I love cotton tatted lace. I would have nothing else in my closet but this. My white cotton blouse with such a design, says mother, reminds her of grandmother in her younger days. It chokes me up whenever she tells me that.
I used to know how to tat, shuttle tatting that is. I’m not into the practical arts like knitting and stuff but this one I liked, because of the beautiful lace work at the end. I learned the art in primary school (a convent school, and you know nuns, they seem to know everything of everything) introduced for the purpose of pupils acquiring a worthwhile hobby, which in the traditional language of the nuns is it would train us to behave. But it was fun.
Tatting involves a rather intricate but standard set of hand movements and at first can be intimidating to learn but as the saying goes once you get the hang of it the sky’s the limit. It also doesn’t involve bulky tools. There’s only the shuttle (for shuttle tatting) which you can hold between your thumb and index fingers, tatting thread, and scissors. This is also one reason I took to the craft, the tool can fit inside your skirt pocket along with the other baubles. Another is, it doesn’t cost you your leg and arm.
During a flight back home for vacation, I remember taking out my stuff in order to continue with the hankie I had earlier started on. When you’re some time into the craft already, your hands automatically fly through the series of movements and onlookers can’t make head or tail of them. My hands were like that. I was so focused on the work that I didn’t notice the pairs of eyes looking my way. A stewardess was also lingering at my side. They wanted to know what I was doing. What happened next was a tutorial of some sort. In school after the vacation, if I remember correctly, the incident went under the heading ‘My Most Unforgettable Experience This Summer’ which provided the nuns an even better reason to fund our hobby classes.
I think I can go even further and say that learning to tat again would be my New Year’s resolution.
cover photo: onmondays