NATA CONFESSIONS

Identities have been hidden to protect the special members of this nuttery.


Members can be identified by the NATA number tattooed on their chests.




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NATA # 3

How about tatting with a broken pinkie ? I know I'm already on the NATA list, but I couldn't resist telling you about this, having read everyone else's "accomplishments" ;-)

I had just about got the hang of the flip, etc, when I went and caught my pinkie in the door OW!!!! Painful indeed. You guessed right, it was broken. My doctor was kind enough to make me a splint-sort of thing of aluminium and velcro (all for the cause of tatting... LOL).

Of course my chain thread would keep getting caught in the velcro. So I started sticking the shuttle on the tip of the splint (luckily I use the Indian equivalent of the Aero where the thread flows pretty smoothly from the bobbin.

Once my finger actually healed, I had a tough time trying to get used to winding the thread over my finger.


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NATA # 5

My Grandmother was ( and mum still is ) a speed crocheter with industrial sized input. However, when I was about 14, GM decided to put a tatted edge on something. She had to wind back several gears to do this, which to me was an indicator of how hard it was! Then mum got the tatting bug..... She hadn't done anything since she was a girl, so it made her slow right down too.

It seems tatting has been done by 3 generations of mum's family previous to me... my Mum, Grandma, and great-great-grandma Mercer. My Great-grandma Peacock couldn't tat, and my grandma once told me of the frustration of trying to teach her. I've been trying to teach mum split rings and split chains, so I know the feeling.

The bug finally bit me when I was about 15 or 16, and I've been tatting on and off ever since ( solidly for the last 2 years ) - I'm now 27 and counting. =)

Places I've tatted include:

Doesn't count home, hotels and other "living" areas....=)


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NATA # 9

Most people I encounter have never even heard of tatting - I've been doing it about 20 years on and off and although I wouldn't say I produced major works of art compared to some tatters I've seen - I enjoy myself. Over the years I've made a collar for an Aunt (she phoned me one Sunday evening as she'd just finished making a new dress and wanted a lace collar for it - by the following weekend - and she got it!) and one year when I was very short of funds I tatted a dragon (Pam Palmer pattern) for my sister for her birthday (she collects dragons).


NATA # 10

I was driving my new-to-me truck for the first time. I had loaded it up with my tatting and was ready to roll. Earlier that day my DH had been telling me about some snakes they had found at work. Non-poisonous but, to me, deadly all the same. I have a snake phobia! Anyway, I pulled out of my driveway heading away for the day when I heard a strange rattling sound under my truck seat. It alarmed me enough that I pulled over to the side of the road, but then I didn't hear it so started up again. This time the rattling sound grew more frantic and of course my pulse and my nerves did the same. I pulled over again and looked under the seat very, very, very cautiously.

To my complete surprise I found one of a set of two bobbins, continuously connected with it's twin hanging out the door. I proceeded to get out of the truck and go around to the other side of the door and surprise, surprise, I found the other bobbin, just a-bobbin along the road. It was one of a set of two aero's and when the outside hook caught on something it put tension on the inside shuttle and the bobbin was making the clicking, whirring sound as it unwound. WOW, talk about relieved! On one hand there was small damage to the road shuttle, but on the other hand....NO SNAKE and my life was safe again for awhile.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Trust me, I'm much more careful now with my tatting. It goes in cases, not loose on my truck seat. NEVER AGAIN!


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NATA # 14

Proof I am nuts? I went to the Doctor, left home, saw the Doctor, and on my way out I was looking for my purse, and I forgot it, I never even took it with me, BUT I didn't forget my TATTING.


NATA # 15

I caught the absolutely crazed obsession when I learned needle tatting. That gave me the missing bits I didn't get when I learned rings-only shuttle tatting from my Nan. Once I got the process I went at it so hot and heavy that I ended up with tendonitis so bad I couldn't turn my hand over or lift a cup of tea with my left hand and had to be put in a strict no-tatting and no-typing state for six months! Oh the agony! I still have nightmares from that one. ;)


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NATA # 18

A design kept going through my head as a possible fund raiser for my church's building campaign. I finally started to tat it and just couldn't make myself stop the work - even when the clock passed 3 a.m. and I had to get up 3 hours later for work. The icing on the cake was when I woke up my hubby, Kelly, to ask him his preference for an edge to the cross pattern so that I could finish and write the pattern out. He wasn't to happy with my obsession when it interrupted his sleep just about 3:30 in the morning! Needless to say, the pattern was completed and I survived the work day on just over an hours nap - but hey! The important part to remember is that the pattern was complete and even written out, and it raise some money for the church!!!


