Tatting and I have had a thorny relationship. I learned when I was quite young, and contrary to what you’ve been told, tatting is really quite simple. It feels very awkward at first, but if you persevere and learn the hand movements, it becomes second nature in a surprisingly quick time. I say this as a person who has been constitutionally uncoordinated for her entire life, so trust me—if I can tat, you can tat.

There’s only one problem—unlike knitting or crochet, it’s real knots. If you make a mistake, it’s REALLY hard to get it out! Also, there’s the problem of joins, which used to have to be done with a separate crochet hook. So I would take up tatting, make 8″ or maybe two feet of an edging, get into difficulties, and give it up again for five years. Or twenty.

I believe it was somewhere in 2003 when I got the itch again. I was going on a camping trip, and wanted to take something really small and portable. Naturally, I couldn’t find any of my old tatting shuttles, so I went to a fabric/craft store, finally found a person who knew what I was talking about, and found a pair of absolutely perfect little plastic shuttles with long sharp points for joins. They made tatting easier than it had ever been, and now I love to tat! I’m even considering an entire tatted tablecloth for my 4′ x 6′ oval oak dining table. Okay, I’m crazy, I know it.

How many years do you have?

It’s now 2012 and I did get about a 20” circle of that tablecloth done. I haven’t been able to find it in years. . .”