January 2018

Hello tatters - welcome to 2018 and another year of wonderful creativity, inspiration and tatting.

After the very successful Fringe weekend last September, a question surfaced about tatting ability required for a class.  This has long been a topic bandied about and several tatting organizations have tackled this looking for an answer.
We thought it might be helpful for our membership to give some guidance on this.  By no means is this the definitive answer.  We consulted 'lists' generated by various groups including the Palmetto and Shuttle Bird Tatters in the US and the Australian NSW group.

While there is a lot of overlap, there are differences and of course this is all subjective.  Usually once a person achieves a skill, the hours put into learning it and perfecting it are sometimes forgotten which leads to the issue of how to categorize the skill.  The levels themselves are varied.  Is a rank beginner, a novice?  What about someone with intermediate skills - are they beyond beginner and do competent or accomplished tatters know and easily tat all the items on a list ?  Should one strive to learn everything on one list before moving ahead - what happens when you are taught one skill before another?  To be honest - I learned how to do split rings before I knew what CTM meant.

So over the next couple of newsletters, we will offer a compilation of the information we have acquired from various sources and respected tatters - these are not the final word - the lists are meant to generate discussion and act as a guideline - we would LOVE your feedback.

Try to remember back to when you learned to tat - who taught you - an aunt, grandma, mom, dad, uTube?  Were you a rank beginner, novice, new to tatting, shuttle (or needle) shy, newbie or neophyte, did you apprentice with a mentor ... can you do the following? In order to tat you needed to learn the basics.

Beginner Tatter

. know how to wind a shuttle (left and right hands are different)
. make a chain
. make a ring
. create picots (varying lengths, may include using a picot gauge)
. create joins (shuttle, lock)
. know continuous thread method (CTM)
. use the shoelace trick (SLT) 
. understand written or diagrammed patterns
. know how to hide ends (tatting over tails, magic thread trick)
. make split rings

Once the basics are mastered, some people are content and wonder why other skills or techniques are needed.  The curious try invention but let's face it - tatting is one knot - can you flip it ???

In April - we'll give you a list of intermediate skills.  Please feel free to copy this list and keep it as a reference - add notes or question it.

Exchanges for 2018

This year the Fringe's theme is BLING IT ON - some of you are already cringing and others are cheering.  Throughout the 4 exchanges this year we will be asking you to embellish and create tatting with sparkle - buttons, beads and bling. At any time this year you are encouraged to try some metallic thread.  Needle and bobbin shuttle tatters seem to have more success because they are not putting stress on the thread that post shuttle tatters do which can result in breakage of the filament in the thread. There are some interesting metallic threads available.
The first exchange requires that you use at least 1 button in your work.  Last year at the Fringe, all of our attendees were given a small bag of buttons - but most people probably have a button jar.  The button can be the centre of the design or buttons could hang from your tatting. As always, it's your choice.

Exchange #1 Dates

1.Yes, I want to participate - I need to send a short response (please do not just hit reply) no later than January 12 to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
2. I will receive the name of the person I am sending to by January 17
3. I need to have the item I am making in the mail no later than the beginning of March to allow for postal delivery - I have 2 months to make my item and once I commit,
I need to start tatting
4. all items are to be in your recipient's hands by March 31, 2018

Upcoming Tatting events in 2018

April 6 - 8 - Finger Lakes Tatters in Lodi, NY - 20th celebration year (congrats !!!). The theme - Tatting Fantasy - lots of magic is promised over the weekend

May 3 - 6 - Shuttle Birds in Post Falls, Idaho. The theme - A Bouquet of Blossoms

July 5 - 7 - Tatting Corner in Chesterfield, Indiana. The theme - Been There, Done Tat

September 7 - 10 - Palmetto Tatters in Toccoa, Georgia.  The theme - Not your Grandmother's Tatting

September 21 - 22 - Fringe Element Tatters in Cambridge, Ontario. The theme - Bling It On

Each of these groups/shops has a website with more information about the event, including registration information.

If you are aware of any other tatting events - please send us the information.

The Fringe also hosts three tatting drop-ins in Southern Ontario
We are happy to meet new members and offer assistance if you want to set up a group in your area. All of these tatting organizations are run by volunteers who generously give of their time and knowledge and it is appreciated.

Please don't hesitate to contact any of the groups if you have questions or an interest.  We all started out as beginners.
Tatting continues to flourish because we care!

Happy Tatting from the Fringe!