"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beauty for Its Own Sake

First the good news: I went to the doctor this morning, and I no longer need to be on oxygen. Alas, this also means I can go back to work.

People sometimes ask me what I do with all my tatting. The question of what to do with motifs also comes up on the tatting lists from time to time. My reaction is always the same: "Do? It's pretty. Isn't that enough? Why does it also have to do something?" But I guess some people can't see displaying motifs in the same way as you would, say, a doily. Here are a couple of my tatting display areas:

Sorry about the lighting; I should have taken these pictures in the morning. As you can see, I was on a butterfly kick for a while. Most of them are from the Palmetto Tatters' book Butterflies Migrating. In the photo on the bottom, you can see a couple of the snowflakes I received in last year's round robin. The purple one was tatted by Abby Carlson and is one of Jon's patterns. The light-colored one (which is much prettier in real life) was tatted by Bob Shotten and is from the book Tatted Snowflakes by Vida Sunderman. The round blue one is one of the cluny medallions from Christmas Angels and other Tatting Patterns by Monica Hahn. This was my first and last project using clunies. They came out OK, but only with multiple attempts and much shocking language. In the back right corner is one of the motifs that IsDihara came up with for the Design-Tat class; just to prove that I do actually use some of my HDT's, it's done in Yarnplayer's Vibrato.

See, you can display motifs just as they are without having to "do" anything with them.

Of course, I'm not opposed to putting tatting to practical use. I enjoy making bookmarks, and here's a fridge magnet featuring a Celtic motif by Rosemarie Peel:

Overall, though, I see tatting as a decorative craft that can and should be enjoyed purely for its own sake, without any need to force it to do anything else.


  1. I agree! Many of my tatted pieces are in a box. My granddaughter Eva loves to look through my box of tatted pieces, and she's thrilled when I let her take home my "mistakes"!

  2. Hi, Diane! Thanks for reading. Get those pieces out of the box and put them on display! (Unless you're saving them for a crazy quilt, that is.) And I hope Eva will be inspired to learn to tat herself one day.

  3. I agree totally, I tat just because the results are so pretty and I don't need to use them for anything.