Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hobbies and a Hat

Kristen says...

So, I have a hobby.

Well, ok, I have a few...I love to read (and collect books...I have thousands, as you may have read about before), I dabble in photography (as you've no doubt noticed by all the gazillions of photos on this blog), and...I tat.

Do you know what tatting is? The Spanish word for it is "frivolite," and basically it's using a needle (or a shuttle, although I haven't mastered that yet) to make lace.

Here is a good picture to illustrate: (Full disclosure: I borrowed this picture from Wikimedia Commons. I did not take this picture. The rest of the pictures on this site are mine or Chris' or have been taken by family and used with permission)

Is the lightbulb flashing in your mind? Is a misty memory of your mother (or grandmother) coming back to you now? Do you have decades-old lace in a box in the attic? I don't, but I do have random pieces of lace that I made recently hanging around my house.

For example:

Tatting is a really simple thing to do--I would argue that it's easier than either crochet or knitting because, while those types of needlework have multiple stitches to learn, tatting has only one! :)

And where did I learn how to do this? Not from my Grandma, but from an internship I had at Living History Farms in 2005. I worked in the 1875 town in the Flynn Mansion as the maid, and one of the skills I learned was how to tat. I spent a lot of my time (when I wasn't interpreting the history of the home) sitting in a chair tatting random things (because, you know, maids in 1875 would have been sitting around tatting??) :)

Anyway, the reason I am talking about this right now is because I spent a few hours last weekend in Amapala and today working on this needlework hobby. And what I did was to adorn a hat I bought a few months ago at the open-air market Mayoreo.

Here it was before:It's a beautiful hat, and I like it a lot, but it's a little plain. I decided to jazz it up a bit with some black lace:
Here is a close-up shot of the lace:

It's not a big change, but I think it adds...but I am interested in your opinion: lace or no lace?

Of course, you can do lots of other things with tatting...I'm currently working on placemats for the table, and I made a bonnet for my nephew Ezra:

(Notice I don't have any pictures of him wearing it, because, 1) technically it's not finished, and 2) I don't think my sister wants her baby BOY wearing something that looks pretty girly...but I live in hope that someday I will know somebody with a baby girl who will want one... :)

I have about 15 tatting books (most are still in Iowa because they are thick and heavy) and there are literally hundreds of tatting websites about it (and blogs, I'm finding) so there are no end of fun things to try out! For example, the cross, doiley-thingy, and lace for the hat were from books, the bonnet from this website.

Anyway, that's what's happening around here this weekend...nothing too exciting. Chris spent most of last night on the phone (for work, he's on call this week) and most of today sleeping, so I got to work on some school things and finish the lace for the hat.

Hope you're having a relaxing weekend too! I'll put up more pics of lace stuff sometime...besides wanting placemats, there is a thing called the 25 Motif Challenge I think I'm going to try.



  1. Just wanted to say thanks for letting the Mi Esperanza ladies do your curtains. Thanks for helping to make a difference in the lives of women here!

  2. No worries, Mark...thanks to the ladies of Mi Esperanza for doing such a great job. We just got them back yesterday, so I'm going to put up pictures on the blog...sometime soon :)


  3. I think the hat looks wonderful with the lace! Nice job. I really like the cross, too.

    Love you!



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