19 May 2015

Thinking and pondering

Pleased to report that I'm feeling a lot better now, thanks.

I've been thinking about things while dozing in bed which has been a strain on the aged brain! 

Over the years since the internet became such a big part of my life, sharing tatting patterns and techniques has changed a lot. 

Back in the 1950's (when I took up tatting) all patterns were on paper and written in 'long hand' with lots of words. The only picture was that of the finished item.  Although symbols had been used before then (I researched this some years ago) they hadn't 'caught on' as written patterns were few and far between and sharing was slow. Once the internet came about most people seem then to have adopted the shorthand/symbolic way of notation and now use diagrams/pictures to help patterns become easier to understand and follow. 

The internet has also allowed us to be able to take our own pictures easily and then (with little effort) to add numbers, letters which has now become another way of sharing patterns. No longer is it necessary to learn how to draw on the computer or even write down the directions for some of the simpler patterns.  I feel it is necessary to still have some text with a visual pattern for dodos like me who struggle with 'just pictures'.  I like words to reinforce what I 'think' I see in a picture!

Videos of techniques are another great way of communicating too although I still cringe at the sight of many I've seen.  

A concern I have now is that some people are beginning to think that videos are the way forward for patterns.  I was asked recently if I could do a video of one of my patterns.  Well that's something which won't happen for two reasons.  Firstly I'm averse to spending the time as it would take me away from tatting/designing.  

Another reason (which I'm more concerned about) is that this may be the start of a trend towards every pattern being presented in that format.  If that's likely to happen then I feel that the skills required to read written patterns will eventually be lost.  It takes as much skill to read patterns as it does to write them.  Are we going to lose those skills?  I look back at the old 'patterns I used as a kid and realise that it's through using those and understanding them that I am now able to write my own. 

More mutterings later this week or maybe even tomorrow!!!

20 comments:

Maureen said...

I am one who needs words, as well as diagrams; some diagrams , although drawn clearly, just don't give enough information, even such basics as where to start! So I am grateful indeed for your own pattern format.Diagrams do overcome the language barriers though, so that can be a good thing, in that they enable everyone to "speak tatting".

Jane McLellan said...

Glad you're feeling better! I agree, I'm not a big fan of videos. For one thing, my internet connection is ok, but videos tend to 'drop' (I think that's the term) and they use up my data allowance in double quick time. So I avoid them. But more importantly, I like to be able to print out diagrams and written patterns and take them with me. On a tricky pattern, I will mark on the paper where I've got to. Can't do that on a video. And it's easy to run my eye over the page to review something. I don't want to stand in the way of progress, but new methods are not necessarily the way to go!

Lace-lovin' Librarian ~ Diane said...

I find it helpful to have a combination of text and diagrams. While I enjoy looking at videos to help me understand, I would consider it a great loss to have to rely on videos for patterns.

Elizabeth said...

I like your way of patterns. I would not like to have to watch a video for a pattern. The videos are nice if you want to see a particular technique done.

TotusMel said...

I've been asked to do videos of patterns as well and I have no plans to do so. Videos of techniques are one thing, but just the sheer amount of time needed to work a whole pattern on video, nope. I can work from pictures most of the time, but I prefer text patterns as well and that's the way I'll keep writing them.

jennytats said...

Glad to hear you are recovering from "the lurgy". I really can see no advantage in video patterns. Video techniques are really helpful though. We have all met people who failed to teach themselves to tat from a book and got very discouraged and then picked it up straight away when someone showed them. A video is no replacement for a real live person, but it is the next best thing. Mind you things have improved since you and I learned in the 50s. White size 40 and learn rings before chains! Whose daft idea was that?

Phyllis said...

I am a more visual/ paper person. I agree with others above. Videos are good with learning techniques. It helps to see exactly how it is done. Visual patterns you can take anywhere and you don't have to rely on internet.

Fox said...

Jennytats, I have never heard anyone but my dad talk about "the lurgy!" It was a family joke and now I am the only one left who knows that word. Thanks for that lovely comment!

Fox said...

Jane, this was thought-provoking. All modes of communication are changing so fast for folks born midway through last century! In my opinion, though I prefer the written word as well, it is important to keep a very open mind regarding these issues or we'll be left behind! Remember how many balked at the Internet? Remember the fear and intimidation? If we had remained stuck in that mindset, many of us would never have discovered tatting at all. A,so, I think kids today use their brains very differently. They seem to be born with the ability to relate to computer learning. So, who knows! Though the "old" patterns will remain with us, there are young tatters with new ideas and new ways to communicate. That's just what is. That's my take on it whether I like it or not! Thanks for the post.

