28 January 2011

Changes in tatting

Don't forget - today is Day 6 of the TIAS.

Following on from yesterday's post about starting and finishing tatted pieces today I want to ramble on about picots and front side back side tatting.

It's not until I came online in the early days of the internet that I'd ever heard of picot gauges and I still to this day don't know what use they are except for the longer picots that have to be a certain length to make a pattern work.  For the smaller decorative picots I'd never slow myself down by relying on those - eyes are better than gismos!!! Also a slight variation in sizes gives a piece a more 'easy' look to me.   Please note, however - I am NOT and never have been a perfectionist!!  I enjoy my craft but I don't want or expect each piece to be perfect.  Using a gauge seems to be quite a popular way of working nowadays but as far as I know there's no record of it being the way our ancestors worked.  Certainly it didn't show up in any instructions or patterns when I learnt to tat!!!

Now the question of whether to use front side, back side tatting.  I can certainly see the effect of tatting this way (with a 'right and wrong' side) and now notate patterns to help people to do it.  But I'm not convinced it's important.  I DO use it when I'm making a piece that will be sewn or stuck onto something but if it's going to be 3D or given away to somebody then I stick to the 'old fashioned' way of not worrying about it.  Why?  Well how many people would NOTICE or know if a tatted doily was the 'right way' or 'wrong way' up on a table?  I'm sure no non tatters would!!!!  Again looking through old patterns it's obvious that this was never done in the dim and distant past.

Well, that's enough of me for today - tomorrow I'll show you something I've been working on.


Gina said...

In some very old patterns, I noticed they used different sizes of "purling pins" which is a crochet hook. I got the impression they were to determine the size of the picot but it doesn't actually say anything about it. Those old patterns assumed we would know more than we do. LOL! As far as frontside/backside tatting - I really don't care. It's easy to do with a simple pattern but when you get into the more elaborate ones, it becomes hopeless keeping track and I really don't think it's worth it. Takes all the joy out of tatting!

Carol Schockling Lawecki said...

Thank you for the insight to the front side/back side tatting. I've not considered this before. So the next time I tat a piece that will be sewn down or a piece of jewelry, I will give this a try.

I'm having a good time trying to guess on the TIAS. I'm not sure what it is, has anyone gotten the answer correct yet?

TotusMel said...

I am so with you on both accounts. I eyeball all my picots and I AM a perfectionist. I certainly can't be slowed down for that gauge nonsense. I also save the front side/back side for a very few pieces as I agree that no one but us tatters would notice at all.

Icela said...

Oh my gosh, I would not know how to tat traditional tatting. Once I learned to tat the Riego way, within 2 months I was tatting using front side back side tatting that is 11 years ago this year. When I try to tat the traditional way I become confused like you when you try tatting using the front side back side method. To me front side back side tatting is the natural way. My conclusion is whatever you get use to doing is the perfect way to tat.

Anonymous said...

I love that people who I consider to be high authorities in the world of tatting like to keep it simple!! It makes me feel so much better about my opinions on the subject of all these fancy tools & the whole "front side back side" thing. I "crossed over" to tatting partly because of the simple tools! I'll happily keep it that way.
And BTW, I for one would love to hear more of this kind of thing on your blog, as well as the normal "show & tell" & laughter :)

Jane Eborall said...

Like you, Gina and TotusMel I don't care that much about front/back side tatting. A piece of work put down the 'wrong way up' when worked that way looks so much worse than a piece worked what I call 'normally'!!!

Icela - I suggest you read my post again. I did NOT say I was confused at all. I choose the method I want to use according to the use it's going to be put to. I manage to do this even after 50+ years of doing it the 'traditional' way so I'm sure you'd be able to do traditional tatting if you wanted to.

Ridgewoman said...

I was intrigued by FS/BS tatting and so have striven to learn how; but, it was for my own curiosity more than anything else. I don’t think it is ‘crucial’; unless, perhaps for pieces that might be judged by someone who knew something about tatting ~ however here in Grant County I doubt their Fair judges know anything about our art form. And, it was Jane who told me ‘how’ to FS/BS so I could play with it. Since I taught myself to tat, I’ve depended on two people that I trust to be ‘straight’ with me about tatting techniques. I’m sure since I taught myself that I must have developed bad habits early on; Jane and Zena have helped me immensely with lessons on tension, joins, and various techniques. Jane’s tutorials are the first place I go; the second is Jon’s.
I appreciate this flow of thought, even though I can see from comments it may well ‘stir the pot’. LOL
xxxxx P

Cindy said...

I just eyeball picots also, and I think they look uniform enough. I haven't, however, tried a pattern that relied on the length of the picots. AND, I can't figure out how to hold a gauge anyway!

As far as the frontside/backside tatting - I don't worry about it so much, but I like the look of it. You are right though - non-tatters would never know the difference. I think tension and joins are more important for making a piece look neat and uniform.

Trayna said...

Here, here! Jane - with you all the way

StringyDogs said...

If a piece is 3-D, I think it might make one side look like a "back" side if you did it all in FS/BS tatting. For me, to tell the truth, I hardly notice since there are paired double stitches on each side.
But, I do this for fun. :-) I am happy to have differences of opinion. It can lead to very interesting discussions and new techniques.
Vive la difference!

Gill Devon said...

As newish self-taught, left-handed tatter, thank you Jane. I have taught myself mainly from your techniques pages and find that your no nonsense non-presciptive way of looking at things has given me confidence in developing my skills. There is nothing more daunting that someone saying this is the way you must do it. I do use a home made guage but only as guide because I do not have a very good "eye"for eveness. As a left- handed person I find in life generally and in all types of craft you have to be more open to developing your own ways of doing things.I am approaching 60 and can remember at school in the early days being made to try to write right-handed (they failed) and we had no such luxuries as left-handed scissors etc. I knit right-handed, taught myself to crochet left-handed, I sew and embroider left-handed and now tat left-handed.I couldn't have developed these skills if I hadn't had the same attitude as you of do it the way it works for you.

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