Join me as I explore tatting history. I may trace the development of the craft, translate old patterns into modern notation, or play detective tracking down the earliest appearance of a technique, design, or term.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Oldest English Tatting Instructions, Part 4

Mrs. Gaugain continues:

For the Edging of Petticoats, &c. &c. ; as Represented in Engraving at Beginning of Book

This is worked with fine bobbin, such as is used for children’s caps. Seven long loops form a pretty scallop.

The loop round the fingers if formed as before described in foregoing receipt; so is the first stitch; next stitch, throw the thread over the back of the hand, instead of bringing it towards you as in the first stitch, and insert the needle down through the finger loop between the first and second fingers; draw it up through between the two threads over the back of the fingers, and with the second finger form the stitch as before; next stitch as first, only leave it long, so as to form a long loop; then again the stitch over the back of the hand. Repeat the long loop and the one over the hand alternately, until you have the seven loops; then draw up the thread to form the scallop. Plain Tatting may also be done in the same manner as the second stitch here described. "

Here, in this final pattern, we finally get the directions for making the other half stitch to make up the double stitch. Note that the halves of the double stitch do not have names, and that she makes our "second" half first. Picots are called "loops", and are made between the double stitches by leaving a longer bit of thread before making the next stitch. Bobbin was a sort of thread, which was used interchangeably with a coarse loosely twisted cotton thread.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Oldest English Tatting Instructions, Part 3

Previously, Mrs. Gaugain told us how to tat the single stitch (half stitch) and use it to make an edging of partially closed rings. She continues:


As Represented in Engraving at Beginning of Book.

A very pretty trimming may be made by six scollops of Tatting being worked and drawn up quite close to form a star. When you have got enough worked, sew them together length ways. If wished to form a deep trimming for the bottom of a petticoat, another star may be added below between every other star of those already worked, which forms another pretty vandyke trimming."

Since she has so far only taught us to make half stitches, presumably these may be Josephine rings, though that term would not be coined until much later, (possibly by Therese de Dillmont). Remember that the join has not been invented yet, so she makes these tiny motifs and sews them together.

Sorry this blog has been move slowly; I've been busy....