02 June 2010

book review: learn to tat

I've been shuttle tatting for about ten years now. I say "about ten years" because its been a little while since I've picked up a shuttle but it still holds the same fascination for me. I decided to learn how to do it because I wanted the tatted medallions and edgings to embellish my crazy quilts. Later on when my store, Lost Arts Stitchery, was open, I taught dozens of classes on it.

This month I'll be doing a tatting demo at the Fiber Arts and Animal Festival in Marshall, MI. I've been going through all my material again and dusting off my collection of shuttles. I've got several books on the subject but just came across the one shown above a couple of days ago.

I can honestly say that Learn to Tat by Janette Baker is the best resource I have ever seen for beginning tatters. Not only are the written directions simple and direct (wordy directions are the downfall of things like this), they have excellent pictures to accompany everything. But the thing that really sets this book above all the others is that it comes with an interactive DVD. The book and DVD are split into lessons so you have two resources to help you on your way.

I was impressed to also find that she covers a little more advanced techniques like split rings and split chains.

There isn't a single thing I don't like about this book. I wish it had been available when I had my store, I would have happily stocked it.

I found my copy at Joann Fabrics but Amazon also has it (the link above takes you to Amazon). You can also buy shuttles and tatting thread at craft stores now as well. It makes me happy to see that it is still accessible.

So if you've ever wanted to learn, I would give this book a shot. The clear directions and DVD give you incredible support for learning this awesome lace technique.


Gina said...

My opinion is the same. I might do a few things differently but the technique is clear and concise. I plan to use it when I teach. I don't like the home page where you can also buy the book. It links to some patterns that are very difficult to read and use but it's a very good resource.

Linda Dunn said...

So cool! My grandmother taught me to sew and crochet, but when I found the tatting shuttle she demonstrated it and then said "you don't need to know how to do this." She spoke with a finality that suggested hours spent making lace instead of playing. I don't know if that's the case but it sure sounded like it. Glad the art is no longer mandatory, but not lost.