Book ReViews is a nice little used book store in Newton, KS.  Their stock is donated to them and they donate their profits to local charities.  They only have one paid employee, the others are all volunteers.  I don’t get in much but did leave my card with them the last time I was there and let them know I would be interested in any tatting books that might come in.  I was pleasantly surprised a few days ago when they let me know something had.   It was an old, paperback McCall’s Knit and Crochet Encyclopedia.
Latest copyright date in it is 1977.   The pictures of the models inside reflect this (did we really wear stuff like this???)
It has a section on tatting, including a brief history and description of what tatting is, several pages of “how to”, as well as a few patterns. The history is a version I have heard before.  I did think it was wise of the author to state that trying to explain tatting was rather hard and learning from a person who knew how to tat was much easier than trying to learn from a book.  The drawings and how-to aren’t bad, they are pretty clear to a person who already knows. But speaking from my own experience, though it was many years ago, it’s easier to learn from a person than a book.
The patterns have no diagrams and are written out in the style that was popular at the time.  I guess you could say popular, it was how the patterns I saw at the time were written out (okay, it wasn’t until a couple years later that I started tatting, but all the then-current written patterns looked like this when I did start looking at them.)  This way of writing patterns is long, complicated, and hard to follow compared to most patterns written out today.  Think old “Workbasket” patterns.  But, hey, this is what we knew and expected, and you just learned to read them.
I bought the book – the price was right – and took my time looking through it.  It has a section on hairpin lace which might be fun, but I don’t really have time to do it.  I may try one of the tatted edgings but I doubt I’ll do much else with it.  But it has tatting in it!  How could I leave it? And then I thought “should I have left it there?  Maybe someone else might have picked it up and decided to try tatting.  By bringing it home have I robbed another person of the opportunity to see and be intrigued by tatting?” 
The store gets its books through donations, maybe I should try what I like and donate the book back to be sold again?
“The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.”
Corrie Ten Boom

4 thoughts on “Donations”

  1. Very interesting !
    I, too, learned from a friend. It was my 2nd attempt. The 1st attempt, many years before, kept ending in knots ! when learning from my aunt.
    With the vast online resources, including video demos & tuts, many people Are today learning without any actual personal teacher. I keep reading about howthese individuals learned from youtube, etc. We didn't have such resources back then.

    If you don't use the book for some self-determined period of time then yes, it might be a good idea to donate it back …… personally, I find it extremely difficult to let go of my book collection ;-P

  2. Very interesting, I taught myself, I used to watch an old aunt who said she would teach me when I got older, never did she died. I found a learn to tat when I worked in the city of London, another aunt came to stay and found me tatting, she put me right on one bit and was amazed thought my granmother had taught me seems she used to tat long before I was born, you could tatting is in the blood.
    Do enjoy your book look forward to seeing what you make from it.

  3. I like that peak of the edgings, and lately have been deciphering old directions myself, I figure that a lot of women tatted because they assume that you know quite a bit, and I love the lack of pictures on things ha ha. But can say I enjoy the puzzling trails that they unintentionally give you 🙂

  4. I still have that book from the 70's but did not learn my tatting from it, rather an older book and I only learned how to tat rings as the first pattern was rings only. Mom did help but it wasn't until two years ago that I learned how to make a chain and renewed my interest in Tatting.

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