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NATA # 21

As mentioned on the list. I've been tatting for two weeks with a badly sprained wrist (the swelling has just gone down this weekend, the pain, Iíll probably just have to get used to). Isn't this tatting above and beyond the call of nuttiness?

I would add, I'm still tatting, my wrist still bothers me whenever the humidity goes up, I just take a Tylenol, put ice on my wrist for 10 minutes, grit my teeth against the pain and go on tatting. I also learned to keep tatting without moving my right wrist.


NATA # 22

I *learned* to tat because I thought it was pretty, and I'm the type that hates to think there is something out there that I can't do. So I basically learned to say I could.

I *continue* to tat because I like the challenge of learning new techniques. I bet we will always see improvements and new ideas in tatting, forever and ever, amen. I also tat because it's something that people are really fascinated with (non-tatters especially). It always gets second looks from people when I do it in public, and it generates a lot of conversation! I also tat because it's a link to the past.

And finally, it's so relaxing, I just get into the rhythm and let my shuttle take off. I can think when I tat (as long as the pattern isn't too tricky) and it really soothes my soul. The process is sometimes even more rewarding than the finished product. Tatting is always on my mind, and I even see it at night when I close my eyes at bedtime.


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NATA # 28

I think that tatting is a method of relaxation for most of us.

And I never think that there are but few tatters; there are thousands, perhaps even millions of us. We can join the tat_chat, e-tatters, and/or arachne.com chat groups which are a world wide group of lacemakers as is the Ring of Tatters newsletter from the UK and the IOLI, International Old Lacers, Inc., and the online tatting class The contact with other tatters is very stimulating.

About being a linguist, I took my degree in Chinese and German from Indiana State Univ. I worked a couple of years with an international bookseller in Portland, OR before joining the Army. I worked as a Chinese linguist in Misawa Japan for two years as the war in Viet Nam was ending and then as a German linguist in Augsburg, Germany for two years. The last year I served in the military I was the editor of the Augsburg Profile, a field station newspaper.

Later in CA I helped minority persons and non English speakers to establish a small home business with AVON sales. After moving to Alaska in 1985 I became a volunteer for the Emergency Language Bank helping tourists and such while working at the International Airport; first at the currency exchange and then at the communications center. When that facility closed I worked for the National Wildlife Federation. I was supposed to help set up an international conference on birds in Harbin, China, but the Tian An Men massacre happened and the conference didn't. I stayed on with NWF for five years before establishing my own teaching/publishing/shuttlemanufacturing mail order business. And I have loved every minute of it. It is just wonderful.

I have taught twice at conventions, a daunting task, but a great deal of fun; I always learn as much as I teach. I have also joined and held workshops for other guilds.


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NATA # 30

This morning I woke up at 4am, wide awake and knowing that I had to get up at 7 for a very busy day. Rather than toss and turn, waking up DH who had to get up at 5:30, I went out to the kitchen for a cup of hot cocoa. Edging designs started popping into my brain, one after another. I grabbed a pad of paper and a pencil and started drawing them out. By the time I went back to bed at 5:00 I had sketched out a dozen edgings.

Now before you all start asking for the patterns, there is a vast difference between the squiggles and circles on paper and a real pattern with numbers and corners. It will take a while to write all these up and then test tat them. Good thing I have a dozen hankies waiting for edgings! LOL!!


NATA # 31

At the end of August 2003, my husband had a position here in Saint-John and we had only 2 days to pack to move in ... so imagine how I did my boxes.. no comments...

But my tatting stuff... I brough my shuttles and thread in my purse, ready to tat.. I didn't have to wait to empty my boxes to make tatting... Just to show you that I'm really addicted. :-)

I'm crazy about threads... I have a big big collection of vintage, new threads.. I'm starting a shuttle collection.. but tatting is my favourite thing.


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NATA # 35

I can't get tatting off my mind. When I'm not tatting, I'm thinking about tatting, looking at mail order catalogs looking at tatting books, threads, beads and supplies. I even dream about tatting. LOL! Tatting is embedded on my brain.


NATA # 36

I am NATA because I tat so much that my children say that when I die that are going to put a shuttle in my hands to take with me. I have a shuttle with me at all times. Tatting tools hanging on me. I have demo tatting one time, talking so much that I lost my voice. People know me as the tatting lady. I go into a store and people will come up to me and say "Youíre the lady that does that stuff with your hands called tatting".


