Friday, February 24, 2012

Motif 23 - 25: Finishing with the Malaysian tatters

Last Saturday the Malaysian Tatters had their second meeting.  Jon Yusof is the group's founder and she has a lovely write-up about it here.  The stars and my kids' various activities aligned so that I could actually come, so I put all my tatting in a box and went.

It was fun sharing tatting tips, and seeing other people's work.  There were all sorts of tatters; new ones, intermediate ones and tatters who had been tatting longer than I've been alive.  Zarina and Jon generously spent their time showing people the flip.  Jon even had an excellent little booklet teaching how to tat in Bahasa Melayu.

I brought Jane Eborall's goat to work on, but neglected to bring a full printout of the pattern, so had to stop half way.  Then I worked on another forever doily, making many mistakes, while eating, browsing other people's books, buying HDT, and generally confusing people with the many ways there are to tat.

There are two things I want to remember from the event.  The first is that I'd like to try slowing down a little.  I'm not unhappy with my tatting.  I love the flow of making stitches and sometimes it makes me sloppy.  I think that's OK, but looking at Jon and Zarina's neat stitches, I think I'm going to find a really nice pattern, then take my time working neatly through to the end.

The second is that I want more 6-ply!  I don't have much in my stash because until a few years ago, I didn't have access to any, but looking at all the lovely thread people brought, I think I'm going to get a bit acquisitive.  It was great fun, but I don't have any pictures.  I find it very hard to be present in an activity if I'm taking pictures, so in general, I just tried to enjoy the moment.

I've always been a 'Lone Ranger' kid of crafter so I was quite and nervous to go to the meet.  I burned off the nervous energy by finishing and blocking some bits of tatting to go into my tatting box.  Those bits were the last motifs of my second round of the 25 motif challenge (late as usual).

Here's the first one.

This is the Riego grapes bookmark, as interpreted by Martha Ess.  The grapes are tatted using a needle (not needle tatted, but using the needle like a shuttle).  It's a fiddly process, but I think it's worth it.  Look at those little grapes, with all the colours shading one into the other.  So cute.

The next one is the 'Beaded Jabot' from Yusai Shokoin's 'Tatting Ideas' book.  I call it the 'Questionable Jabot' because it raises many questions:-

QUESTION 1: What is a Jabot?
According toWikipedia, a jabot is a sort of neckwear, worn in 17th and 18th century Europe.

QUESTION 2: What is a 17th century clothing item doing in a modern book of Japanese patterns?
Wikipedia has no answer for this, but it makes me wonder about Japanese sensibilities....

QUESTION 3: Why was my t-shirt and jeans wearing self compelled to make a jabot?
It was the beads!  The beads drove me to it!

The last one is the lovely Flora butterfly from Adelheid Dangela's 'Tatted Butterflies' book.  I read somewhere (sorry, can't remember where) that those solid tatted shapes are called 'leaf structures'.  So, in honour of the name, the butterfly is a light leaf green.  It looks refreshing this way, but perhaps it would be cuter with more colours.


  1. All your pieces are stunning!! I love the grapes bookmark! The jabot is very interesting! And the butterfly is awesome!! :)

  2. Hey, I did not see all these that day? But then, I was not focusing on anything - I was jumping from one place to another to see all the tatted goodies and the people that came. Oh what fun that was.

  3. I really love your works.
    I also wonder why jabot in our days. This is my wild guess: a large number of Japanese children learn to play the piano and once in a while they perform to show their accomplishment. They wear formal wear at that time, and jabot fits well in those costumes.

  4. Your tatting is superb!
    Fox ; )

  5. Thanks Sue, Garyo and Fox!

    Garyo, I like your description. In my head I see a little black-haired boy, playing piano in a little blue suit. A very appealing picture.

    My little black-haired guy plays piano, but I think he'd wrestle me to the ground if I tried to put a jabot on him :)