Georgia Seitz - Ribbonwinners
Tatting Patterns & Shuttles
1227 CR 1760 E
Greenup IL 62428-3016
AKTATTER@aol.com - www.georgiaseitz.com
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This book is a translation of the Tatting section of "Ich Kann Handarbeiten"http://www.georgiaseitz.com/reviews/donnerschnebel.jpg (I can do handwork [or] I know handwork) -the whole book was reprinted as "Handarbeiten wie zu Grossmutters Zeit" (Hand work as in Grandmother's time). Ms. Chesno has made this into a little 35-page booklet, with an introductory section at the front. The information and basic tatting instructions flows smoothly into the patterns. (I guess the original German book was a how-to book, because patterns are in a logical, orderly progression from simple to more complex.)
Illustrations are drawn for all, or almost all, of the patterns. There are 37 "illustrations" in the book, so there are probably 27 "patterns" (some of the illustrations are in the how-to part of the beginning material). I bought the book mainly to see what tatting was like in Germany - literally in MY grandmother's day. I don't know if she knew how to tat, but she DID do a lot of handwork. Patterns are a little hard for me to figure out, but ANY vintage-era pattern seems to be hard for me to work at first. There are some really pretty things in here: medallions, edgings, and insertions. Some of the "wide" edgings look really nice on a hankie when tatted in very small thread.
I received the most wonderful tatting book for Christmas, a reprint edition from Germany containing two foundational works by Tina Frauberger. Her Handbuch Der Schiffchenspitze (1917) and her II Band Des Handbuches Der Schiffchenspitze (1921). I have wanted these books for a long time. Actually I wanted the first one and for a while thought the second one might just be a later printing of the first, but that is not the case. Though I do not read German using Babel Fish I feel confident in referring to this reprint as containing volumes one and two of the Manual of Tatting. Schiffchenspitze translates as Boat Point [ed's note: "spitze" is also German for "lace"] which refers to the shape of the shuttle and to lace, thus tatting).
Volume one has two forwards, volume two has one. Volume one also has an introduction. After this both volumes have the following sections:Geschichtliches is a history of tatting.
Both volumes have a few images that do not have patterns, but just a few. My copy came with a supplement (Nachtrag) giving the missing patterns at the beginning and towards the end of the first volume. I love the word for the diagrams, Wortbild, (word picture). There are many examples of what I would call edgings, insertions and motifs, but there are also several doilies or mats. Many of the patterns are built from earlier patterns. An interesting historical suprise to me is that even though there are no patterns given there are illustrations of tatting with beads, this in 1917.
Overall I find the patterns to be brilliant and especially beautiful. I must put Tina Frauberger amongst the top of my list of designers. The symbols and method of presenting the patterns is very different from anything I have seen elsewhere, and in some ways perhaps a little more intuitive, from my perspective. Dealing with an unfamiliar language and set of symbols, I had to deal with paragraphs indicating the use of an earlier pattern with additions or exceptions. I am planning my first project which is square mat (doily) built on what the designer calls Kronen (Crowns).
Minimal text so it isnít too much of a challenge as all patterns have diagrams. Itís all hanky or placemat edgings, and they are pretty. Itís a small book, but a very nice one.
This book contains a little bit of "everything." There's a round doily, a heart-shaped one, a couple simple edgings, a "medallion yoke" (looks like a square collar to me), baby bootees, some snowflakes, napkin rings, candlestick "frill", a rosary, bookmark, a few Christmas items, a "snowflake" collar (a round collar with snowflake medallions - it's cute), a handkerchief edging that's simple but pretty, napkin rings, and a couple sachets.
Photographs inside the book are black-and-white. The back cover has small color versions of the same photos that are inside the book. Patterns are written in "long" form. There are no diagrams. The two sachets are a little strange (to me, at least) - one is part tatted and part crocheted, the other is all crochet (a little odd - to me - to see a crochet pattern in a tatting book). At the end of the book there is a section on crochet technique, but no tatting technique information. Some of the patterns make me wonder if they are reprints of "vintage" patterns, others are "new" designs, but still pretty. (For example, the baby bootees are almost identical to a "vintage" pattern I found online - they are so similar you can't tell them apart unless you check the stitch count on one or two of the rows. The pattern seemed to be re-worded in more "modern" terms, though (a benefit, to be sure. Some of those "antique" patterns can be really hard to figure out.)
The book is ok, but sometimes the "long form" patterns get so complicated that you have to either rewrite it in short form, diagram it and use the diagram to tat from, or just ignore the pattern and tat by looking at the picture after you get the general idea of the thing. This was a real problem for a friend who has been tatting for about a year. We spent quite a lot of time "deciphering" the instructions. Someone with more experience would probably not have so much difficulty with the way the patterns are written. THIS tatter prefers fewer/shorter directions and a good diagram, maybe with a technical drawing included for something that's hard to express in words.
This step-by-step illustrated tutorial on needle tatting by Laura Evans will be eagerly received by students who are just beginning the study of tatting. There is a discussion of every aspect of needle tatting from the threads to the needles. No assumptions are made about the students familiarity with needlework. Individual tools are presented and explanations are given for their use.
The basic double stitch and the formation of rings and chains are covered in extreme detail so that anyone... even a person who had never held a needle before...will quickly pick up the essentials and put them to work. The directions are presented with text and numerous illustrations which show the position of each finger of the both hands.
Multiple references are offered for each step of the work. The student can rapidly and easily access the material presented or referred to later in the book. There is an excellent abbreviations list on page 60 (I do wish it had been positioned more prominently earlier in the book.)
The needle tatting techniques are presented in a dictionary format. Each explanation is accompanied by complete illustrations showing the movements of hands and needle and thread. The sample below is listed under "Correct Errors" on pg 35
The finished technique or stitch is also presented with front and back aspects. Although tatting still strives today to present a standard notation, there are differences among patterns. The author points out potential places where there may be a confusion in terms and clarifies all of them.
Particular care was given to teaching the student how to read patterns. Examples of the old fashioned variety of pattern where every word is written out is followed by the same pattern in diagram and in numeric notation. Working through this tutorial will give the new tatter a solid foundation. Only this one teaching pattern is included. This is a great reference guide for the novice needle tatter.
Available in electronic format, the book has 68 pages and, except for the book cover, it is all in black and white.
End of section G - H
When checking for titles beginning with an article such as a, an, or the, please check in both places with and without the article. Titles that begin with numbers such as 13, may be found both under the number 13 and under the word thirteen.
Notes about typoes are welcomed. All are encouraged to send in book reviews and a thumbprint photo (100x100) of the cover. Book reviews in non-English languages and about non-English language tatting books are needed.
This is joint project sponsored by the online tatting class. All tatters are welcome to join us.