6 October 2006

My Personal Tatting History

It's now about 50 years since I learnt the craft of tatting.

When I was eleven years old I was allowed to go on the first ever school trip run by Broad Street County Primary School to Belgium. I remember that it cost my mum and dad the tremendous amount of thirteen pounds and ten shillings. I knew I was very lucky to be able to go as I had a younger brother and sister who would also be going in future years. This was probably my very first lesson in 'how expensive' things are!!! A lesson which was well learnt and has stayed with me throughout the rest of my life!

We travelled to Bruges and one of the things I saw was this lady making lace.

This made SUCH an impression on me that for the following two years I nagged and nagged about learning to make lace. I must have been a real pain!!!

In 1956 my gran then aged about the age I am now, decided to go to tatting classes at the old Technical College in Henley Street here in Stratford upon Avon. She wasn't really sure whether she wanted to learn or not! Gran was an extremely good artist but never did a lot after her marriage.

Anyway, after her first lesson she asked if I'd like to learn. Woweeee, nearly, nearly bobbin lace!!! I went to her house and we sat down to try this new fangled craft out. Oh dear, gran had forgotten about the flip!!

To this day I clearly remember seeing what should happen and together we got it under way. Many, many hours we spent together swopping ideas, patterns etc. My pocket money was spent on the only threads we could get hold of - white and ecru (Coats) and the old Coats & Clarkes books and Penelope Books were our only source of patterns at that time. We did manage to borrow a Norma Benporath book from the library (they had found one in a library up north somewhere) and this was very inspiring.

When my gran was just into her seventies she decided to take a trip round the world to meet her brother whom she hadn't seen for fifty years because he'd emigrated to Australia. Whilst she was over there with him she advertised on TV and radio asking for copies of the Norma Benporath book and she managed to get one good copy. I now have this and an original Mrs Beeton's book (also gran's) in my possession.

In later years I learnt bobbin lace, knitted lace, crochet, netting and filet but throughout I have always, but always tatted!!! I've done a lot of sewing and patchwork too in the past.


Needledreams said...

It's great that you still have your diary! What a cute lil' girl!!! It's such a great experience to travel and actually see other lacemakers. Great memories.

Sherry aka Celtic Dream Weaver said...

Hi Jane, I really enjoyed your reading here. I won't go into my boring story again on how I learned to tat. I think it might be on my website. I don't remember right now. But when I was over the across the pond about 6 or 7 years ago...I also wrote a diary of my trip. I filled my whole book on what I saw, what I did, and what I brought and where...and the cost of it...( I won't go there though...expensive is all I will say...but I only had the dream once...so I went a bit crazy I think..) I had my tatting the whole time I was over seas which was for about a month. Pictures....you should see my pictures. Have you ever heard of Tony Kenny. I have a picture of me with him too after he autographed my CD for me. I saw him in Dublin, Ireland. What fun...and what memories. It was worth the fortune I spent on the trip. I will always have my momories of that lovely time in my life ...when I wasn't just dreaming it...but actually living it too.

Tatskool said...

That is such a wonderful story, not many of us have one as good as that. Thanks so much for sharing it with us all.
Love the photo!
Hope you are going to make sure all this doesn't get lost. Imagine your great grand daughter showing this to the tatting community!!

Bonnie said...

I really enjoyed reading this. I think this must have been postcards that you had. I am so impressed that you still have those things.

Unknown said...

Hi Jane,
Thank you for sharing the link to this post with me. I enjoyed it very much...even if you hate perle cotton...HA HA HA!

I am writing this with the full realization that the Perle cotton reference will only make sense if you read this comment shortly after your email to me...otherwise...years down the road you will read this again and say to yourself, "What the H___ was she talking about???" LOL! ;)

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