Look, Ma, I’m tatting!

Back in March, my friend Amanda lent me a tatting shuttle and some crochet thread after she had shown me tatting.  Amanda did a demonstration on how to do it, and I thought it looked pretty.

A few nights after that, I tried to teach myself.  And I tried.  I just couldn’t do it.  I could not get that darn stitch to flip.  I gave up on it.  Until a few nights ago.

Oh, what is tatting?  Tatting is a way to make lace, usually with a shuttle.  Legend has it that tatting was the poor women’s way of getting lace for fancy clothing.  It evolved into an art that was fading and nearly forgotten, but is now making a comeback.

Three basic parts of tatting are the double stitch, the flip, and the picot.  The double stitch is the knot you make.  The flip is manipulating the knot to slide up and down the shuttle thread.  The picot is a little loop between double stitches.  Not the greatest explanation, but you get the point.

I was ordering a few things off Amazon for a friend’s birthday, and decided to grab a few things off my own and my DH’s to even it out for free shipping.  I had a few tatting books on my list, so I decided to get the cheapest one, Easy Tatting.  It had decent reviews and I thought it would be good.

The well-illustrated diagrams helped me A LOT.  I can do the double stitch! The stitches do the flip! I can make sloppy picots!  They slide up and down the thread like they are supposed to! Huzzah!

 I have been practicing making rings with the double stitch and picots.  See my poor little ring?  I’m proud of that ring. It’s not spiffy like Amanda’s, but I’ll get there.  I’ve only been tatting a few days!

This seems to be a repeating theme in my crafting life.  If I don’t succeed, put it down, and pick it up a long time later, and, BINGO, I’ve got the right idea! 

So, Amanda, THANK YOU!  I will get my own shuttle and return yours to you.  I think I’m going to like this craft.

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My Saturday

I had a great Saturday.  Let me tell you about it.

Joan, Amanda (in her awesome hat), and me.

My friends, Amanda and Joan, and I went to a tea room in East Berlin, PA called The Lady Bug Tea Room.  Joan had heard about the tea rooms in South Central Pennsylvania, and thought that we should all get together, and Amanda and I concurred. 

The Blue Willow teacup I chose.

This Victorian tea room was four courses of heaven, with a lot of tea.  I encourage you to look at their web site, and the photos that I have here.  You got to pick your own teacup and teapot.  Miss Millie, the cook, offers vegetarian and gluten free meals, as well.  All of their food is homemade, local, and delicious. 

After a delightful tea, luncheon, and conversation, we all headed to The Manning’s, a yarn crafting and needle arts Mecca.  It is HUGE.  If you want it, they have it.  Again, check out their web site.  They ship! 
Amanda, a fellow knitter, crafter, and DIY-er, and I were in our ZONE.  This place was incredible.  Joan got to see us act like kids in a candy store.  Each room held wonders to behold.  I was able to control myself, and came out with only $20.00 in purchases.  I could’ve spent much, much, more there. 
We then proceeded on to a MASSIVE thrift store that is located inside a former large grocery store.  It was amazing to see all the rows of clothes and goods all arranged in color-coordinated rows.  I finally found a nice, black skirt and a new top.  Joan and Amanda came away with some great finds, too. 
Finally, we headed to a Chinese restaurant called Forbidden City that serves gluten free food, as Amanda is GF eater, and I am beginning to suspect that I may have that issue, too, but more on that at another time.  We closed the place out talking. 
I’ve got to tell you about Amanda.  This girl is one of the craftiest people I know.  She spins, crochets, tats, sews, and knits.  She got me interested in tatting myself, and lent me a few supplies to get started.  It looks like fun! She also gave me some great tips and tricks into picking spindle spinning back up, too. 
Joan has also had tatting experience as a child with her grandmother.  Otherwise, Joan is the world traveler of the group.  I envy her experiences and live vicariously through her stories and photographs of places she’s been.  Amanda and I will get her into a craft one day. 🙂
How can you go wrong with great friends, food and fun?  I really needed that day out, as all three of us did.  I can’t wait to do this again, Joan and Amanda.  When shall we get together again?

Insomnia

I could not fall asleep until about 5am this morning.  I got about four hours of sleep.  Maybe it was all the caffeinated teas, or the massive dose of prednisone (again…grrrr), but I was wide awake in bed.  Perhaps it was from the excitement of the day, too.  I had a great day yesterday.  More on that tomorrow, though.

As I lay in bed, I wondered what I could be doing with the time I was awake.  I could knit.  I could pick spinning back up, or I could start tatting, which my friend Amanda got me interested in, as well as loaning me some starter supplies.  I ended up knitting for an hour.  And then I sleepy. 

I have a lot on my plate!  I am excited and motivated, despite being tired. I will tell you about my awesome day with Joan and Amanda tomorrow, or later today if I have the time.  It was a great time with great friends and it was exactly what I needed in my life at that point.