Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The Needle, the Shuttle and the Book

I tried, honestly, I tried .... but, I am giving up on it now after turning out something like this,

This is as far that I can take of this bookmark, tatting with a needle. Certainly not my best work.  I finally gave up after the clover at the top turned out all wonky.  I will never be a needle-tatter.
Dear needle-tatters, how do your work all come out so neat and pretty?

It was supposed to look like this, tatted with a shuttle, of course

Then, I went over the brink and splurged on shuttles, one in each colour of the Aerlit shuttles.  I don't know what came over me ... as if I needed any more shuttles!  And I don't tat with bobbin shuttles much, preferring my post shuttles.

And now, the best part of this blog,

Out of the blue, Liyarra offered me this book, 
Every Woman's Complete Guide to Tatting Illustrated
by Norma Benporath

The book jacket is all worn out but the pages are intact.  The paper of the pages feels 'crispy'. I feel that I have to be gentle when turning the pages, afraid that it will tear. I was looking in the inside pages to see what year the book was printed but I cannot find any. 

There are so many beautiful designs in there, over 100 designs it says in the book, from edgings, medallions, doilies, mats and many more.  I don't know where to start.  There is also a picture of a square table-cloth with insertions of the suit of card that I blogged earlier, one on each side.  

This is totally unexpected and I can't thank you enough, Liyarra.  


  1. I've never been able to needle tat either. It always ends up clumpy. I guess it depends on the size of the thread and the size of the needle, but I have a tiny needle and it still looks bad. And there are certain things that you can't maneuver it around to do. I really like the bookmark though. Do you have a pattern for it that you'd be willing to share?

    1. I have given the link in the paragraph above, but here it is again, Tatted Bookmark 4

  2. I have just recently learned to tat with shuttles...I learned to needle tat a long time ago. I am better with the needle, but doing much better with the shuttles now. What a great your tatting.

  3. I brought. a needle and that's as far as I got, never tried needle tatting as I have always been a shuttle lady. They the needle ladies do some great patterns on the needle, I don't think I will ever inspire much to the needle tatting.
    I have made this bookmark and its lovely pattern,
    I hope you enjoy your new book looks very interesting.

  4. What a wonderful gift! - and after all your study of the patterns on Trove, you'll feel right at home with these designs.
    It's the colours of the shuttles which grab you - I wonder what the new Sunlit ones will be like?
    More temptation to resist, but fortunately I don't collect shuttles.

    1. I think you may be right about being attracted to the colours of the shuttles.

  5. oohh lucky you with a friend like Liyarra to send you the book. What a find.
    The bookmark is pretty no matter how you do it.
    Have fun with your shuttles. I prefer bobbin shuttles to post.

  6. I have also tried and failed miserably to needle tat. Same problem, messy work that's not tight. I guess once you master the shuttle it's the only way to go. Great tatting book. Can't wait to see some finished projects from it.

  7. What a wonderful gift! (And I suspect a bit of a gift to us as you work on things and show us!)
    Do you want to needle tat just to try it or is there another goal in mind. I too tried it once and didn't see an advantage to it- at the time. The green knots bookmark would be a lot easier with it, I'm sure!
    That bookmark is quite pretty.

    1. Michelle,
      I teach tatting sometimes and I have been using shuttles for teaching. I thought I should acquire some needle techniques in case there are any questions about needles.

  8. Jon, What a lovely gift to receive: a book! I looked up cataloging details on your title. It was published in 1952 (most likely) but I found another piece of information that says a version was printed in 1954.

    I've never even tried to needle tat and prefer post shuttles to those with bobbins. I'd be drawn to the pretty colors too!

    ~Heidi in soggy, wet Minnesota

  9. I started off needle tatting as I had never been able to get the hang of the shuttle, but having been successful with the needle I tried the shuttle again and lo and behold I got it. Since then, I can see that work done with the shuttle is much nicer and neater than the needle and I don't think I would go back to the needle now.
    I love your blog and it inspires me big time.

  10. Give those Aerlits a chance! They can be very lovely tools!

    Lovely book from that Awesome Aussie!
    Fox : ))

    1. Oh I will, Fox. I just hope it doesn't go the way of the needles.

  11. There was nobody to teach me how to tat, so I learned how to needle tat first because the "flip" was just beyond me. I think I needed to do needle first because then I could see how the knots were formed.

    Later I was able to teach myself shuttle tatting and I use it most often, although I still do needle tat once in a while. Post shuttles are what I like to use.

    That looks like a wonderful book! Lucky you! :)

  12. I'll be interested to hear how you like the hook on the Aerlits. I've been debating getting a couple to try.

  13. I have this book too. From my research it appears to have been published in 1952 making it about 60 years old.

  14. I have this book with the original dust jacket tattered but intact. From my research it appears to have been published in 1952.


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