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NATA # 39

I learned to tat from my grandmother (dad's mom) when I was about 7 years old. She taught me to tat much differently from how we do it now, the wrap was done in the opposite direction then you do it now, counter-clockwise instead of now it is clock-wise; you make the stitches on the top of the hand and she made them in the hand and your hand was held the way you do for the second side of the split ring when you use the "dead spider" hold. Also she never did anything other then rings although knew that there were such things as chains, she didn't know for sure how to do them. I tatted this way for a few years and then got involved with teen stuff and laid it aside.

A few years later, I asked my other grandma (mom's mom) if she knew how to tat and she said yes, but hadn't done it for years (my mom didn't know her mom could tat, had never seen her do it). She taught me a little more, including how to hold the thread the way we do now and make stitches on top of your hand.

I got married, moved away and started having kids and put almost all crafts away. I still tatted rings now and then to decorate first communion veils and other stuff.

A couple of years ago, I wanted to get back into tatting again. I decided that since I was the only one that tatted, I would do what I could to figure more things out by myself, One of the resources available to me was the internet; I was ecstatic to find that there were other tatters around.

Now I tat a lot! I tatted in the pickup on the way to buy heifers, I have tatted in the barn during milking, I was the supervisor while my son was doing the milking, and I have tatted in the bathroom while the grandkids are taking a bath. ( wonder where they were taking it???? LOL!!)

I have tatted with twine string while out in the barn trying to figure out which way joins looked the best, because of that, I now tat "right side, wrong side" I also have used twine to figure out fold over/under joins. Boy was that an experience, I got "rope" burns between my fingers!

Tatting is the reason that I now shop on the internet, before I started looking at tatting supplies, I didn't know all the stuff that I was missing. Now I shop for tatting and household supplies and even buy my shuttles and some threads on ebay. Tatting drives my internet use. I belong to e-tatters and a couple of other groups because of it.

My back got just too bad to continue milking and now I have an off-farm job, so my tatting time has been cut back, but my bosses wife tats!! yippee!!

She thought she was the only one under 85 who tatted( she is only about 55 ..Way older then I am!! I will be 50 next year) So now sometimes when we should be talking business, we talk tatting instead, and I am teaching her split rings & chains, double picots and having lots of fun. I have already turned her on to the internet, and let her look through my pattern stash.


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NATA # 42

I thought I was the only tatter!! ( bet you haven't heard that before!! hehe)

I belong to a semi formal guild in Missoula, MT bout 62 miles from where I live and have 2 daughters who are also members of NATA. The eldest is going to college; she makes little flowers when she thinks about tatting, but my baby (who is almost 6 ft tall and plays the tuba) is going strong. I taught them a couple of years ago.

I really think they picked it up cause I have doing it forever, you know, exposed to it very young!! I taught them the basics back then, cause 1 year I was the only entry in the county fair and I knew it would be discontinued if there wasn't more than one person entering. Anyway, that first year, all 3 of us entered, naturally me being the "oldest" or as I prefer it, the one who has tatted longest took all the blue ribbons. Now this last year I had to share with the youngest kidlet, and yes we are still the only 2 who enter the fair. But we demo together wherever and whenever we are asked to, so I let her enter in the fair with me!!! ( big giggles) We are known, up and down the valley, as the tatters and it doesn't take much to get us started, demoing or teaching!!

I also collect shuttles and these 2 brats fight over who is getting the collection, but since I am only 26, that's a long way off. I haven't seen Heidi's shuttle book yet, still too poor, but I think one of mine is in it, and don't dare let the kids know cause I plan on keeping it for me me me, ... it's bad enough I have to share the ribbons with them.

Anyway, we were out demoing one day and I turned around and was listening to my youngest, (16 yrs old), and she was teaching the split ring to a older lady who said she hadn't tatted in about a 100 yrs; my baby was telling her about the "dead spider" way of making a split ring!

We have also raised a lot for Relay for Life making pink split ring ribbons and taking them to the farmers market for the last 2 yrs.


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NATA # 44

Rebecca Mitchell, gone to the ultimate tatting place on September 23, 2002. http://www.comnet.ca/~tatsall/Becky/BeckyMitchell.htm


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NATA # 49

I took my tatting and a shotgun to guard the new calves from the dingos (wild dogs). I didn't have to fire the gun, but I got a lot of tatting done.






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