Earlier this year I taught my first two workshops at Tatting Corner during the Spring and Summer. These are some throwback photos to those days, and some of the amazing work my students did!
Some of the amazing things about needle lace work is that it is hard to replicate with a machine since it is a standalone structure that is created using knotted techniques. If I had to rank it in terms of time and difficulty this is where it lies on the needle arts spectrum (personally):
Easier - Embroidery (medium) < Knitting (fast) < Crochet (fast) <
(transition to lacemaking) Tatting (medium) < Needle Lace (slow) < Bobbin Lace (slow) - Harder
Since most of my students are tatters, I decided to dabble in it myself with needle tatting. The best way for me to describe the experience of tatting, is that it is a finer more intricate and delicate cousin to knitting. Tatting creates stitches that move along the needle (shuttle version might be a bit different). Picots are formed between stitches, rings are formed when closing loops. Joining picots from different rings provides flexibility and direction. For the most part, curved or circular forms build the design structure of the patterns. The interlocking loops of the stitches are held together from looping it over/around/under the needle in a continuous pattern. Like knitting and crochet, the last stitch is not secured and can easily come undone when the thread is pulled and can easily lead to unraveling the whole thing.
Needle lace has its own terminology and techniques that are different from knitting, crochet, and tatting. You are now entering the category or lacemaking! (Making lace with yarn is possible, it's just a question of whether you like the size of the spaces in the structure you are building!) Each knot tied in needle lace secures the loop and prevents the work from unraveling. Since each loop is tied down securely with a double knot, it takes more time to create each loop on the lace structure. Patience is an important virtue when it comes to doing needle lace. A small five petal flower can take at least 25 minutes to create, and a necklace can take several days! The only similarity needle lace has to the other needle arts, is the use of a basic repetitive unit (loop/knot) that builds the structure of the work. It is not consider a stitch since a stitch is formed differently from knotting. The loops create space that gives the work a lace appearance.
Regardless of what needle art you do, it is very important to be patient with yourself when you are learning something new. There are always little things you learn about yourself as you handle both needle and thread. There is also a great appreciation for how to perfect the art, and maybe even become a designer yourself!
It is also important to remember that the finer you go with your threads, the more time it takes to create and finish a piece of art of similar size! That is the main difference between someone who works with yarn and someone who works with thread. If you are used to working with thread, the other needle arts like lace making is a bit easier to pick up.
Lastly, I'd like to thank all the people who let me post their work on my blog!
Tatting Corner Secret Santa Exchange Update
During my volunteer shift at the Lincoln Park Flower of Conservatory, I got to see a variety of poinsettias up close! This inspired my gift this year for the Tatting Corner Secret Santa Exchange that had sixty participants signed up!
Earlier this week, my partner for Secret Santa received the surprise poinsettia flower pendant I sent her for the Tatting Corner Exchange! She posted photos on Facebook, and had one of her wearing it! I made two variations of the red poinsettia. I sent the brighter version to my partner, and kept the darker version for myself.
In the future, I am hoping to fill my shop section with more floral pendants in needle lace each month. Here are some poinsettia highlights from the Flower Conservatory's Winter Show. Also, I'd like to wish everyone a happy holiday!