Sunday, July 31, 2011

From Her Heart To Mine

In the mail yesterday...

With this gift came a request for anonymity.  I respect those wishes, while at the same time sharing this beautiful shuttle with readers of tat-ology who are familiar with The Cat.  

The little mother-of-pearl silhouette has Misha's shape and champagne colour, giving this gift such special significance.  I treasure this shuttle as well as all the thoughtful, caring sentiments that accompany it.  Thank you, dear friend.  

In the works is this new border...  
These socks for Mini-Boss are going to be so cute!


Now then.  Here is an admission:

ahem...  (I am blushing - but here goes...)  I compare my tatting to the tatting of other.  All the time.  I meticulously examine blog photos, especially those of tatting done by people whose work I greatly admire. Then, of course, I become unreasonably disatisfied and frustrated...

You know how hard I work at this stuff.  I am not a slacker.  I really, really try, and usually fall so short of my own expectations.  

This is not a ploy for pats on the back or admonishments of "Don't be so hard on yourself." Not at all. You know by now, if you follow tat-ology, the whole reason for my initiating the blog was to improve  my tatting, not to serve as a showcase to garner attention or compliments.  I  take the challenge of mastery to heart, and so I compare.  

Also, I have asked for help in my posts and so very much appreciate all the thoughtful and honest insights, helpful suggestions and constructive criticisms that so many of you have offered, taking time and effort to straighten me out on so many of my tatting troubles. 

Comparing my work to that of the most talented in Tat-Land is a great opportunity through which I have benefited with the improvement of my own stitching ability.

One of my favourite tatters is Jon, whose work I constantly analyze. Before I knew a snowflake from daisy chain, I was lucky enough to receive some samples of her work;  I have always had her exquisitely tatted motifs nearby to serve as examples of quality tatting. Her small motifs, several with beads, one on a carbone ring and a few snowflakes have been fondled and examined so many, many times over the past two years. They never fail to amaze, inspire and teach.   

 This brings me to  Rose Window:

Honestly, this little motif took me many hours to tat as I sweated buckets over each ds. The stitches are still too loose and the overall shape is wonky.  Once again gain I suspect that my using beads gets in the way of good tatting and adversely affects my focus. Stubbornly, I cling to adding beads, so this time, as an experiment, I tatted the same motif without beads.

The resulting motif is smaller, not as floppy as the first one, because it is not as loose. Surprisingly, taking into account that I used only Stardate - no colour in the chains - I find that I do not like it as much, even though I believe the quality has improved.  Go figure!

Lots of work, hours of tatting  and many words later, 
and I do not know what any of this proves.
And that is okay with me.
: )


  1. Maybe you had it in your head it would look better without the beads, & so your tatting was what you see is better :) I honestly think they're both nice, even though you weren't looking for compliments :)

  2. I'm reminded of painting, how we study those whose work we admire, perfecting technique, color mixing, brush strokes. But in the end, it's our own touch, our own preferences that develops into our individual "style". I remember receiving some perfectly executed tatting years ago. I don't know if I've ever achieved what I perceived as perfection but I've enjoyed trying. Along the way I learned there are aspects I don't care about, some that I do care about, a preference for picot size and length and density, thread size, shuttle type, etc. and I enjoy the differences between myself and other tatters. But when I'd only been tatting for 3 years (has it been 3 years yet for you?) I was still struggling, still trying to perfect techniques, still learning what I liked and didn't like. I still do, but on a much smaller scale. You're just doing what we all do...learning.

  3. What a beautiful, thoughtful gift and tribute to Misha! A treasure indeed.

    Comparing my tatting with others' is something I do as well. I can never figure out why my stitches don't look as crisp and clear as someone else's. I've wondered if it's the different threads or just me. (Sadly, I admit it's more me than the thread.) In any case, I think this is why I love tatting - it continues to be a challenge in so many ways!

    I like Jon's motif both ways, but I do like it better with the beads. The beads seem to give each element just enough separation from the next to see the entire shape better.

    The bunnies and flowers are adorable for Mini-Boss!

