Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thursday Tip - Shuttle Tatting, a Traditional Form of Lace Making

Tatting is a technique that employs a series of knots and loops to make delicate but sturdy lace. In the 19th century and well into the 20th century, it was used like crochet or knitted lace mainly for edgings on collars, doilies, tablecloths and so on. But the technique can also be used to to create jewelry and other items such as ornaments, bookmarks, baby caps and booties, wedding veils and more.

Given that we are always intrigued by art and craft forms that aren't taught just everywhere, it's not surprising that we became fascinated with tatting. So when we learned that Marilee Rockley, a leader in the modern revival of tatting, lives just over the way in the Milwaukee area, of course we had to contact her. And when she agreed to teach we were delighted. 

That was back in 2012. Marilee has been teaching Shuttle Tatting at Shake Rag Alley each year since. (See Marilee's blog post on her 2015 class.)

Learn to Tat:

Here's a pdf tutorial Marilee shared with us last year for her "Roundabout" Tatted Earrings pictured at the top of this post. 

Marilee has lots more technique Tutorials and other Free Patterns on her blog, Yarnplayer.

Or, why not take a class with Marilee, undoubtedly the best way to learn. She has two classes scheduled at Shake Rag Alley in 2016:

Marilee Rockley has been tatting over 30 years having discovered tatting as a girl when she found a small needlework how-to book stashed among her mother’s art books. Between those sketchy instructions, library books, and trial and error, she soon taught herself and fell in love with the art. Magazine articles featuring her tatted jewelry have appeared in Bead&Button and Belle Armoire Jewelry. She is the author of the book Tatted Jewelry published 2011 by Annie’s Attic, as well as 3 self-published books: Marilee’s Beaded Tatted Finery (2014), Up and Tat ‘Em (2010) and Boutique Tatting (2008). Marilee designs original patterns and also hand dyes unique cotton threads. As a go-to source of information about tatting history and methodology, Marilee is on the forefront of the tatting revival. Take a look at Marilee's latest designs on her blog, Yarnplayer.

Tatting is a beautiful craft that is fun and easy to learn. Plus, the materials are inexpensive, widely available and highly portable. For a rewarding hobby you can do anytime, anywhere, learn to tat!

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