This butterfly is in the Corticelli book ‘Lessons in Tatting’. The book is out of copyright and free to download at www.antiquepatternlibrary.org. The PDF file is EllisonCorttat. I will say that the original pattern is difficult to read – it is faint and closely spaced. My son retyped it for me, and drew an invaluable diagram. He doesn’t tat himself, but is able to visualise the pattern from the instructions much better than I can. Many thanks to him.
I did a lot of cursing – I’m not very experienced – but I think the result is worth it. There are a few wobbles here and there, but the next one will be better.
Tatting isn’t a popular form of handwork – try it in a waiting room or coffee shop and you will usually get someone asking what it is. Many tatters are actively doing their best to increase the popularity of this ancient art. I take mine everywhere with me, and usually have a stash of small pieces that I give away to anyone who shows an interest. Who knows, mabe they will get around to trying it themselves one day.
There are some wonderful sites out there. One of my favourites is In Tatters. They are very helpful both to beginners and more experienced tatters, and lots of photos of just how beautiful this form of lacemaking can be.
The tatting book was published in 1916. The world was in the middle of WWI (the ‘Great War’ to end war). My grandmother was a teenager, and the Titanic had sunk only four years before. That time is generations away, yet there are still those of us who sit with a simple thread and shuttle, weaving pieces with little purpose other than to make something beautiful.