Thursday, 13 November 2008

Missed Opportunities

I finally finished opening up all the 20 over rings of the edging for the Knot Garden doily and started working on it again. I've added two double stitches to the chain and so far it is looking good - no curving.

While tatting that, I had an I wish I had moment .. several, actually. You know, one of those moments when your mind went retro and memories of the past comes back to you.

I wish I had continued tatting from the first time that I learned how to do it .......
  • Just imagine how much I could have learned.
  • But it would be rather difficult because at that time I was still in primary school. I wouldn't have saved enough from my pocket money to be able to buy all the thread and shuttle and books.
I wish I had thoughts about tatting when I was doing my A-levels ......
  • I did my A-levels in Hastings, England in the mid 70s. A very quaint little town by the sea. There were lots of retirement homes during my time there. Wonder if it is the same now.
  • I used to take walks along the sea-front, walked out into the sea on the Pier and along the promenade feeling the sea breeze in my face. There were elderly ladies and gentlemen seated on the beach chairs just looking out at the sea. I wondered what were going on in their minds.
  • Now, I believe I could have seen some of then tatting if I had bothered to take a closer look.
A view of one of the blocks at the Hastings College of Further Education viewed from the road coming from the main gate.

I wish I had come across a shuttle or two somewhere, during my time in Leeds while attending Leeds University....
  • I could have looked up books about tatting in the huge Brotherton Library
  • Or search for shuttles and tatting paraphernalia in those little shops in the towns of the Lake District.
  • I am sure I could have found something if I tried.
Within the Leeds University campus - I think this is the School of Mathematics where I had my lectures -- oooh it was so long ago I can barely remember and one of the two walking could be me, :-)

A view from my room at the Henry Price Building in Leeds University Campus during one of the worst winters I had ever experienced.

I wish I had re-discovered tatting much earlier than when I did ....
  • I was lucky that I had opportunities to travel when I was working. I have been to several places in Europe, to India, Japan, the US and visited England again a few times after I finished my studies. And I have means to spend too.
  • I could have started to put a collection of tatting treasures during these visits and if I did, imagine how many I would have by now.
I wish I had found out about the tatting groups on the internet around that time too ......
  • Wouldn't it be fun to be able to go to these places and meet up with tatting buddies at every stop?
  • My situation is different now and I have begun to dismiss any thoughts about traveling.

But I don't see my I wish I had thoughts as regrets, more like missed opportunities. I am glad that I found tatting again. Through it I have found so many new friends, near and far. I get to meet the ones near me occasionally and I can 'talk' to those far away through my computer as though they are right in front of me.

If not for my wonderful friends, I would not have realised things that I never imagined I could do. I am still continually surprising myself in certain aspects and discovering yet more things to learn.

Thank you dear friends.


  1. I like this post very much Jon!
    While the past cannot be changed you have a whole tatting life ahead of exciting! I wonder where tatting will take us next! So glad you are a part of my world!

  2. Oh my what a fabulous post that was. I learned so much more about you. I was born only 9 miles from Leeds but didn't learn to tat in Yorkshire tho, as we moved away when I was 12. I remember those cold winters too.

    I never saw anyone tatting in England other than the school friends that I learned with and my mum who I taught, so I am not sure how many people you 'might' have seen.

  3. Jon, I enjoyed this post but never regret what you didn't do. I taught myself to tat in my early 30's and wasn't able to keep at it with 4 active kids to keep track of and work and school. I think I actually appreciate it more now than I did then. I was 49 before I taught myself again.

  4. A thoughtful post. Good to reminisce sometimes. I am sure many of use has those 'I wish I had' moments in their lives.

    We come back to the present more clearly focused IMO and try to make up as much as we can to achieve those 'I wish I had' instances :)

  5. This is a wonderful post Jon. Very thought provoking. Thank you for sharing your memories of "I wish I had." I wish I had learned tatting when I was young so I could have done so much more.

  6. Hello ladies! Isn't the internet wonderful at fostering relationships. I woke up this morning and saw these comments from Gina and Tattycat in the US, Tatskool in Ireland, LadyShutttleMaker in Korea, and my dear friend Barbara in Kepong, Malaysia.

    Aheryy, so glad that you are part of mine too.

    No Gina, I do not regret what I did not do. Opportunities will make themselves available, we just need to look carefully and recognise it when it appears.

    Tatskool, It is a nice thought that I 'could have' met another tatter.

    Barbara, I agree with you.

    Tattycat, you have done a lot and I have learned a few things from you, too.

  7. Jon, I am very happy to get to know you through the internet. Thanks for sharing a bit of yourself. Diane Lawrence

  8. "The past is another country", Jon; and you were a different person at that stage of your life, with other priorities and occupations.
    But now you have the time and the inclination to follow your love of tatting and designing - probably you would have been much too busy with all your studies, for it to have meant as much to you then as it now does.

  9. I enjoyed this post too, learning about your time in England. I wonder if you were must have seemed so far from home and telephone was too expensive to be more than an emergency measure, and writing letters are a slow way of keeping in touch!
    I was tatting in 1973 in Sussex, but never met another tatter, I wonder if there were many to meet!
    But I'm so pleased to be part of it all now!

  10. What exciting places you've gone to school! I chuckle at your post...who has TIME to tat when they're going to college, LOL! I know I never did. I don't even regret it because had I not passed my exams I wouldn't be able to afford my fabulous tatting goodies now! :)

  11. Maureen, Tattingchic, you're probably right about it may be interfering with my studies. But, just so you know, during that time I managed to crochet a patchwork bedcover for my bed at university, hand-sew a blouse and knit a jumper (or was it a sweater?) and yet I didn't come across any tatting.

    Snowy, with no internet at that time, the only way of getting any news from home and to home was by writing letters. There was a reasonable number of students from Malaysia at that time so that helped a bit with the homesickness.

    Happy to know you too Diane.


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