Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bragging Rights

Oh, yah! Lots of you have often admonished me for being too critical of my tatting.
Well, not to-day!  I'll tell you why.

On The Space Between, yesterday I read this:
...I do not believe in forcing tatted lace to assume a specific shape in blocking. Lace knitting is a different story: wet it, pull it, pin it within an inch of its life. That is what is required to show off its beauty. Tatting is not the same. If the piece is tatted right, it should be the right shape to begin with – barring the bit of wayward ripple or ruffle. So, I don’t pull and pin: just a shot of damp pressing (cold or hot).
JaneE responded:
...Every tatting design should be totally ‘right’ when finished without any ‘bullying’. If it is worked with the same tension on both rings and chains then that should be the end result.  
I agree with this, and as Tatting Fool and umintsuru both well know, I neither use pins, ever, nor do I conventionally block my work. Just wet and press it, sort of coaxing it into shape before I pile on the weight. Then I let it dry. Easy.

Perhaps lazy? No, just not my tatting philosophy. Not everybody's cuppa, but I am comfortable with this approach.

Sometimes my tatting is off-kilter. Who am I kidding? It is usually very lopsided and 'symmetrical'  rarely appears in my tatting lexicon!

Not today! This is a first. This piece has been neither watered nor weighted! Straight off the shuttles!

#27-100 Motif Challenge
This is Sharon Brigg's 'Phantom Star,' from Tatted Flurries.
What a great pattern!


  1. Hear! Hear!

    I agree. The only time I pin anything is if I need to use a stiffener because it's going to hang and needs to keep its shape. It seems like the stiffener can alter its shape without pins but otherwise, I'm with you! I like Jane's phrase "bullying it into shape"- tee hee!

  2. This is VERY pretty Fox! I like it. Those turquoise blue beads look great with the white and you are right, it's looking great unblocked as it is! Well done.

  3. Very how you used the beads on this one too, it seems to really emphasise the different design elements. Really a pretty snowflake!

  4. Way to go, Fox. A woman after my own aged heart!!

  5. Beautiful snowflake. I really need to get to work on some soon, or I'll have to give in and buy gifts again this year. Home made is so much nicer.

  6. Wonderful! To be honest, I don't always block smaller pieces, especially if they come out looking like that.

    In theory, I agree with Jane. If the design is good and the tatting is good, everything should work out. In reality, however, not all designs are perfect (although I can always tell when a designer has taken the time to come up with exactly the right stitch count to make it lie flat), and my tension is far from perfect. Therefore, I do often find blocking necessary, mostly with larger pieces. Also, I am something of a perfectionist.

  7. I completely agree! The only things I block are large doilies that have gotten crumpled up while tatting. And way to go with the snowflake! Very nice.

  8. Thanks, Everyone, for these amazing comments today! : )) Fox

  9. I don't pull and push but I found I like wetting and pinning compared to ironing. The stitches lay nice and that's how I like it. Not sure why blocking is considered forcing? I also like to wash my tatting to get the hand oils off. Guess it's all about perception.

  10. That is gorgeous, you definitely have bragging rights!

    Sometimes I pin (especially for large doilies) and sometimes not. Sometimes it doesn't need it, but I'm not usually that consistent. I wish.

  11. Lovely!!!! I love the blue beads.

  12. It's gorgeous! I'm glad you *finally* see what the rest of us see when we look at your tatting! :-P

    Hope you are feeling better, dear!!! (((hugs))) --in a cloud of Lysol, of course. ;-)

    Stephanie Grace

  13. His Majesty is sooooo handsome, even if he is rather disgusted.

    The only thing I pin is really large or complex, like a doily. Sometimes I wet a bookmark down with spray starch and throw it in the microwave, but that's about it. I don't think I've ever ironed anything - with the exception of Nina Libin's designs, which are so bead heavy that a bit of heat on a damp cloth works wonders.

  14. I taught a class on starching at the Shuttlebirds workshop in Spokane this year. My my philosophy is that you starch and block to "finish" and not to "fix". If you need to block or starch to fix then you should go back and change the way you tat it. Doesn't mean you tatted it "wrong", just that everyone tats differently with different tension and joining picot lengths, etc. I almost always have a few chanes when tatting from a pattern. If it doesn't come out flat it just means I haven't figured out what changes I should be making yet.

  15. Excellent! You so deserve the bragging rights!

    His majesty can just go off to a corner and sulk then... he doesn't know what good tatting is I suppose.

    As far as the "blocking"... I use the same technique as you: wet & press til dry. Pinning takes too long (for me) as I'm very impatient with my own work.

    Patient-Impatient Lily