Thursday, February 19, 2015

Tales of An Intrepid Tatter

Wishing you a 
Happy  Chinese New Year 
Of The Goat!

Now for my adventure in Korea-Town:

There I was, standing in line with my store-made Kimchee at the Korean Supermarket, when I saw an unusual item beside of the check-out line.

The little plastic thing was too intriguing not to pick up. There were a multitude of them hanging, in a strip. I managed to free one and was baffled to see it was an earpick... hmmmm.

Well, for $2.00 I knew I couldn’t go far wrong; I was remembering the photo I stored in my tatting brain that promised possibilities. 

This photo from Jan Stawasz’s 
book and has always attracted me:


Did Jan use it as a pick or a hook? Anyway, I immediately remembered it when I saw the earpick.

When it was my turn to pay, the woman at the cash seemed puzzled and asked if I wanted the earpick. I suppose not many of my peeps customarily purchase these little lovelies.

With as much nonchalance as I could muster I assured her that I most certainly did. I smiled. She did not. Off I went, clutching my kimchee and a new potentially tatting toy.

Upon arriving home, I pulled out my trusty metal-cutting pliers, chopped off the “ear” part, then filed the end smooth.

It was the size I had envisioned. Crochet hooks are all to wide for using to standardize picots. I have imagined that might have been Jan’s use for his instrument.

I tried it out...

It worked reasonably well on this #40 to make all the picots pretty much the same size. It stretched them a tad too large for my liking. 

However, on a motif with a lot of picots it could work. Eyeballing many, many picots on a piece for me doesn’t produce the best uniformity. This could be a possible remedy. Not sure about #80 though. Might make the picots way to large.


  1. Looks like it did a pretty good job!! :)
    I use a coffee stirring stick as my picot gauge. :)

    1. That’s a terrific idea, Sue! I am going to grab a few at Starbucks next time I’m there.
      : ))

  2. Genius! Too difficult to explain to the shop lady, and she probably wouldn't be impressed that you took it apart. We appreciate it though!

  3. It does look like the hook or pick that Jan used, well done on your find.

  4. Haha! Leave it to you to spy a potential tatting tool in the check-out line!

  5. Well done :) Is it thin like a toothpick? I think a toothpick is too "big" for size 80, but this is only my opinion...

  6. I use allen wrenches, Fox. The smallest is perfect for picots in size 80. Here's a preview:

    1. Marty, I have known about Allen keys, but they always look so dirty and oily in the hardware store! I'll have another look and use a bar of soap! Thanks. : )

  7. Eww, do they really stick those in their ears? Hope it works as a picot gauge for ya.