niklewicz said...

I already was tatting the 'traditional' method before I acquired Rebecca Jones' book. I was quite amazed that there WERE other methods, but I had no interest in researching those. I was, and continue to be, quite happy with the 'traditional'. However, I do tat using the 'crochet hold', meaning that I hold my forefinger up on the left hand, rather than the middle finger. You certainly have mastered tatting, in any event!

I'm still trying to become interested in 'right-side, wrong-side' - another method I had no idea about until recently. I almost feel too 'set in my ways' to change now.

Kathy Niklewicz said...

P.S. - Thanks for describing your job a few posts back! I knew there probably was a dinosaur connection (very cool), but it's amazing how many other aspects there are. Not exactly the 'usual' 9-to-5 job! I admire your academic expertise!

Quiltification said...

Thanks for all your comments. I suppose it is the academic in me that wants to know all the different ways there are to tat, though I'm going to stick with my tried and true method.

Gina - I've taken your advice and had a look at some YouTube clips - some people are so quick, it looks as though the movie has been speeded up!

sewmuchfun4 - I'm in awe of anyone who can tat the traditional way and not get tangled up in thread. You have my respect - I would have to ask Mr Quiltification to cut me free if I attempted it!

Fox, Vanessa - thank you for your kind comments about my tatting. I am really enjoying the friendliness of tatters over the internet.

Kathy - I too am trying to get to grips with frontside/backside tatting. You don't realize how ingrained some things are until you try to change. I have to really concentrate to make sure I start with the other half of the double stitch.