Friday, February 4, 2011

Learning to Tat

Miranda over at TattingFool  asked for our stories about learning to Tat

mine is very short and very old.

50 years ago, my grandmother (dad's mom) decided that I was old enough to learn.  She taught me how to tat one year when she was at our house helping mom after one of my brothers born.  She also taught me to make bread.
Any way,  She only knew how to make rings, but used them to decorate articles of clothing or handmade greeting cards. 

I have mentioned this before, but her method of tatting was to wrap your hand backwards from how we generally do it. and the double stitches were made in the palm of your hand. 

I tatted for a few years, but it wasn't any big deal to me at 6 or 7 years old so I put it away.  I picked it up again for a bit during high school, but no one else did it and everyone was crocheting so put it down again and crocheted (during study hall, can you imagine). 

After several of my kids were romping around, but before my grandmother died, I asked her to help me remember how to tat.  She was now getting on in years and had difficulty remembering, so I asked my mom's mother if  she had ever tatted.  She remembered haveing done it at one time, but wasn't able to help me much.  I found a book in a stitching catalog and ordered it. I relearned how to Tat and  I was finally able to get back in the groove, this was about the mid 80's. 

Grandma had given me her tatting shuttle,  it was a Detach-a-Spool.  I loved it, still do, and have several that I was able to find on ebay about 12 years ago.  It is hard to believe that it has been that long that I have been a part of the online tatting community. 

I have learned so much from the people online.  there just aren't many tatters in this area.  but I have met a few. 


  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I think it's so cool when people have family roots in tatting, or any other craft that they have chosen to continue.

  2. How fun to have your grandmother teach you to tat - even if you were only 6 or 7! She had a unique way of tatting - don't you wish you had a picture of her doing it?

    It's fun to read the stories - I think I may have to join in by telling my story too!

  3. Thanks Miranda and Cindy, I enjoyed your story Miranda and look forward to yours Cindy. Yes, it would have been nice to have a picture of grandma, but I do have the memories.

  4. I always enjoy reading how a person started their passion.

    Mine for knitting is even less exciting. I wanted to learn, mother told me to get a book from the library because she didn't have time.

    So I did. That is also how I taught myself to crochet as well; from a library book.

    Mother never knit much, crocheted more. My skills grew beyond hers over the years and it bothered her at times to ask for my help with her projects. I also taught her to read crochet charts which are great when making doilies.

  5. you may be self taught, Marybeth, but you are very well self taught. your mind must have a lot of fun working out knitting patterns, they are so easy for you.


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