    Sorry . . . I believe I've written a novel this morning :)

  4. I really like the one with beads. I admire how brave you are to put your thoughts and work out for us to look at.

    I love the tatting community, they are so generous and caring!

  5. It is true that putting beads on joining picots will force you to make the picots a certain length. Some patterns really need the joining picots to be a little bit shorter in order to be firm. So sometimes you have to compromise; if you really want beads, you might have to settle for a slightly looser bit of tatting. But then, there are some patterns where the joining picots can be a bit longer, and these you can add beads to at will!

    I think they both look good, but using all variegated thread does give it a very different look from including a solid. Which one looks better is just a matter of personal taste. I always try to visualize what something will look like in a particular thread or combination of threads before I start.

  6. I've found that when trying a new pattern, either make it as-written first then deviate. It's something left over from learning how to bake with my mom, who was once a professional cake decorator. Yes it takes extra time, but by the time I'm finished with the practice piece I'm a bit more confident with doing it "for real."

    Take what you see in other's work as inspiration, and you'll find you like how your tatting turns out a lot more. It's what I think about when I look at everyone's blog that I follow; for a while I didn't like my tatting because I thought "Why doesn't this look like so-and-so's?" Now, though, I love what I make. It took me nearly two years, but I'm getting there.

    Your tatting is improving, Fox. Don't doubt yourself -- everyone's work is different. It's what makes each of us unique! You'll get to where you want to be, I'm sure.

  7. What a wonderful and thoughtful gift in Misha's memory!
    The 'bunnies and flowers' looks so cute on those socks!
    I think the striving to improve is wonderful as long as it doesn't cloud the pleasure of the creating. We all improve at different speeds and in different ways, find our own 'voice' in the striving, and then sing our own songs. Our 'differences' make our work unique.
    The desire to improve one's skills and techniques means we'll never become bored, and we'll continue to grow as artists.

  8. What wonderful responses. Thank you for taking the time to so thoughtfully compose them.
    Fox : )

  9. Oh my yes! In art, as Gina said, and in writing. We always look at the best of the artists work; and, attempt to reach that level. That is how we learn. I’ve known you (in a virtual way) since you first began and I KNOW you work very hard at your art...because it shows.
    I used to look at Martha E’s work, and Marty’s and . . . .
    and look at mine and think - mine doesn’t look like that! So with help from a few friends I learned about tension. I ‘thought’ I was tatting tightly (ho ho, no so).
    You just keep doing what you are doing Fox, because you are getting good results sometimes and GREAT results at other times....As “Edith Ann” would say, “...and that’s the truth!” hugs bev

  10. Oh, what a beautiful shuttle and a keepsake to remind you of Misha.

    I always love the colours you choose for your tatted motifs. Inspiring!

    "Continuous effort is the key to unlocking our potential" ~W. Churchill~

  11. You know, what makes your first "Rose Window" even more special than the second is the choice of colours and the beads. The first says "Fox" all over. I've seen, held, examined (!) your tatting - it is beautiful - for many reasons, but mainly because it's an extension of you. Keep striving, keep perfecting, but most importantly, keep giving and receiving pleasure from the tatting you create. Suneeti xo

  12. your shuttle with the cat is very very great!
    I like it!

  13. Hi Fox,

    What a beautiful shuttle in memory of Misha.
    Lovely socks I hope mini boss loves them.
    You have a beautiful snowflake, when ever we try a new pattern none of us gets it right first time, and I expect anyone who designs a pattern trys and trys over and over again until they think its perfect.
    Its very hard to get perfect results all the time but you are staiving to be perfect, sometimes a mistake can lead to a new pattern, you are a very good tatter and I am not saying that lighter to make you feel better, please dont be so hard on yourself, you get some brilliant tatting done.

  14. You guys ROCK! Thank you for your thoughts!

    Fox : )

  15. Love the new shuttle!!!!

    Love your motifs as well. And yes I agree with someone above, the first says Fox to me. You definitely have your own style and I love it.

  16. your tatting is lovely ... great with beads!

    your friend was very good to you, that shuttle is beautiful, I hope you enjoy using it and it gives you calming memories of Misha