Monday, June 18, 2012

Pursuing the Perfect Picot

Another perfect day on the Farm

At the beginning of June, my friend Mary and I ventured north again to our friend Luann’s place, The Nestle Inn, for a weekend visit and for the circular sock knitting machine retreat in nearby Coleman.  We did the usual gabbing, eating, tech-talk and crafting. This time, the subject of tatting was high on the list. 

Out for a jog

I shared my news about discovering needle tatting through a cousin of mine and both were intrigued.  Mary, who is well connected in just about everything, including the lace making world, told us about the upcoming Great Lakes Lace Group, Inc. guild meeting and sale in Farmington, MI.  

Bobbin Lace

Bobbin Lace Close-up


By a stroke of luck, the Great Lakes guild sale was to take place the following weekend,  June 9th – perfect timing and location!  Mary, her visiting cousin, and I were able to attend while Luann stayed back to tend to the Inn and farm. As you can see from the pictures, it was an awe-inspiring event.  There were ladies demonstrating and some even gave free bobbin lace mini-lessons to those interested.  We asked lots of questions and did a lot of jaw dropping! 

Tatted Earrings

Tatted Blanket

Tatted LaceTrim

Learn the Easy Art of
Needle Tatting and More
by Barbara Foster
Handy Hands, Inc.

Meanwhile, around the corner and down the hall from the display area, we found the conference room where the sale was taking place.  It was filled with oodles of supplies for most needle crafts; books, thread, yarns, needles, shuttles and bobbins galore, even knitting supplies. 

UH OH!  I feel "new hobby fever" coming on!  <swoon>  We found the tatting needles, tatting threads of all weights and sizes, and books and DVDs on the subject.   Mary and I picked up supplies for ourselves and a little sumpin' sumpin' for Luann.  We came away with a pretty decent haul.  After a reviving snack of delicious guild-supplied homemade treats and a cup of coffee we got our strength back and headed home with our stashes. 

Over the last few months, several attempts at using the tatting shuttle have been made with little success.  For me, it's a coordination thing.  Being a true lefty, learning to hold the shuttle (right-handed) and manipulate the yarns with the correct tension in my left is a futile endeavor at this point.  To say the least, it's a humbling experience.

As soon as I got home from the sale, I began studying how to use the needle.  I had purchased a how-to DVD and began working along with the video.  After a few small samples, I was convinced.  I think I’ve found the needle method is the one for me!!  <sigh of relief> 

Needle Tatted Medallion
Very First Tatted Project

Well, there are lots of mistakes in my samples and the picots are far from perfect but I am working on it!  At least I have something to show for the effort and I’m finally beyond only being able to do the double stitch!

I haven’t given up on the shuttle; in fact, I want to learn it now more than ever.  I will definitely give it another try after I master the stitches using the needle.  I also love the idea that beads can be added using a needle or a shuttle.  Woo hoo!  Lace and beads!  What more could a girl want!
Needle Tatted Medallion - Project 2

Another relaxing visit with Luann at the Inn and farm this last weekend produced these two samples... it's great to learn in a positive and nurturing environment with a couple of good friends, even if one friend could only attend via Skype.   

Lace Trim for a blouse - Project 3