My first week of unemployement has passed, and I am struggling a bit to adjust. I have been quite restless, but at the same time I can't seem to get anything done. So I decided to learn a new skill! And what could be more fitting than the most popular handcraft amongst Victorian ladies, tatting!
Or Nupereller, as it's called here in Norway (yes, chew on that, my foreign friends :)
|Beautiful tatted border|
I have always loved the look of tatting, but never even heard of anyone doing it around where I live.
And when I tried to get the tools for it, it became evident that this is NOT a popular pastime for 21st century Norwegian women.... Who knew?
I mostly got blank stares when explaining what I was after. *sigh*
Tatting uses special holders for the thread, called shuttles, or long blunt needles. Shuttles are for more elaborate work, so I am saving that for when I have more grip of the process (pun intended). As I couldn't find the right needles I bougth some long tapestry needles, and had Mr. P grind off the points for me. Bless him :) It will have to do for now.
The technique for tatting is basically to make knots and loops of thread, which together form a lace-like structure. When needle tatting, you form a sequence of knots on the needle, and then slide them off onto the thread that's in said needle. For this you want a needle that has an eye not thicker than the needle itself, and those are hard to find over here. They are also very long, about 5-7 inches. If you use shuttles, this is not a problem, but it uses different hand positioning and is said to be trickier to learn, and master.
|Tatting using a shuttle|
After deciding to dive into tatting, I was surprised to see just how versatile this technique is There is obviously the classic doily, and numerous border designs. But also tatted jewelry and even Christmas ornaments, bookmarks, collars and belts.
|Vintage border/inlay pattern|
|Found on Etsy, here.|
|Tatted Christmas ornament|
My first attempts were rather sad looking. But as I started to get familiar with it, I soon discovered that not only was it quite easy to do, but also quite addictive and fun! I spent an evening just making friends with my needle and thread, and figuring out tension and such. By the end of the first day, I was happily tatting away on my first little border. There are lots of free patterns around, so no need to run out of projects to try, even for a newbie :)
This little border is destined for a special project, soon to be finished. It is turning out rather lovely, can't wait to share it with you all!