Monday, February 11, 2013

Lolita Hobbies: Tatting

Tatting is a form of making durable lace constructed by a series of knots and loops. Those who have done macrame before will recognize the simple half-hitches used to make the double stitches over a core thread. Gaps can be left in between these stitches to form the lacy picots that can be used for either decorative or practical purposes.

Tatting is done with either a tatting shuttle or a tatting needle. The differences between the two is that the stitches formed by the tatting shuttle have to be un-picked one stitch at a time which makes the lace very durable and very easy to make a long strand of lace and cut anywhere along the line without a fear of it unraveling. On the other hand, needle tatting is done with what looks like a double-pointed knitting needle and if your strand of lace is cut, what you have done might unravel easier until it reaches a durable spot in the lace. Whether you prefer doing one or the other is all up to personal preference.

But what is the allure of tatting? What can you do with a craft that seems only able to make long straight rows of lace or little lacy doilies?

Well, for one reason tatting is extremely portable, especially if you are working a pattern that only calls for one shuttle. Unlike knitting, you can literally stuff a tatting shuttle in your back pocket of your jeans it takes up that little space.

If you are really into the Lolita fashion, then you will be aware that there are different types of lace that you can make. Tatting is one of the easier types of lace to make and it is one of the lace types that looks very nice with the Lolita fashion. You can whip up a horde of tatted butterflies and sew them onto the hem of a skirt or a purse to enhance it. You could also make a lacy collar that you can wear around the neck of your blouses to change the look of it. Tatting can also be made to make bracelets, broaches, hair clips, earrings, and necklaces. For a much bigger tatting project, you could even make a light and airy tatted lace shawl or scarf to wear like you would a fabric scarf as an accessory.

The tools for tatting can also range in looks from plastic beginner tatting shuttles to unique one-of-a-kind handmade beauties that you can find on Etsy. You can also choose from a range of colored threads to tat from so that you can make either coordinating or contrasting lace for any outfit you can think of.

The hardest thing about tatting is trying to figure out what you can use it for because there are not that many good tatting pattern books out and available on the market today because people have not re-discovered it. There are lots of people that still tat online, but since I started tatting a year ago, I only saw one other person tatting in public. But tatting can do almost anything you ask of it if you fiddle around with it and figure out what you want to make. I have seen everything from tatted masks to a gorgeous 3-D tatted butterfly. Imagine walking around with a tatted butterfly attached to a ribbon as a headpiece instead of a giant head-eating bow. There also are a pretty large amount of tatting patterns online if you poke around on the internet for a bit.

The best beginning tatting book I have found so far is called Learn to Tat by Connie Ellison. This book comes with a DVD for those people (like me) who learn best by seeing something done and reading about it.

There is only one bad thing about tatting. It is insanely addictive and satisfying to do once you get the hang of it. Soon you will be trying to look for things to tat or looking for things that you can add tatting to.

1 comment:

  1. :) I can't wait to get into Lolita so I can incorporate this into my style!