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Wednesday, 16 February 2011

How I started Tatting


I was ask when and how I started tatting, this question is from Tatting Fools blog, and also The tatting whisperer's blog both are worth looking at, follow the link to see their blogs.
My story starts from childhood, there used to be an old aunt who used to visit my fathers parents, she said she would teach me tatting when I was older, but then she died.
I started work in the City of London around 1971 and found a wool shop, Yes they do have shops in the City of London. I used to knit on the train back and forth to work, they had a good supply of all sorts, I was looking for some wool. There on the shelf was a book called Teach Yourself Tatting by coats, I still have the book, a little worse for wear now. I brought a shuttle and some cotton, it took a little while as tatting is not the easiest of things to master.
A short time after another old aunt came to stay with us, she was over thirty stone and took up a great deal of room, I always enjoyed her so while my parents and her were chatting I brought out my tatting. I never knew she could tat, and soon she had me on the right road as I was doing something a little wrong but she sorted it out. She also said about my Fathers mother could tat, news to me I never saw her tat although we do have some very old tatted doilies which we never did know who tatted them, so it could have been hers, at the moment its at my mothers and one day I must have a rummage around to find some, then I will take a picture of it and post it on here.
I remember I used to do tatting on the train back and forth to work, and those City men in their bowler hats sat reading their paper and peeped every so often to look and wonder what I was doing, I used to be asked occasionally by some, others just looked on bemused, you see city men don't talk, train rides were peaceful no one spoke. I remember when their was a strike on, British Rail as it was often went one strike back in the 1970's, the night before on London news TV we were compared with 1,000 milk bottles, yes milk bottles and what a milkman earned and a train driver earned. The next morning there we were jammed into a train carriage, not able to move and standing, suddenly a voice spoke and said "Last night we were compared to 1,000 milk bottles and here we are jammed in they would not even treat cattle like this", everyone laughed and conversations were started. Today I expect its mobiles and lap tops that rule the journeys.
Now I have been tatting for 40 years this year, Vernon and I worked out that I have been knitting since I was three so that's 55 years and sewing and embroidery is 52 years gosh that makes me sound old. I think I need Jane's brain cell #3 if she will let me borrow it.
I remember at private school when I was about 9 or 10 we had a sewing class we were given some cross stitch on large hole cloth to make glasses cases or bookmakers, some of girls took several classes to do one item, me I was finished them a flash and the teacher got so fed with me and said "You are so quick I have run out of things for you to do, you better make another glasses case" I don't know how many I made but even I got fed up with them I wanted something more challenging by then I really could embroider.
I still enjoy my crafts, there are still things to learn and always something new coming out. I hope to bring you more as the years go on. You could say tatting is in my blood and hopefully I will be tatting into my old age.
Well that's my craft story, what's yours.
take care


  1. a lovely story, how many items you must have made in all those years lol

  2. Hi Margaret, This is great reading, very interesting, gosh you must have done some stuff in your time.....the only thing passed on to me was crocheting, which I always loved, more for babies than anything else,am determined to pass onto Mia, these old crafts should'nt be allowed to die out.....ps....you gave your age away there madam...lol..xxxxx

  3. What a lovely story love the tatted betterfly! I taught myself to tat through the internet!

  4. fabulous to learn how you started tatting margaret and now i know you`re the same age as my mum :D
    your tatted butterfly is beautiful, i love the colours, so vibrant :D

    xx coops xx

  5. Thank you for sharing your story! You are so lucky to have had so many tatters in your family. I hope that someone in the next generation will carry on the tradition.

  6. This is a great story. Thanks for writing it here.

    Funnily enough, I have worked in a wool shop in Toronto since 2000. It is huge - over 6,000 share feet of wool!

    The shop is know internationally and folks visit from all over the globe, because the owner has stocked such a variety for so long (35years, give or take a few).

    Not often do I run into another 'wool-worker!
    Fox : )


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