I learned how to tatt when I was 16, after finding a small basket that contained my great-grandmother's tatting shuttle and some lace remnants. Fortunately, we had a lacemaker at our Lost Arts Festival at Watkins Mill who could show me exactly how to tatt. It's not at all something easily learned from books - even though the actual motions, once mastered, are quite simple.
Tatting was my primary craft for years and years. I did two lace collars for work, 13 feet of lace for my formal period costume, Christmas ornaments, a doily or two, and the lace for the dress Gillian was blessed in. Most of all, though, I edged handkerchiefs. I absolutely adore old-fashioned lace hankies.
However, I gave tatting up for the most part shortly after Gillian was born. Honestly, knitting is just so much more useful and varied....and tatting gets a bit dull after a while. Besides, I think Sean got tired of hearing me cuss when I snapped the thread...which I did often, being a tense sort of person.
When our friend Eric died, the need to make something for his wife, Kari, was great within me. That's what we makers do in the face of tragedy....we create, trying to hold the darkness at bay in even the smallest of ways. And so, a hankie for Kari to hold during her husband's funeral....tatted with love for them both in the color that decorated their wedding, and carrying with it our prayers for her whole family.