A New Generation of Tatting

Everyone here at Interweave is excited about the annual “Hurt Book Sale,” which always takes place at the beginning of summer. This was originally the sale for books that were damaged (hurt) in some way during the printing or shipping process. Although we no longer have a collection of damaged books, the sale remains very popular with Interweave fans because the books (AND ebooks) are offered at such a great discount. My favorite needlework book that I plan on getting during the “Hurt Book Sale” is New Tatting: Modern Lace Motifs and Projects.

One of my favorite things about PieceWork is that each issue is filled with examples of how enlaced needlework is in history. Needlework has played a role in many cultures for ages; I never tire of exploring the various ways. Tatting, a method of creating lace by looping threads together using tiny shuttles and one’s fingers, is a good example.

Take, for instance, the Hen and Chickens Handkerchief Edging and a Bridal Purse Medallion to Tat by Marilyn Jones in PieceWork May/June 2017. The Hen and Chickens pattern was the only one Marilyn’s grandmother ever learned, but it is one of the oldest and most well known in tatting. It is also one of the only antique patterns with a name.

In PieceWork May/June 2016, Susan Strawn dove into the mystery of a handmade tatting-sample book she found in an antiques barn in small-town Iowa. The well-worn book of beautiful tatted samples was from sometime in the early twentieth century. Strawn went into a full-on investigation of where the book came from and why it was made. Along the way, she discovered many interesting facets in the history of tatting, such as that technology and the Industrial Revolution aided in the widespread popularization of tatting during that time.

New Tatting: Modern Lace Motifs and Projects is one of my favorite Interweave books because it brings needlework into our modern world. The history of tatting is rich and abundant, which is clear in New Tatting author Tomoko Morimoto’s inspirations for the book. Her mother tatted as far back as she could remember, and though Tomoko didn’t carry the craft past grade school, she picked it up again as an adult. With New Tatting, she shows us how a centuries-old craft can thrive in modern times. This book holds onto the traditional beauty of tatting while also giving it a modern appeal with 20 fresh projects and a modern use of color.

The viola motif choker from New Tatting.

The viola motif choker from New Tatting.

Before New Tatting, I admittedly didn’t know much about tatting other than the historical aspects I’ve read about in PieceWork. But the projects in this book are just too eye-catching to look away from, and it is the perfect introduction to the craft. Tomoko starts with the very basics such as the kinds of tools you need and different techniques. Clear instructions and illustrations make it easy to follow, and by the time you get through the tutorial pages, you’ll be ready to start a tatting project of your own. Two projects I can’t wait to make are the small flower motifs featured on the cover and the viola motif choker. The flowers are so adorable, colorful, and delicate looking that I want to make a million of them and put them wherever I can. The viola motif choker is something I would buy in the store if I saw it; it’s such a fashionable, modern accessory, and making it myself would be much more gratifying than purchasing one.

For beginners, New Tatting is the perfect place to start, and the projects within make it a great resource for more experienced tatters as well. If you’re looking for an inexpensive, conveniently portable and creative project, or you’re just looking for a new take on tatting, New Tatting is the perfect book for your collection. Take advantage of our annual book sale and get New Tatting!

Happy tatting!

Featured Image: The small flower motif from New Tatting.

Start tatting today!


One Comment

  1. Deborah L at 8:31 am June 13, 2017

    Thank you, thank you – I have my grandmothers tatting tools and threads and I so love this
    choker – I am challenging myself with this project for the summer – stitching and textile
    crafts so easy to travel with in our RV – can’t wait to share

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