Robin Perfetti said...

I don't think you'll have to worry about patterns going to video. There are too many benefits to written patterns. I like to tat while watching TV, with the pattern on my lap or on the side table. I can't watch a movie and a tatting video at the same time.

As for written vs diagram: For some reason I cannot grasp written instructions and have to diagram everything before tatting it. Perhaps it's because I only learned to tat a few years ago and always had the luxury of diagrammed patterns. I was never forced to tat straight from written instructions and it would take a lot of practice for me to be comfortable with them.

Jane Eborall said...

Diagrams only are fine, I feel Robin, but not for patterns where there are many techniques and changes of direction. I'm all for a mix of both text and diagrams. I like a belt and braces approach. I wouldn't want to go back to the 'just a picture of the finished item' days although I must admit I always managed those too!!!

muskaan said...

I think Fox has said it all :-)
I am a hard copy person ( diagram, then text in that order) , too, but am gradually enjoying the benefits of video solely for technique demos.
But new generation learners may have a different approach that they are more comfortable with.
I believe, a judicious mix is the best way. Some patterns lend themselves well to a particular format, or a combination of formats, which may include a video at least partially.
So instead of a black-n-white choice, let's bring in some perspective .... let the pattern decide ! ;-P
Just my 2 bits. Glad you are feeling better :-) Looking forward to more mutterings .....

Jeff Hamilton said...

Personally, I don't care for this "Let's make a video to do...whatever" trend. I don't know how many times I've been browsing the 'net and found a 'recipe' or 'pattern' and the page has a video, with little to nothing else. Are we expected to constantly replay the video if I forget a part while making it. It is so much easier to glance through a written pattern and find the part you forgot. I don't understand why people want this. I get that some people are visual learners and a video for a new and/or difficult technique are really helpful. As a young(ish) tatter, I kinda disagree with Fox. Personally I wonder if laziness is partially at fault. It may be easier to grab your smartphone and demonstrate your pattern instead of actually spending the time to write it out. Likewise those who only use video "patterns" aren't taking the time to learn how to read a pattern so they can follow a written or diagrammed pattern. It's very unlikely that all current published patterns in books can be presented in a video (I would assume current copyright laws would prevent that). I 100% agree with you that if this is how patterns will be shared than a pattern reading skills will be lost and a massive amount of patterns too. Your patterns are probably some of -maybe even the best written ones available. I hope you never do videos.

Jane Eborall said...

Don't worry, Jeff. No chance of me ever doing any videos. I firmly believe in keeping written pattern writing alive. Thanks for the compliment too. I'm blushing.

Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced about a "video pattern", and would imagine that the amount of effort to generate such as pattern would be very intensive and very time consuming, most likely requiring lots of retakes to make sure it was perfect. Pen and paper / keyboard and screen win for me!

Pigmini said...

Videos have their place, however people tat at different rates, stop in different places as real life gets in the way!! If I had to rely on video patterns whilst on holiday I'd be snookered!!! No wifi from 5am to 10pm if we relied on vids it would mean no tatting!!! None on buses, trains, aeroplanes... Not a nice thought!!!

Lets hope the 'written' pattern in whatever form remains!!

Dora, the Quilter said...

I learned to tat from vintage booklets over 40 years ago. I have to confess that I don't much like diagrams, although they can be helpful. I can see that it would be helpful for new tatters to watch a video--I taught scores of people in person--but can't imagine the labor required to either make or follow a video pattern. I may be one of the last old fossils who really prefers the way patterns used to be written; and I admit if there's only a diagram, I find something else to do.
It's interesting how different brains work best in different ways.

Jon Yusoff said...

While I can read a pattern faster from a chart than a written one, I would still rely on a clearly written pattern to describe special or additional techniques. I still receives questions about reversing/not reversing especially when involving two shuttles and charts don't clearly show that.

Honestly, I find videos useful to show techniques but I can't imagine how a tatting pattern can be shown fully on a video.

Lilas said...

I'm very surprised by this kind of videos. I just can't imagine to tatting with a vidéo.
Some vintage patterns are very difficult to read because there no diagram. But for actual patterns, we are very lucky!
So much work for imagining a pattern, so much work to draw the diagram,... and also more to do a video/ too much, isn't it?

Fox said...

Jeff, I hope you see I do not think videos will replace all written patterns! And I absolutely agree with you about the "laziness " aspect of learning. That said, I was really just raising the warning to remain open-minded to new techniques and twists on old modes of communication as I think as we get older, many of us get very stuck on what was and hold too rightly to established ways of living in general. You'll see! You're still at the pliable stage. Stay there! That's what I'm talking about! : ) Old Fox

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