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