Tatting Workflow

Rather than use the B-word (because aren’t we all?), I’ll tell you that this semester I worked full time and took two classes. I spent spring break tatting, and not studying, just to clear my head. Then I thought about tatting some more and identified how I get in my own way and what I’ve been doing about it.

There are two things I don’t like about tatting:

  1. Hiding ends
  2. Blocking

So I tat away (lots of these Flowering Quatrain bookmarks and motifs and doilies). They end up in a drawer, waiting for the next step, and they can be waiting for a long time. Those doilies, especially—I’ll tell you more about them someday.

So I came up with a simple workflow that I do every day, soon after I get up:

  • I hide the ends for one item from my end-hiding drawer.
  • I block one item from my blocking drawer.
  • I tat up one piece of leftover thread from one of the thread drawers. One of those bits that’s too long to throw away but too short to make something with. I look at it as deliberate practice for improving my technique. Usually I do a simple ring-and-chain repeat, but I also might tat up a bit of cloverleaf edging—I don’t like tatting cloverleafs AT ALL, which means I avoid them when I can, and that’s not necessarily a good thing, being that cloverleafs are a helpful design element.
Samples of the tatting exercises I do each morning.

Samples of the tatting exercises I do each morning.

After I do those three things, I do these other things:

  • I set up the next three things for the next day: one piece that needs end-hiding, one piece that needs blocking, and one length of thread.
  • Then I set up my portable project box for the day. These days it might have one of the doilies, or a bookmark, or a piece I’m developing.

Without tatting anything new, it would take me a while to work through everything in the end-hiding and blocking drawers. But! I am tatting new things! Bookmarks and scarves and doilies and hair ornaments.

During the time that I’ll work on the outer rounds of the four current doilies, I might even clear out those two drawers (or so I can hope).

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One Response to Tatting Workflow

  1. Shannon Campos-Hatfield says:

    when something needs blocking, i often just wet it and tap around so its all wet, then i just leave it to dry, and it drys flat, no pins or ironing.

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