12 August 2014

Teaching and Learning Tatting

I will be starting tatting classes at Spotlight, the arts and crafts supply store, soon.  I, and a number of other crafters were approached by Spotlight when they were preparing for the opening of their store in Kuala Lumpur recently.

I have been receiving enquiries about the tatting classes eversince I put up the notice in my Facebook page about it. My class in Spotlight will be about the basic techniques of tatting.  One of the questions that I was asked is what pattern will I use in my class.  This has got me thinking -

Learning how to tat is not about turning up for class, make something and go back with a finished product.  It is not like attending a bag-making class and you have a finished bag to take home after class. It is not about learning diffeent kinds of stitches as in embroidery, for example.  To be fair, each craft has its own skill level that challenges the learner.  I still can't do embroidery work.  Though I can sew a bit,, I have never tried sewing a bag. 

There is only 'ONE' basic stitch to learn in tatting, but that one stitch can make or break you. When first learning how to tat, it is a continuous battle between you and the thread, and in the beginning 90% of the time the thread wins.  It also depends on the individual.  You may get the "oh wow" moment when you get the flip after only 15 minutes of class, or continue the fight hours or days after that.

So, whenever someone asks "what am I going to teach in my class?", this is my answer,

I am not going to show you how to make something with tatting.  I will be teaching you the different techniques used.  Even though, there is only one stich, there are numerous techniques to learn to make the doublestitch work for you.  There will be simple patterns that I will give you that are more as exercises for you to practice the techniques and improve on it. I will also teach you the different ways of reading patterns so that when you are on your own, you can look at different kinds of tatting patterns and use your new tatting skill to tat a pattern of your choice.  I will give you some tips and pointers that are seldom found in books, to make it easier for you to tat and come out with a better finish.

These are what I will teach you in my class.  Once you have acquired the skill, there is no stopping at what you can tat. It is just a matter of  "do you want to or not".

I always feel very much appreciated and accomplished when I see the "Wow" moment in my students eyes. That is why I teach.

Now, on my curent project, a Jan Stawasz doily from his book Tatted Treasures,
Thread is Milford size 60 in ecru.
I have started the last round of the middle portion of the doily. The next part will be made up of eight repeats of the centre motif one for each side.

5 August 2014

Stawasz Doily XII

My current project is this doily by Jan Stawasz from his book Tatted Treasures.  

Happy that it is progressing rather well, even if at a slow speed.  I am even enjoying the fine thread of size 60.  I am trying to follow Jan's method as much as possible i.e. making the picots between the 1st and 2nd half stitches.

Was stuck at one time when trying to jump out to the next ring with split chains. That really got me at one point when I wanted to move out to the next round of small rings and chains.  Following Jan's method, I will end the first half of the chain with a 1st half-stitch, and proceed to make the split chain form the other ring at he beginning.  By that method, my split chain will have to end with a half-stitch as well so that the mock picot is formed correctly viewed from the other side.

Confused?  Well, Jan Stawasz's style is not that easy to decipher at the first attempt.

Anyway, my solution to the split chain problem is to make it from the front side, omitting one half stitch at the beginning of the 2nd half of the split chain.