Apr 032017

I read with interest that this past Saturday, April Fool’s Day, was International Tatting Day. No kidding. Now, I realize this may not be momentous news to you, but since tatting is on my list of needlework techniques to learn (yes, it really is), I had to look up who started this special day. And for those of you who don’t know what tatting is, it’s a type of lace created by a series of knots and loops using a shuttle that looks like a little boat. It’s not surprising, then, that in Germany tatting is known as Schiffchenarbeit, or “work of the little boat.”

This beautiful ebony tatting shuttle with rosewood inlay, crafted by Banyek in Hungary, is available on Etsy. Tatting shuttles are typically available in plastic or metal at your local fabric store or needlework shop.

Here’s a photo of a tatted Christmas ornament I bought some years back.

But before I researched the answer to who started International Tatting Day, I couldn’t help wondering whether there are also special days for crochet, knitting, weaving, embroidery and other fiber arts. Here’s what I learned; you can visit the links to learn more about each fiber craft celebration:

But back to my question about tatting—when did the annual celebration begin, and who started it? According to an article titled International Tatting Day, the holiday has apparently been around for 44 years, and it’s a day when tatting enthusiasts introduce the art to newbies, and eat chocolate. I guess that’s as good a way as any to start a tatting club!

If you missed International Tatting Day, as I am afraid I did, you can still catch up with more experienced tatters everywhere by stopping at your local grocery store for your favorite chocolate (mine is Lindt Classic Recipe Hazelnut).

Then, enroll in a Craftsy video tutorial called Shuttle Tatting with Marilee Rockley, and settle in for a nice, long watch. Alternatively, you can enjoy both a glass of wine and a bar of chocolate while browsing through Karen Cabrera’s library of YouTube tatting tutorials some Friday night when you’d rather stay home. If you’re not feeling that ambitious, you can still enjoy some chocolate and browse through these photos of tatted items available on Etsy—probably nearly as satisfying!

Clockwise, from top left: Tatted lace bracelet, by BardarSvetlanaLace / Tatted earrings with beads, by DescoTru / Tatted lace collar, by Felt Zeppelin / Tattered heart ornaments, by SnappyBirdCrafts

Clockwise, from top left: Tatted snowflake, by GracesLaces / Tatted bridal necklace, by Silhuette / Silk bridal purse with tatted lace, by Silhuette / Cotton bridal handkerchief with tatted edging and hand embroidery, by LaceAmour

P.S. Writing this post was more enjoyable than cleaning up the dishes after tonight’s dinner.

P.P.S. All chuckling aside, I do believe we fiber crafters take secret glee in having our own special crafting calendar. If you know of other fiber art holidays, please add them in the comments below.

© 2017 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved.

Mar 302010

Like the question about what came first, the chicken or the egg, Vicki of DizzyDragonflies’ addiction to yarn has led to dyeing, weaving and knitting—or did these activities lead to the love of yarn? In any event, Vicki says, “I have always loved creating items. My main love has always been yarn, knitting and crocheting. By accident I started selling my hand knit items, people offering to pay for me to make them something that I had on or had given to a friend . . . Now I have tried my hand at spinning and hand dyeing yarn, and love them both.” She is thrilled that she can sell things she truly loves to make.

Vicki uses Kool Aid and/or Jacquard yarn dyes in her work, resulting in wonderfully rich colors such as the yarns shown below. She can custom dye as many skeins as you wish if you contact her through her shop.

Likewise, when you see an item in Vicki’s shop that she has sold to someone else, she can duplicate it for you in a color you choose. Her cable knit scarves are especially attractive.

If you are interested in seeing how Vicki dyes her yarn in a kettle, you can see the step-by-step process in the Bright yarn tutorial on her blog.

Vicki’s love of “all things yarn” has been fed by the yarn community, a closely knit group (pardon the pun!) that loves to exchange ideas and tips. Another Etsy seller, Spin, Knit and Life, introduced Vicki to spinning, which led to the purchase of a spinning wheel. The first item she dyed was spun from that wheel and incorporated into a lovely sweater.

Through another friend on Ravelry, a place for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, weavers and dyers to gather and exchange ideas and information, Vicki learned how to spin yarn onto a core.

If you love yarn as much as I do, you’ll want to visit Vicki’s shop and blog. You’ll also find her on the Web in these additional locations:

Ravelry (you will need to join this site to view Vicki’s page): http://www.ravelry.com/people/knitdragonflies
Plurk: http://www.plurk.com/knittingdragonflies
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/knittingdragonflies

© 2010 Judy Nolan. All rights reserved. Please note that the images in this post are owned by the artist and may not be used without permission.