Oh my, I really need to keep myself to a schedule. Life is just running away with me. I guess that's okay, though, means I have a real one instead of living in Cyberville.
So, I have been back from Tat Days in Indiana for just over a month now. Lisa Greenlee Adams of Tatting Corner in Anderson, IN really does do a lot of work to make everything appear seamless.
This was her second year hosting such an event, and it was my first ever session of teaching more than one or two people at a time. I will tell you what, I had a blast! Do you want to increase your knowledge of how to do something? TEACH!! Your students are such a wealth of information, you have no idea! It also makes you try harder to be prepared for those questions that come up. You do more research, you practice more techniques; heck, I even taught myself basic needle tatting and I couldn't be happier that I did!
Let's get one thing very clear, here. I do not hold with that old argument "My tool is better than your tool". Needle, shuttle, it's all the freakin' same...they all make the same knot, the same rings, chains, picots, all worked in rounds, all uses the same thread, it's all tatting. Yes, the process to make a ring or finish a chain might be a bit different, and adding beads might be a bit of a challenge with one over the other, but they all make tatted lace. Gloria Nelson is an absolutely wonderful lady and there is very little about needle tatting she doesn't know (and her work is absolutely exquisite!). By the same measure, Karen Cabrera from Florida is one of the best shuttle tatters I've ever seen, and her tutorials are phenomenal. They both do beautiful work, but one is not better than the other.
I found this online one day while searching for tee shirts:
It has all things I like on it. A cat (what breathing human being doesn't think cats are at least interesting?) A tatting needle AND a tatting shuttle, and the legend of Puss 'n' Boots. Yup, gonna put this puppy on a tee shirt!
Back to Tat Days. Sorry, I got side-tracked. Lisa was one busy lady. We had all kinds of things to look at, she opened her store so we could all shop for those things we wanted to look at before we purchased, the instructors (myself excepted, don't wanna toot my own horn) were phenomenal, and this was a very well-attended event. I got to re-connect with some folks I met last time that I don't otherwise get to see, met some wonderful folks I had never met before, and I got to teach four classes of talented folks that really loved what they were doing. I was so honoured to be there.
I did manage to take two classes, though, one of which was with Carollyn Brown, a very sweet lady from Tennessee. She showed us how to cover the bow of a skeleton key with beautiful lace, like this:
This is my version of Carollyn Brown's Key to Happiness pattern, a class taught at Tat Days in Anderson, Indiana, July 2019.
Folks, I can't say this enough: Find someone with whom to tat. Find a group you can join, or another person to meet for coffee even once every couple of months. Save up your sheckles and go to a convention, if you can, even just one (Fringe Element Tatters is hosting Fringe Tat Days in Cambridge, Ontario at the end of September, in case you're interested!) It's a chance to "talk shop" with someone that speaks your language! Yes, knitters and crocheters have groups that always say "sure, we'd love to have you, come on out" but you feel rather alone if you're sitting there watching them all work away with their yarn and talking knit, purl, double crochet, half doubles, whatever they're working on. You likely also do one or both those crafts, and you understand what they're talking about and can likely help them. My point is: it's still a lonely feeling to sit with a group of crafty people and still have no one to talk with about what you're doing. Yes, online groups are fine, but we need to be out there with other people or we're going to lose our minds. And you will learn from each other. That's the best part; the learning and exchange of information.
I'm meeting a lady named Fiona Geisinger who will be visiting Moose Jaw, SK from Edmonton, AB this coming Saturday, August 31, at Chrysalis Coffee at the corner of High and Main Streets at 1pm. If you're in the area, and you tat, and you have time, please bring your tatting and join us!! We would love to meet you for sure!
Until next time, my friends: