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.




NATA # 100

Stories...... where do I start? I learned about the word tatting from my father who used to tell me about my Scottish granny and how she tatted. I then found a book, bought a shuttle and tried to tat. Ya right! That flippin’ knot wouldn’t flip consistently, and with my Scottish, Irish and French background, it wasn’t long before the shuttle and the knots attached would fly to the other end of the room! When I would calm down, I would pick up the shuttle, cut off the knots and put it away. A year later, I would try again, with the same results....... This went on for about 8 years, until I thought “there has to be an easier way” and wondered if it was possible to do it on a needle; I knew the principles of tatting, how the stitches were made, how the rings were made... so I tried. I thought I had invented the wheel.... I didn’t have cable or the internet, and didn’t know there were other tatters out there and that needle tatting existed. Thank God for technology!

I have taught a lot of people, and some of the stories there are hilarious. I remember teaching a Pakistani woman who had great plans for her tatting; in the first class, I had told the students about my granny, and about Norma Benporath, who had just passed away. When she arrived for the 2nd class, she told me her husband didn’t want her to tat because obviously it wasn’t good for your health and that it killed you! The students made so much noise laughing, that the store manager and the teacher in the other class room came over to ask us to keep it down.

In another class on beaded Christmas balls, and I was commiserating with a student about the dropping quality of Mill Hill beads. One other student told us she bought the cheap beads and the reject rate was the same, but the price was a lot lower.... I asked her where these cheap beads were and, after putting down her tatting and dropping her wallet in her purse, she brought me to that section. When we came back, she sat down and went to pick up her tatting...... but it wasn’t there! We retraced our steps, no tatting. We were all on our hands and knees looking on the floor for her tatting when one student walked around and picked it off her back..... the size 10 thread she was using had clung to her wool sweater and she had been “wearing” her tatting all along!

And, last story.... promise..... One of my first students visited me at about hour 2 of a first class, looking for a Bead Loader, and asked me if I wanted to see the tablecloth she was working on. She went to the car and brought it to the class, and it was folded into a rectangle measuring about 14" x 36" and it was at least 8" thick.... and when she unfolded it, we all gasped. I took the opportunity to tell the class that she had only been tatting for 8 months and their comment was “HOW MUCH DID YOU PAY HER TO SHOW UP TONIGHT?!!”

I love tatters!


NATA # 101

I spotted a GORGEOUS tatted heart doily in my neighbors home about 5 years ago. I was mesmerized by its beauty and curious on how it was made. I knew it wasn't knitted or crocheted, but I can honestly say I had never heard of tatting when she told me it was "tatted." I loved the piece and asked her if she would be willing to teach me to tat. My neighbor, who was an elderly woman, agreed, and spent a few days showing me how to "flip" my knot and make a ring. After feeling she had gotten me started, I was my own. However, once the lessons stopped, I found I was not doing it right and I obviously had not made the correct "flip/knot" because nothing was sliding on that other thread.

But I was determined to learn. I bought a tatting book at a local shop and spent the couple of weeks, practicing and going through the instructions in it. I averaged about 2 hours of sleep on during those weeks, and barely made it through the day at work, but somehow when the next evening arrived, I was able to find another burst of energy and the determination to get back at my tatting practice. I knew I had the general idea of what I was supposed to be doing, but I was doing something wrong. I kept saying, "I will figure it out," or I'd die of lack of sleep trying. LOL

Then, one night, it just worked. I finally got it!! My knots slid and my ring closed! YIPPEE.....!!!!!!!! I danced around the house in joy, screaming and singing!! "Lalalalalalala....I've done it!" I woke up my husband and the cats scattered like I was a crazy woman. Since then (5 years ago this January to be exact), I have been addicted to anything tatting. Nuts? Maybe not, but a great fan for sure!! I am glad I was so determined. I can't think of too many other things I would have given up that much sleep to learn. It was meant to be. Then, I discovered tatting on the Internet.....another story.....LOL


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NATA # 107

I often brought my tatting with me when I went to the doctor for prenatal check-ups and often got comments about it. I wore a tatted necklace recently to a hand bell program that our church group put on at a neighbouring church and not only got many compliments but I think I've also been drafted to teach a class at our church. Now, my cousin is asking me to teach her. Of course, I'll agree to do all of it if DH will watch the kids for an afternoon. I'm sure we can never have too many tatters!

I suppose the only nutty part of all this is trying to get it all in with a 2 yr. old and a 4 month old. :) Will DH survive? Stay tuned.


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NATA # 110

Jos Van der Helm, gone to the ultimate tatting place on March 2, 2003.

Her story was:

I love tatting, and I love tatting while I'm in the car (when I'm not on the drivers seat)

Now it's winter, so it's often dark when we are driving, but even then I manage to tat, waiting for a little light from a car or street lamp to make a join. Now I'm even tatting in the back seat when I go home from work, and that gives such a safe feeling (I think) that while tatting, I feel the muscles in my shoulder making strange moves while the tension in my shoulder is going away. First time that happened I even stopped tatting because it frightened me a little bit but now I can't wait for the tatting time while the other two in the car are talking.


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NATA # 117

I tatted lime green pasties w/ crystal (ok, clear plastic) beads for my roommate. Not that she'd ever actually wear them.

And I tat in the car, at stop lights, stopped traffic on the freeway, etc. (might I add, since I'm single, I'm usually the only person in the car, so I do this while in the driver seat.) The easiest way to do this is keep your left hand loaded, and you just hold the shuttle between middle and ring finger while actually driving, so you don't have to waste time as you stop at the light to rewrap the thread.

I tried tatting during the sermon at church, but just felt a little too irreverent that way. I've tatted on the legislative floor at the State Capitol in Olympia, while the legislature was in session (my friend, the legislator's wife, told me this was inappropriate.)

I plan tatting patterns in my head if I have trouble getting to sleep. But I've never had a dream where a pattern came to me. :(     Oh well, I do just fine w/ dreaming up patterns when awake. I've had my patterns published in KNOTS! tatting newsletter, and in The Lace Magazine International. (I think there are others, but I just can't remember)

I've taught tatting classes at camp Wannatat in Montana, The Spokane Shuttlebirds tatting day, and at Ben Franklin Crafts in Redmond, Washington since 1993.


NATA # 118

I just finished tatting a 3D vase and decided to block it around a balloon. I got one of those balloons that clowns use to make the animals, but for the life of me, I couldn't blow it up. I gave it to DH but he couldn't blow it up either. Then DH got the bright idea of using the bicycle pump.

So here we are, me holding, DH pumping, and tatting and balloon flying all over the garage when I loose my grip. The tatting landed under the saw, where it stayed for several months before it migrated to the top of the work bench.

Update on story. The tatting is still out there, somehow it wound up back under the saw again. I think it likes it there.


NATA # 119




NATA # 120

I saw tatting first when I was little, done by my aunt. Then, when I was in my mid 30s I wanted to learn how to do it. I didn't know anyone who did it really, so I bought a book. It didn't explain the flip, so bought another book (books were hard to find in those days).

Since then I've tatted everywhere. Waiting in airports, dentist chairs, you know....the normal places to tat ;-) I tat because I enjoy it, not to please anyone else. I tat all the time, between working, computering, and sleeping. Yes, the house shows it, but DH is patient with me.


NATA # 121




NATA # 122

I learned to tat 15-18 years ago from a single lady in her 80's and loved it immediately. I then taught a couple of community college evening classes. I have given many ornaments as gifts and am now picking it up again after neglecting it for about 6 years while raising my daughter and working part-time at various jobs.


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NATA # 127

I am sort of self-taught (about 15-18 years ago), and then had some semi lessons from a lady to tatted, but she held her shuttle the "proper way" and was quite strict, and you were turning the shuttle over and around, not sure how any longer. It drove me NUTS because I could not pick up any speed, but I kept at it any way.

I have tatted while travelling, at the doc, office, waiting in line at the grocery, just about everywhere, even waiting for the movie to start in the theatre.

About 7 years ago, my boss was tatting on her lunch break and she was "flying"!! Her mom had taught her, she thought she was slow until I showed her how slow I was. In five minutes, she had me holding the shuttle "proper" and I just zipped and flipped so fast I even amazed myself. It no longer drives me nuts ... I just cannot get enough of it.


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NATA # 131

I took beginning tatting lessons about 1.5 years ago from Pat Stevens. Pat and I are in a Wednesday morning knitting group so she along with several tatter/knitter's didn't have to talk me into it.

I was also fortunate to take part in making a crazy quilt for my dear friend, Karen, a member of our smocking guild, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour 2.5 years ago. The ladies in the Seattle Lacemakers guild heard about the quilt and sent lots and lots of tatting pieces, motifs as well as bobbin lace to Karen's sister Terri (my best friend in the whole world) to add to the quilt. When I saw how much the tatting and lace added to the crazy quilt I had to learn how to tat. Ever since then, I have had a problem with my new found love of tatting cutting into my knitting, reading (Harry Potter down 2 books, 2 to go) and sewing time. This is so much fun!


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NATA # 134

My great grandmother, who will be 101 this coming February, did just about every type of needlework, and many other things too. For the longest time, I really wasn't interested in needlework, but my mother says that I got "domesticated" after marriage :)

Can't remember exactly when, but I bought a couple of those yucky metal shuttles and was trying to teach myself to tat - that was over 10 years ago. I wasn't having much luck with it, and because I worked outside the home, I didn't have much time to play with it, so I set it aside. A few years later, I heard about needle tatting, and ordered supplies and books to learn. Didn't have much time for it either.

When I was pregnant, and at home (having been laid off just before finding out about the baby), I decided to play with the tatting needles again - as I was digging in my stuff, I found the shuttles, and after a few tries, something clicked, and I managed to do it right. I've been tatting ever since, and a few months after the baby was born, we got a computer, so I "found" all the online things - Georgia Seitz was the first shuttle maker I found, and it snowballed from there and hasn't stopped yet. Now I teach tatting through Keystone Lace Guild - mainly beginner to intermediate classes, as there are a few of the advanced techniques that I haven't quite practised enough. My shuttle/pattern/thread stash keeps growing, much to my delight, and I can't tat fast enough to do all the patterns that I want to do.


NATA # 135




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NATA # 138

Let's see.

I first saw tatting at the age of 13, and wanted to learn but the lady wouldn't teach me; she said it made her too nervous. When I was 50, I finally met a lady at church who mentioned that she tatted. I grabbed her, asked her to teach a class on Friday (this was Wednesday) and she came and spent 2 hours with us. She then moved out of state, leaving me a book, a shuttle, and a ball of thread.

That was in May. By Christmas, everyone in the family received snowflakes (at least 2), a sweater collar, an edging on a matt in a picture frame and a small doily. Do I qualify?

I've never tatted with nutty things like hair and I'm not very fast but I am prolific.

About my number: I like all those round numbers, they match my lovely ?? figure.


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NATA # 141

About 8yrs ago, I discovered tatting and could not get the flip. I taught myself from an old Coats & Clark Learn to Knit, Crochet, Embroider & Tat booklet and from information I had gotten from online resources. I found out after I had taught myself tatting that I had had a tatting lesson 20yrs previously when I was 13. I had absolutely no recollection of a tatting lesson, but apparently my fingers remembered something because I learned tatting very easily.

I tat everywhere and anywhere. I also tat with just about any fiber that can hold a knot, and some that don't like to hold knots. Folks comment to me that tatting must take great patience. I have found that tatting GIVES me patience, because I am often found tatting during times that I would otherwise be sitting, standing, just waiting for something.... riding the bus, instead of staring out the window, I tat... same for the train. Waiting at Dr's office. I think the strangest time I have tatted was sitting in the dentist chair waiting for the goop in my mouth to set up (taking an impression for a new crown).

And I am just nuts about tatting in general. Love the threads, the shuttles, the books, and since I am also addicted to beads, it all works together. The culmination of my love affair with fiber and tatting and beads and fabric is going to be embellished, pieced (possibly quilted) garments. But that day is not here yet, I'm still learning to sew garments.


NATA # 142

I was tatting in my allergist's office, when a mistake (nah, really?) forced me to cut out a bit and splice in the ends. After completing the splice and hiding both ends, I trimmed the ends close to the stitches and continued tatting. When the 20 minutes were up, I gathered my goodies and drove home. I got home and went to the computer to begin going through my e-mail. For some reason I looked down and there on my shirt was one of the scraps of thread I had trimmed from the splice in my tatting. It had been stuck there all the way from the office to my car to my house and made me wonder how many people had seen it.


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NATA # 146

To a tatter, I'm sure I'm normal. To the rest of the world, I'm equally sure I'm a nut. After all, how many people do THEY know whose first sight of Taco Bell's latest kid's meal toy requires an exclamation of "Those cocoons would make great tatting containers!". I'd be ashamed to admit to a non-tatter how many Burger King kid's meals I purchased just to get Poke balls.

My obsession goes back years before I even learned to tat. While I was actively practicing sewing, crochet, macrame, stained glass, etc., I would stumble across the occasional tatting pattern. Patterns found in books or magazines I intended to keep were carefully logged on an index card and placed in a box for that happy day when I would finally learn to tat. For those patterns found in magazines that were temporary possessions, a manilla folder became the home for the torn out pages. My collection was about six years in the making when I actually met my first tatter!


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